4A’s Pushes Back On Trump’s Move To Suppress Diversity Training At Agencies

The American Association of Advertising Agencies is joining other trade associations to oppose an executive order from President Trump that bans diversity training at federal contractors, including holding companies and ad agencies. The order would eliminate one of the few tangible DE&I measures that most marketers have embraced.

“As this Executive Order prohibits employee training on topics such as ‘stereotyping’ and ‘scapegoating’ based on race or sex—ambiguous terms that even courts of law have trouble parsing and applying—it complicates how agencies can evaluate their employee training programs for compliance,” 4A’s president and CEO Marla Kaplowitz told Ad Age’s Lindsey Rittenhouse.

The prohibitions in the order are consistent with the administration’s insistence that acknowledging racism and inequality is divisive, rather than just the first step toward addressing those issues. At several points, it pushes back against the very concept of unconscious bias.

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