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Story on Racism in OOH

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Story on Racism in OOH

We do not enjoy calling out our Industry but nevertheless that is what we do if needed.  We like to believe we tell it like it is and that you support our right to share the truth and transparency.
Many times over the 2 years we have been ‘publishing’ OOH Today, we have roiled the Associations, the Big 3 Owners and I suspect, the Big 6 Agencies, though they are less apparent in their angst, on some of the issues we have discussed. (Like the lack of women in the C Suite. Times Up For OOH Too. )

Is silence support to the contrary? 

We hope this next story receives OOH Industry supportive comments and action. Please use the ‘Leave a Reply’ below for comments. And if you are concerned about anonymity, don’t use your real name. 


a message from Wrapify


This post is about an ‘event’ which happened with an former employee, who was an apprentice with Colossal Media (the hand paint wall/mural company) in 2015.

In a nutshell, details in his Instagram account, a traumatic racist encounter with his ‘fellow employees’.  The story involving being called the ‘N’ word and then told by management, “that’s just how these guys are”. 

Problems at Colossal? Big ones

The former employee shared his story via Instagram. There is much more than we’ve been able to place in this post. 

Moving to Colossal Media’s response… deleted the former employee’s comments, made an apology, an offer to match employee donations to Black Lives Matter, removal of ‘the person managing our account’ and a town hall meeting for employees.

Is that enough? 

We have been told Colossal has sent a statement to its Agency partners regarding the matter but we have yet to see it.

“We vote for the type of businesses and people we want in this business with our wallets and budgets”  As mentioned by ‘Seats Thrown’ (the avatar identity in Cohoots).


OOH Today received very little response to our first post OOH And Racism Today.
OOH Industry, where do you stand?
Of course you’re against this behavior.

Where are the OOH Industry’s statements and ACTIONS? 

See the Colossal Instagram post here⇒ https://www.instagram.com/p/CBULKdtBiB7/ and below.

‘former employee’  were super sorry to have deleted your comment, it was wrong. We’re also very sorry if you were mistreated during your time with us, racism is intolerable and we all have to work everyday to extinguish it. We hope that going forward we can work together on our common goal of equality and positivity. (Paul L. Co Founder)




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  1. Gino Sesto says

    Kudos to OOH Today for being brave and posting this story. It’s awful. Too often our political leaders and business leaders put their collective heads in the sand and pretend shit ain’t happening.

    It’s a time for reckoning.

    As a business owner myself I was pressured to post BLM IG support by my staff. I initially refused because it does not mean anything and this shows exactly what i meant by that it does not mean anything, its just fucking lip service. Changing your IG feed is just bullshit. Actions speak louder than IG posts ever will. As a business owner i have always and will continue to hire a diverse staff that accurately reflects the diversity of the city we are based.

    We saw this with the ME TOO movement. First you support it, then you get caught. Now we are seeing this with the BLM movement.

    Talk is cheap. Actions are hard.

  2. Brett says

    Thank you Joshua for sharing your story. Paul’s response is cute, but a town hall and firing one bad person doesn’t solve the issues. With admitted wrong doing, Paul, why don’t you implement mandatory training, create a better HR process that allows for employees to report the incidents internally for resolution. Instead Joshua had to take this publicly years later to speak his truth, which you all deleted! How many other incidents are being told and deleted?

  3. Bruce says

    Thank you for sharing Bill. The OOH industry is notorious for discrimination of minorities and women for years. The good ol (white) boys club needs to be dismantled and diversified. Joshua’s story is exactly the mindset many OOH company’s; one person of color or minority and they hit their ‘diversity quota’. The token black guy, the token female, the token non-white male.

    And before people try to point to Nancy and Anna stating there’s a female at the highest level, ask yourself where are all the other minorities and women in leadership are in the industry? OAAA Sr. Management, 6 members, ALL WHITE, two women. OAAA BOD, 28 members = TWO women + 26 WHITE MEN! ONE of the women is the CEO of Colossal!!

    ANNA and OAAA, do the obvious and correct thing here…

    “We do not enjoy calling out our Industry”, 1. THANK YOU for having the courage to share Joshua’s story 2. THANK YOU for calling on our colleagues to take a look in the mirror 3. THANK YOU for caring and loving the industry you want to see it SURVIVE

    If the industry reads this and doesn’t see the issue, they need a new mirror.



  4. Kristy Vivian says

    I must speak on this. I feel that a large part of racism is generational and is taught – just like sexism. I remember being told “Sit there, shut up and act like a woman” in a sales meeting early in my OOH career as the only female AE on the team. I was suppose to be Ok with that as some sort of initiation or acceptance. I was then offered a “coke” as a peace-offering. That was not enough as it haunts me some 25 years later. I hope that we are teaching our young ones that we are all different and all matter. I know for a fact my late father was a racist. My dear friend and next door neighbor growing up was black. I loved her! I love all people of color as they are beautiful in the eyes of the beholder. I am glad he spoke up and changed things.

  5. No Fear No Favor says

    Thank you Gino Sesto for your leadership position and support. Talk is cheap. Actions are hard. We know you are walking the walk.

  6. No Fear No Favor says

    Tough story to share for Joshua. Deleting does not solve anything. While we can physically delete a social post or complaint it does not solve the problems.
    Thank you for speaking up Brett

  7. No Fear No Favor says

    Very edgy stance here Bruce. We will have to fact check the numbers you provided, though at first blush it appears you are correct. Your call for action is indeed important.
    Will OOH have consensus or leadership as an Industry to be heard? Thank you for your comments.

  8. No Fear No Favor says

    We appreciate your speaking up Kristy Vivian. As an experienced professional you have confronted the many gender obstacles to succeed as a woman in OOH.
    Thank you for sharing.

  9. Betsy says

    Has anyone from Colossal addressed this, besides the “super sorry” social media post from Paul to CYA?

    Colossal Leadership should step up and show real change. Action, not talk!