Thursday, June 22, 2017

13722: Experience Diversion.

Adweek reported on a Cannes study that showed “diversity of experience” trumps racial and ethnic diversity. It must be noted, however, that the study participants were 500 creative professionals. Um, polling members of an exclusive field on the topic of diversity is like asking the Ku Klux Klan to vote on inclusion. Diversity of experience prevents the experience of diversity.

Cannes Study Finds Diversity of Experience Is the Most Important Factor in Building Creative Teams

Ketchum and Fast Company call for ‘diverse voices’

By Patrick Coffee

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. The meteoric rise of social media and our own unconscious biases have created an echo-chamber effect that intensifies, rather than discourages, cultural and personal divisions.

The bubble narrative has grown increasingly popular after last year’s Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump. But a new survey examining the phenomenon doesn’t touch on partisan politics—it’s about the creative work performed by industries like media, communications and advertising.

A majority of creative professionals (54 percent) participating in a study conducted by global PR firm Ketchum and media brand Fast Company agreed that such an echo-chamber effect exists in their fields and that it can greatly impede creativity.

The most significant finding in the survey, which involved 500 members of the Fast Company community and precedes a June 21 Cannes Lions panel moderated by editor Robert Safian, may be that diversity of experience is seen as more influential than ethnic or gender diversity when building an effective creative team.

Experience is the key factor

“The biggest wake-up call that sets this study apart from lots of diversity conversations is that so many participants say diverse life experience makes the difference: how you grew up, your socioeconomic background, whether you traveled, etc.,” said Ketchum partner, chief strategy and creativity officer Karen Strauss.

A whopping 87 percent of participants said “personal experience” is a formative factor in their ability to develop creative ideas. Work experience (70 percent) and personal experience (61 percent) were deemed to have the greatest effect on the judgment and selection of those ideas.

Despite the ad industry’s well-publicized efforts to achieve greater ethnic and gender diversity, respondents ranked those variables last when it comes to shaping creative product (25 percent for race and 26 percent for gender) and evaluating that work (11 percent and 15 percent, respectively).

This isn’t to say that gender and ethnic diversity are not important, that the ad industry has lived up to its own promises on those fronts, or that demographics don’t play a large role in shaping each individual’s personal experience. Simply that those who work in creative fields think hiring those with diverse backgrounds should be emphasized.

And gender blinders do exist. When asked which groups provide “braver” ideas, a majority of both men (61 percent) and women (65 percent) chose their own genders.

A resistance to true diversity

Strauss said the echo-chamber effect stems from “deriving, testing and suggesting ideas only with like-minded thinkers.”

“We think we are bringing in a range of views,” she added, “but we tend to hire people with particular types of experience who are hired through networking and referral, instead of those who have virtually no experience in the [particular] field or come from a very different background.”

A majority of respondents across age groups, disciplines and backgrounds agreed that this sort of approach is common and that it is detrimental to creative work.

Nearly everyone involved in this study (95 percent) said interacting with others who challenge their beliefs and assumptions is a crucial part of any creative endeavor. And while 71 percent of respondents believe their organizations respect such diversity of thought, an overwhelming 85 percent said more needs to be done.

The message is clear: Agencies, media companies and marketing organizations draw too heavily from the same talent pools. But at least they’re aware of the problem.

“The survey respondents see that working alongside people just like themselves limits creative potential, and to get outside our bubbles, we have to build teams from varying socioeconomic, educational and geographic backgrounds,” Safian said.

Marketers failing to work with target audiences

The tendency to work only with those who think like we do also applies to market research.

According to the survey, only 9 percent of creative professionals always work directly with members of their target audiences when developing campaigns or related projects. A near majority of respondents (48 percent) said they never do so, relying instead on third-party research for the ideas that eventually shape their creative work.

“We were shocked that only 9 percent tap the target audience when they test an idea,” Strauss said, adding, “If you bring them into the process, then eureka—you’ve already diversified it.”

The overwhelming influence of seniority in agencies and related organizations also diminishes creative work, according to the survey. While 73 percent of those who participated said younger employees tend to submit “braver” ideas, nearly as many said the responsibility for choosing which ideas will prevail overwhelmingly goes to those with 10 or more years of experience.

‘Less cronyism; less hiring of sameness’

Given the near consensus that creative businesses need to encourage a greater diversity of thinking, one big question follows: What’s the best way to do so?

“One of the biggest answers involves hiring from outside your network and outside your industry—not the usual writers and designers,” said Strauss. “Another is prioritizing people with diverse socioeconomic, family, religious, ethnic and gender backgrounds.”

As one survey participant put it, “Don’t hire for portfolio; hire for curiosity.” But it’s one thing to talk about diversity of experience and another thing entirely to hire a junior art director who has no training in the advertising field.

“You can’t hire only green talent,” Strauss acknowledged, adding that many of those polled suggested a move toward more blind hiring to facilitate “less cronyism [and] less hiring of sameness.”

“It’s a very quick fix,” Strauss said.

At the same time, multiple executives speaking on background have told Adweek that blind hiring can shrink an organization’s diversity totals by focusing more on the very factors the study downplays—where you went to school, where you interned, who mentored you, etc.

Ketchum itself addressed this challenge last year by creating a “gamified” internship opportunity called Launch Pad, a program that seeks to counteract unconscious bias by anonymizing submissions and allowing recruiters to pick candidates based on their “ability to solve fictional client challenges.”

Strauss said Launch Pad increased the ethnic diversity of Ketchum’s internship class by 17 percent over the previous year and that 25 percent of all successful applicants had no prior experience in communications or marketing.

Yet, Ketchum and companies like it still rely on standard executive searches to hire C-level talent. And diversity gaps related to race, gender, education and experience persist across creative industries despite the overwhelming call for change on all fronts.

On that point, Strauss believes the conversation should move away from the word “diversity,” which she said is too closely tied to demographics.

“Most organizations are visually striving to increase gender and ethnic diversity,” she said, “but that alone doesn’t eliminate the self-segregation that happens—or the groupthink.”

She called the entire process “a work in progress” and noted that while Ketchum does not have a specific blueprint, its research has identified some clear steps that need to be taken.

The most important idea to keep in mind?

“Seek out people who challenge your views,” Strauss said. Of course, as the study revealed, this is far more easily said than done.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

13721: Award-Winning Accountants.

Adweek reported new Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun is banning his White advertising agencies from participating in award shows and trade shows for 2018 as part of a cost-cutting move. Guess Sadoun has to make up for all of his predecessor’s compulsive digital spending and infamous failed merger deal. One thing is certain: The bold action will clearly show that holding companies like Publicis Groupe spend far more on pursuing trophies than promoting diversity.

Publicis Groupe Forbids All of Its Agencies From Participating in Awards Shows in 2018

New CEO Arthur Sadoun makes first mark with decision to save costs

By Patrick Coffee

Publicis Groupe will be sitting out the 2018 Cannes Lions festival. The reason? To save money.

New chief executive officer Arthur Sadoun made his first dramatic mark on the holding company this week by forbidding all of its agencies around the world from participating in awards shows, trade shows or other paid promotional efforts for more than a year.

According to an internal memo written by CEO Frank Voris of Publicis Groupe’s financial services unit, Re:Sources, Sadoun’s company is “looking for 2.5 percent cost synergies for 2018” and hopes to achieve those savings, at least in part, by “eliminating all award/trade shows for the next year.”

The memo notes that Re:Sources “will not participate in any vendor conferences, industry trade shows and/or award shows effective July 1.”

“This is mandatory and exceptions will not be approved. … Award/trade show ban is effective for the entire Groupe, not just Re:Sources,” the memo states.

The news comes on the same day Sadoun announced the launch of Marcel, a platform designed to serve more than 80,000 employees in 30 different countries and described as “the first-ever professional assistant that uses AI and machine learning technology.”

The announcement is in keeping with an earlier video in which Sadoun said he wants Publicis Groupe to function as “a platform” rather than a network as part of its larger “Power of One” strategy. In some ways, the Marcel presented in the video above resembles Source, a “gamified” global operating system and collaboration tool developed by Omnicom media agency PHD in 2012.

When speaking to Adweek about Marcel, Sadoun did not directly address whether Publicis Groupe will be sitting out next year’s Cannes festival. He did, however, note that Marcel will debut during the 2018 VivaTech conference in Paris, which directly precedes Cannes. He also stated that Publicis Groupe would not be using any of its budget for self-promotional purposes during the development of Marcel.

According to the Voris memo, Sadoun made these announcements during his first “management session,” which occurred in Paris over the weekend.

A Publicis Groupe spokesperson declined to elaborate on the news beyond Sadoun’s statements and denied the plans have anything to do with “cost synergies.” Re:Sources representatives have not yet responded to requests for comment.

A Cannes Lions press contact has also not responded to a query regarding Publicis Groupe’s apparent decision to sit out the 2018 festival.

Earlier this year, the Re:Sources organization went through a round of layoffs attributed to “automating some of its financial operations in order to deliver globally standardized financial [and] accounting services.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

13720: 4A’s 4 Females.

This email for 4A’s The Face Of Talent 2017 Diversity Career Fair accurately depicts the state of diverted diversity in the advertising industry. The focus is on women—and does anyone want to guess which one of the featured females clearly has the best chance of landing a job in the exclusive field?

13719: Microwaving Aunt Jemima.

Adweek reported Dan Gasby, TV executive and the spouse and professional partner of B. Smith, is going after Aunt Jemima. Actually, he’s going after PepsiCo, demanding that they finally dump the iconic pancake maker. “One hundred and twenty four years ago that product was created,” griped Gasby. “They used nasty grains, and they had freed slaves [to promote it], and it’s still a modern-day, 21st-century company. And someone who pours that syrup [or mix], they’re pouring slavery out of a box.” If Gasby succeeds in his crusade to crush Aunt Jemima, it will probably make Annie the Chicken Queen and The Pine-Sol® Lady really nervous.

B. Smith’s Husband Is Launching a Petition Demanding the Aunt Jemima Brand Change Its Name

Seeks to drop the mascot as well, thereby setting the character ‘free’

By Robert Klara

For well over a century, Aunt Jemima has been among the most successful and recognizable brands of pancake mix and syrup on grocers’ shelves. Starting today, however, it might just get flipped on its head.

A new petition, announced this morning, demands the company get rid of its brand name and mascot and “set Aunt Jemima free,” in the words of Dan Gasby.

Gasby, a successful TV executive and the husband and business partner of the model-turned-entrepreneur B. Smith, started the petition after his previous efforts to get the Pepsico-owned Aunt Jemima to discard its name and mascot failed. Gasby believes the Aunt Jemima name and character are enduring vestiges of racism and slavery that have no place on store shelves in 2017.

“For 124 years, [that product] has been the very epitome of African-American female humiliation,” Gasby said. “You can’t tell me Aunt Jemima is positive.”

PepsiCo has not responded to an email and a telephone message requesting comment.

Gasby’s campaign, while newly public, has been years in the making. About a decade ago, Gasby and his wife decided to go shopping in some New York bodegas, those dingy little cigarette-and-beer stores that in many of the city’s poorer neighborhoods are the only grocery-shopping options available. The couple had long passed the point where they needed to do such chores (much less in bodegas), but they were considering getting into the grocery business themselves and figured they’d do a little research.

Instead, they found a cause.

When a young black woman the couple was watching put a box of Aunt Jemima pancake mix into her basket, Smith—an actress, restaurateur, chef and among the most elegant black women of her generation—was disturbed. So she approached the young lady. “I just want to ask you something,” Smith said. “You just bought this product—do you know what it stands for?” The woman replied that Aunt Jemima was “a product that stands for us being blacks.”

“My wife was shocked,” said Gasby, still recalling the event clearly. “And from that day on, we said to ourselves that we’d try to make a difference.”

Gasby, co-owner of the B. Smith lifestyle brand, chose today, June 19 or Juneteenth, the day that commemorates the emancipation of African-American slaves, as the launch date for the campaign. He hopes the symbolism will spark a greater sense of urgency and garner more support.

“One hundred and twenty four years ago that product was created,” Gasby said. “They used nasty grains, and they had freed slaves [to promote it], and it’s still a modern-day, 21st-century company. And someone who pours that syrup [or mix], they’re pouring slavery out of a box.”

In 1889, entrepreneurs Chris Rutt and Charles Underwood of the Pearl Milling Company introduced a new brand of ready-mix, self-rising pancake flour called Aunt Jemima—a name Rutt, a newspaperman by trade, had heard at a minstrel show in a song performed by a singer in blackface. After the R.T. Davis Milling Company purchased the brand in 1890, it hired Nancy Green, who’d been born a slave in Kentucky’s Montgomery County, to portray Aunt Jemima in the company’s promotions. The perennially smiling, bandana-wearing Green was paid to be a caricature, and the resulting archetype, which passed to the ownership of Quaker Oats in 1925, survived long after Green’s death in the form of an illustration of the character on the packaging.

Apart from the cultural baggage of the name itself, the Aunt Jemima character has been a liability for the brand for decades. Though the rendering has been mainstreamed over the years—losing the bandana, shedding the housedress and appearing in pearl earrings—Aunt Jemima is still in many people’s eyes a “mammy”—a stereotypical domestic servant in the white households of the antebellum era.

But in Gasby’s view, updating the character did nothing to address what he sees as the foundational offensiveness of the brand name overall and the character in particular.

“You could make her look like Doris Day in dark chocolate—and you can quote me on that—[or] you can bob her hair, and she could look like she’s in the Daughters of the American Revolution,” he said. “But walk up to a black woman and say to them, ‘You remind me of Aunt Jemima!’ and see what they do to you. Walk into the middle of a room of a group of black women and say, ‘You know, I just want to say I hope you live up to the standards of Aunt Jemima,’ or, ‘Your little daughter or baby reminds me of Aunt Jemima,’ and see what you get. We’ve become desensitized to systemic racism—but image still matters.”

Gasby explained that he finally turned to after his own appeals several years ago to PepsiCo to change the Aunt Jemima brand name came to nothing. Ever since then, he said, “it’s been festering with me, and I know my wife was very adamant about it.”

The couple has more personal reasons for launching the petition now. B. Smith was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2013 and is unable to lead the charge on her own. And while the couple’s plans for their own grocery chain didn’t work out, their hopes to change the Aunt Jemima brand still can.

Gasby’s petition isn’t calling for the liquidation of the company. But he does want the name and mascot eliminated and also suggests PepsiCo consider changing the brand name to that of his wife. Not only is she a well known and widely respected black female entrepreneur, but a portion of sales could be donated to the causes of women’s health and brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

“You could say to me, ‘Well, I’m doing it for financial reasons—no,” Gasby said. “If not now, when? [And] who better than B. Smith?”

Monday, June 19, 2017

13718: #NoMoreBlackTargets.

Learn more about #NoMoreBlackTargets.

13717: Goddess Of Ad Awards.

AgencySpy posted on the latest diverted diversity decoration from The 3% Conference: the Athena Advertising Awards, birthed in conjunction with the Athena Film Festival. How original! The jurors will undoubtedly have strong female representation, integrating loony lady luminaries like Cindy Gallop. Maybe Wonder Woman will be a presenter or keynote speaker. And of course, all award winners will also receive automatic certification from Kat Gordon. Why does bringing revolutionary change to the advertising industry usually include inventing new advertising awards?

The 3% Movement Teams Up with the Athena Film Festival to Launch The Athena Advertising Awards

By Erik Oster

There’s a new advertising awards program in town.

The 3% Movement collaborated with the Athena Film Festival, “a joint initiative of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College and Women and Hollywood,” to create the Athena Advertising Awards, which will recognize top advertising telling the stories of women and girls.

“The depiction of women and girls in advertising has steadily been improving, thanks in large part to consumers’ ability to talk back to brands via social media,” The 3% Movement founder Kat Gordon said in a statement. “It’s time to celebrate brands and agencies that are demonstrating leadership and creating messages infused with ambition, courage, resilience, and moxie.”

“One of the primary goals of the Athena Film Festival is to challenge the way society views and values women,” added Athena Film Festival co-founder Kathryn Kolbert. “In many ways, those views and values are shaped by advertising. We could not be more excited to launch this new initiative to reward those brands and agencies that are elevating images and voices of bold, courageous women and girls.”

The Athena Advertising Awards is open to North American brands and agencies and will feature six categories: Film, Digital/Mobile, Social Marketing, Print, Events/Experiential, and Integrated Campaigns. Submissions are open beginning today, with a September 8 deadline. The awards presentation will be part of The 3% Conference in New York on November 3 and will then be replayed at the Athena Film Festival, which will take place from February 22-25 at Barnard College.

The Athena Advertising Awards are not the first award program to honor depictions of women and girls in advertising. SheKnows Media launched the #Femvertising Awards back in 2015 and will begin submissions for its third annual event this August. According to its site, this year the awards will be “expanded…to be inclusive of ads that do the right thing by ALL humans, regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.”

For its part, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity responded to a petition by #WomenNotObjects founder Madonna Badger to ban ads objectifying women, while also making a move toward greater gender diversity in its jury panels. This came after the festival awarded an Almap BBDO Brazil outdoor ad for Bayer aspirin with a Bronze Lion in the outdoor category, despite objections that the campaign, which included copy like “‘Don’t Worry Babe, I’m Not Filming This’.Mov,” was overtly sexist. It wasn’t the only incident at the awards ceremony that led to accusations of sexism or female objectification, as VaynerMedia and Thrillist were criticized for a party invite specifying “attractive females and models only,” which they attributed to third party events company iGetIn.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

13716: HP Celebrates Father’s Day…?

Campaign reported on the Daddy-Daughter diverted diversity display from HP. Plus, the trade journal interviewed HP Chief Diversity Officer Lesley Slaton Brown, who’s becoming a star of sorts as the technology company proceeds to push for progress. “Keep Reinventing” meets Delegating Diversity.

HP debuts its newest diversity video, admits it has ‘room for improvement’

By Kathryn Luttner

The brand’s Chief Diversity Officer Lesley Slaton Brown talks about the company’s hiring initiatives and its latest spot targeting women.

HP continues to market itself as a company where talent is its only hiring criteria with a new spot debuting today, titled “Dads and Daughters.” In it, real-life fathers and daughters read female-focused interview advice that’s largely negative, like “don’t wear too much perfume,” “avoid dressing too much like a woman” and “don’t be aggressive.”

The nearly three-minute ad is a continuation of the “Reinvent Mindsets” diversity campaign launched in April from agency Fred & Farid. The first spot, “Let’s Get In Touch,” focused on African-Americans and cited that “when qualified for a job, African-Americans are three times more likely to experience a denial.”

The latest commercial is directed by Jillian Martin, who is part of Alma Har’el’s Free the Bid, an initiative that challenges both agencies and brands to include at least one female director on triple bids, to which HP has donated $100,000. While the latest commercial doesn’t point to statistics, it does reveal actual interview tips found online. HP said the advice was gathered from news outlets like Cosmopolitan, FOX and The New Yorker.

To combat unconscious interview bias, HP is releasing this video through paid social media and other digital platforms. Campaign US spoke with the brand’s Chief Diversity Officer Lesley Slaton Brown to discuss why diversity has become one of HP’s top priorities.

Why did you decide to focus on women in this spot?

HP does business in 170 countries globally. We look at our different sites and say, “Okay, we need to balance our workforce.” For example, in Palo Alto, Asian is not underrepresented. In Boise, Idaho and Corvallis, Oregon, it is. And again, because we want to diversify our workforce, we look at those different sites.

So, when HP formed, when it split in November of 2015, we developed the most diverse board of directors in corporate American technology. To build from that, we increased our women in technical roles, executive technical roles by 4 percent. And the next level for us was women in technology, and so that is a focus, that is a primary segment or audience that we wish to increase within HP.

But your 14 C-suite executives consist of three women and no African-Americans, nor Asians. Would you say there’s room for improvement?

Oh, of course. I think absolutely there’s room for improvement. We started with our board of directors and just as you mentioned, we still need to do work at the L1—our senior most business leaders. Still, we represent over seven different countries within that leadership team.

But, more importantly, we also formed another layer with our global diversity advisory board, which consists of 17 people. The reason we did that is because we want to fill where we have gaps with senior leaders, influencers that are doing the work, that are making a difference, and that get it, so to speak. We have a reverse mentoring program that we do with our board of directors and our L1 leaders. That is representative of African-American, Asian, every region, every business.

That said, Cathie Lesjak as CFO, Tracy Keogh, head of HR, Kim Rivera, Latina, head of general counsel and head of legal—the representation of those leaders cannot go unnoticed and dismissed. They are leading industry change. And, of course, Antonio Lucio with Free the Bid.

Cathie is taking her role to a whole other level as well by holding our consultants to that same level of accountability and making sure that they’re representative of women and minorities in the highest level positions as well. If it hadn’t been for Tracy—guess what—none of this would’ve started as far as our board of directors.

And so, it’s more than just about the numbers. It is about the standard. That’s the work that this group of leaders is doing.

“Dads and Daughters” is the second part of your “Reinventing Mindsets” campaign. Will we see future spots centered on other minorities?

You’re going to see a lot more. This just isn’t about eliminating bias in recruiting or recruiting more talented women. It’s just the start. The work that we’re doing, it is pervasive. When I agreed to lead this effort, I said, “First and foremost, we have to debunk the myth that diversity and inclusion is the responsibility of HR.” Nor is the culture HR’s responsibility. It is about everybody being inclusive.

As you know, from a global perspective, diversity and inclusion means different things to different regions. In China, we’re dealing with people with disabilities, and other places, we’ve got women in executive positions. Within the U.S., we look at veterans, we look at, as I said, technical women. That’s the focus within the U.S. people with disabilities as well.

Have you personally experienced unconscious bias when you were interviewing for jobs?

I have as an African-American woman. And it’s funny because a name makes a difference, right? So, my former name was Lesley McNorton, and what I found was that with my resumes, if I used my name, Lesley McNorton, they automatically thought I was white, because of the “Mc.”

There were honestly times where I made sure that I didn’t put the organizations that I’m invested in as a minority because I saw the rejects. If you become real and unmask yourself, what you get and how soon the interest you get based off of your name and not exposing that you’re a part of these different organizations—“minority organizations”—versus doing that, there’s definitely a difference there. So, absolutely I have faced that.

With HP, it was a little different because one, HP’s culture, our heritage. And two, when I came to work for HP, I was actually working as a community volunteer as a co-chair for a particular organization and the woman that I was co-chairing with had just gotten a promotion at HP where she was starting her own organization. She was a Caucasian woman, and she said, “We work well together. I’m starting this new business, and I’d love for you to come work for me.”

It’s funny that time comes full circle, talk about talent being the only criteria, right? That’s because that’s true to HP’s legacy and so, have I had that happen to me? Absolutely. Absolutely.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

13715: ESPN BS.

This Brazilian campaign for ESPN is bullshit—especially considering the fact that the sports network likely presents a disproportionately higher amount of men’s sports coverage versus women’s sports coverage. Plus, the amount of coverage has nothing to do with gender bias. Rather, it’s all about audience appeal and advertising budgets. Finally, it’s common knowledge that women’s sports will gain greater audience interest when there’s greater mob interest; that is, when spectators are placing serious bets on scores and outcomes.

Friday, June 16, 2017

13714: Domino Doesn’t Deliver.

This NestlĂ© public service campaign from India doesn’t seem to understand the domino effect—it looks like education starts the tumble to misery.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

13713: Half-Assed Effort Via BBDO.

Advertising Age reported on a half-assed stunt offering half-time roles to keep White women staffers at AMV BBDO in London. Oddly enough, the story featured a photograph (depicted above) spotlighting two White men. Regardless, it demonstrates again the extension of diverted diversity, where even part-time females receive preferential treatment over minorities. Maybe AMV BBDO could adopt a Three-Fifths Compromise approach, allowing Blacks to work 3/5 days—and earn 3/5 of what White women are paid.

This BBDO Agency Is Offering Half-Time Roles to Retain Female Creative Talent

By Alexandra Jardine

London agency AMV BBDO is creating a number of permanent half-time roles for female creatives in a bid to retain talent in its creative department.

The shop, whose clients include Pepsi, Mars and Guinness, is currently recruiting for eight to 10 half-time roles for its creative department, with a view to rolling the program out across other departments in the future. The roles will be built around half the working hours required in standard working contracts.

The aim is to identify the best creative talents who may have taken a career break. Male parents who are in a primary care role and are attempting to return to work are also eligible to apply.

Executive creative directors Adrian Rossi and Alex Grieve said the initiative was born out of a realization that “experience is extremely undervalued.”

“There are a lot of women coming into this industry, but very few at the top and there is a dearth of experienced women in their 30s and 40s,” said Grieve.

“We spoke to a lot of women about this, and sometimes when they do come back, the conditions are patronizing and the work not that exciting,” added Rossi. “Returning can be disappointing: for example they are given a non-challenging brief and kept away from the best clients. We want to make sure they have access to the best briefs.”

So far, around two dozen people have applied for the roles, with both internal and external candidates applying. Each new hire will be connected to an industry mentor to help with their transition back into work. Rossi said that these could include clients, or senior women from production companies, as well as creative agencies, and that each mentor would be handpicked for each new hire.

Grieve and Rossi said that while no direct pressure came from clients, they spoke to several senior female clients before launching the effort, in order to get their advice. The scheme has been approved by the wider BBDO network.

Several networks and holding companies now have plans to boost female leadership—for example, DDB’s “The Phyllis Project” and Omnicom’s “Omniwomen”—and other agencies, including CP&B in London, have offered “returnships” to women returning to the workplace. However, AMV believes its program is the first—at least in London—to offer permanent roles.

“We want to put a flag in the ground here,” said Rossi. “It’s not a transient gesture.”

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

13712: Creative Equals ≠ Equality.

Campaign published diverted diversity delirium from Creative Director and Creative Equals Founder Ali Hanan, who sought to explain, “Why we lose our female talent before they even start.” The most disturbing part of Hanan’s hype is the photo (depicted above) accompanying the perspective—which appears to be a stock image that hardly represents the true diversity of women in adland. It’s a safe bet that Hanan is primarily concerned about why we lose our White female talent before they even start. While she does acknowledge BAME females have it far worse than White females, she doesn’t bother noting that BAME males have it far worse than White females too. Hell, battling “maternal bias” trumps confronting regular bias every day. Creative Equals covers a very narrow and exclusive definition of equality—as shown by the photo below from a Creative Equals event.

Why we lose our female talent before they even start

By Ali Hanan

The current system with ‘creatives’ of ‘placements’ fails our young female talent. While young women will leave the UK’s advertising and design colleges in equal numbers, about 40% of them will never make it to their first rung of the career ladder. Yes, you read correctly, writes Ali Hanan, creative director and founder of Creative Equals.

Two-fifths of young female talent are lost between graduation and industry

At advertising colleges across the country, women attend equally or skew slightly more, but then the current placement process of landing a job isn’t working for our young female talent. The question is why? The IPA’s statistics show just 29.6% of creative departments are staffed by women — up from 25% last year. What this statistic doesn’t show is many of departments Creative Equals sees run at 10% and below.

Many creative departments across London have no female creatives at all

That means a young female placement talent who comes into an environment like this will not see someone who may look or sound like themselves. Just 12% of creative directors are women and as bias studies show, people mentor those who reflect “people like me”. Young women won’t get mentored from day one on the creative shop floor. They’ll look up the ladder where those important role models are few and far between. Dig into BAME female representation at a senior level and you’ll find these numbers are not just fewer, but gulfs apart.

Social mobility is also a huge barrier

With the odds stacked against young women as they come into the workplace, there is also the simple fact some can’t afford to take up their placements. Some lack social mobility, and faced with crippling student debts and staggering London rents, they won’t even start on the ladder. More research needs to happen, which is why Creative Equals is working with D&AD New Blood to further unpack what happens over the coming months.

What we can do to change this straight away is start funding young female talent

Last year, the managing director of Major Players, Helen Stokes, died tragically. In her memory, £7,000 was raised, £5,000 of which went to an internship bursary with D&AD New Blood and Creative Equals. There were 16 applicants for the fund, but only one to give, awarded to Rebecca Rhoysn Petts-Davies. Although she had won a Yellow Pencil and received a first-class degree, her personal circumstances meant she had no means to take up a placement.

Thanks to the fund, she now has a flying career at Wunderman, where she has won second place at the recent Cannes Young Lions UK competition and D&AD New Blood Award. She said: “I really couldn’t have done any of this without this bursary.”

We already have female teams telling us they won’t come into London without financial help

To raise funds, Creative Equals has launched a bursary fund on Chuffed.Org in partnership with D&AD, teaming up with the CANNT Festival, Facebook and Major Players. The campaign — designed and shot by Petts-Davies and her copy partner Maya Halilvoc — is an ode to their talents.

Creative Equals have already put a portion of the starter funds in. We’re a tiny non-profit start up. So now your turn, adland.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

13711: Going Overboard Overspending.

The Financial Times reported that Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will introduce restrictions designed to reduce bad boy behavior on yacht parties. Gee, could anything better underscore the advertising industry’s Whiteness and exclusivity than festivities on yachts? WPP Overlord Sir Martin Sorrell opined, “Along with the Effies, Cannes remains the most important celebration and recognition of what we do. But I don’t think the industry does itself any favours by overspending at the festival.” The industry doesn’t do itself any favours by overspending on acquisitions, lawsuits and holding company CEOs either.

The parties are over at Cannes ad festival

Organisers seek to curb bad behaviour as industry awakes to sober outlook

By David Bond, Media Correspondent

Organisers of this year’s Cannes Lions advertising festival are introducing new restrictions on super yachts entering the Cote d’Azur port as part of a wider crackdown on what they call “inappropriate” and “distasteful” behaviour during the week-long event.

In a move likely to be welcomed by some ad and media executives who have been calling for tighter controls on Cannes’ party culture, the event’s owners Ascential have struck a deal with the city’s authorities to “privatise” part of the harbour for the first time in the festival’s 64-year history.

Duncan Painter, chief executive of Ascential, told the Financial Times that last year there was “an excess of celebration” on boats in the harbour, which was “not in line with the festival’s brand”.

Mr Painter pointed to two super yachts hired by the Daily Mail group as an example of the “distasteful” behaviour he said his customers had asked him to rein in.

“It was like Club 18-30 down there,” said Mr Painter, referring to the Mail’s hired yachts. “They ran a 24/7 party. That is not what we wanted at our event. Cannes is about the work and the quality of creativity. We want the dignity and style that reflects the industry we are in.”

Those looking to rent a yacht and moor it at the Jetee Albert Edouard, next to the city’s Palais de Festivals, to entertain guests and clients will now be required to buy an official Lions festival pass for the boat as well as the number of people on board. The new rules will also require guests to buy a pass or register with the organisers to gain access to some of the city’s top hotels.

Passes for the festival, which starts later this month and will this year feature star speakers like the actress Dame Helen Mirren and Hollywood director Ron Howard, can cost as much as €5,215 per person.

The Daily Mail’s boat parties have been one of the big attractions at Cannes Lions in the past three years with the reality TV star Kim Kardashian and the singer Sting among a number of A-list celebrities used to help promote the group’s newspapers and its website Mail Online with advertisers.

But the company said it had decided to take a break this year.

“No doubt we will be sorely missed,” the Daily Mail said. “But we are extremely happy with the wisdom of our decision not to invest in the festival this year.”

In common with all newspaper publishers, DMGT, the Mail’s parent company, has been hit by a sharp decline in print advertising revenues.

Last week, the company announced that print advertising at the Mail titles had fallen 12 per cent in the six months to the end of March although online advertising had jumped by 19 per cent over the same period.

This year’s festival was always likely to be a more sober affair with the advertising industry under growing pressure as multi-nationals like Procter & Gamble slash their ad budgets and agencies try to come to terms with the growing power of technology groups like Google and Facebook.

Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP chief executive, hinted last year that the world’s biggest advertising group might rethink its approach to Cannes.

“Along with the Effies [industry awards], Cannes remains the most important celebration and recognition of what we do,” Sir Martin said. “But I don’t think the industry does itself any favours by overspending at the festival.”

Mr Painter said that the new measures had also been introduced to help ensure the safety of the 30,000-plus guests who regularly descended on Cannes for the Lions festival.

But he added that concerns over the state of the ad business were also a factor. “Cannes is to celebrate,” he said. “But when we see the level of excess we saw last year it’s just inappropriate with where the industry is right now.”

13710: Boys’ Club Bullshit.

Advertising Age declared, “Advertising Is Still a Boys’ Club”—via a painfully long report that the stereotypical adman would have little patience to peruse.

The piece opened with the following stories:

Suzanne and a colleague are hard at work on a new-business pitch for a toy targeted to little girls. The day before the big meeting, the duo’s male creative director points to Suzanne and says, “You’re going to the meeting because we need more women in the room.”

On the morning of an important pitch, one of two men in the client service department approaches Leah and asks her to take the coffee orders since no one on his team is in yet. She looks around and notices that she is the only female in the office. Begrudgingly, Leah begins to take orders until her female planning director intervenes. “Get back to the pitch,” the director says as she deputizes a man on the tech team to get the coffee.

Julia, a C-suite executive, is asked to take notes in meetings where she’s the only woman.

Then there’s Michelle, who is constantly left out of meetings and has her work handed over to younger, less qualified men on the creative team. And Gretchen, whose male former managing director sits inappropriately close to her during meetings, legs touching, and asks her to go to a client visit with him alone for the week. And Angela, an intern, whose male executive creative director slaps her butt at happy hour. And so on.

It’s not clear if these tales of woe are based on actual events. But if so, one thing is certain: While the women might have felt slighted, it’s highly likely that there were zero minorities present. That is, White women might face demeaning moments, but racial and ethnic minorities don’t even get a chance to be dissed—the truth is, people of color face far worse discrimination from White men and White women in the field.

Here’s another excerpt worth noting:

Karen Kaplan, CEO of Hill Holliday, defines it this way: Diversity is being invited to prom; inclusion is being asked to dance. It’s not hard to “game the system when you report diversity numbers,” she said, but really being inclusive is about allowing people to influence the strategic direction and leadership of the industry.

Nice. The CEO of a White advertising agency admits it’s easy to “game the system when you report diversity numbers.” Hey, it’s also a breeze to create faux inclusiveness via your website culture section—however, the leadership section tells the true story. White women like Kaplan prefer to focus on diverted diversity and whine about the gender pay gap versus advocate for progressive change.

Here’s a third excerpt to inspire annoyance:

Lori Senecal, global CEO of CP&B, who is retiring at the end of the year, said she believes the industry has to evolve the vocabulary around the perception of women in leadership. “For instance, it would be great for women with a strong point of view to be described as decisive versus difficult,” said Senecal.

Okay, but Senecal once admitted, “The glass ceiling is more of a thing of the past.” Guess she’s evolving her perspective on the alleged discrimination that White women face in White advertising agencies. It would be swell if she were more decisive in her viewpoints.

“Advertising Is Still a Boys’ Club” is not the true problem. “Advertising Is Still a Whites-Only Club” is the issue everyone strives to ignore.

Monday, June 12, 2017

13709: AmEx Charges Out Of Ogilvy.

Adweek reported American Express shifted its global brand business from Ogilvy to mcgarrybowen—apparently without a review, making the move a major monument of Corporate Cultural Collusion. An American Express spokesperson stated, “mcgarrybowen will be working with us on developing a new global brand platform that will bring together all of our brand and product-related work under one umbrella. The new platform will capture the innovative work that is underway throughout our company and reflect the diversity of our business here in the U.S. and internationally.” Sorry, but diversity should not be mentioned when dumping one culturally clueless White advertising agency for another, especially when the new AOR has shown pride for being founded by nepotistic Old White Guys. Granted, the current mcgarrybowen leadership has diversified to feature slightly younger White men and White women, yet the agency website seems to have lost its diversity statement. Then again, maybe it’s fitting that a White advertising agency create a global concept for a company called American Express, which used to tout its exclusivity by declaring, “Membership Has Its Privileges.” In the advertising industry, membership has its White privileges.

American Express Moves Its Global Brand Account to Mcgarrybowen After More Than 50 Years With Ogilvy

Longtime agency will remain on roster

By Patrick Coffee

American Express has moved responsibilities for all global brand creative development, as well as U.S. execution of that work, from Ogilvy & Mather to Mcgarrybowen in an unexpected shift.

Moving forward, American Express confirmed that Ogilvy “will be responsible for international execution and they will also continue with some of their current U.S. work,” but declined to elaborate on which portions of the business will stay with the WPP network.

The client did not issue an RFP.

“Mcgarrybowen will be working with us on developing a new global brand platform that will bring together all of our brand and product-related work under one umbrella,” said an AmEx spokesperson. “The new platform will capture the innovative work that is underway throughout our company and reflect the diversity of our business here in the U.S. and internationally.”

Ogilvy has worked with American Express in some capacity since 1962. During that stretch, the agency has been responsible for such memorable lines as “Don’t leave home without it” and “Membership has its privileges,” and the partnership endured as other agencies came and went.

Spokespeople for both agencies deferred to the client for comment.

American Express, which is currently America’s fourth largest credit card company by membership, has long distinguished itself as an exclusive product in a series of ads aimed at upper income consumers. Its most recent global brand campaign, starring comedian Tina Fey, began running in 2014.

The reasons behind the decision to move that work to Mcgarrybowen are unclear at this time, but it’s worth noting that co-founder and chairman Gordon Bowen is a former Ogilvy executive who led the aforementioned “Membership has its privileges” campaign.

More than a year ago, American Express announced that chief marketing officer John Hayes would be leaving the company after more than 20 years as part of a larger streamlining effort. At the same time, the company created a global marketing operations unit led by vp Mike McCormack and promoted longtime executive Elizabeth Rutledge to the role of evp, global advertising and media.

Kantar Media lists American Express’s 2016 domestic paid media budget at approximately $502 million, a significant increase over the $408 million the company spent on marketing in 2015.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

13707: Shit In, Shit Out.

Advertising Age spotlighted Fortnight, a new White advertising agency positioning itself as the speediest shop in the business—they’re the Jimmy John’s of ad firms. The agency’s leadership includes refugees from Victors & Spoils, which hints at the probably shitty quality of work excreted from the enterprise. Based on the group photo depicted above, Fortnight is quick to ignore diversity too.

This New Agency Bangs Out the Creative Process in Two Weeks

By Lindsay Stein

When Andy Nathan came up with the idea for Fortnight Collective, which counts NestlĂ© Purina and Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt among its founding clients, he said he was looking to answer the question: “How can we get to ideas and critical thinking faster?” Nathan, who grew up in advertising at the likes of CP&B, TBWA, BBH, Ogilvy and Victors & Spoils, said most successful campaign and client ideas he’s had throughout his career came during a time crunch. “Innovation happens on the fringes when no one else is looking,” he said. Not having time to overthink things can help.

So Fortnight Collective developed a two-week process, including a full-day “hack,” to go from brainstorming to strategic development to execution. (The amount of time was based on his instincts rather than science, Nathan said.)

Mandy Eckford, director of client services at Fortnight, who previously worked with Nathan at Victors & Spoils, said the process starts with a kick off-immersion with the client to figure out its specific challenge, followed by digging into data and defining key deliverables. Day four is usually about strategic development and picking key audiences and focus points. The last day of the first week is an “advertising hack,” where the agency and client work together to solve the challenge. Week two is focused on identifying the strongest ideas, crafting them and executing the plan.

The agency has six full-time staffers in its Boulder, Colo., office, but it has about 40 people in its collective, which Eckford said includes senior-level talent that previously worked at shops like Anomaly, R/GA and CP&B who are hand-picked for specific projects.

Nathan said because so many people today are working for themselves, Fortnight wanted to develop a “creative market” for them that isn’t too formal.

Drew Harrington, co-founder and co-CEO of Yasso Frozen Greek Yogurt, brought on Fortnight to help kick off its summer campaign after hearing about the Nathan’s quick, nimble and efficient concept from the brand’s strategic marketing agency, Good Dog. Harrington said Fortnight offered “big agency experience in a short period of time.”

Yasso’s end-of-week advertising hack lasted about 12 hours, he said, and after one idea was settled on, the agency spent the next week honing in on the campaign idea. Fortnight is also handling out-of-home, radio and digital media buying for Yasso’s upcoming campaign, and the brand plans on adding an experiential element and doing some third party activations with the likes of Pandora.

Even though Fortnight’s work is finished on the campaign, which will start later this summer, Harrington said he has hired them for a few more projects.

“The reality is, if we do our job, clients will keep hiring us back,” said Nathan. “Being constantly on our toes and performing for our next meal keeps us hungry and honest and excited to produce things.”

This doesn’t mean that Fortnight is against AOR relationships, said Nathan, but the project emphasis has been working so far.

Fortnight is hoping to create real breakthrough work for clients. Nathan said when he looks at the path of growing agencies, “like Droga5, there’s usually a seminal piece of work that changes the trajectory of that agency,” and he’s hoping Fortnight can do that while helping brands be better, faster.

Friday, June 09, 2017

13706: Biased Bullying…?

Ad agency culture promotes ‘backstabbing, bitchiness and bullying’” is the title of a perspective—published by Campaign—from Quiet Storm Founder and Executive Creative Director Trevor Johnson. Interestingly enough, while Johnson is a minority who has actually advocated for diversity in adland, the editorial features a photograph (depicted above) of a White woman being attacked by White hands. It’s sadly apropos, given that the typical ad agency culture lacks, well, culture.

Thursday, June 08, 2017

13705: Dos Equis Hires Gringo5.

Advertising Age reported Dos Equis dumped Havas—the White advertising agency that created “The Most Interesting Man in the World”—and handed its business to Droga5, another White advertising agency. Over the years, Havas hired White men to play the iconic Latino character. So it should be interesting to see where Droga5 takes things, given its history of cultural cluelessness, pseudo progressiveness and faux inclusiveness. Stay Exclusive, Mis Gringos.

Dos Equis Drops Agency That Created Most Interesting Man

By E.J. Schultz, Lindsay Stein.

The Most Interesting Man in the World is about to start working with a new ad agency, assuming he survives an account change on Dos Equis. Heineken USA has moved the brand from Havas Worldwide to Droga5, the marketer has confirmed to Ad Age.

Havas Worldwide created the iconic ad character in 2006 and had been handling the account since then, surviving multiple marketing executive changes at the brand. But brand-owner Heineken USA has decided to make a change less than a year after relaunching the iconic campaign with a new actor in the leading role.

“Dos Equis and Heineken USA have great appreciation for Havas’ long-standing partnership and creative collaboration, which produced the iconic advertising campaign, ‘The Most Interesting Man in the World,’” Heineken USA said in a statement. “Their work will continue through 2017. Droga5 will be the new creative agency of record for Dos Equis, and their first campaign for the brand will launch in 2018. Droga5 is well-known for breakthrough advertising and we are excited to collaborate with them on the evolution of the campaign, as well as new ways to engage our consumers.”

The move marks a return to Heineken USA by Droga5, which last summer parted ways with the marketer to join Anheuser-Busch InBev’s roster of agencies. The shop was hired to handle strategic planning and creative execution for AB InBev’s Best Damn brand of flavored malt beverages. The Dos Equis win could cause a conflict with AB InBev, but the status of the relationship is unclear. Droga5 declined comment and AB InBev spokespeople did not immediately respond to an email request for comment on Tuesday night.

Havas was not immediately available for comment.

The change comes less than a year after Dos Equis relaunched the campaign with French actor Augustin Legrand playing the lead role. He replaced Jonathan Goldsmith, the original Most Interesting Man in the World, as Dos Equis decided to go with a younger actor. The campaign was left largely intact without any major changes to the witty one-liners, like “He once cheated death, and death was perfectly OK with it.”

But Dos Equis still made tweaks to the ads. For instance, the new ads play out entirely in the present era. The old spots included footage of a younger version of the man, suggesting a bygone era. The classic tagline, “Stay Thirsty, My Friends,” was changed to “Stay Thirsty, Mis Amigos,” a play for Hispanic and bi-cultural drinkers.

Dos Equis has grown sales by 6% year-to-date, according to IRI figures cited this week by Beer Business Daily, which noted that the brand’s sales accelerated by 7% in the four week period ending May 14. But Dos Equis is still chasing hot-sellers Corona and Modelo Especial in the Mexican import segment. Corona and Modelo Especial grew by 9.1% and 21.7% respectively in the 12-week-period ending May 20, according to Nielsen data cited in a recent Wells Fargo beverage report.

Havas created the campaign when the shop was known as Euro RSCG. Karl Lieberman, then a copywriter/art director for the agency, recalled to Ad Age last year that he and his creative partner Brandon Henderson reluctantly came up with the idea about a half hour before a meeting with the executive creative director. “We were just a couple of idiots trying to make each other laugh and cobble something together for a meeting on an account we figured we’d never sell something on anyway,” said Lieberman, now the executive creative director at Wieden & Kennedy New York, where he works on Bud Light.

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

13704: Perception & Reality At JWT.

Adweek interviewed JWT New York CEO Lynn Power, getting her take on “gender and diversity at JWT after the big lawsuit.” After the big lawsuit? Um, it hasn’t even gone to trial yet. Regarding exclusivity and discrimination at JWT, Power believes there are differing internal and external perceptions for the White advertising agency. “You can meet the people in the leadership and the people you’re going to work with,” said Power, “and you can decide if this is a culture you want to be part of.” Okay, but taking a peek at the JWT New York Executive Leadership seems to show the external perception is pretty accurate. Plus, it should be noted that Power came to JWT via Arnold New York, where “Our Fearless Leaders” are equally lacking equality. Sorry, but external perception is strongly supported by internal reality.

Q&A: CEO Lynn Power on Gender and Diversity at JWT After the Big Lawsuit

And how the internal and external perceptions of the agency differ

By Kristina Monllos

Adweek: What are you doing to encourage diversity and gender equality at JWT’s New York office?

Lynn Power: We talk a lot about diversity as a business driver—also because our world today, sadly, is more divided than ever and it’s important to recognize that it’s not just about what we think about in New York or the coasts. There’s lots of different opinions out there and there’s lots of different people out there and we need to reflect those opinions and people and consumers and humans in the work that we do. So the best way to do that is to embrace diversity of thinking, diversity of different types of people across all walks of life, and finding ways to bring people in that may not have thought of advertising as a place that they were logically drawn to or their first thing that they wanted to do.

With the Erin Johnson case [in which Johnson, JWT’s chief communications officer, sued the agency for discrimination and accused its former CEO Gustavo Martinez of making “sexist and racist comments”], the perception of JWT has shifted. What would you say it is now?

Well, I think there’s an internal perception and an external perception, and I’d say internally, we’re rocking. I think people are feeling really good about the direction we’re going and the momentum we have and I think the culture has changed quite a bit. And certainly since I’ve been there [three years ago], it’s changed a lot. Sometimes the external perception doesn’t quite catch up, hasn’t caught up with the internal perception. … If you think about just in the past few months, we launched some work with Black Lives Matter, which, to me, is action. Really living our beliefs, not just talking about it. We’re doing some work for HeForShe and we are [working for Save the Children].

How do you change the external perception of the agency?

It really comes down to the people and the agency. We hire lots of people. We’ve had a really good new business track record and I always say to people, “You know what? Make up your own mind.” You can come in. You can meet the people in the leadership and the people you’re going to work with, and you can decide if this is a culture you want to be part of. So I’m not trying to convince people to think of us a certain way or tell people what’s right or wrong.

As a woman in a powerful position at an agency that has just spent a year dealing with whether or not it was good to women, do you feel as though the onus to make change is more on you than on your male colleagues?

Look, I have my own experience having worked at the agency and my experience was a good experience. I guess I feel like it’s an opportunity. I’ll think of it that way. Clearly when something like that happens—we can’t talk about that case—but it creates a lot of conversation. I look at it as, “If I can drive that conversation into a place where we can lean in even harder and do even more because we are an agency that’s now talking about it, that’s a good thing.” I’m in a position as a woman to be able to kind of have an unapologetic stance on pro-equality, pro-women, pro-diversity, supporting women’s leadership, helping women figure out their own voice. And not just women, but diversity across the board. So I feel good about that, because I think I am in a position where I can hopefully have a bit of an impact in a good way.

Would JWT want to try and rebrand?

I always feel like our work does speak for [the agency], and maybe it’s my perspective on leadership as I’m much more of a doer. There are other leaders who are much more about, you know, “Rah, rah, rah,” and kind of out there in a more visible way. But I do hope that enough action and enough momentum will create a little bit of energy around our brand. … I would say a big priority for us is the quality of our work and really not just having a couple of things that are great that pop, but really having it be a full body of work that we think is outstanding.

What do you think is overrated right now in the space? Is it influencers? Is it experiential? Is it VR?

This may be a little controversial, but I think the idea of having to be “always on” is overrated. For a while, I feel like our clients were being told constantly that you need to have a high volume of stuff every day. But do you really need a post for National Donut Day? I don’t know. Is it really that relevant? … I think there’s a resetting of that notion of content and how much you actually need to do to be effective and instead trying to go deeper and [create] more meaningful things.


Current gig

CEO, JWT New York

Previous gig

President, Arnold New York

Twitter: @LynnPowered

Monday, June 05, 2017

Saturday, June 03, 2017

13701: Googling Josephine Baker.

Google celebrates the late Josephine Baker on her birthday. Wonder how the artist and activist would respond to a tribute from an organization whose diversity is not much evolved from what Baker experienced in her lifetime.

13700: C’MON WHITE MAN! Episode 51.

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

Adweek published a patronizing perspective from Kinetic Worldwide North America CEO David Krupp, who sought to explain “Why the Ad Industry Needs to Make Gender Equality a Priority”—while completely ignoring the need to make regular equality a priority.

Krupp opened by praising his mother as “the personification of Mad Men’s Peggy Olson, having worked at FCB in the 1960s, so I had a shining example of a strong woman working hard in a challenging corporate environment.” In other words, Krupp acknowledges that White women have been making progress since the 1960s, yet he seems oblivious to racial and ethnic minorities being denied opportunities since even before that historic decade. Oh, and it’s also worth noting that Krupp likely took advantage of nepotism to enter the field himself.

Next, Krupp pointed out past governmental support for women, including The Equal Credit Act and The Family Medical Leave Act. Wonder if the moron realizes White women are the single group that has most benefited from Affirmative Action.

Krupp closed by crying, “We still have work to do and we need to keep women’s rights top of mind and not on the back burner. I fear apathy will set in and rather than continuing to strive for the shattering of the glass ceiling, we will focus our attentions elsewhere. But I refuse to give up. Naysayers may push hard. But we must push harder. Shout louder. Act faster. We have all fought long and hard to create an inclusive, fair and diverse world for us to live in. Our work is far from over, however. In some ways, it has just begun.” Gee, it sounds swell until taking a peek at Kinetic Worldwide’s people and seeing that Krupp is full of krapp.


Why the Ad Industry Needs to Make Gender Equality a Priority

In order to progress, we need to empower women

By David Krupp

My mother was the personification of Mad Men’s Peggy Olson, having worked at FCB in the 1960s, so I had a shining example of a strong woman working hard in a challenging corporate environment. Back then, deep cultural changes were setting in, women were entering the workforce in droves and yet gender disparities were prevalent. Today, headlines reflect those same issues and it raises the question: Have we made any progress?

It doesn’t seem like we’ve come all that far, considering the signs that were held at the recent Women’s March on Washington. Some of my favorites:

I Will Not Go Quietly Back To The 1950s

Can’t Believe We Still Have to Protest Women’s Rights

You Think I Am Mad, You Should See My Mom

My Arms Are Tired From Holding This Sign Since the 60s

Historically, the government has had heavy involvement in progressing equality for women. Think about The Equal Credit Act, The Family Medical Leave Act, and so many others. What would have happened without legislative support? What will the government do now and in the near future to help? If the answer is “not much,” what do our citizens plan on doing, independently or as businesses?

Gandhi once said: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” I think we can all agree that creating equality is the right thing to do and we should take steps to make our voices heard, whether it’s carrying a sign, writing your local government or starting a petition. But, what if it were also a smart business decision?

It’s interesting to note that women control an estimated 85 percent of purchasing choices, yet over 91 percent of them feel that marketers don’t understand them. It’s imperative for this reason to diversify to properly comprehend and communicate to consumers. And I believe the advertising industry is exemplifying this by demanding transformation. Clients are now insisting that equality is a priority for its day-to-day business partnerships. Companies like General Mills and HP are requiring diverse teams from their agencies as the minimum cost of entry to manage their accounts.

Furthermore, women-run businesses are thriving around the world. According to the EY Global Job Creation Survey 2016, a survey of 2,673 entrepreneurs globally, female entrepreneurs were found to be 19 percent more likely to be running billion-dollar companies than men, and due to their executive positions, women are leading in the job-creation stakes. As a result, those companies are anticipating an average growth rate of 10.9 percent in the next year.

Business revenue among women-owned firms have also increased by 35 percent since 2007, compared to 27 percent among all U.S. firms—thus at a rate that is 30 percent higher than the national average.

If we know that creating opportunities for women is the smart thing to do and the right thing to do, we need to explore what corporate America’s role should be.

• Do companies, which have spent the past two decades working toward gender equality, retreat or continue to put programs forward to move the cause along?

• Will existing laws change HR policy in America and around the world?

In order for us to progress, we need to commit to gender diversity and advancement of women in our workforce. Women who have risen in the ranks based on their hard work, leadership and skill are counting on us. The long-term future for many organizations is female not by mandate but by merit.

We must further strive to empower women to speak up, lean in and take control of their work life. It is imperative to our future that we support flexible work policies, offer generous maternity and paternity leave, develop training initiatives and take on causes that support families, children and the end of human trafficking.

We still have work to do and we need to keep women’s rights top of mind and not on the back burner. I fear apathy will set in and rather than continuing to strive for the shattering of the glass ceiling, we will focus our attentions elsewhere. But I refuse to give up. Naysayers may push hard. But we must push harder. Shout louder. Act faster. We have all fought long and hard to create an inclusive, fair and diverse world for us to live in. Our work is far from over, however. In some ways, it has just begun.

David Krupp is CEO, North America, for WPP’s Kinetic Worldwide.

Friday, June 02, 2017

13699: Breaking Cannes Color Barrier…?

Oh, look! Halle Berry is coming to Cannes Lions. Berry is still the only Black woman to win an Academy Award for Leading Actress. Will she also be the only Black woman featured at Cannes? Maybe she’ll gush, “And it’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened. Thank you. I’m so honored.”

Thursday, June 01, 2017

13698: Worldwide Exclusivity At Arc.

Adweek reported, “Leo Burnett Group’s Arc Worldwide Expands After Winning MillerCoors”—plus, the firm hired or promoted seven executives. The accompanying photo (depicted above) shows the leadership at Arc Worldwide is not exactly reflecting worldwide diversity.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

13697: FCB—King Of Chaos.

The ad depicted above for a Workfront seminar on “How FCB Conquered Agency Chaos” seems a little odd—especially running while Cannes is about to start—given the White advertising agency’s sad history with lion imagery.