The City Council is investigating the city's advertising agencies over their hiring practices, and will have a series of hearings on how the agencies are not very diverse. AdAge explains that what was originally a fact-finding mission based a complaint turned into an investigation last year, and 17 agencies have been questioned. The council's Civil Rights Committee chairman, Larry Seabrook, said that from what he's learned, "A secretary or custodian job is basically the limits of what African-Americans and Latinos have as employment." And the Daily News notes that Human Rights Commissioner Patricia Gatling said last month, "We're still gathering information, and it appears as if this is one of the last vestiges of industry that refused to diversify." Seabrook is saying that the City Council may even call upon clients to testify about dealing with not-very-diverse agencies, which would be amazing stuff since many big corporations do have much more rigorous diversity-in-the-workforce policies than agencies.

Advertising characters, though, are marginally more diverse, though usually more caricatured (Aunt Jemima, the Dole pineapple lady, Juan Valdez and many fish and fowl).