Local businesses that recognize diversity, and target GLBT communities in their advertising, will be honored at the Nashville Chapter of the  American Advertising Federation’s Mosaic Awards.

The event, set for May 20 at Loews Vanderbilt Hotel, marks the first time the Mosaics have been presented locally. The AAF created the awards at the national level to recognize multiethnic marketing, but the local chapter is expanding that to include multicultural marketing, with a focus on diversity and inclusion, said Mark Farrar, executive director of the American Advertising Federation – Nashville.

“The Mosaics are a national competition, and last year our board set up a diversity committee so that we could focus more on that,” Farrar said. “We now have become the first club to host their own Mosaic awards.”

The Nashville and regional market has produced a strong crop of multimedia advertising that’s targeted many aspects of the GLBT and other communities in the region, Farrar said, so having the awards made sense for the organization on many levels.

“We’ve seen the ads that people are doing in this market, and how more and more companies are recognizing the importance of diversity in their campaigns,” he said. “We wanted to create something at the local level that would honor those people.”

AAF Nashville will be judging submissions from agencies, corporate advertisers, students and media companies, and is already getting a lot of inquiries, according to MaryAnne Howland, chair of the group’s diversity committee. And that interest level is no surprise, given the strong players in the local and regional advertising community, Farrar added.

“We are going to be having awards for people who do traditional advertising, interactive campaigns and more, and they’re going to be honoring companies who make very concerted efforts to hire multicultural employees, who use multicultural suppliers for their business and who reach out to those markets,” Farrar said. “This is going to bring some awareness to the people who are doing these things, and is going to show others what they need to be doing in their own businesses.”

INFO BOX:

For more information on the American Advertising Federation – Nashville, or the Mosaic Awards, visit www.aafnashville.com.

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