by Ray Hayes

For years the ad industry has failed to acknowledge one of its biggest problems; a lack of diversity. Many marketing companies hire based off tradition and tradition alone and fail to give minorities opportunities to showcase their talents. Unless a famous celebrity enters their midst, most marketing companies stick to tried and true hiring strategies, While Madison Avenue does not pay much attention to diversity, Verizon’s CMO Diego Scoot is looking to make diversity a company strength.

Last year, in an effort to increase diversity among ad agencies, Scott informed agency partners that they needed to improve their lagging diversity numbers if they wished to continue working with Verizon.  To expand on this, Verizon recently announced an AdFellows program aimed to promote and advance company diversity goals.  According to, “AdFellows is an eight month-long fellowship program, in which 20 college graduates with diverse backgrounds will rotate across different positions at both Verizon and a handful of its partner agencies. The program aims at providing the participants valuable experience across Verizon’s several marketing functions, from creative and media to public relations.”

Recent college graduates will now have the opportunity to gain exposure in the marketing industry while seeking to discover their career path.  In addition to the AdFellows program, Verizon will be investing in, “…broader industry and community efforts like The One Club and Marcus Graham Project. The company has also been working in corporate diversity into its creative output.”

To learn more about the AdFellows program, please click here.