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When its chairman dies, an advertising firm's executive board must elect someone to fill the position. Each member, unable to vote for himself, casts a secret ballot for Putney Swope (Arnold Johnson), the firm's only black executive, assuming he wouldn't receive any votes from the other members. But once in power, Swope makes radical changes to the firm -- like keeping only one white employee and refusing to advertise harmful products -- all under the firm's new moniker, "Truth and Soul, Inc."