Since 1971, Burrell Communications has played a major role in the advertising space, designing campaigns for major corporations including McDonald’s, Toyota, General Mills, and American Airlines. The agency’s founder, Thomas J. Burrell, was known as the “Dean of Black Advertising,” and in 1996 Black Enterprise awarded him with the first ever A.G. Gaston Lifetime Achievement Award.
Based in Chicago and Los Angeles, the firm is currently headed by two African American women, Fay Ferguson and McGhee Williams Osse, who both share years of professional experience in advertising and marketing.
“We choose to be an agency that specializes in the African American market,” the company says on their website. “This is our DNA — our passion. We believe we are part of something unique, exceptional, honest, and bold; and we believe that we are responsible to the community to whom we speak — the African-American community; our community.”
The hiring of Burrell Communications adds to Clinton’s list of African Americans who are currently working with her campaign. Some of these prominent figures include LaDavia Drane, who is Clinton’s Director of African American Outreach; Marlon Marshall, who is Director of Political Engagement; Brynne Craig, Deputy National Political Director; and Karen Finney, Clinton’s communications adviser and spokesperson.
Marshall, who is the highest ranking African American staffer on any presidential campaign, is credited by Clinton aides with helping to create a diverse campaign team at the state and upper staff level.
As Clinton’s campaign push continues, her African American backing continues to grow, with 50 current and former black mayors already announcing their support for her, including Kasim Reed of Atlanta, Michael Nutter of Philadelphia, Steve Benjamin of Columbia, South Carolina, and many more.