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[Preview] Journalist, Ericka Smith Talks With Advertising & Marketing Expert, Latoya Shambo 

 Latoya Shambo is strong, smart and spirited. But never call her sassy.

As an African American woman working in the advertising and marketing industries, (fields that could benefit from more diversity), Shambo makes it a point to speak out—which sometimes leads to her being called “sassy.” But she’s not being brash or cocky at all, she shares her opinions because she knows what she’s talking about, and Shambo thinks other women should assert their concerns when given the chance too.
Having worked for brands like Nike, McDonald’s, Google, Adidas and many other corporations, Shambo has become quite the advertising and marketing expert. So it’s no surprise that she launched her own companies—Brooklyn Brand Lab and Black Girl Digital—to provide marketing, adverting, and digital needs to local businesses and publishers worldwide.
Definitely a mover and shaker in the digital world, LaToya dropped so many gems during our interview. Read on and learn more about her companies, her #blackwomenatwork experiences and more.
Ericka (EGL): First things first, you’re the founder of Brooklyn Brand Lab. Tell us more about your company and your goals?
Latoya: Brooklyn Brand Lab has evolved. Now, it’s solely focused on providing social media services to local businesses, not necessarily online businesses. We target a lot of the companies that are in the Brooklyn area and help them build out their social communities and manage their social media. [We help them with] customer service and if they have any other basic digital marketing needs, that’s essentially what we do.
EGL: You launched Black Girl Digital not too long ago. What inspired you to create this platform?
Latoya: My background is heavily in advertisement, specifically surrounding the ad network business. I noticed that there was a void in the marketplace for an ad network specifically designed for this niche audience—the black female. There are tons of brands and tons of advertisers that are constantly looking for ways to market and advertise to [black women], but it’s just not efficient for them, and they’re not getting the scale and the reach that they need for their campaign. So I said that I know a lot of the [black women], the influencers, the bloggers and content creators, and I also know a lot of the brands and agencies, so why don’t I just go ahead and create the companies that can fill this void? So Black Girl Digital evolved from there.
EGL: You stressed for more African American representation in advertisement. With the recent #PepsiFail and Tory Burch fiasco, how much more crucial is it to have more people of color influencing the decisions?
Latoya: When I say that I want more women of color and people of color in the industry, from that perspective, I am speaking specifically towards inside the building, in the corporate America side, not necessarily in the ads. I also work in corporate America in the advertisement industry and when I go to these advertising events, the lack of color at these events is astounding. You know I’ve been to so many panels and summits where they are trying to figure out the diversity elements in the industry and the big question is, “Where are the black people?” I answer it in the terms that, it’s not that the agencies or the industry doesn’t want black people in these offices, it’s just that the black people don’t see or understand the opportunities that exist, for whatever reason. Maybe they’re not learning about it in school or in college or they’re so caught up in what’s on the surface that they’re not doing due diligence—it comes both ways. So in efforts to do my part, I’ve created “Black in Advertising” an industry list compiled of professional black people in the industry. Black in Advertising is about fostering and building meaningful relationships within our industry and educating those coming in.——
Read Ericka Smith’s whole interview with Latoya on! 


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