Being an Inclusion-First Brand with Lauren Tucker

lauren tucker on brand

Dr. Lauren Tucker is the founder and CEO of Do What Matters, an inclusion management consultancy designed to help marketing services agencies turn inclusion, equity, and diversity intent into impact. We discussed talent (it’s not a pipeline problem), creativity (diversity helps), Walmart’s Juneteenth ice cream blunder, and more this week on the On Brand podcast.

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About Lauren Tucker

Dr. Lauren Tucker is the founder and CEO of Do What Matters, an inclusion management consultancy that challenges the cultural homogeneity in the advertising and marketing communications industry by designing inclusion solutions that foster greater creativity, innovation, and growth. Frustrated with the lack of progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion in the advertising and marcom industries, Tucker left her position as the Chief Strategy Officer at Merge, one of the nation’s largest independent agencies, to promote a different approach to increasing diversity in an industry that is still more than 80 percent white.

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Episode Highlights

The work of changing an industry. After years in the agency business, Lauren realized that to bring about real change she had to step outside of the business itself. “You can’t be a prophet in your own land.”

“Advertising of all creative industries is the most conservative,” notes Lauren. “That’s because it’s most directly tied to business. The power exists with the clients.”

Badvertising! I have a new favorite term! “There’s a lot of badvertising out there today,” Lauren warns, shaking her head at transactional diversity efforts. Speaking of which …

Walmart’s Juneteenth ice cream. Lauren walked us through this recent example of “diversity theatre.” While Walmart’s ice cream (which they’ve since removed and apologized for) is transactional diversity—“diversity before inclusion”—Lauren also highlighted Target’s transformational work elevating local business owners of color and helping them connect with their sales channels.

What brand has made Lauren smile recently? While Lauren’s breakdown of Walmart and Target’s Juneteenth activities prompted both bad and good smiles respectively, she also noted the work that Alta has done in the beauty industry in raising the voices of female entrepreneurs.

To learn more, check out the Do What Matters website, specifically their continually updated Resources.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!