So, why do we keep having this problem?


Confession time, my little chinchillas. I’m a nerd. No. I mean, I’m a nerd. A D&D playing, glasses wearing, bad-horror-movie-quoting nerd. Need proof? Here’s one of my four embarrassingly overburdened comic book shelves.


See? Nerd.

Which means, of course, I love Superman in any and all forms. Even the old TV show the Adventures of Superman, starring George Reeves. But something has always bothered me about the show.

It’s the criminals. They’re stupid.  

See, they keep trying to shoot Superman. Who naturally stands there and lets the bullets bounce off his appropriately heroic chest before beating the tar out of them. You’d think they’d get the memo eventually. Subscribe to the criminal newsletter. Read the Daily Planet. Discover that, hey, shooting Superman is really, spectacularly dumb.

You know what else is dumb?

Being so tone-deaf you promote a product with lynching.

I don’t know what the folks at Seasalt & Co. were thinking, but they ran an ad for a new suite of Photoshop tools called Hanging Tree. Featuring a noose. During Black History Month. 

Creepy. So very, very creepy.

You’d think we as marketers would get the memo eventually. Include diversity in our bullpens. Read a history book. Discover that, hey, being ignorant of race and racism is really spectacularly dumb.

There are loads of reasons to have a diverse workforce — starting with the simple fact that it’s the right thing to do. There’s also the McKinsey study proving that companies with diverse boards that include women make more money. The research from Forbes showing broad workforce diversity drives innovation and growth. The Harvard Business School finding that multicultural networks promote creativity.

More importantly for this example, having a diversity of viewpoints in the office means stuff like this doesn’t slip through unchallenged and make your marketing a massive cautionary tale.

There’s a simple fix. And the onus is on us, as they say. Include a multitude of perspectives at your table. And then listen when you have them there.

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