In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, Campaign US is spotlighting Hispanic executives from across the industry. This interview with Wanda Pogue, chief strategy officer at VaynerMedia has been lightly edited.
What is it like to be a Latino/Hispanic in the advertising industry?
My Hispanic heritage has helped me immensely as an advertiser. It has made me cognizant of the many diverse consumer experiences that we as advertisers represent. It has also made me more mindful of moving beyond stereotypes and the lowest common denominator (which, unfortunately, are still prevalent) to represent more authentic experiences for all consumers.
How has it changed since you first started?
When I first started, the challenge was about educating and selling clients on the value of the Hispanic market and convincing them that their investment was worthwhile. Today, as more marketers fortunately believe in the purchasing power and value of the Hispanic consumer, the challenge is centered around how to more effectively reach and connect with this audience.
How would you like to see brands honor Hispanic Heritage Month this year?
Brands should move away from token support and commit to continuously investing, understanding and supporting Hispanic consumers in meaningful and impactful ways throughout the year.
Where has the advertising industry made progress with diversity and inclusion? What still needs to be done?
There has been a real push to diversify the industry, and recently, we’ve made inroads, especially since the devastating murder of George Floyd.
However, we can not become complacent. We must continue to bring in diverse talent at all levels and invest in training young, diverse talent so they stay in the industry. It’s imperative we give young minds in our community exposure to advertising as a viable career path.
What is something you love about your culture?
I love our music and, of course, our food. But above all, I love how unapologetically affectionate and passionate we are.
How would you like to see your culture represented in the industry and by brands?
I would love to see a range of representation vs. a “one-size fits all,” broad stroke approach. We should celebrate the richness of the market and our countries of origin, and the diversity of our cultures, traditions, language and experiences.
I would love to see brands make a concerted effort to connect to many cohorts within our rich and diverse market.