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The Corporate Response To Black Lives Matter

A Black Lives Matter sign in a store window in Los Angeles
[MSPhotographic / Shutterstock]

As protests for racial justice continue in cities across America, companies are issuing statements condeming the treament of African Americans at the hands of police, structural racism and inequality. Some of these corporate statements are as simple as posting #blacklivesmatter on social media. Others go further, promising to examine their own practices and vowing to create a more diverse workforce. Many pledged to give money to non-profits to combat structural racism. Some broadcast slick ads declaring unity with the cause. You might say these are all commendable actions to take. But you might also say, and many have, that these corporate actions are opportunitistic and disingenuous. They smack of another marketing ploy. It's companies glomming on to another lucratrive trend -- in this case, the cause of social justice. Today we're going to look at how companies have responded to the black lives matter movement and discuss motives. We talk with the CEOs of two Northeast Ohio advertising agencies, a marketing professor from Cleveland State University, and reporters covering the topic.

- Mike Ozan, CEO & Chief Creative Officer, Twist Creative

- Rama Jayanti, Professor of Marketing, Cleveland State University

- Rob Falls, President and CEO, Wyse Advertising and Falls Communications

- George Thomas, Reporter and Columnist, The Akron Beacon Journal

- Lisa Lacy, Senior Writer, Adweek,

Drew Maziasz is a producer for the "Sound of Ideas" and also serves as the show’s technical producer.