The 4A’s Competitive Edge series featured two panel discussions as part of Advertising Week 2012 on Oct. 3 at B.B. King’s in Times Square, and each focused on building workplace cultures of diversity and inclusion.
Val DiFebo, CEO of Deutsch Inc.’s New York office, was joined by Leo Preziosi, Jr., Founder and Executive Director of Live Out Loud, an advocacy group for the LGBT community. Scott Creighton, Global VP of Marketing Excellence for Johnson & Johnson (and a Deutsch client) moderated their discussion, titled, “Our Culture, Our Business, and the Domino Effect.” Deutsch also works pro bono with Live Out Loud. In the video clip, DiFebo told The Hit Board what she considers to be the single most important aspect of fostering an inclusive business culture.
The following panel discussion, “The Real Live Scandal,” featured Washington, D.C., power lawyer Judy Smith, who is the inspiration behind the main character of ABC’s hit series “Scandal.” Geri Wang, President of ABC Sales & Marketing, was also on hand, and she and Smith talked at length about how a show featuring a strong African-American female character landed on prime-time broadcast. Sallie Mars, SVP, Chief Diversity Officer at McCann Worldgroup moderated the discussion, which included insights from Mediapost’s Editor-at-Large Barbara Lippert and Deidre Smalls-Landau, EVP, Managing Director at Identity.
Executives who participated in both sessions emphasized the importance of having an inclusive culture and its positive effect on a business’s bottom line. In the video, Judy Smith explains how “Scandal” went from a concept to a highly rated drama series.