Monday, February 29, 2016

13106: Best BHM Bullshit Ever.

CNN asked, “Was February 2016 the best Black History Month ever?” From #OscarsSoWhite to Beyoncé’s So Black, CNN declared a plethora of progress took place in a 29-day span. Okay, except it sure didn’t happen in the advertising industry. For starters, there appeared to be a dramatic decline in BHM advertisements. White advertising agencies allegedly held meetings to discuss avoiding another Campbell Ewald debacle. USA TODAY claimed Super Bowl 50 ads put diversity on display—ignoring that the “diversity” was created via exclusivity. Benetton blew diversity big time. Bartle Bogle Hegarty celebrated Black sheep with White shit. The AAF mimicked the Academy Awards with its 2016 Advertising Hall of Fame inductees. There was IPG, IPA and IPO bullshit—as well as bullshit from another White man who diverted diversity in defense of dames. Ogilvy helped NASCAR and IBM reach diverse audiences with Caucasian campaigns. Sure, Michael Houston and Vann Graves presented positive moments, but their achievements did not offset the diversity business as usual on Madison Avenue.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

13105: Kohl’s Is Mixed Up.

Did Kohl’s try to bring diversity to the Academy Awards with its interracial family? The retailer deserves a nomination for Best Patronizing Pap.

13104: #WatsonSoWhite.

Advertising Age spotlighted the Ogilvy-created IBM Watson commercials slated to run during the Academy Awards. IBM VP-Content and Global Creative Ann Rubin gushed, “With the diversity of the audience watching, we wanted to reach out in a way that is very consumable through humor and ignite the conversation about cognitive computing.” Huh? Once again, an advertiser allegedly sought to reach a diverse audience, yet hired a painfully White advertising agency. And Ogilvy once again shat out an exclusively White campaign starring Ridley Scott and Carrie Fisher. Hell, even the robots in Fisher’s spot appear to be White.

13103: BHM 2016—Mickey D’s.

12 Months. 365 Days. 8760 Hours. 525,600 Minutes. 1 Tired Concept.

13102: Droga5’s Post-Racial Pap.

For the Y, Droga5 has gone from unflattering depictions of underserved communities to cutesie kiddies. The latest commercial presents Zoe, a racially ambiguous child who will potentially run for president in 2064. Hey, that’s well before the Leo Burnett prediction of a culturally diverse advertising industry by 2079. In fact, little Zoe has a better chance of serving as POTUS than landing a job at Droga5.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

13101: BHM 2016—CURLS.

CURLS celebrates Black History Month with #CurlsGirlsRule—not to be confused with Black Girls Rule.

13100: Why Cannes Is Crumby.

Campaign reported on how Cannes Lions produces profit and perpetuates the racism discriminatory exclusivity in the advertising world.

According to the report, the awards machine runs on a “self-reinforcing business model” that reflects the self-reinforcing segregation in the field—along with the industry’s problems of self-centeredness, self-absorption and self-regulation that are leading to self-destruction.

An IPO filing showed Cannes Lions generates $59 million in annual revenue. How many multicultural advertising agencies make that much money per year? BTW, does the enterprise employ minority vendors—besides the celebrity entertainers?

Cannes Lions, appropriately enough, is the Academy Awards of adland. Except the advertising industry is much more whitewashed than Hollywood. No, really. The premier awards festival exposes the exclusivity and the exclusion. The ruling majority decides which work is best and who is most talented. Hell, the Caucasian committees even introduce categories and trophies to extend income, expand country-club cliques and establish faux philanthropy. Recent years have seen new awards for holding companies, clients, pharma and White women.

Imagine if Cannes Lions honored multicultural advertising. Unfortunately, there’s simply no money to be made with such an effort. Plus, it would require crafting Lions from crumbs.

IPO filing reveals how Cannes Lions makes $59M in annual revenue

By Douglas Quenqua

Constant expansion and a “self-reinforcing business model” fuel growth of adland’s most prestigious (and expensive) awards show

The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity earned $59 million (£41m) in 2014, up from $43 million (£30m) — or 37% — in 2012, according to a prospectus released by parent company Ascential in preparation for its IPO on the London Stock Exchange.

Though full-year revenues were not available for 2015, the festival’s revenues in the first three quarters of the year increased $9.2 million (£6.4m) over the same period in 2014. Revenues for 2013 were not disclosed.

The disclosure form released on Tuesday provides a first-time glimpse into the financial performance and growth strategy of the ad industry’s most prestigious — and expensive — awards show.

The festival shows healthy year-over-year revenue growth, due in part to a “self-reinforcing business model” in which agencies must compete to win Lions because they have convinced clients of their value, the document says.

“Agencies themselves have promoted the awards such that their clients now recognise a Lion as the barometer of an agency’s creative talent, and agencies consequently compete to win Lions and market their Lions wins to their clients, reinforcing the circle,” the prospectus says.

Though longtime Lions participants may find little in the 240-page document they didn’t already suspect, it nonetheless provides confirmation of the festival’s financial dependence on agencies and their clients — which goes far beyond mere entry and delegate fees. For example, the prospectus boasts of business advantages such as “creative firms who promote the festival for their own marketing purposes at no cost to Cannes Lions,” industry players who “suggest speaking slots and pay all speaker fees” and “eminent creatives who donate their time free of cost” to act as judges.

As evidence of the strategy’s effectiveness, Ascential cites its Customer Value Retention rate — the amount of money repeat customers spend at consecutive festivals — as an impressive 94% for 2015. From 2012 to 2014, the festival’s yield per delegate increased by a compound annual growth rate of 8%, and award entries per yield increased by 10%.

Though the prospectus doesn’t include a breakdown of revenue streams for the Cannes Lions Festival itself, an itemization of Ascential’s entire Exhibitions & Festivals division — of which the Cannes Lions is the largest event (30% of revenue) — does provide clues. In 2014, the division generated 47% of its revenue from selling exhibition space, 19% from delegate fees, 14% from award entries, 7% from sponsorship fees and 12% from other services.

Laying out plans for future growth, the prospectus details a strategy that will be familiar to agency creatives: new categories, more VIP delegate options and expanded late fees.

“The Group intends to increase Customer numbers by developing new products to attract new Customers and leverage existing products to enter adjacent end-markets,” the prospectus states. “For example, the Group intends to continue to utilise Cannes Lions’ brand prominence and customer relationships to develop new propositions like Lions Innovation and thereby attract new Customers in adjacent end-markets.”

Launched in 2015, Lions Innovation attracted 845 award entries and 485 paying delegates, 63% of which were new to the festival. Lions Health, launched in 2014, generated $1.9 million in revenue last year.

Entry fees for the 2016 Lions range from about $600 to $1,400, placing them in the top tier of ad industry award shows. Entry fees for the 2016 Clios range from $500 to $1,000, and Effies fees run from about $500 to $1300. All such shows offer the option to file past deadline for those willing to pay an expanded fee.

Cannes Lions is seen as one of the most prized assets in the Ascential empire, which also owns trade shows Money20/20 and Bett, titles such as Drapers, Nursing Times and Retail Week, and the retail data company WGSN. According to the prospectus, it accounted for 13% of total group revenue in 2014.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

13098: Scratching The Indie Itch.

From Campaign…

Why I’m starting my own agency

By Vann Graves

And why I’m asking you to help name it

More than two decades ago, at a time when our industry was just a little simpler, I joined BBDO New York as a completely green, yet unwaveringly optimistic, creative intern. I was lucky enough to be ushered into this crazy business by the late Phil Dusenberry — the legendary man behind campaigns like GE’s “We Bring Good Things to Life” and Pepsi’s “The Choice of a New Generation,” and certainly one of the industry’s greatest creative leaders.

Phil must have instantly picked up on my determined enthusiasm, as he didn’t waste a minute instilling in me the importance of independence when it comes to fostering great creativity. A certain amount of independence is absolutely critical to it. This is still true today, even as the advertising industry has evolved and gotten more complex. Undeniably, every creative still has an innate desire to craft things without others telling them what to do. This eventually turns into a desire to strike out on one’s own. Even Phil tried his hand at this in 1969. After his initial seven-year stint as a copywriter at BBDO, he left the agency to start Dusenberry Ruriani & Kornhauser, returning to BBDO in 1977. He came back, because, despite its “bigness,” BBDO ultimately offered him the perfect balance of creative freedom and opportunity. It was home, and Phil was fulfilled.

For a very long time, I was creatively fulfilled there too. I spent 15 years at BBDO, and I got to work alongside some of the best in the business. The mentorship of these brilliant creative minds is precisely what got me to VP, Creative Director by the time I left. Later, I spent six years at McCann New York, where I got to work on massive clients like Coke, MasterCard and American Airlines. Many of these accounts were equally as inspiring to me on a personal level as they were impressive. There aren’t many other places where you can work on a piece of business like the U.S. Army after you’ve already dreamed up loads of creative ideas from actually being on active duty. I was on a high, and I wasn’t coming down anytime soon.

Fast forward to 2015, when life and love kicked in. My best friend and devoted wife landed her dream job in Chattanooga, Tenn. It was my turn to be her biggest cheerleader. Fortuitously, Chattanooga was an emerging hub for startups, bubbling with the same spirit of possibility that I displayed on my first day at BBDO. Phil’s simple lesson came flooding back: “It’s all about the work, the work, the work,” and soon, the indie itch started to emerge. However, I wasn’t ready to go all in yet — that was a big step.

Leaving McCann was terrifying, and I wanted to create a situation that gave me the best of two worlds — a welcoming, established home and a place where I could produce and practice my craft on my own. I was thrilled when an opportunity arose for a job as President and CCO at Fancy Rhino, a young production company that had gotten a successful start a few years before in the documentary space. I was at a place where I saw the potential to creatively shape a company — not just its clients — and suddenly, the pull to do my own thing started to grow.

I stayed at Fancy Rhino for about a year. During that time, my indie itch only got stronger. I began to realize that while my opportunity there was great, it was not a perfect fit. With a final push from Shelley Prevost, the CEO of our first client, Torch, it felt like it was now or never. So, I reached out to a few friends (now my founding team), and they agreed that it was time to create something that we believed in. A year away from big agency life had opened my eyes. I was ready to take the plunge.

By that time, I knew that a different kind of agency model was essential to making creativity work in a rapidly shifting marketplace, and I knew that this model would not come to full fruition until I built it from scratch. Marketers today are demanding high quality, shareable content, in every form. And they are demanding it faster than ever before. However, it takes a certain type of creative agency to understand that content is not just content for its own sake — when executed properly, it is a highly effective creative solution to a business problem. It also takes a certain type of creative agency to bring quality content to market quickly and efficiently enough to meet these demands.

My founding team, formed with former colleagues of similar mindset, will be armed with a skillset rooted in both production and creative. Using our agility and technical capabilities to encourage experimentation with content, our goal is to integrate production seamlessly into the brand building process. We will have the freedom to deliver beyond a client’s brief and to demonstrate that we can steer our creative in many different directions.

My hope in starting my own agency is that other entrepreneurially-minded creatives might also be inspired by the prospect that, amidst the noise of technology and new media, creativity does still matter; that an efficient structure enables it; and that this noise is actually an opportunity, not a hindrance. Every day, threats to the agency model are bemoaned and dissected; so-called “in-house agencies” are becoming the norm to solving the problem of efficiency, and the agency world is pointing its fingers at Silicon Valley, Hollywood, and publishers for encroaching on a space that we used to own. But we need to stop pointing fingers and realize that agencies can have a model that’s special and capable of bringing big ideas to life — as long as we’re willing to rethink how we operate those agencies.

In the spirit of honoring the bold creative ideas I’ll be asking my clients to trust me with, I’m putting my money where my mouth is and asking the industry to help me name my new agency. And in a nod to the entrepreneurial drive that I credit to my creative friends and mentors, I’ve asked a few of them to throw their suggestions in the hat. The name will be decided through a poll that will be featured here tomorrow. I couldn’t be more thrilled and excited to be able to strike out on my own in an industry that truly never shies away from possibility.

13097: IPAsinine Gesture.

Campaign reported IPA issued a fresh call-to-action for diversity in adland, staging a promotion that coincidentally coincides with the end of Black History Month in the United States of America. Specifically, IPA is joining Twitter, Campaign and Adam & Eve/DDB to request that White media and advertising agencies make a pledge on February 29 to reach four diversity goals in four years. Um, Twitter, Campaign, Adam & Eve/DDB and IPA are the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in regards to diversity. Plus, the top goal—promoting more White women to senior roles—isn’t even a legitimate diversity achievement. IPA urged White shops to show their commitment at However, the site is a non-functioning, static page as of this writing, symbolizing the false promises that have stymied progress for decades. And ironically, it resembles the branding of Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition. IPA, please take a leap—off the nearest cliff.

IPA renews push for diversity goals

By Gurjit Degun

The IPA, Twitter and Campaign are backing Adam & Eve/DDB in urging agencies to use the extra day in February to “make the leap” towards achieving their diversity goals by 2020.

Agencies and media owners are being called on to make a pledge on 29 February to achieve four targets over the next four years.

They have been asked to visit to submit their pledge and Tweet that they have signed up to the campaign.

The four IPA targets are: 40 per cent female representation in senior positions by 2020; 15 per cent black, Asian and minority-ethnic representation in senior positions by 2020; to eliminate unconscious bias through training; to raise awareness of flexible or agile working policies.

Tammy Einav, a managing director at Adam & Eve/DDB, said: “This is an important moment for us to truly embrace the diversity of talent and ensure equal and fair employment.”

In January, Campaign published figures on gender and ethnicity balances among IPA member agencies.

Tom Knox, the president of the IPA, said: “By asking agencies to make a pledge and take a step, it should move the issue far higher up their agenda.”

13096: BHM 2016—RNC.

The Republican National Committee celebrates Black History Month—no, really, they are celebrating the month—with a video saluting Black Republican Trailblazers. Not in the tribute: Ben Carson. Plus, no comments on “The Blacks” from Donald Trump.

13095: Dusting Off Ashes And Embers.

From The Los Angeles Times…

Ava DuVernay’s Oscar-week gift: a rare screening with the Broad of Haile Gerima’s ‘Ashes and Embers’

By Carolina A. Miranda

In 1982, the Ethiopian American director Haile Gerima released a feature-length film on the struggles of a black veteran in the wake of the Vietnam War. “Ashes and Embers” told the story of Ned Charles, a man contending with the psychological scars of conflict, both in the U.S. and abroad.

But the film was never widely seen in its day; it never received full theatrical distribution. Since then, it has been practically impossible to catch on the big screen, only rarely materializing at festivals.

“Mr. Gerima is a master of cinema who has been overlooked,” Ava DuVernay says via telephone from New Orleans, where she is directing the television series “Queen Sugar.” “This film is a singular part of the black cinematic canon.”

Well, now “Ashes and Embers” is set to get some valuable screen time. And the timing couldn’t be better as #OscarsSoWhite reaches its climax with Sunday’s Academy Awards.

Thanks to DuVernay’s efforts, as well as the Broad museum, Gerima’s drama shows at REDCAT on Thursday as part of the series called Array. Curated by DuVernay, Array is presenting half a dozen films over the course of several months — principally those directed by women and underrepresented minorities.

“There is nothing we would rather be doing the week of the Oscars,” Ed Patuto, director of audience engagement at the Broad, says of the screening. “The Oscars will come and go. The controversy — we will see how that plays out. But we will keep doing what we are doing, observing the creativity of filmmaking.”

The series is part of a long-running project undertaken by DuVernay to promote and distribute work by artists who are frequently overlooked by the Hollywood distribution machine. Gerima’s film will not only screen in Los Angeles, it will also land on Netflix at the end of February — and Array will host other public screenings at the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington and the Schomberg Center in New York.

“That’s been a major objective of Array,” Patuto says. “It’s to take these gems which have been important to filmmakers of color, and to make them accessible to a broader audience.”

The series is an extension of a distribution collective that DuVernay launched in 2010 called the African American Film Festival Releasing Movement (Affirm). Its goal: to distribute work by black filmmakers, including DuVernay’s own early movies — “The Middle of Nowhere” and “I Will Follow” — made before DuVernay achieved renown as director of the Martin Luther King Jr. biopic “Selma.”

“That’s how I got ‘Middle of Nowhere’ into the world,” she says. “And that’s what led to me directing ‘Selma.’ There is a connection.”

Last summer, the collective changed its name from Affirm to Array, adding films by women and other underrepresented directors to its roster. (The Times Glenn Whipp wrote about it.)

And late last year, DuVernay teamed up with the Broad to present these and other works to the public as a series.

For the screening of “Ashes and Embers,” Gerima will be in attendance — interviewed by cinematographer Bradford Young, of “Selma” and “A Most Violent Year.” Viewers will also be invited to go to the Broad’s galleries to learn about works inspired by social justice issues.

The intent is to put work such as Gerima’s top-of-mind — especially at a time when Hollywood is grappling with issues of diversity.

The director was part of the L.A. Rebellion, an important group of black Los Angeles filmmakers that emerged out of UCLA in the 1970s that included figures such as Charles Burnett (“Killer of Sheep”) and Julie Dash (“Daughters of the Dust”).

Like many of his fellow filmmakers, his work shows a view of Southern California that isn’t always depicted in the movies.

“You’re not seeing much of black Los Angeles on film,” says DuVernay. “You’re not seeing Watts. You’re not seeing Compton. You’re not seeing South L.A. This is the Los Angeles we should see in movies — with all of its texture and its nuances. It has not been seen or explored enough.”

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

13094: BHM 2016—Lowell High.

The Black History Month celebration at San Francisco’s Lowell High School sparked controversy—as well as a job offer to the responsible student from Campbell Ewald.

13093: Preying On Publicis…?

Adweek reported on speculation that Publicis Groupe is now an attractive acquisition prospect. Right. Anybody interested a dysfunctional dung heap featuring over-rated White advertising agencies, over-priced digital shops and over-the-hill management layers—overseen by an albino dinosaur? Act now!

Is Publicis, Once a Voracious Predator, Now Prey?

An acquisition of the iconic holding company is now ‘feasible,’ analysts say

By Noreen O’Leary

On paper, it makes sense: One of the industry’s most powerful agency networks, known for its own voracious appetite for acquisitions, has been caught in a downward trajectory severe enough that it may now find itself prey.

“Twenty months on from the collapsed merger talks with Omnicom, we believe an acquisition of Publicis is now a feasible prospect,” Jérôme Bodin and Pavel Govciyan, research analysts at Natixis, Paris, wrote in January. “Publicis is now an extremely attractive target, from both a financial and strategic standpoint. The decline in its share price … has left the group’s valuation extremely low. Meanwhile, the slump in the euro relative to the dollar makes it an appealing target for an American player.”

Natixis said Publicis’ stock dropped 12.6 percent in the last year, selling at a 26 percent discount to other ad agencies.

One major obstacle is Publicis’ strong-willed chief Maurice Lévy, whose vow to relinquish power next year is met with some skepticism. “It would most certainly have to be a hostile takeover since I don’t see Maurice Lévy allowing it,” observed Seth Alpert, managing director, AdMedia Partners.

However, Natixis’ Bodin insists “a hostile bid would be risky but has every chance of success, even in the ad agency segment.” Insiders control just under 20 percent of shares, down from 22 percent at the time of the Omnicom merger. (Publicis, of course, is no stranger to hostile bids, making its own for U.S. agency True North in the mid-1990s.)

Another problem for potential buyers is the huge price tag for Publicis, with a market cap of $13.1 billion. Some industry insiders estimate a purchase price of $17 billion, a 25-30 percent premium. Bodin asserts a deal could primarily be financed in shares.

In terms of likely strategic acquirers, Bodin makes the case for Omnicom and Dentsu Aegis Network: Omnicom and Publicis had already struck a deal where neither partner had to exchange cash; the transaction was backed by key shareholders and it received regulatory clearances. As for Dentsu Aegis, he points out the two companies already know each other: Dentsu used to own 15 percent of Publicis, and the Japanese giant is looking to expand quickly and a tie-up would bring creative assets, with strong positions in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Lévy told Adweek Publicis is not for sale; Omnicom CEO John Wren declined comment. Tim Andree, executive chairman, Dentsu Aegis Network, was also tight-lipped about future expansion but said he’d be hesitant about taking on Publicis with its current challenges.

An investment observer concurs: “A sale seems like an enormous stretch. Publicis is a bit of a mess right now. In a bizarre way it’s like a multibillion-dollar fixer-upper.”

More specifically, observes Pivotal senior analyst Brian Wieser: “Its problems go back to the Omnicom merger; Publicis management have acknowledged they got distracted by it. They’ve made mistakes in underinvesting in their creative agencies so they can make acquisitions, which have created a political situation alienating talent. On the media side, Publicis has been punching under its weight,” losing big media accounts such as Walmart, Mondelez, Procter & Gamble and Coca-Cola. (Lévy is attempting to change course, having announced a massive corporate reorganization last fall.)

However implausible a sale scenario is for Publicis, there is still a lingering “never say never” hesitation to rule anything out after the French network announced a staggering, surprise $35 billion deal with Omnicom in 2014.

“An [Publicis] acquisition is certainly a provocative idea but a real stretch,” said AdMedia’s Alpert. “If you look at the big players, they all make acquisitions, but I don’t think they make bet-the-farm deals like this. Still, I didn’t expect to ever hear that Omnicom and Publicis were going to merge.”

Monday, February 22, 2016

13090: BHM 2016—Wendell Scott.

Driven is an animated documentary on Wendell Scott, the first Black driver inducted into the NASCAR Hall of Fame.

13089: Exclusive CASE Study.

Saatchi & Saatchi in South Africa created this commercial for CASE, an organization committed to breaking the cycle of crime and violence affecting children in at-risk communities. It’s a wonder Saatchi & Saatchi didn’t partner with CASE to establish a minority internship program. BTW, were any minorities involved in the creation of the spot? Based on the people section of the agency website, it’s doubtful. And that’s a crime.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Saturday, February 20, 2016

13087: Hooray For Nollywood.

From The New York Times…

Nigeria’s Booming Film Industry Redefines African Life

By Norimitsu Onishi

ASABA, Nigeria — Sitting on a blue plastic stool in the sweltering heat, Ugezu J. Ugezu, one of Nigeria’s top filmmakers, was furiously rewriting his script as the cameras prepared to roll. “Cut!” he shouted after wrapping up a key scene, a confrontation between the two leading characters. Then, under his breath, he added, “Good as it gets.”

This was the seventh — and last — day of shooting in a village near here for “Beyond the Dance,” Mr. Ugezu’s story of an African prince’s choice of a bride, and the production had been conducted at a breakneck pace.

“In Nollywood, you don’t waste time,” he said. “It’s not the technical depth that has made our films so popular. It’s because of the story. We tell African stories.”

The stories told by Nigeria’s booming film industry, known as Nollywood, have emerged as a cultural phenomenon across Africa, the vanguard of the country’s growing influence across the continent in music, comedy, fashion and even religion.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, overtook its rival, South Africa, as the continent’s largest economy two years ago, thanks in part to the film industry’s explosive growth. Nollywood — a term I helped coin with a 2002 article when Nigeria’s movies were just starting to gain popularity outside the country — is an expression of boundless Nigerian entrepreneurialism and the nation’s self-perception as the natural leader of Africa, the one destined to speak on the continent’s behalf.

“The Nigerian movies are very, very popular in Tanzania, and, culturally, they’ve affected a lot of people,” said Songa wa Songa, a Tanzanian journalist. “A lot of people now speak with a Nigerian accent here very well thanks to Nollywood. Nigerians have succeeded through Nollywood to export who they are, their culture, their lifestyle, everything.”

Nollywood generates about 2,500 movies a year, making it the second-biggest producer after Bollywood in India, and its films have displaced American, Indian and Chinese ones on the televisions that are ubiquitous in bars, hair salons, airport lounges and homes across Africa.

The industry employs a million people — second only to farming — in Nigeria, pumping $600 million annually into the national economy, according to a 2014 report by the United States International Trade Commission. In 2002, it made 400 movies and $45 million.

Read the full story here.

13086: BHM 2016—Black History Stamps.

This month, own every Black. Every Black stamp, that is.

Friday, February 19, 2016

13085: NASCAR’s Slow Start.

MultiCultClassics wondered about NASCAR’s peculiar decision to award its advertising duties to Ogilvy, especially given the racing sport’s desire to lure a more diverse audience. After all, Ogilvy can’t even deal with diversity in its own offices. So it’s no surprise that the first NASCAR commercial from the White advertising agency presents a predominately Caucasian cast. Looks like OgilvyCulture wasn’t in the driver’s seat for this ride. Or maybe NASCAR’s goal to attract diverse fans really meant wooing White women. If that’s the case, the commercial is a rousing success.

13084: BHM 2016—Allstate.

Allstate presents “Need-To-Know-Stories” for Black History Month. Just need to know—where’s Dennis Haysbert?

Thursday, February 18, 2016

13083: Souring On Ignorance.

This Mentos campaign from Ogilvy in India is scarily stereotypical.

13082: IPGobbledygook.

A MultiCultClassics visitor pointed to IPG’s self-promotional hype on its alleged diversity and inclusion achievements. Included is the recent Champions of Diversity Award for Exemplary Best Practices presented to the White holding company by the New York Urban League. Not included is the fact that IPG Senior Vice President, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Heide Gardner is on the New York Urban League Board of Directors. Also not included is any mention of Campbell Ewald, Champion of Cultural Cluelessness. Ditto any references to former Draftfcb President and CEO Laurence Boschetto’s vow that “by 2014 [Draftfcb] will be an organization that no longer uses the term ‘diversity and inclusion.’” Hell, Boschetto wasn’t even listed among the ADCOLOR® Award winners, despite his first-ever Advocate Award recognition. Talk about not being very inclusive.

Worth noting are “the numbers” IPG presents as proof of its progress. Unfortunately, the numbers are not really numbers; rather, the information is stated in percentages. Does a 94% increase since 2005 of total minorities with “officials and managers” titles really mean anything without specific figures? For example, a 94% increase of, say, a dozen individuals would not be very impressive. Plus, how many of the “minorities” are actually White women?

IPG could become a pioneer in the category by publicizing EEO-1 data. But that would require integrity—as well as a spine versus spin.

13081: BHM 2016—Regions.

Black History is Our History. Isn’t it about time for this clichéd headline to become history?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

13080: Leading In The Black.

Adweek reported on two Black History Month moments:

1. Channing Dungey was named President of ABC, becoming the first Black woman to lead a broadcast network, according to Adweek. Although doesn’t BET Chairman and CEO Debra L. Lee qualify as a Black woman leading a broadcast network?

2. Michael Houston was named Global President of Grey, promoted from his role as CEO of Grey North America. No word if the agency will change its name from Grey to Black.