Airbnb’s Jonathan Mildenhall calls on marketers to demand the hiring of more women and people of color on Madison Avenue
By Suzanne Vranica
Airbnb Inc. is one of many marketers pushing for greater diversity in the advertising industry, which been under the gun to bring more women and minorities into the fold after controversies surrounding insensitive ads and high-profile allegations of sexist and racist behavior.
The home-rental site, which has struggled with diversity in its own ranks, is proactively trying to bring new types of creative talent into its marketing department.
The company announced earlier this week that it will use the Cannes Lions advertising festival—the annual event where many of the world’s top creative and marketing professionals descend on the French Riviera to celebrate creativity in advertising—to woo new types of executives.
Airbnb Chief Marketing Officer Jonathan Mildenhall has put out an open casting call for women and people of color to meet with him during the weeklong advertising conference next month for a shot at working for the company.
Mr. Mildenhall decided to use Cannes as a recruiting tool after he found it “difficult” going through traditional channels to find more diverse applicants.
“I am going to go to the place where the top talent congregates and have women and people of color come in and share their books with our leadership team,” he said.
In an interview with The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Mildenhall discussed how the ad business has to do more to recruit minorities, why marketers must demand change, and how he is trying to bring more balance to his marketing department. Read more on WSJ.