Tiffany R. Warren: Adding Color to the Media and Marketing Industry

July 26, 2011  |  
Left to right: Michele Thornton, Director, Multi-Cultural Sales, CNN; Greg D’Alba, COO/EVP Sales & Marketing, CNN; Tiffany R. Warren, Founder, ADCOLOR Industry Coalition and SVP, Chief Diversity Officer, Omnicom; Frank Cooper, CMO, Sparkling Beverages, PepsiCo; Soledad O’Brien, CNN

Tiffany R. Warren learned she had a passion for advertising when she was 9 years old.

A 9 year old Tiffany had just come from a Boston Ballet and recognized that there weren’t a lot of women of color dancing. So she created a recruitment ad in her art class.

It read: “Boston Ballet. Join Today.”

Pretty clever for a nine year old.

“It’s amazing the messages you get sent,” Tiffany said about her early interest in advertising. “You have to pay attention to what the universe is trying to tell you.”

Interestingly, not too much has changed since then. Sure her title’s changed, she’s the senior vice president and chief diversity officer at the Omnicom Group but she still has a passion for communicating messages and diversity inclusion.

It was that same passion that led Tiffany to found ADCOLOR in 2005. The mission of the organization is to support and honor advertising professionals of color who use diversity in advertising, media and marketing.

Last week industry professionals met in New York’s Time Warner Center to announce this year’s honorees. Well-known names included actress Rosario Dawson for the All-Star Award, Comedian, actor and activist Bill Cosby for the Liftetime Achievement Award and director Spike Lee for the Catalyst Award.

Tiffany said she created ADCOLOR  for people she doesn’t even know yet. But as an outsider, ADCOLOR sends a clear message to anyone who’s got their eyes open.

“ADCOLOR is what the industry should be like,” Tiffany said. “The face of America is changing and we want the ad world to change with it.”

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