Tuesday, June 30, 2015

12739: Lame Lionesses.

Adweek presented another pathetic example of White women whining about adland’s alleged dearth of dames, delivered by mcgarrybowen Creatives Holly Fallows and Charlotte Watmough. More interesting than the Caucasian chicks’ contrived and clichéd complaining were the initial comments that the piece inspired.

Benny Jenson wrote, “You only got a bronze. Funny how that isn’t mentioned at any point in this article. Some would say it was embarrassing to be bleating like this about such a minor achievement. … And by the way, everything good about ‘your’ work, is down to the people who actually produced it. The creative idea is nothing special at all. Droste effect. Yawn. Seen it before 100 times. It’s very well made though, but that’s nothing to do with you. The lion belongs to the people who worked hard to turn your bland idea into something palatable.”

Travis Sandford declared, “Charlotte Watmough is a disgusting fat mess. Overweight pig.”

efwrng added, “‘Don’t get us wrong. We love that in our industry the ‘idea’ wins, no matter who it comes from’ — That’s BS and you know it.

Statements like that are the reason this industry has been able to maintain its shameful diversity numbers for decades.

Here’s a challenge — take a picture of black creatives that won Cannes lions this year. Or even simpler, take a picture of the ‘diversity’ of your creative department and post it to twitter or instagram.

The number of black creatives in the US, Europe, etc. can probably be counted on one hand. So use the hashtag #ononehand”

Hey, you know you’ve arrived when White women receive insults as harsh as those directed towards White men.

12738: Honey Maid Hypocrisy.

Droga5 presented its latest patronizing pap for Honey Maid Graham Crackers, this time featuring a Latino family of immigrants to celebrate the 4th of July holiday. The painfully long video closes by stating, “1 in 5 Americans is part of an immigrant family.” Um, Native Americans aside (as well as Blacks brought here via the slave trade), aren’t all Americans essentially tied to immigrants? Most outrageous is the fact that nearly 5 in 5 Droga5 employees are White—and the company’s racial/ethnic diversity is probably less than 1 in 5. Hell, Droga5 is closer to Donald Trump when it comes to immigration. Plus, allowing a White advertising agency to handle a project starring Latino characters means the Latino advertising agencies will receive even fewer Honey Maid crumbs. In short, there’s absolutely nothing wholesome in this scenario.

Monday, June 29, 2015

12737: GSP LGBT BS.

Goodby Silverstein & Partners celebrated the Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage in patronizing fashion. If GSP saluted diversity in advertising, the windows would be bright White.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

12736: Adland’s International Diversity.

Campaign published a lengthy piece—“The creative zeitgeist”—that asked an international group of adlanders, “Does creativity mean different things to different countries?” Leave it to UK-based Campaign to pose such a culturally clueless question. Interestingly enough, diversity appeared in the comments via a variety of ways:

• Bartle Bogle Hegarty Deputy Executive Creative Director Caroline Pay said, “But now, I’m happy to report, our mojo is coming back and we are seeing greatness across a more diverse pool of brands, sectors, channels, agencies and talent.” Oh really? Sorry, but BBH is still MIA when it comes to diverse agencies and talent.

• 72andSunny Amsterdam Carlo Cavallone said, “The new shops are bringing diversity both in terms of work and skills. They attract talent that is diverse in origin and approach, and this makes for an ‘anything goes’ variety of creativity. Not just driven by big investments, big bangs and big 90-second films but by a combination of technology, social and business awareness, and use of media.” It would be nice to see if Cavallone’s words are rooted in honesty or in smoking too much weed.

• Droga5 New York Executive Creative Director Kevin Brady said, “For the past two years, I have worked with the graham-cracker brand Honey Maid. We presented an idea that connected the wholesomeness of its product to modern wholesome families of all types, from gay to mixed race, and they immediately said: ‘YES!’ They knew they would get some angry letters but they had a point of view and, most importantly, there was a connection to the product that gave them a right to play in that space.” Cool. Except Droga5 is the exclusive antithesis of “modern wholesome families of all types.”

• BETC Chairman and Founder Rémi Babinet—as to be expected from a French person—said nothing about diversity.

• Razorfish Germany Executive Creative Director Preethi Mariappan—as to be expected from a German person—followed Babinet’s lead.

• Fred & Farid Shanghai Creative Director Feng Huang—as to be expected from a Chinese person—mirrored Babinet and Mariappan.

• TBWA\Angola Creative Director Miguel Ries seemed to hype Black stereotypes, covering the “Blacks-are-inherently-more-creative-by-nature” position—and adding references to barbecues, barbershops, slang, music and “the reality in the streets.”

• BBDO India Chairman Josy Paul, on the other hand, said, “Young Indians are questioning the stereotypes of the past and liberating advertising from the traditional clutches of the perfect model-hero archetype.”

• Elephant Cairo Director Ali Ali continued the stereotypes theme when he said, “Let’s be honest. Great ads aren’t the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Middle East. Camels, bombs, more camels—we’ve got many stereotypes, and creativity isn’t one of them.”

• Grape Creative Director Vladimir Garev spoke about the “pressing economical crisis” in Russia—although his reduced rubles probably still outshine U.S. multicultural marketers’ crumbs.

• Crispin Porter Brazil Executive Creative Directors Andre Kassu and Marcos Medeiros referred to CPB Hackneyed Honcho Chuck Porter as “our shogun”—which instantly qualified anything they said as sycophantic bullshit.

• McCann Sydney Executive Creative Director Dejan Resic said nothing about diversity, despite hailing from one of the most diverse countries on the planet. Nice.

• JWT Japan Executive Creative Director Go Sohara said some stuff about diversity, but he was actually referring to professional backgrounds: “All kinds of creative people, from architects to artists to TV producers and even restaurant owners, are getting into the creative branding business.” Hey, that’s not quite the kind of diversity JWT claims to be seeking.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

12735: Culturally Clueless Cannes.

Advertising Age is still displaying the dearth—and death—of diversity at Cannes.

12734: Survey Says… Bullshit.

A MultiCultClassics visitor pointed out that The Advertising Club of New York will soon release the results of its diversity survey conducted in conjunction with PwC. As discussed in a previous post, the survey is designed to track, measure and report diversity progress in the advertising industry over the next 10 years. Not sure why anyone thinks the initiative will present accurate or meaningful information, especially considering that companies like Omnicom refuse to disclose EEO-1 data. Maybe it will be another opportunity to promote the plight of White women in the field.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

12731: Omnicom Is Homophobic…?

AgencySpy reported on a $20 million sexual harassment suit against DDB New York and Omnicom—and no, it doesn’t involve discrimination against White women. Rather, a male creative director is charging he faced homophobic harassment from the DDB NY Chief Digital Officer. It’s bad enough that Omnicom boasts having a Chief Diversity Officer, is led by Pioneer of Diversity John Wren and essentially bankrolls ADCOLOR®. And it’s even worse that Omnicom shareholders voted against annually disclosing EEO-1 data. But it’s outrageously pathetic how the scenario shows former Advertising Age columnist Bob Garfield was probably right to address a 2008 open letter to Wren, demanding an end to homophobic advertising produced by Omnicom shops.

12730: Ad Game Is White Women’s Work.

Adweek reported how Julia Louis-Dreyfus—while plugging her TV show at Cannes—exclaimed she hopes the program’s success can help address gender inequality. “There is a tremendous inequity in Hollywood and in politics, and I would say globally it’s challenging to be a woman and succeed,” said Louis-Dreyfus. “There’s a lot of fun to be made of it, and in so doing maybe you can move the needle a little bit.” Hey, if she wants to work in a field where White women thrive with no problems, she should consider advertising.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

12729: The Color Of Cannes, Cont’d.

Advertising Age posted 55 more photos from Cannes, continuing to display the White male and White female dominance in the field. At this point, spotting Black people at the International Festival of Creativity is like Where’s Waldo?

12728: Exclusivity Is In Vogue.

Okay, The Faces of Fashion: Vogue Model was released in 2010, but MultiCultClassics just discovered it. The book features photographs of the world’s most beautiful, iconic women and covers over 90 years of stylish history. However, Iman and Naomi Campbell are the only Black women appearing in the 350+ pages. Why, it’s like a duplicate of Cannes.

12727: The Color Of Cannes.

Advertising Age presented “Slideshow: On the Ground at Cannes”—and ultimately showed the exclusive soiree’s exclusivity. Besides a couple shots of Pharrell Williams and one Black guy, the 42 photos displayed White men and White women, despite the alleged gender inequality that Cannes has courageously committed to combat. Damn, even the DJ is White.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

12726: Cretins On Creativity 2.

Campaign continued its Cannes coverage by asking Omnicom Pioneer of Diversity John Wren, Dentsu Dimwit Jerry Buhlmann and Havas Favored Son Yannick Bollore to comment on creativity. Here are the comedic cracks:

• Wren said, “Our agencies see [creativity] as a core asset that has to be acquired, built and maintained; an asset that can be leveraged.” Yes, and that’s why Goodby Silverstein & Partners and Fathom Communications are parity products.

• When asked to name the most creative thing he owns, Buhlmann said, “My wine collection, which has been in the making for more than 30 years.” Meanwhile, Buhlmann’s advertising agency collection is the Riunite of the industry.

• Bollore said, “There is a lot of focus at the moment on new digital media and data but creativity is still a pillar of the advertising industry and we are still investing heavily in our creative people—no algorithm will ever replace a creative director.” Perhaps, but a monkey with a Mac could easily replace most of Havas’ creative directors.

12725: Cretins On Creativity.

As part of its Cannes coverage, Campaign asked WPP Overlord Sir Martin Sorrell, Publicis Groupe Grande Poobah Maurice Lévy and IPG PIG Michael Roth to talk about creativity. Here are the funniest lines from The Three Stooges:

• Sorrell said, “Trying to define creativity (as the brief for this piece asked) is a fool’s errand…” Can’t imagine identifying a bigger fool than Sorrell to handle the task.

• Lévy said, “Creativity is basically the original sparkle, no less important than heartbeats or blood flowing through our bodies. It is the trade wind that blows across all our operations, spearheading and enhancing our vision. This is the reason why advertising and communications companies will never be led by technology.” Um, then why the hell is the idiot buying every digital agency that crosses his path?

• Roth said, “I’ve been in this business for more than a decade now and, in that period, the definition of creativity has evolved.” Roth’s remark begs the question, “How much damage can one man deliver to the industry in ten years?” At IPG, creativity has devolved under his watch.

Monday, June 22, 2015

12724: AutoZone Cultural Car Wreck.

Whomever is responsible for the new AutoZone campaign—which makes minorities look foolish—is definitely not in the zone from a creative perspective.

12723: Cannes Diversity Smokescreen.

A MultiCultClassics visitor pointed to the Cannes Diversity initiatives that underscore the death of ethnic and racial diversity in the advertising industry. That is, the conversation has shifted from the problem of White exclusivity to the promotion of White women—and calling it a “conversation” isn’t accurate, as Cannes has never openly and honestly discussed the topic. It’s sad that the industry’s premier celebration of creativity has failed so miserably to generate original and viable concepts to solve the true dilemma. Although one could argue that delegating, diverting and dodging the issue with a White gender smokescreen is a breakthrough campaign. Look for Cannes participants to award themselves a Glass Lion for the pathetic achievement.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

12722: Kicking Back With The 4As.

Advertising Age published a piece from 4As President-CEO Nancy Hill, announcing the trade group has assembled a task force to investigate media kickbacks. While claiming the organization is “alarmed” over the allegations, Hill also saw the need to stress that kickbacks “are not inherently conflicting or illegal, but they are not an accepted business practice in the U.S.” It’s interesting that Hill—when expressing the imperative for diversity in the advertising industry—never felt obligated to point out it’s not inherently illegal for White people to hire other White people, perpetuating the exclusivity that has tainted the field for decades. Hill also gasped, “While our association has no regulatory or enforcement authority, we take any contentions that hurt our industry extremely seriously. Trust and transparency serve as the foundation of successful agency-client relationships, and are key to the highest standards of client service.” Heaven forbid anything might damage the integrity and credibility of an industry that has openly executed discriminatory hiring practices for longer than the 4As has been in existence. Whatever. Don’t count on the kickbacks task force having any more success than the numerous committees and armies recruited to create diversity.

Why the 4A’s Has Formed Task Force On Media Rebates

Organization ‘Alarmed’ That Issue Threatens Agency/Client Trust

By Nancy Hill

The American Association of Advertising Agencies, whose members produce roughly 80% of advertising volume nationwide, naturally becomes alarmed when a matter threatens the very trust that defines the bedrock of the agency-client relationship. That issue is media rebates and, more specifically, what detractors derogatorily term “kickbacks” on Madison Avenue.

A former agency executive triggered the clamor this spring, claiming that rebates are widespread in advertising. A subsequent survey by Ebiquity and a sibling marketing analytics firm contributed. In it, 62% of advertising procurement officers polled said they consider rebates a “hot topic” within their company, and 63% said they are “moderately” or “extremely pressured” annually to lower agency compensation.

While rumors and innuendo have exaggerated the matter, the hubbub it sparked offers the opportunity to explore the issue of how advertising is bought and sold and related performance metrics.

It provides the chance to define the essential meaning of transparency and trust. Further, the polemic opens up an avenue for exploring and establishing fresh guidelines for serving clients in today’s increasingly complex media ecosystem.

Lightning rod for transparency

Briefly, let’s clear up the matter of media rebates or volume discounts: They are not inherently conflicting or illegal, but they are not an accepted business practice in the U.S. And while we are a U.S.-focused association, we hope and expect every agency adheres to the contractual obligations of their respective regulatory environment.

Still, media rebates have become the lightning rod for the broader issue of transparency.

Financial partnerships between media sellers and agencies are confidential arrangements, and media clients need to understand when their agency may hold stakes in a diverse portfolio representing a range of interests that can impact these arrangements.

This becomes concerning, of course, when those interests are at odds with a client’s business or, worse, go undisclosed by their agency partners. These partnerships are just that: mutually beneficial relationships where terms are disclosed on a confidential basis, and fully understood by all parties. This principle has served as the foundation of our association since its founding nearly a century ago.

Industry best practices

Our 750 members work daily to uphold these values. Still, the air of distrust and questions raised about the arrangements between agencies and media companies is why we have begun proactively examining and establishing industry-best practices to reflect the evolving media marketplace we inhabit. Together with the Association of National Advertisers, a multidisciplinary task force is conducting an in-depth consideration of these issues. Our industry reflects many perspectives, and the task force will work to better communicate those views between agency and client. We expect to issue new best practices and guidelines resulting from this work within the next few weeks.

While our association has no regulatory or enforcement authority, we take any contentions that hurt our industry extremely seriously. Trust and transparency serve as the foundation of successful agency-client relationships, and are key to the highest standards of client service.

Nancy Hill is president-CEO of the American Association of Advertising Agencies

Saturday, June 20, 2015

12721: Lads, Lasses And Asses.

Campaign published an inane perspective from JWT Creative Kat Thomas, who admitted that she’s advanced in the advertising industry without experiencing gender discrimination—and she also attributed her success to being “a bit of a lad.” Hey, it’s easy to thrive in adland when you’re a White woman emulating White men. Guess diversity is not a problem after all. Mission accomplished!

‘I’m a bit of a lad’: One female creative realises why she is successful

By Kat Thomas

When Kat Thomas attended the 3% Conference, she realised she “bloody loves” the industry because she is actually “a bit of a lad”. But can she keep it up?

It’s not often you get told at a conference that you should masturbate more. And generally if this happens, someone makes a hasty complaint to Points of View (that’s still a thing, right?).

Not so at the 3% Conference. Last week I was lucky enough to attend the London event and this was among some of the advice issued by Cindy Gallop in her brilliant keynote.

Another highlight was the “Manbassadors” panel. Yes, there’s nothing new about seeing four middle-aged white men on a stage (the phrase “male, stale and pale” was used a number of times throughout the day) at an advertising conference – but hearing them talk so animatedly about issues that affect women on a daily basis was somewhat refreshing.

And this made me think really honestly about my experience as a woman working in a male-dominated industry. There is always the implication that it’s terribly tough – that you have to battle for every brief you get, and be hideously underpaid for your efforts.

While it’s true that in the past I have indeed been hideously underpaid, it’s never been because I’m a woman (I’ve always had male creative partners and happily, we’ve always been hideously underpaid together).

So without wanting to go against anything anyone said at the conference, my feelings about working in a male-dominated environment is that I bloody love it, actually.

When I said that to someone at the conference, she asked me if I thought I only got on so well in a male industry because I’m “a bit of a lad”?

So I started thinking about what was meant by being a lad. Urban Dictionary helpfully informed me that a lad “is a male who specialises in creating and distributing exquisite banter”.

Specialist subjects seem to include “binning pints” and “exposing one’s genitalia”. Given the context of the conversation, I can only hope that this was not the reason she was referring to.

Clearly I had to find my own definition.

When I think of laddish behaviour in a work context I think, incredibly confident, always up for a laugh, and someone who gets what they want (whether we’re talking a cheeky Nandos or a pay rise).

So I wondered if I met these criteria. I’d hate to think I come across as a cocky little shit, but I’m not exactly a shrinking violet. If I need to do something absolutely terrifying I can usually cajole myself into manning up (if you’ll excuse the term).

So confidence, check.

And as someone who’s read a few Tinder profiles in their time, I can say with a certain amount of authority that no one describes themselves as NOT up for a laugh. So we’ll leave that one there.

Then it comes to going out and getting what I want (something that’s very, very much a work in progress).

So by my own terms then, I am kind of a lad. And that’s when I realised that currently there’s nothing in my circumstances that separate me from a 23 year old male entering the industry:

If I get pitch-slapped at the last minute and I need to work late, I can.

If I need to fly off at a moment’s notice around the world, I will.

If I’m invited to a spontaneous after work drink (that ends up at Soho arts club at 3am), I’ll go.

Because I have nothing to stop me.

I haven’t decamped to Zone 6 and need to get the last train home.

I don’t have a husband with dinner on the table.

I haven’t missed bath time.

And that’s the other connotation with the term “lad”, the young, carefree and single aspect.

Lads aren’t responsible for anyone except themselves. They’re ready to grab any opportunity without even the slightest hesitation. And at the moment, for me, those opportunities are coming thick and fast because I’m a woman. Because there aren’t many of us. And more and more clients are asking for a female creative when the product is aimed at women.

Therefore I’m being pimped out around the world as a creative for hire while my poor work husband has to stay at home and look after our metaphorical children.

Which brings me to the point that would stop me being a lad.

Because typically women still do most of the childcare, it’s something that will naturally fall on my shoulders rather than my partner’s.

The word partner here encompassing both the man I choose to have children with and my creative partner (just for the record they’re different people but they do have something in common.)

It’s a given that their careers will stay on track after they have families. Whereas for me to propel myself forward through promotions, it will be harder.

Not only do you juggle work and family (something women are doing impressively across the board) but you also have a third dependent – your creative partner.

Given that we work in twos, maternity becomes more difficult and unless by some incredible planning or divine intervention you have children at the same time, your individual priorities are somehow out of kilter with the way you’ve always worked.

The responsibilities that come with being a woman in a creative department it seems, are far greater than being a lad.

I’ve managed to start my career in advertising relatively unscathed by sexism. I don’t know whether this is luck, a string of awesome bosses or the fact that as one half of a mixed team, I’ve always come as a package of at least 50 per cent testosterone.

But I just hope that if the time comes that I do want to start a family, I can dish up enough “exquisite banter” to remain one of the lads, despite also being a woman.

Kat Thomas is a creative at J Walter Thompson

Friday, June 19, 2015

12720: C’MON WHITE MAN! Episode 41.

(MultiCultClassics credits ESPN’s C’MON MAN! for sparking this semi-regular blog series.)

The Adweek story detailing the Treasury Department’s plan to put a woman on the $10 bill included the following quote from Base Design Partner Geoff Cook: “What is so compelling about a woman being selected as the face of the new $10 bill is that it reflects the changing tide toward equality in America, opening the door to Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and Caitlyn Jenner.” Really, dude? You’re going to put Rosa Parks and Harriet Tubman in the same company with Caitlyn Jenner? Oh, and a quick peek at the Base Design lineup shows Parks and Tubman would have had a much tougher time landing a job there than Jenner. You can safely bet $10 on that.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

12719: Got Change For A $10 Bill?

Adweek reported the Treasury Department announced a woman will accompany Alexander Hamilton on the $10 bill. Look for Kat Gordon to take credit for influencing the decision.

Treasury Department Says a Woman Will Appear on the $10 Bill

Viral campaign sought to put a woman on the $20

By Kristina Monllos

By 2020, the centennial of the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote, the $10 bill will feature a portrait of a woman, the Treasury announced today. The news follows a months-long viral campaign, Women on 20s, which lobbied the president and U.S. treasurer to put a woman on the $20 bill in place of Andrew Jackson.

It’s a move some say is long overdue.

“What is so compelling about a woman being selected as the face of the new $10 bill is that it reflects the changing tide toward equality in America, opening the door to Rosa Parks, Harriet Tubman and Caitlyn Jenner,” said Geoff Cook, founding partner of Base Design, an international strategic branding firm. “This said, perhaps the best way to address another glaring inequality between men and women—income—would be depict the woman chosen at 78 percent of the size of Alexander Hamilton.”

Iris Yen, head of advisory and client services at Bomoda agreed. “This move by the Treasury is encouraging and a much needed step in the right direction,” said Yen. “In the last 100 years, women have broken through so many barriers that most of our grandmothers could only dream of.”

Treasury secretary Jacob Lew is responsible for currency design. Lew is expected to select an honoree to grace the $10 bill, “a woman who was a champion for our inclusive democracy,” according to the announcement, by the end of the year. Alexander Hamilton, the first Treasury secretary, is currently on the bill and will remain on it in some form.

A Treasury spokeswoman previously told Adweek the $10 bill, not the $20, was next in line for a redesign. The spokeswoman said the primary purpose of redesigning currency is to stay ahead of counterfeiting, and the development of new bills is a multiyear process.

To spread the word about the new $10 bill, the Treasury created the hashtag #TheNew10 and is asking the public to say “what democracy means to them” when using it.

Last month the Women on $20 campaign announced that online voters picked abolitionist Harriet Tubman as the top female candidate to grace American currency.

“We look forward to being part of this process that will create a currency that better reflects our society and values today and into the future,” Barbara Ortiz Howard, founder of Women on 20s, said in a statement today. She also said she “hope[d] [Lew] will take into account that the winner of our online poll, Harriet Tubman, was the top vote-getter among more than 600,000 ballots cast.”

A representative for the Treasury did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

12718: Barbie’s Multicultural Makeover.

Advertising Age reported Barbie is becoming more diverse with its Fashionistas line, prompting more diverse marketing too. The multimedia campaign is being handled in-house at Mattel, so it’s hard to know if there is diversity on the advertising team. The company website hypes a commitment to diversity, declaring the importance of “creating a workforce, at all levels, that reflects the diversity of our consumers and the population at large.” So it’s safe to presume Mattel ad executives resemble the Fashionistas.

Barbie Revamps Marketing Following Diverse Product Makeover

New Fashion-Focused Effort Encourages Self-Expression

By Ashley Rodriguez

Earlier this month, Mattel began rolling out the new Barbie Fashionistas line—a collection of 23 dolls that feature eight skin tones, 14 different facial sculpts, 18 eye colors, 22 hairstyles, and 23 hair colors and fashions. The toymaker aims to make Barbie more culturally diverse and reflective of the world in which we live. Now, her marketing is getting a similar shake-up. In its latest campaign, Mattel is refreshing its approach to TV, while exploring digital and social to build the doll’s role in pop culture.

The new push for the Fashionistas line, created in-house, is part of a broader 2015 initiative to empower girls. It included a superhero Barbie and campaign to highlight girls’ superhero-like qualities. The latest iteration, called “Super Style,” uses fashion to drive self-expression.

“Barbie has always been a reflection of the style of the decade but also of the culture and fashion that’s happening in the world,” said Evelyn Mazzocco, SVP-global brand general manager at Barbie. “[“Super Style”] is really about who you are. And fashion is the vehicle for expressing who you are.”

The effort comes as Barbie fights to reclaim its spot at the top of the girls category after being dethroned by Frozen during the holiday season last year.

In this latest campaign, Mattel is swapping out Barbie’s straight-forward, feature-focused TV spots with energizing ads that have a robust soundtrack.

“We wanted to disrupt the norm of what girls were watching,” said Ms. Mazzocco, adding that TV is still the best way to reach girls. “We call it a mini-music video… If you’re sitting there watching TV, it jumps out as being very different.”

Mattel also created a lookbook—available in store and online—that showcases the full Fashionistas line. And the Barbie website features a new game called My Style Book where kids can create their own fashions for Barbie. The brand is also working with YouTube influencers to talk to girls in a new way and spread the Barbie brand further.

“There’s an aspirational aspect to the Barbie brand,” said Ms. Mazzocco. “Using Youtube influencers to get girls to connect in the space of fashion and style was a great addition to how we’re talking to girls.”

Barbie is also building a fashion following on social. The doll’s Barbie Style profile, managed by KCD, has 815,000 Instagram fans and features the doll doing yoga, cruising by the beach and out on the town with a coffee and shades.

The brand has historically relied on traditional media like TV and direct-to-consumer messaging such as emails and mailers to promote its brand. This year, Mattel is spending more on the Barbie brand and using a mix of TV, digital, social and direct-to-consumer elements, said Ms. Mazzocco.

Mattel spent $13.4 million on U.S. measured-media for the Barbie brand in 2013, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.

Barbie is cast in a new light in an online stop-motion music video unveiled last week. Called “Who is Barbie?,” it showcases the doll’s new street style, diversity and versatility. Barbie, no longer bound by permanently pointed feet, wears flats in the ad created by Brand New School and rocks a partially shaved hairdo.

“It was kind of a risk and very different creatively than anything we’ve done in the past,” said Ms. Mazzocco, referring to the stop-motion video. “There’s something really amazing that happens when you bring Barbie to life in stop motion.”

Moms will be another big focus for the Barbie brand as it moves into the second half of the year, added Ms. Mazzocco. “We’re going to have some meaningful conversations with moms,” she said. “Moms have wanted us to listen. We’re listening now. And we’ll continue to do that.”

For 2016, Mattel will explore new avenues to take the brand. The next effort to empower girls will center on music, Ms. Mazzocco said. “We are looking under every rock. We are challenging our own rules,” she said. “As we go into ‘16 and beyond, this is only the beginning.”

StarCom handled the media for the “Super Style” campaign, and Golin and HL worked on PR.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

12717: Mad For Awards.

How apropos. Don Draper lands in California and AMC asks the Hollywood elite to consider Mad Men for awards.

12716: Presidential Debate.

Artist/Writer/Recovering Adman Lowell Thompson—aka RaceMan—will discuss President Barack Obama on June 27, 2015.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

12715: Driving Runs While Black.

From The New York Times…

Baseball and Black History

By Frank Bruni

PHILADELPHIA — LAST summer, a 13-year-old named Mo’ne Davis landed on the cover of Sports Illustrated, a national sensation after she pitched a shutout in the Little League World Series, where almost all of the other players are boys. She’s believed to be the only black girl ever to participate in the competition.

This summer, she plans to do something else surprising: Visit the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., where four black girls were killed in a 1963 bombing. Three of them were 14. Mo’ne will turn that age on the day she shows up at the landmark.

For Mo’ne, who grew up in a poor neighborhood here, life since her Sports Illustrated coronation has been electric: a meeting with the Obamas at the White House, a quickie memoir, an appearance in a Chevrolet commercial directed by Spike Lee, even a line of sneakers named for her.

But over three weeks in late June and early July, she and 13 other kids on her team here — the rest of them boys, most of them black, all roughly her age — have a schedule of exhibition games across the country that mixes exhilarating notes with somber ones.

They’re not just hitting the road. They’re taking it south, into history: the church in Birmingham, the bridge in Selma. They’ll play ball, then visit Little Rock Central High School, a battleground in the fight to integrate schools. They’ll swing for the fences, then bow their heads at the house in Jackson, Miss., where Medgar Evers lived.

In a country still lurching toward racial harmony and looking to give underprivileged kids more grounding, grit and hope, it’s a compelling itinerary. And at a time when corruption and criminal behavior have cast a pall over soccer, football, boxing and more, it’s a feel-good reminder of the positive impact that athletics can have on young people — on the way in which sports, too, can be a bridge.

Mo’ne told me that she relished the trip as a tribute to trailblazers who “put their lives out there and got beaten so that we could have the freedom we have.”

But she’s also braced for sadness, particularly in that church, with the ghosts of those girls.

“I do feel really bad, because they could have changed the world,” she said. “And for them to lose their lives at such a young age? You never know what they could have done.”

Read the full story here.

12714: Identifying As Black.

From The New York Times…

Rachel Dolezal, Ex-N.A.A.C.P. Official: ‘I Identify as Black’

By Richard Pérez-Peña

In her first interviews since being accused of misrepresenting her racial background and stepping down as an N.A.A.C.P. official, Rachel A. Dolezal did not back down on Tuesday, stating “I identify as black,” although she has white parents.

When Matt Lauer of NBC’s “Today” show asked, “When did you start deceiving people?” Ms. Dolezal would not concede that she had done so.

“I do take exception to that, because it’s a little more complex than me identifying as black, or answering a question of, ‘Are you black or white?’” she said.

In a second interview on Tuesday, on MSNBC, Melissa Harris-Perry asked, “Are you a con artist?”

“I don’t think so,” Ms. Dolezal said.

The furor around Ms. Dolezal, 37, began last week when her parents told reporters that she has no black ancestry, only white with a trace of Native American. On Monday, she stepped down as president of the N.A.A.C.P. chapter in Spokane, Wash.

But in her interviews Tuesday, the closest Ms. Dolezal came to admitting any fault was to say on “Today,” “There are probably a couple interviews that I would do a little differently if circumstances, in retrospect, I knew what I know now.”

She traced misconceptions about her background to local news media reports that first identified her as “transracial,” then as biracial and then as black. “I never corrected that,” she said — even as she insisted that there was nothing to correct.

In fact, her role has not been so passive — she has identified herself as black or partly black on many occasions, including on an application for appointment to a Spokane city commission, where she checked boxes for white, black and Native American.

In the “Today” interview, Ms. Dolezal defended publicly identifying a black friend, who is not a relative, as her father. “We connected on a very intimate level as family,” she said. “Albert Wilkerson is my dad.”

Several years ago, she became the guardian of one of her adopted, black younger siblings, Izaiah, now 21. He sees her as his “real mom,” she said, “and for that to be something that is plausible, I certainly can’t be seen as white and be Izaiah’s mom.”

She also has a biological son, who is 13, with her former husband, who is black.

In the MSNBC interview, Ms. Dolezal said, “I have really gone there with the experience, in terms of the being a mother of two black sons, and really owning what it means to experience and live blackness.”

That comment cuts to the heart of much criticism of her from black people, who say that no matter how much she identifies with them, she has not lived their experience, and should not claim it as her own.

From 2002 to 2005, Ms. Dolezal was engaged in an unsuccessful lawsuit against Howard University, the historically black school where she obtained a master’s degree in art, claiming that the university discriminated against her because she was white. Within a few years, she was telling people she was black.

Mr. Lauer asked repeatedly whether she had cynically used racial identification as a way to gain advantage, either against Howard or in enhancing her credibility as a civil rights advocate. She declined to answer.

Ms. Dolezal said her identification with black people went back as far as when she was 5 years old. “I was drawing self-portraits with the brown crayon instead of the peach crayon, and the black curly hair,” she said.

“That was shot down,” she told Ms. Harris-Perry. “I was socially conditioned to not own that, and to be limited to whatever biological identity was thrust upon me and narrated to me.”

She said that began to change when she was a teenager, and her parents adopted four black children, and she wondered, “Who is going to be the link for the kids in coming to the family?”

But when Mr. Lauer showed her a picture of herself from around that time, as a girl with fair skin and straight, blond hair, she conceded that at the time, she did not identify as black.

Now, her skin is several shades darker, and her hair is a mass of tight brown curls. When asked on “Today” about the changes in her appearance, she said, “I certainly don’t stay out of the sun, you know, and I also don’t — as some of the critics have said — put on blackface as a performance.”

12713: Booking Lowell Thompson.

Artist/Writer/Recovering Adman Lowell Thompson is out on the street. 57th Street Books, that is. The original shirt-pocket edition of “RaceMan Answers” is back on the shelves of the iconic bookstore at 57th and Kimbark in Chicago. Pick up an autographed copy today.

Monday, June 15, 2015

12712: Enter Ebony Editors.

From Advertising Age…

New Editor at Ebony Magazine Aims to Revive Maverick Spirit

Kierna Mayo Tackles Celebrity, Race Relations

By Lynne Marek

Johnson Publishing named Kierna Mayo as editor-in-chief of its monthly magazine Ebony and Kyra Kyles as its new head of digital editorial, promoting two employees to fill a gap left after exits since 2014.

Chicago-based Johnson Publishing has been trying to steady itself amid financial challenges and editorial exits.

Former Ebony Editor Mitzi Miller, who also was editor of the company’s weekly Jet magazine, exited abruptly in February months after her predecessor, Amy DuBois Barnett, left in 2014. The private company has been navigating efforts to boost profits, including the end of print production for Jet magazine and the proposed sale of its historic photo archive.

Ms. Mayo, 45, will work out of the company’s New York office. She was hired at the magazine in 2011 as its editorial director and has been leading the magazine since Ms. Miller’s departure. The publication has produced three issues under her leadership, including covers that featured hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar, talk show host Wendy Williams and, for its current issue, singer Beyonce Knowles’ mother, Tina Knowles Lawson.

Ms. Mayo, who was a co-creator and founding editor-in-chief of Honey magazine, says she aims to revive a “maverick spirit” at Ebony that the magazine had in the 20th century, using a probing and provocative approach that tackles topics from celebrities to race relations. She also has written for Essence, Vibe and Marie Claire magazines, among other publications, the company said in a statement.

Ms. Kyles, 39, joined Johnson Publishing in 2011 also as a senior editor for Jet and most recently was the editorial director of that publication. In the past, she had produced a pop culture column called the “Kyles Files,” which had a weekly broadcast segment on Chicago-based WGN-TV.

Johnson Publishing CEO Desiree Rogers, who leads the company along with Chairman Linda Johnson Rice, said the two editors will work closely together on content for all the company’s channels.

“Both women have strong print as well as digital backgrounds,” Ms. Johnson said in an interview. “We want them to always be thinking across platforms.”

Lynne Marek is a reporter at Crain’s Chicago Business, where this story first appeared.

12711: Gone (White) Girl.

From The New York Post…

NAACP leader who pretended to be black resigns

By Danika Fears

The embattled president of the Spokane chapter of the NAACP said Monday she is stepping down from her post.

“In the eye of this current storm, I can see that a separation of family and organizational outcomes is in the best interest of the NAACP,” Rachel Dolezal wrote in a post on the organization’s Facebook page.

“It is with complete allegiance to the cause of racial and social justice and the NAACP that I step aside from the Presidency and pass the baton to my Vice President, Naima Quarles-Burnley,” she wrote.

“This is not me quitting; this is a continuum,” she added.

Dolezal, a part time professor in the Africana Studies program at Eastern Washington University, came under fire after her parents revealed last week that she was pretending to be a black woman.

On Monday, her parents accused their daughter of telling lies and attempting to “destroy her biological family.”

“She was obviously misrepresenting herself,” her mom, Ruthanne Dolezal, told ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

“We did not pursue exposing her. It was only after the press came to us that we were willing to answer their questions.”

12710: Diversity Diversion.

Campaign published a fluff piece featuring Kat Gordon, whose latest drivel identifies the eleven most destructive words for the future of creativity: “It doesn’t matter who does the creative as long as they are good.” Whatever. Actually, Gordon is still presenting the eleven most destructive words for the future of diversity: “White women face awful hardships and discrimination in the advertising industry.” The problem is, Gordon’s pathetic platform simply isn’t true—and it hasn’t been true for decades. Hell, White women don’t even agree there is a problem advancing in the field. By crying the sky is falling where no glass ceiling exists ultimately creates a false perception that allows White Mad Men and Mad Women to believe they are promoting diversity by jumping on the faux female bandwagon, effectively ignoring the minorities who continue to be excluded. Whether she realizes it or not, Gordon isn’t advocating diversity; rather, she’s advocating diversion. Appropriately enough, ADCOLOR® nominated Gordon for a Change Agent trophy. It makes sense, given that Gordon has changed the conversation—albeit by concocting a smokescreen that lets White people avoid accountability for the real diversity dilemma.

Kat Gordon names the 11 most destructive words for the future of creativity

By Kate Magee

Kat Gordon, the founder of the 3% Conference, believes the most destructive 11 words for the future of creativity are, “It doesn’t matter who does the creative as long as they are good”.

She was speaking at her first UK 3% Conference, which is taking place today in London.

She said: “The next time you hear this statement, reflect on what it conveys. This idea is true but not complete.”

The problem with that attitude is that it ignores many of the cultural barriers that women face and the attitude leads to lazy recruitment – people hiring others who are like them, she said, adding, “It’s harder and takes more time to find more diverse candidates, but if you hire them, your creativity will prosper.”

Gordon said the idea that it does not matter who does the creative also ignores all the research from think tanks that consistently prove the best teams for creative output are diverse.

She continued: “If you don’t have a diverse team, you are automatically limiting the terrain for creativity. If two people think the same then one of them is irrelevant. Women have a different pool of life experience to draw upon.”

Clients are beginning to see the lack of diverse creative teams as a problem, Gordon said: “Clients know what their consumer looks like. They are not all young white men with goatees and messenger bags.

“When an agency looks uniform in a pitch, it’s a badge of irrelevance. A client will hire the other agency, but often they don’t tell you that’s why they did it.”

The 3% Conference started off in the US in 2012. The name was inspired by the fact that just 3 per cent of creative directors who were women. The figure has since risen to 11 per cent.

In the opening keynote this morning Gordon also argued that the industry values availability over creativity. She said: “The person who can work anywhere, anytime is the hero, not the one who comes up with the idea.”

People look down on women or men that leave at 5pm to pick up their children, or look after ageing parents, or work on a passion project but she said: “No-one looks at the fact that person came in at 7am, worked through lunch and didn’t play fussball for two hours.

“Some people think becoming a parent is going to be a detriment to your creativity but it gives you a dramatic new life experience to draw upon, becoming a new parent can stretch you as a person.

“Creativity almost never flourishes in an agency, or at 2am in a war room, it happens when you have a life.”

Urging men in the industry to be mentors to women, she said: “A lot of men are afraid to mentor young women because it looks unsavoury. They don’t want to take her to lunch, or the client dinner so women get less exposure to the leadership.

“The young women need you more than you know. Don’t care if people are winking behind your back. Do the right thing and mentor the women and the men.”

Gordon also advised young women to teach themselves to be persuasive presenters of their ideas, which will decrease the amount of unpredictable hours they will be asked to work.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

12709: Little Truth, Big Bullshit.

This campaign from Belgium highlights the hypocrisy in adland. That is, White advertising agencies love to present concepts featuring MLK, Gandhi and Mandela—while perpetuating the exclusivity that completely ignores the leaders’ teachings.

From Ads of the World.

Friday, June 12, 2015

12708: Not African American—Caucasian Person.

From The Associated Press…

NAACP leader has pretended to be black for years: family

By Associated Press

SPOKANE, Wash. — The head of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Washington, is facing questions about whether she lied about her racial identity, with her family saying she is white but has portrayed herself as black.

Rachel Dolezal would not answer questions about her background in an interview with The Spokesman-Review newspaper.

“That question is not as easy as it seems,” she said Thursday. “There’s a lot of complexities. and I don’t know that everyone would understand that.”

Dolezal is president of the local branch of the civil-rights organization, an adjunct professor in the Africana Studies Program at Eastern Washington University and chairwoman of Spokane’s police overnight board.

Mayor David Condon and City Council President Ben Stuckart say an inquiry is underway into whether she violated city polices when she listed herself as white, black and American Indian on her application for the Office of Police Ombudsman Commission.

“If this is true, I’ll be very disappointed,” Stuckart said Thursday, adding that the council will meet soon to discuss the issue. Dolezal’s mother, Ruthanne, said the family is Czech, Swedish and German, with some Native American roots.

Ruthanne Dolezal said that she and her daughter have not been in touch for years but that Rachel Dolezal began to portray herself as African-American eight or nine years ago after the family adopted four black children.

“It’s very sad that Rachel has not just been herself,” the mother told the newspaper by phone from her home in Montana. “Her effectiveness in the causes of the African-American community would have been so much more viable and she would have been more effective if she had just been honest with everybody.”

Rachel Dolezal says the controversy is emerging because of legal issues between family members. Her mother says the family has been aware of the racial claims but has only commented about them when contacted.

The NAACP’s national communications office did not immediately respond to a phone message from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Eastern Washington University would not discuss a personal issue, spokesman Dave Meany told the newspaper.

12707: Shittin’ On Shotton.

Campaign published a perspective from ZenithOptimedia Head of Insight Richard Shotton that argued our industry could learn a lot by emulating the Victorians. Um, adland already is Victorian-like in its ways. The arrogance and ignorance—not to mention the cultural exclusivity—of the grand Victorians is alive and well with modern Mad Men and Women. Thanks for underscoring the Eurocentric dominance of the field, Mr. Shotton. What’s next—an argument on the advantages of Aryanism?

What the Victorians can teach us

By Richard Shotton

Our industry tends to look forward rather than backwards, but Richard Shotton believes there’s much to learn from the sales techniques of one particular era.

If you had been strolling through Leicester on a crisp winter’s day in 1881, you might have spotted a strange sight: an elephant lumbering down the high street harnessed to a giant wheel of cheese.

Not a peckish escapee from the circus but one of Thomas Lipton’s infamous stunts to publicise the culinary delights of his shop. Not surprisingly, crowds gathered. Lipton then stuffed his cheeses with gold sovereigns, enticing consumers to buy a slice in the hope of striking it rich.

The cheese sold out in two hours, but the story doesn’t end there. Unfortunately for Lipton, lotteries were illegal back then and his antics quickly gained notoriety. Undaunted, Lipton applied his creative approach to exploit a loophole and ran half-hearted ads requesting the coins back – thereby transforming the sovereigns into “loans”. Of course, no-one took him up on the request.

Lipton’s stunts are more than interesting anecdotes. They are a striking example that the ability to capture public attention to generate sales stretches back further than you might think. As an industry, we tend to ignore our rich heritage and, instead, obsess over the latest technology, cultural fad or Cannes-winning campaign. However, if everyone seeks inspiration in the same place, the outcome is similar ideas and executions. Better to look back further for stimulation.

The Victorians are a good place to start as there are remarkable similarities between our eras. The Victorians were concerned by the pace of change – just as we are today. In 1848, Karl Marx famously claimed: “All that is solid melts into air.” Whatever the shocks of the digital revolution, the Industrial Revolution was equally groundbreaking. These challenges inspired a host of innovative marketers.

Successful spectacles

Lipton’s escapades weren’t limited to elephants. Less controversially, he hired a team of skinny men to march to his shop bearing placards saying: “Going to Lipton’s.” Once they had arrived, he sent out a troop of fat men with signs reading: “Coming from Lipton’s.” Modern experiential agencies could learn a lot from the simple power of his marketing spectacles.

Not all Lipton’s escapades were so successful, though. When he printed promotional leaflets that looked like pound notes, the subtleties were lost on many. An illiterate labourer was sentenced to 20 days’ hard labour after innocently trying to spend one on a night in a boarding house. At least Paddy Power hasn’t been responsible for any customer jailings.

Media mix, Victorian-style

Thomas Barratt, the marketer behind Pears soap, rivalled Lipton for his bravado. His most infamous escapade harnessed owned media: the wages of his factory workers. Since defacing the Queen’s image was illegal, he imported a quarter-of-a-million centimes – still legal tender in the 1860s – and stamped them with an exhortation to buy Pears soap. The coins, and his ads, quickly spread through society as staff spent the money. He gained millions of free impressions without spending a penny – or centime – on paid media.

Outrageous approaches

Barratt’s paid ads were more honest than some of his contemporaries’. Without an Advertising Standards Authority equivalent, rogue ads were rife. AK Balsam’s messages, for example, were neither legal, honest nor true. One of its ads advised testing the product by driving a nail deep into the skull of a ram or chicken. A small application of balsam would, it was claimed, “directly stop the blood and cure the wound in eight or nine minutes and the creature will eat as before”. The number of chickens that died in the testing of this ad is not known.

Media owners were equally inventive. Lord Northcliffe, the owner of the Daily Mail, showed admirable bravery in prioritising long-term growth. Despite being picky about the advertisers he allowed in his newspaper, he gave free space away to rival press barons. He then used his competitors’ presence as a demonstration of the paper’s importance: if they needed to advertise in the Daily Mail, what brand could afford not to?

Perhaps the most worrying analogy with today was the controversial practice of “farming”. This involved agencies, then responsible for creative and media, buying all the ads in a magazine before any client interest. The conflict of interest quickly led to sharp practices. As Louis Collins, one of the leading media agents of the day, said: “Human nature is alike all the world over and, if a man has a pecuniary interest in anything, he is sure to regard it with a favourable eye and be blind to its many imperfections.”

The similarity with some agencies’ approach to programmatic buying – whereby the client is unaware whether the mark-up is 1 per cent or 90 per cent – is striking. Hopefully, concerted pressure will lead to this practice dying out as quickly as “farming” did.

Victorian flamboyance

As these anecdotes show, there is plenty to learn from Victorian marketers. The insights they had into human psychology, creating spectacles and seizing untapped media opportunities, are as relevant today as they were then. Perhaps, in our haste to incorporate the latest technology into campaigns, we have sacrificed these more timeless skills. Or perhaps consumers no longer want to eat cheese that has been dragged down a road.

Richard Shotton is the head of insight at ZenithOptimedia

Thursday, June 11, 2015

12706: Listen To Lowell.

Artist/Writer/Recovering Adman Lowell Thompson sounds off on a podcast in Chicago. Listen up.

12705: ANA Seeking Kickbacks.

Adweek reported the ANA will conduct a “fact-finding probe” into the allegations involving media-buying kickbacks. Let’s hope the investigation gets more results than the ANA’s half-assed exposés on the inequities of multicultural marketing and the industry’s dearth of diversity.

ANA to Launch Fact-Finding Probe Into Media-Buying Kickback Claims

Group’s goal is to ‘clean this mess up’

By Andrew McMains

Are media agencies pooling media purchases to get rebates on the time and space they’re buying and not passing those savings on to their clients? With another investigation set to start, that question won’t go away anytime soon.

The Association of National Advertisers is about to launch a search for a consultant to examine claims that media agencies are getting “kickbacks” from media sellers in the United States by buying media for multiple clients at the same time.

The practice is not unusual in overseas markets but not the norm in the U.S. and now marketers—egged on by former media agency leaders like Jon Mandel—want to get to the bottom of it.

The new investigation comes in the wake of the ANA and 4A’s starting a joint task force to study how agency-marketer contracts are set and develop a code of conduct.

“The issue that we have is we don’t know where truth lies,” Bob Liodice, president and CEO of the ANA, told Adweek.

The goal is to get an objective look at the situation, Liodice explained. “Let’s hire a third party to take an unbiased look at the way the industry is operating,” he said, “to be able to synthesize all the various perspectives that are in the marketplace and to do whatever research” is necessary “to provide a clean understanding of what is taking place, so that we can effectuate the right discipline and the right behaviors that will start to clean this mess up.”

The ANA’s board of directors initiated the search after hearing from Mandel and others that media agencies are benefiting from volume discounts in the U.S. and may be hiding that benefit through overseas units. Mandel raised this issue at an ANA conference in March, and it has simmered in the minds of marketers ever since.

“There’s a level of disbelief,” Liodice said. “We had several knowing people present to the board” who “validated what Jon Mandel has been talking about.”

Liodice declined to further describe the “knowing people,” who he said insisted on confidentiality before addressing the board.

When asked about the reactions of board members, Liodice said that some are “bewildered, some are confused, some are angry, some are disbelieving.”

Broadly, marketers sense that there’s a problem here, but its extent is unknown. Figuring that out is the core assignment the ANA will distribute among consultants.

The association is still drafting a request for proposals, but it could be ready as soon as next week. Based on submissions and possibly a round of presentations, the ANA will hire a consultant, but that’s at least a month away. For now, however, board members are satisfied that the process is underway.

“Recognizing that there is a substantial amount of information that is in the marketplace, you have to come to the realization that you can’t bury your head in the sand and hope that it goes away,” Liodice said.

“We are not out to throw anybody under the bus,” he said. “That is not the intent. But it is to get a clear articulation of facts, to say, ‘C’mon, how can anybody dispute these facts?’”

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

12704: Credle’s Crappers.

Adweek reported Susan Credle is abandoning her position of CCO at Leo Burnett to assume the role of Global CCO at FCB. This is the equivalent of moving from a Porta Potty to an outhouse. It’s also another example of White women having no problem advancing in the advertising industry—and Credle has already acknowledged the business is not tough for a woman. Yep, faux diversity is thriving on Madison Avenue. Interestingly enough, the culturally clueless Credle swaps the White agency that cried No.2.66 for the White agency that vowed it would stop using the term “diversity and inclusion” by 2014. To date, both shops continue to perpetuate exclusivity like there’s no tomorrow.

Susan Credle Will Leave Leo Burnett to Help Ignite Creativity at FCB

The next global CCO is known for work on M&M’s, Allstate

By Noreen O’Leary

Susan Credle is the new global chief creative officer at FCB, replacing Jonathan Harries, who’s held the post since 2006 and will now become chairman. The changes take effect on January 1.

Credle will relocate to New York from Chicago, where she’s been CCO at Leo Burnett USA.

After meeting Credle during the interview process, FCB worldwide chief Carter Murray said he thought she was the “obvious candidate” to be his global creative partner. The CCO search began a year ago.

“There was immediate chemistry with Susan. She is very talented and has a strong point of view on business and creativity and has our values and character,” said Murray.

Credle joined the Publicis Groupe agency in 2009, and during her time there, is credited with new-business wins like Marshall’s, Kraft, Esurance, Sprint and Cincinnati-based regional bank Fifth Third. Credle is also associated with the agency’s “Mayhem” campaign for Allstate, and the anti-bullying initiative “Mean Stinks” for Procter & Gamble’s Secret.

“Along with [global CCO] Mark Tutssel, Susan has led the creative renaissance at Leo Burnett,” Murray added.

The former copywriter started her career at BBDO New York after graduating from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1985. She moved up the ranks during her 24-year career at BBDO before ultimately being appointed evp and ecd. At BBDO, Credle reinvented M&M’s iconic characters and was involved in award-winning work for clients such as Bank of America, FedEx, Gillette, Lowe’s, PepsiCo, Pizza Hut and Visa.

Credle said she was sold on Murray’s offer to join him in building a creative culture at FCB. She added that the essential elements to do that are people, place and purpose.

“It’s in the DNA of FCB,” she said. “I love legacy brands—and that includes agencies—so my feeling is, ‘Let’s go claim that.’ It’s like at Leo Burnett where we went to find the soul of the company and light it up.”

Tuesday, June 09, 2015

12703: Sorrell’s Salary Success.

Advertising Age reported WPP Overlord Sir Martin Sorrell was approved to collect $65 million in pay for 2014 by the company’s shareholders. One naysayer, Guy Jubb, argued, “WPP is more than just one individual. Its greatest asset is its 179,000 employees. We have been concerned for some time that Martin has dominated the decision-making process. It’s not only about compensation, but also a lack of transparency on the succession element.” Yes, WPP’s greatest asset is its 179,000 employees, each of whom receive roughly $65 million less than Sorrell—plus, the old man now makes well over 780 times more than the average WPP peon. Nothing succeeds like the lack of succession for Old White Guys.

WPP Accused of ‘Sorrell-Centricity’ as CEO Wins $65m Pay Deal

Chairman Philip Lader Admits it’s ‘Difficult’ to Choose a Successor

By Emma Hall

WPP CEO Martin Sorrell saw his controversial 2014 pay deal – worth $65 million – approved by 77.7% of shareholders at the world’s biggest agency company’s annual general meeting in London today.

The package makes Mr. Sorrell the highest-paid chief executive of any public company in the U.K., according to an independent think tank, the High Pay Centre, which says he earns twice as much as the next highest earner, CEO Ben van Beurden at Royal Dutch Shell, who received $27 million last year.

Mr. Sorrell’s 2014 package includes long and short-term bonuses and pension payments, on top of a $1.76 million salary. Last year, nearly 30% of investors refused to back his more modest $46 million award, but only 19.4% voted against this year’s deal, with less than 3% abstaining.

However, it wasn’t all plain sailing for Mr. Sorrell. Guy Jubb, the global head of governance and stewardship at Standard Life Investments (which he said owns 2% of WPP’s shares) stood up during the Q&A session at the meeting to accuse the board of “Sorrell-centricity.” Mr. Jubb said, “WPP is more than just one individual. Its greatest asset is its 179,000 employees. We have been concerned for some time that Martin has dominated the decision-making process. It’s not only about compensation, but also a lack of transparency on the succession element.”

Roger Geary, a representative of ShareAction, addressed the board to denounce Mr. Sorrell’s “astronomical” and “excessively large” pay, which he said posed a “significant risk” to WPP’s reputation.

Mr. Lader defended the payout, saying that it was the result of a five-year investment plan that was approved by 83% of shareholders, and that the board had a contractual obligation to pay out the $65 million. He also pointed out that 92% of the money is based on performance.

On the “Sorrell-centricity” issue, while M.r Jubb supported Mr. Sorrell as the “right man to lead the company,” he said that Roberto Quarta, who takes over from Philip Lader as chairman of WPP today, should make succession his “number one governance priority.”

Mr. Lader made a great effort to demonstrate to the assembled shareholders and press just how seriously the board takes the search for an heir to Mr. Sorrell, who turned 70 in February. He said, “There is no more important decision the board has to make. For the last ten years we have had rigorous succession planning … At every board meeting we spend an hour focusing on management development and succession.”

But Mr. Lader also pointed out a crucial hurdle in planning for a new CEO. With the fast pace of change in the industry, and Mr. Sorrell not showing any signs of slowing down, how can WPP have a successor lined up when it’s impossible know what the company will look like in a few years’ time? He said, “It’s difficult to predict what skills would be required and who would be best qualified.”

Another problem, according to Mr. Lader, is that to name potential successors might not help the co-operative spirit of the company, especially with WPP’s much-vaunted horizontality requiring collaboration between so many senior executives across the group.

Non-executive director Jeffrey Rosen, who is also chairman of the remuneration committee, added, “For the ten years I’ve been on the board, succession has always been front of mind. It’s a rigorous process that engages the entire board… but perhaps we have not articulated this as well as we could have done.”

Mr. Lader also pointed out that the first 34 pages of the company’s annual report consist of contributions from senior executives who run WPP’s operating companies, in a rebuttal of Mr. Jubb’s “Sorrell-centricity” accusation.

The meeting ended with a surprisingly emotional farewell, as Mr. Lader handed over the chairmanship of WPP to Mr. Quarta after nearly 15 years. He admitted he had “occasional difficulties with the chief executive,” but insisted they had always been resolved in the shareholders’ best interests. Mr. Sorrell put an arm around Mr. Lader as the board adjourned.

This year’s meeting was held at an anonymous central London conference venue, a very different setting to last year, when WPP invited shareholders to enjoy magnificent views from the EU’s tallest building, the Shard. The meeting is always well attended, and WPP provides a generous lunch for shareholders afterwards—this year with the group’s four Holding Company of the Year awards from the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity displayed prominently next to the egg sandwiches and strawberries.

Monday, June 08, 2015

12702: Mindful Multiculturalism…?

The New York Post reported on the perspectives of Greg Monaco, who works at Quantum Lead and holds a “Forum Facilitator/Brand Development” title. Monaco believes mindful meditation can be used to address the lack of diversity in the advertising industry. “We often operate unconsciously and get into habits and not thinking about the decisions we are making,” Monaco said. “A lot of corporations are operating unconsciously, too. But every one of us is a force for good.” Monaco is right; however, his simple solution underscores the true enormity of the decades-old dilemma. How would one go about introducing mindfulness to replace the current mindlessness? The notion of “unconscious bias” has gained popularity when referring to the diversity issues in corporate America, but the term does not apply to adland, where deliberate denial, delegation, dodging and discrimination perpetuate the exclusivity. White adpeople are quick to express commitment, yet refuse to take direct action to make meaningful and measurable progress. Oh, and it doesn’t help that a peek at the Quantum Lead Team fails to depict a spirit of inclusiveness.

Adman says meditation is key to increasing companies’ diversity

By Claire Atkinson

It’s not often that the words “mindfulness” and “advertising” come together, but branding shop boss Greg Monaco believes meditating is a great way to figure out how to be more self-aware and manage New York stress.

Monaco, who teaches meditation classes, is hoping to sell clients on a novel idea that helps big organizations realize what they are good and bad at, and how to address issues that are causing a lack of diversity or lack of female leaders.

Monaco’s new business, Quantum Lead, is a consultancy “for conscious leadership,” as he calls it. He has mindfulness coaches helping employees ask themselves tough questions about change.

“We often operate unconsciously and get into habits and not thinking about the decisions we are making,” says Monaco. “A lot of corporations are operating unconsciously, too. But every one of us is a force for good.”

The chilled-out bike-riding ad guy may be the first of a new breed on Madison Avenue.