Monday, October 16, 2017
Sunday, October 15, 2017
Campaign published patronizing and pathetic pap from Stylus Head of Media and Marketing Christian Ward, who blathered on about the imperative for “internal inclusivity” to avert fuck-ups like the latest Dove debacle. In addition to praising the Havas Chicago BHM stunt and Deloitte diversity diversions as signs of progress, Ward actually referred to society’s current youth segment as “a post-diversity generation.” The Dove-inspired soapbox completely falls apart when viewing the “internal inclusivity” of the “Stylus Experts,” which resembles expected exclusivity with a deep dose of diverted diversity.
Inclusivity: The missing denominator behind advertising mishaps
By Christian Ward
Dove had a compelling message it wanted to communicate, but somewhere along the internal process, it got lost in translation, say Stylus’ head of media & marketing.
When a brand strays off-path it can cause great unrest amongst loyal consumers. We saw it last week with Dove—a powerful brand with a long-standing, public-facing mission to champion real beauty. Yet its latest campaign missed the mark.
Diversity, and by natural extension, inclusivity, has been a key brand value for Dove that has—on the whole—previously been delivered both consistently and with care. So where did it go wrong?
The aim of Dove’s latest campaign wasn’t to offend anyone—there will have been a clear, very compelling message that the brand wanted to communicate. It’s something that Lola Ogunyemi, one of the models in the campaign, spoke out about, telling BBC’s Newsbeat that it was “supposed to be about all skin types deserving gentleness.” Yet somewhere—through the internal process—this message got lost in translation.
The changing narrative on diversity within the advertising industry is forcing brands and agencies to rethink their internal inclusion strategies. Creative agencies are realising that their teams must faithfully reflect diverse demographics to connect with the broadest possible audiences.
And the response can take on multiple forms. Havas Chicago’s interactive #BlackAtWork installation for Black History Month 2017 invited staff, clients and passers-by into a space that addresses some of the everyday micro-aggressions black employees encounter in the workplace. It was a playful and simplified approach, but by physically representing these everyday experiences, Havas turned them into conversation starters. It also closed the loop between agency, brands and consumers.
And we’re seeing efforts made beyond these four walls too. Deloitte begin to phase out affinity groups in favour of inclusivity strategies to help broaden horizons and opportunities across the board.
By the end of 2018, Deloitte will also discontinue its current advocacy programs for minority employees and military veterans, as well as Globe—a support network for gay employees. It plans to replace all of these initiatives with inclusion councils that bring together a variety of viewpoints and can work together on diversity issues.
While expecting minority employees to fit in can undermine the value of a diverse workforce, neglecting the needs of majority employees sparks resistance to change. Instead of isolating minorities in mutual interest, diversity needs to be embedded in a company’s culture at every level. Making diversity everybody’s concern is key.
Not only will this help to overcome “color-blindness” and tokenism—but it levels the playing field, empowering employees at all levels to bring their efforts to the table. Having a team with diverse backgrounds equips companies with a broader variety of viewpoints and crucial problem-solving strategies that facilitates more versatile solutions—giving brands and agencies a critical edge over their competition. It ensures that compelling messages don’t get lost in translation.
And there’s a positive knock-on effect. Inclusive workplaces naturally attract talent from diverse backgrounds and will appeal to Gen—a post-diversity generation. Their sense of inclusivity—celebrating difference, seeking and expressing divergent attitudes—is just part of who they are, and they’ll expect the same of the businesses they want to work for.
To understand each other’s perspectives on life and make them a fruitful contribution to work, we must speak openly about our differences. Brands that want to engage a global audience cannot fully understand that audience’s needs without being powered by diverse thinking.
Christian Ward is head of media & marketing at Stylus.
Saturday, October 14, 2017
No, this anti-bullying campaign from Brazil isn’t protesting a new sect of the KKK. Rather, KKKKK translates to “hahahahaha” in Portuguese, the official language of Brazil. Oh, and it’s likely another example of Brazilian sKKKam advertising.
Friday, October 13, 2017
Campaign reported Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall is checking out of the company to start his own consultancy. No word if Mildenhall will continue to “consult” on the dearth of diversity in the advertising industry.
Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall departs
By Diana Bradley
Mildenhall will continue to work with Airbnb on a consulting basis.
Airbnb CMO Jonathan Mildenhall is departing the company after three years to launch a marketing consulting firm called 21st Century Brand, according to media reports.
Mildenhall’s last day at Airbnb will be October 20.
He decided to start the firm after high-profile startups and venture capital firms came to him for marketing advice, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.
The newspaper said Airbnb is seeking a new CMO and Mildenhall is continuing to work with the company on a consulting basis.
In an emailed statement, Mildenhall noted that since he joined Airbnb, the company has created a “beloved, mission-driven brand that has helped create phenomenal value. Belong Anywhere has become meaningful for our community all over the world.”
He added that Airbnb’s “impact” has inspired him to take what he has learned and work with other founders to get people to “care deeply about their brands.”
“This is why I’ve decided to leave Airbnb to set up my own brand consultancy,” said Mildenhall.
Mildenhall joined Airbnb in June 2014. Previously, he worked at Coca-Cola for seven years in various roles, most recently as SVP of integrated marketing communication and design excellence. He was also responsible for leading the creative vision for Coke’s portfolio of brands.
“I’m happy that [Mildenhall] has found his passion, and his next chapter will be exciting to watch,” Brian Chesky, Airbnb cofounder, CEO, and head of community, said in an emailed statement.
Thursday, October 12, 2017
Adweek reported the financial firm behind the celebrated Fearless Girl statue agreed to pay $5 million to female and Black employees who were paid less than White men in the company. Of course, critics are blasting the advertiser for its blatant hypocrisy. Yet the responsible White advertising agency—where diversity is a dream deferred, diverted, delegated and denied—gets off scot-free. In fact, the shop continues to accept applause and accolades for the work, despite being arguably more hypocritical than the client. Award shows have cracked down on scam ads. It’s time to deny trophies to agencies producing patronizing pap while perpetuating prejudice and discrimination in their own exclusive hallways.
Financial Firm Behind ‘Fearless Girl’ Will Pay $5 Million for Allegedly Underpaying Women and Minorities
State Street’s subsidiary had been the year’s most celebrated champion of diversity
By Patrick Coffee
State Street Corp., parent company of the investment firm behind Wall Street’s iconic Fearless Girl statue, today agreed to pay a combined $5 million to more than 300 women and 15 black employees who were paid less than their white, male counterparts, according to a federal audit. Bloomberg first broke the news this afternoon.
According to today’s filing, the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs audited the bank starting in late 2012 based on data concerning the years 2010 and 2011. On March 31 of this year—the same month Fearless Girl debuted on Wall Street—the government first informed State Street of “corrective actions required.”
The audit concluded that, since “at least December 1, 2010,” the company had discriminated against women in senior-level roles like vp, svp and managing director by paying them lower base salaries, bonuses and total compensation than their male colleagues. The OFCCP’s analysis also found that State Street did the same to 15 black employees at the vice president level.
State Street officially denies the claims, according to the conciliation agreement released today. The $5 million settlement total includes approximately $4.5 million in back pay and $500,000 in interest.
“State Street is committed to equal pay practices and evaluates on an ongoing basis our internal processes to be sure our compensation, hiring and promotions programs are nondiscriminatory,” said a State Street spokesperson in a statement today. “While we disagreed with the OFCCP’s analysis and findings, we have cooperated fully with them, and made a decision to bring this six-year-old matter to resolution and move forward.”
As a federal contractor, the company is subject to regular audits from the Department of Labor. The settlement also requires the company to conduct compensation analysis for all employees at the levels of those involved in this case every year for the next three years.
State Street’s large payout over allegations of gender and racial pay imbalance comes at an especially awkward time for its subsidiary State Street Global Advisors, whose Fearless Girl campaign has dominated advertising awards shows since debuting in March of this year.
The Fearless Girl statue, created by agency McCann New York (which declined to comment for this article), faces down Wall Street’s famed Charging Bull statue. It was a symbol created by State Street Global Advisors to celebrate women in leadership and encourage investment in corporations with women in top positions. It quickly became the financial world’s most iconic symbol of gender equality and won 18 honors at the prestigious Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, including four Grand Prix top honors.
But the client has been candid in acknowledging that Fearless Girl, or any marketing effort that celebrates a commitment to diversity, can be vulnerable to criticisms from those who feel the campaign’s creator hasn’t made enough progress.
During a recent Advertising Week panel moderated by Adweek managing editor Stephanie Paterik, State Street Global Advisors CMO Stephen Tisdalle discussed the inherent risks of Fearless Girl.
He told the audience: “Do we as an organization reflect the penultimate makeup and reflection in being a diverse organization? No. And that was a risk because a lot of the people felt the message might be diluted by a lot of cynical people saying, ‘Well who are you to talk about gender diversity when you’re not a perfect embodiment of it?’”
He continued: “What I would say to that is we had a foundation we could go back to to say why we did Fearless Girl, and no matter what anybody said, no matter what rocks were thrown, we could say, ‘You’re right, but this is the way we invest, this is the way the world needs to invest, this is a human moral value. How can you argue against it? We have to be doing better ourselves. She’s as much an inspiration to our organization as she is to the world.”
Wednesday, October 11, 2017
Advertising Age posted a video interview with Lane Bryant EVP CMO Brian Beitler, who advocated for “size inclusivity” in marketing and society at large. Sounds like a full-figured version of diverted diversity.
LIVE AT ANA: LANE BRYANT’S CMO ON THE MAINSTREAMING OF SIZE DIVERSITY
By Adrianne Pasquarelli
After a crowd-inspiring presentation about body diversity in marketing at the Association of National Advertisers’ “Masters of Marketing” conference, Brian Beitler, executive VP and CMO of women’s apparel brand Lane Bryant, talked about his expectations for the future. We asked him when diverse body types will no longer make headlines. His response: Not as soon as we might hope.
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Adweek reported on continued cultural cluelessness from Dove. As others have already noted, Dove has consistently displayed stupidity throughout the years—or more specifically, its White advertising agencies have displayed stupidity. Sorry, but MultiCultClassics has always believed that Dove Real Beauty is real bullshit.
Dove’s Racially Insensitive Ad Has Agency Veterans Calling for More Minority Hiring
‘We see it over and over and over again. It’s not just Dove.’
By Lindsay Rittenhouse, Patrick Coffee
Responses to Dove’s racially insensitive clip of a black woman appearing to shed her body for a “cleaner” white version in a now-removed Facebook post promoting the brand’s body wash, provided a reminder that the ad industry is still very much divided. The full video included three women with differing skin tones, and social media users compared it to more blatantly racist “whitewashing” ads from the 19th century.
Agency veterans who spoke with Adweek in the wake of the controversy questioned how the ad received approval.
“This is what’s troubling about what’s going on in the space,” said Ryan Ford, vp and chief creative officer at Los Angeles multicultural marketing agency Cashmere. “Either there aren’t minorities in the room when decisions are being made or there are, but they aren’t empowered to say anything.”
Minorities in the agency world are growing tired of seeing brands repeatedly make the same mistakes.
“[When I first saw it], to be honest, I was like, ‘Here we go again,’” said Lewis Williams, chief creative officer at multicultural agency Burrell Communications. “We see it over and over and over again. It’s not just Dove. It’s the entire industry from clients to agencies not seeing the obvious [undertones]. What’s unfortunate is next week we’ll be having the same conversation.”
In April, Shea Moisture came under fire for an ad appearing to exclusively target white women, thereby alienating the African-American women who had historically been the brand’s primary consumers.
This also is not the first time Dove has been accused of racial insensitivity. In 2011, the brand released an ad that depicted a “before and after” skin chart, with a black woman under the “before” sign and a white woman under the “after.” At the time, Dove said all of the women were supposed to depict the “after.”
“Hire more black and brown people. It’s really that simple,” said mono producer Amalia Nicholson when asked what agencies and their clients can to do prevent such controversies in the future. Nicholson produces the podcast Borrowed Interest along with ad professionals Shareina Chandler of Colle McVoy and Leeya Jackson of Fallon that addresses the challenges minority women face in the office along with fellow.
Chaucer Barnes, chief audience officer at Translation, agreed with Nicholson.
“[It’s] is an important issue but one with a fairly simple solution: hire and empower people who reflect the cultural points of view that you’ll face on Twitter no matter what,” he wrote in a statement. “This doesn’t suggest that an objectionable asset can’t come from a well-balanced team. But when it does, if the process has been inclusive, there’s less chance that the brand will add insult to injury with the obligatory ‘oh-my-gosh-that-never-once-occured-to-us-because-we’re-too-pure-of-heart’ apology—which is increasingly as bad than the original sin scenarios like this.”
Nicholson, Ford and Williams also agreed that the following Twitter apology from Dove was in itself insensitive:
“It was flippant,” Nicholson said.
“The response takes you back to why it happened in the first place,” Williams said. “It’s not just a little misstep. [The apology] lacked sincerity.”
“It was a half-assed nonapology,” Ford said.
Dove is a longtime client of the WPP agency Ogilvy & Mather, but it is unclear whether the video was created by Ogilvy or an in-house team. A Dove spokeswoman declined to clarify who was behind the ad, and Ogilvy did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Williams said whoever developed and approved of the ad needs to make a personal, public apology beyond Dove’s tweet.
“They need to be very public about what they’re doing, who they’re hiring,” she said. “If you’re not coming forth, how serious are you?”