Monday, November 20, 2017

13898: Playing Games By Playbook.

MediaPost Agency Daily reported 72andSunny is making the most of “The 72andSunny Playbook”—which now looks a lot like the same playbook used by just about every White advertising agency feigning a commitment to diversity. First, the shop is upgrading 72U, the minority internship program that 72andSunny insists is not a minority internship program. Okay, but it’s based on the same old thinking that non-Whites require special education to succeed in the business—unless they’re seeking roles in reception, security, janitorial maintenance or the mailroom. Don’t expect 72andSunny to enlist Derek Walker as a 72U instructor. However, 72andSunny is delegating diversity by bringing in a minority to oversee the patronizing activities. Recruiting former diversity director of The One Club, Tracey Smith, allows 72andSunny to check off the minority and gender boxes of their inclusion quota, executing a diversity double whammy! Gee, it seems as if the only senior-level minorities being courted in adland these days are Chief Diversity Officers. Except at Deutsch. Whatever. In the end, White advertising agencies continue to play the same old games, filling their trophy cases with ADCOLOR® awards, Glass Lions and 3% Conference Certifications—yet never filling their offices with U.S. minorities.

72andSunny Upgrades Residency Program

By Larissa Faw

72andSunny is revamping its residency program 72U to better align with its global mission to expand and diversify its potential participants.

“We want 72U to be a platform that delivers on our company’s purpose, and benefits culture, knowing that it will also benefit our company and our industry at large,” says John Boiler, founder /creative co-chair, 72andSunny. “We pride ourselves on being builders of opportunities, and believe that a wider, more diverse creative industry starts with access.”

This change follows the appointment of Tracey Smith to head the unit as director. She joins 72U from The One Club, where she was director of diversity. In her new role, she will help the creative residency source and develop fresh new talent that might not otherwise have access to creative careers.

72U will host three 12-week sessions a year; two sessions will be in-house at 72andSunny Los Angeles, while the third session will take place off-site, in a city, either domestically or internationally.

The program also includes mentoring, real-world experience and a speaker series.

As a creative residency located inside 72andSunny’s offices, 72U will invite eight to 10 participants from a variety of backgrounds and introduce them to careers in the creative industry.

The deadline to apply is November 28. Applications are available at

Sunday, November 19, 2017

13897: Recruiter’s Big Goose Egg.

Advertising Age seems to be copying Digiday with a series titled, “Confessions of an Advertising Recruiter,” authored by Global Recruiters Sarasota President Tony Stanol. In the latest installment—“Sucking the Life out of the Golden Geese”—Stanol combined common knowledge with uncommonly dull writing to demonstrate the uselessness and cluelessness of recruiters. Hell, Stanol admitted he actively worked in the industry “in the olden days,” which helps invalidate his credibility. If Stanol is typical of most recruiters, he’s as responsible for the state of affairs in adland as the leaders he’s seeking to advise. That is, recruiters perpetuate the workplace dilemmas by recycling the same White people throughout the system. The article illustration (depicted above), appropriately enough, features White geese. And idiots like Stanol inspire readers to reach for Grey Goose.

Confessions of an Advertising Recruiter: Sucking the Life out of the Golden Geese

By Tony Stanol

I recently completed an audit of key issues facing several dozen senior agency leaders. These conversations inevitably turn to talent in the ad industry, you know—those valuable assets that go down in the elevator every night.

One CEO suggested I would do the ad biz a great service by shining the spotlight on a disturbing observation I’ve had for some time: namely, the industry is sucking the life out of its employees.

Top talent is, unfortunately, being squeezed out of advertising by the increasing pressures on the business. The three main symptoms are: an overloaded workforce; an exodus to other industries; and the cry for better work-life balance.

Overloaded workforce

A watershed event hit our industry in 2008. The Great Recession resulted in budgets being slashed, agency positions eliminated and severe belt-tightening. Advertising employment hit the lowest point in decades. This created a snowball effect.

Cost-cutting hit publicly traded holding companies particularly hard because they answer to financial analysts.

At the same time, procurement departments became more involved in agency service fee negotiations. One egregious example of a recent procurement exercise was a “reverse auction.” This involves agencies racing to the bottom of the cost structure competing against each other in real-time, online!

New digital tools suddenly enabled more precise and timely marketing communications feedback. This created more of an ROI world with clients asking, What have you done for me lately, agency? In the olden days, there were no precise measures of sales impact from advertising. When we created a new Oreo commercial, if it copy-tested well, we aired it.

Morale seems to be an all-time low. The big squeeze resulted in being asked to do more with less, having fewer people with an increasingly heavier workloads. When I worked on the Colgate account at Ted Bates (yes, that long ago), I was an AE with an AAE below, and I reported to a dedicated Management Supervisor and to a partially allocated SVP, all on an account billing less than $6 million! Not today, friends.

Exodus to other industries

Advertising has always been a semi-glamorous business that attracts many talented people. But today, advertising seems to be attracting fewer college grads, who are hired instead by Wall Street, high-flying tech firms or even the client side.

With the Dow at all-time highs, it’s understandable that Wall Street will attract more than its fair share. One agency exec said he recently spoke to a room full of new recruits, 90% of whom were women. When he asked his HR chief where all the men were, she said they were headed to Wall Street.

There is a certain allure to tech firms, as well—especially by those candidates who spend so much time with their noses in social media. However, many people are soon disillusioned when they’re hired by Facebook, only to find themselves in a room with 80 other engineers, each trying improve the utility of a single button. Others have said that, from the inside, Google is just a glorified Yellow Pages.

As for defections to the client side, where the grass is always greener, check out my first column in this series.

Work-life balance

Millennials and Gen Xers have taken up the cry for better work-life balance, a term not formerly in the lexicon of this Boomer.

One candidate some years ago quit her hectic job because she was simply fried. She said she was taking a “radical sabbatical” away from the rat race, and would get another job before she ran out of money. I ended up placing her in an agency with an enlightened CEO who afforded her the work-life balance she craved. She stayed several years.

Some agencies are coming around to more flexible hours, unlimited PTO, more functional training, as well as encouraging continued education and working from home. But not many.

Time to refocus on the people, people. Or else you’ll have empty elevators at night.

Saturday, November 18, 2017

13896: Rewriting Reality.

Advertising Age published diverted diversity droning from The Female Quotient CEO and Founder Shelley Zalis, who managed to type roughly 900 words on diversity without a single mention of race and ethnicity in the workforce (she only referenced race once, when discussing casting for ad campaigns). Zalis’ opening line underscores her primary focus on promoting White women: “When it comes to diversity in marketing, we’ve come a long way—but we still have a long way to go.” No, when it comes to diverted diversity, Madison Avenue has come a long way. But for true diversity, the advertising industry has gone a long way backwards. Racial and ethnic representation is downright Googlesque—after 60+ years of openly recognizing the issue—and Black representation has actually declined. Zalis’ second sentence explains the phenomenon: “Marketing has a unique role to play in rewriting the rules on diversity in business.” Yes, adland has managed to rewrite the rules on diversity in business—by rewriting diversity to mean gender equality first and foremost.

Diversity and Inclusion: Rewriting the Rules for Marketing

By Shelley Zalis, CEO and Founder, The Female Quotient

When it comes to diversity in marketing, we’ve come a long way—but we still have a long way to go. Marketing has a unique role to play in rewriting the rules on diversity in business.

Numerous studies show that diverse teams deliver superior results. For example, recent research found that inclusive teams make more effective business decisions up to 87% of the time. Even more compelling, Deloitte’s most recent Human Capital Trends report found that companies with inclusive talent practices can generate up to 30% higher revenue per employee and greater profitability than their competitors.

Clearly, diverse teams operating in inclusive cultures can offer ideas and viewpoints that help drive innovation and effectiveness for the business. This is especially true in marketing, where a team that reflects the incredible diversity in the marketplace is much more likely to develop messaging and advertising that resonates. Yet, even with these clear ties to results, corporate America’s approach to diversity hasn’t resulted in dramatic advancements.

For marketing organizations—and businesses in general—diversity is important, but its benefits may not be realized without an inclusive culture.

Sadly, there’s no magic wand to wave. But every little step in the right direction gets us closer to where we want to be (and is 100% better than nothing). Here are some things marketing can do to promote diversity at every level:

Hire diversity of thinking.

Throughout the hiring process, it’s worth taking time to remind decision-makers about the business value of diversity and encourage them to embrace various backgrounds, experiences and perspectives, rather than gravitating to people who are similar to themselves, which is a natural human tendency. After all, a diverse team can be more innovative and effective. To reach diverse pools of talent, it may also be helpful to broaden your recruiting sources so that you are meeting the talent you need where they already are.

Tackle the “messy middle.”

When striving to improve an organization’s diversity, hiring is literally just the beginning. For many organizations, entry-level representation is often reflective of the available talent pool. Consider gender as an example. Research shows that, on average, entry-level representation is roughly 50% women compared to 19% women in the C-suite. This is especially true in marketing, where women are often a large proportion of the workforce at lower rungs of the ladder but a much smaller proportion at higher levels.

As with hiring, decision-makers should not only make a conscious effort to embrace diversity, but also model inclusive leadership behaviors. An organization’s culture is greatly shaped by the people at the top. We need to reimagine workplace culture to retain our best talent.

While education to build awareness can be helpful, it isn’t enough. Organizations now have the ability to make structural changes and implement transparent, data-driven solutions to make better decisions that lead to more diversity and, thus, better business outcomes, according to Deloitte’s 2017 Human Capital Trends.

Vote with marketing dollars.

Marketing is uniquely positioned to shape how people think and should use that position to create positive change. It’s not just about making sure ad campaigns feature different races, genders and ages; it’s about making sure that different kinds of people are portrayed in a fair, accurate and realistic way—instead of cynically or lazily relying on age-old stereotypes that prey on and reinforce society’s existing biases.

In June 2016, my company, The Female Quotient, partnered with the Association of National Advertisers and its Alliance for Family Entertainment to launch #SeeHer, an initiative to help achieve a more accurate portrayal of women and girls in advertising and the media. So far, more than 1,000 brands, with $40 billion of U.S. ad spend, have joined and signed up to use the Gender Equality Measure to assess and eliminate bias in their advertising. And more companies are signing up every day.

A way to take this a step further is to include explicit diversity requirements in RFPs and agency partners. To win work, marketers can look for tangible evidence that their agency is committed to hiring and developing a diverse workforce and fostering an inclusive culture. Not only is that likely to land a better result, it begins to set a standard of expectation beyond your organization.

The ultimate goal: Driving empathy, not sympathy

At the end of the day, good feelings and supportive words are nice, but to really make a difference, decision-makers should bring the rational decision of supporting diversity back to the human level through an inclusive culture. Supporting a culture of empathy is what we’re really driving at—so that we can understand people and different ways of thinking and truly value those for the insight they bring. When that happens, it is likely that inequality will begin to shrink and strength will begin to build as those numbers change throughout the ranks. After all, one person at the top of an organization has power, but a group of committed leaders has impact.

This could be the start of a major positive trend, and marketing is at the heart of the action. To change how people behave, we need to change how they think. And at the end of the day, isn’t that what marketing is all about?

Shelley Zalis is CEO and founder of The Female Quotient. Launched in 2013, The Female Quotient emphasizes collaboration and mentorship to activate change in advancing gender equality in the workplace. It leads The Girls’ Lounge, a destination at conferences, companies and college campuses where women connect, collaborate and activate change together. The Girls’ Lounge has become the largest community of corporate women and female entrepreneurs transforming workplace culture. Deloitte Digital and The Female Quotient have joined forces to deliver joint programming that continues to promote equality and inclusion in the workplace, and the shared belief that they aren’t a social imperative—they’re a business imperative.

Friday, November 17, 2017

13895: Scared Straight Is Scary.

It’s easy to imagine how the idiots responsible for “Scared Straight Out of Advertising” thought they had a brilliant idea, as hacks rarely realize they are hacks. But this video is heinous on so many levels, from the global stereotyping to the clichéd script to the substandard production values. The exclusive millennials casting displays a true ignorance of the audience too. In the end, the video actually succeeds in positioning the advertising industry as a place to avoid.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

13894: Google Doodle Dawdle.

Today’s Google Doodle features renowned Nigerian writer Chinua Achebe, celebrating the late artist on what would have been his 87th birthday. Wonder what Achebe might think about the colonialistic conditions at Google…

13893: Moronic Millennial Muttering.

The latest bellyache in the Digiday “Confession Series” comes from an “Agency Millennial” who declared, “Nobody wants to help each other.” Boo-hoo. Actually, the young executive instantly invalidated any potential credibility with his/her opening line: “I work at a digital agency.” Sorry, but toiling at a digital agency is a few rungs below serving as a Starbucks barista.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

13892: Remaking Exclusivity.

Adweek published a report titled, “Agencies Are Remaking Themselves to Satisfy Client Demands”—detailing how “up-and-coming shops” are creating fresh business models. The story makes no mention of diversity, despite the alleged client demands for inclusion at White advertising agencies. Plus, the accompanying illustration (depicted above) features no clear diversity. Brilliant.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

13891: Side Effects Of Racism.

NPR published a report titled, “Scientists Start To Tease Out The Subtler Ways Racism Hurts Health.” The researchers should consider using the advertising industry as a rich source for data.

Monday, November 13, 2017

13890: Comeuppance Not Coming.

Advertising Age published diverted diversity delirium from Texas Christian University Professor and Chair of Strategic Communication Jacqueline Lambiase, who wondered why the advertising industry is not experiencing a Sexual Harassers Exposure and Expulsion like what’s currently happening in Hollywood. Oddly enough, Lambiase inadvertently answered her own question. For starters, the alleged victims are reluctant to call out the perpetrators by name. Anyone who wants to see the potential rewards of harassment whistleblowing need only view the trials and tribulations of JWT Chief Communications Officer Erin Johnson for clarity. Indeed, when Lambiase shared her personal experiences, detailing a confrontation with an advertising agency that allegedly harassed student interns under Lambiase’s charge, the professor opted not to openly identify the culprits. While Lambiase is “asking that you raise your voice” to put an end to sexual harassment, she fails to do so herself—even though she’s technically an outsider with less to lose than women working in the field.

Madison Avenue will probably avoid publicly addressing sexual harassment in the same way that the industry avoids addressing its diversity problems. Hell, the discrimination directed at people of color far exceeds the harassment aimed at women—and the industry has managed to deny it for over 60 years. Before spotlighting adland’s sexual harassers, the exposé should begin by tagging the individuals consciously and unconsciously obstructing diversity. This group would be comprised of White men and White women, outnumbering the harassment offenders by a very wide margin. Lambiase should confront the diversity resistors and pose her “Where were you?” question, requesting an explanation for executing hiring practices that extend exclusivity, despite having full awareness of the need and obligation to diversify. She could see how the ruling majority has been silent and complicit in the prevention of progress. And it would ultimately reveal that the sexual harassment dilemma pales in comparison.

Where Is Advertising’s Comeuppance on Sexual Harassment?

By Jacqueline Lambiase


For the ad industry, near silence has followed weeks of sensational revelations about Hollywood’s long-standing sexual harassment and rape culture.

While those Hollywood allegations have filled this publication’s pages, a short roll call of of advertising industry giants has not occurred. This is despite Cindy Gallop’s call for action in mid-October for an industry reckoning.

But what exactly does this silence represent? Does it mean ad agencies and others in the business are quietly attending to these issues and purging their ranks of perpetrators?

That interpretation is too good to be true.

What if the ad business isn’t going to have visible actions and symbolic reactions to rid itself of sexual harassers still in its ranks? Then it must gain more visibility in questioning itself and its historical treatment of women to build a better future for all practitioners.

I know sexual harassment exists because this has been the testimony of some of my students. Sexism and harassment can be especially acute for female interns.

A few years ago, my campus refused to carry job postings from a local agency after women reported they had been sexually harassed and used as sex objects at agency events. With two other employees on my campus, I confronted the agency leadership.

When agency principals tried to sidestep their own responsibility, saying the main perpetrator was no longer an employee, I asked them this question: “Where were you?” The two men representing the agency had no good answers. They had attended the sexualized events and were aware of the harassment. But they had been silent, complicit.

One year ago, we asked them to write a report about how conditions at their agency had changed. We are still waiting on that report.

Other negative behaviors often accompany harassment at agencies like this one, according to our students. This includes alcohol consumption and underage drinking on the premises during business hours, and insane working hours for interns.

It is my job to speak up on behalf of young professionals, both women and men, and to ask these questions of the industry now: Where are the voices of those who have been sexually harassed in the ad business? Who should be driven from this industry? Why the silence?

In addition to coverage of Gallop’s call to action, at least a few voices have sounded off on the prevalence of sexual harassment in these pages.

In August 2016, Ad Age published results from a 4A’s study, showing that “half of women in advertising have experienced sexual harassment at least once.” The same study found that one-third of the women respondents believed they had not received promotions or the best projects at work because of discrimination.

Earlier that same year, 4A’s President Nancy Hill urged the industry both to acknowledge its problems and to create healthier working cultures within it.

Working from another vantage point, many academic scholars, including myself, have conducted research on sexist images produced by the ad industry. These images fit the narratives now coming from Hollywood women: women as sex objects and decorations; men as powerful and violent.

These images may also serve as mirrors for some in the ad industry itself.

As a professional woman who has encountered sexism and sexual harassment in my own working life, and who has observed it across nearly three decades of research, I will not be silent.

By standing up for my students, I’ve tackled this issue recently in my own community. That is where I have power to speak truth, to confront, to refuse to do business with those who are complicit in harassment, and to counsel young women who have experienced it.

Countless surveys of women, workplace policies, and gender-equality and gender-equity initiatives have not made enough difference. This national moment should not be dismissed as disconnected from our industry.

I’m asking that you raise your voice, in your own large or small professional spaces. That’s where you have power to identify and stop harassers and harassment. It’s the only way that this will ever end.

Jacqueline Lambiase, Ph.D., is professor and chair of strategic communication at Texas Christian University. With Tom Reichert, she has edited and authored two books on the use of sexuality in advertising.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

13889: Mumm Dumb.

Not sure why anyone thought this Mumm Champagne commercial featuring Usain Bolt would be a good idea. Maybe Bolt viewed it as an audition of sorts for Dancing With The Stars.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

13888: Discrimination Vs. Disease.

The Cancer of Advertising (It’s killing us.)” is the title of a LinkedIn post by Social Strategist & Experiential Practitioner Brittany Adams, who presents a medical metaphor for the discrimination that has diminished Black representation in the advertising industry. Adams’ cancer comparison is a tad heavy-handed, and probably not the best way to frame matters. After all, cancer is a group of diseases that usually attack people indiscriminately. The dearth of diversity in adland is rooted in bias—and mostly conscious versus unconscious. It’s not cancer. Rather, it’s cultural cluelessness. It’s a conspiracy. It’s a crime.

Friday, November 10, 2017

13887: Derek Has Left The Building.

Campaign provided more coverage on the latest 3% Conference soiree claiming to go beyond gender. The trade journal’s headline announced, “Hard-hitting questions about racism and sexual harassment dominate Day Two of the 3% Conference.” Yet the report actually underscored the persistent problem with diversity in the advertising industry: White people remain ignorant and minorities remain ignored.

The ignored were represented by Derek Walker, who delivered a dose of reality to panelists pontificating on patronizing programs to attract minority students and embryos. “We act like people of color don’t know about advertising jobs—we do,” said Walker. “And [agencies] are always hiring, but at the entry level. What are you doing about the senior level? They hire juniors, who come in and don’t see anybody who looks like them. [Without] recruiting senior talent there’s no pathway.” When the panelists presented the standard clichés about a lack of available senior-level minority talent, Walker countered, “Don’t tell Black folks we have to wait. There are hundreds of Black creatives who are already freelancing or on the fringe of advertising who are capable of doing the job. If I told a White woman, ‘Wait ten years until we can grow you,’ she’d be offended. What you wouldn’t do to White women, please don’t do to Black folks.” Too bad Walker doesn’t work for IPG, where he’d be protected against retaliation for his rant. According to Campaign, Walker’s words were followed by the standard chirping of crickets.

The ignorant were represented by Diverted Diversity Diva Cindy Gallop, who declared, “The biggest issue facing our industry today is not diversity. It’s sexual harassment, because it prevents diversity, equality and inclusion from ever happening. I am so tired of how very low the creative bar has been set in our industry by the White, male dominance that has held our industry in a state of stasis while sexual harassment prevents the progression of female leaders.” Yes, the inability of White women to make progress is what’s kept minorities, well, minorities. Heaven forbid Gallop might realize people of color have been facing discrimination on Madison Avenue far longer than White women. After all, the inaccuracy of the 3% Conference’s title—that is, female leadership in creative departments far exceeds 3% now—proves White women have made quite a bit of progress over time. Meanwhile, Black representation has actually declined in recent years. MultiCultClassics members did not attend the girlfriend gala, but it’s a safe bet that Gallop’s birdbrained babbling was followed by thunderous applause.

And the band—and White women’s bandwagon—played on.

Hard-hitting questions about racism and sexual harassment dominate Day Two of the 3% Conference

By Zoë Beery

The gloves came off, as panelists worked to hold the industry accountable for its shortcomings.

After an opening day full of inspiring panels and workshops, the second day of the 3% Conference—thanks to pointed audience questions and a fiery closing keynote—dug into unexpected and uncomfortable conversations about race and gender that tested whether speakers would face issues head on or go the safe route (spoiler: mostly the second one).

The day began with a workshop from comedian-turned-motivational speaker Kyle Cease, who encouraged the audience to identify and then move past the justifications that hold them back from pursuing what he termed their “highest calling”—dreams that go unrealized because of practical concerns like money, family or career status (he did not mention institutionalized oppression as a possible roadblock).

“You’re scared to let go because your mind can only measure what you’ll lose, and it cannot measure what you’ll gain,” he told the crowd. “We’re addicted to being stuck. But if you’re justifying needing to keep something, you don’t need it.”

The day’s first flashpoint appeared during an audience Q&A following the presentation of the inaugural 3% Certified Program, created to recognize agencies that pass a rigorous (and voluntary) audit assessing their commitment to diversity. Out of 40 agencies that underwent the screening, just two—VML and 72andSunny—emerged certified. Representatives from each agency came onstage to talk about the policies that had kept them ahead of the diversity curve, with 3%’s Lisen Stromberg moderating.

At several points in the conversation and the beginning of the question period, agency reps talked about how their firms opened pathways to minority students to learn about and possibly enter the advertising industry, including office visits and entry-level recruiting. Then Derek Walker, longtime independent creative and founder of South Carolina agency brown and browner, took the mic.

“We act like people of color don’t know about advertising jobs—we do,” he told the all-white panel. “And [agencies] are always hiring, but at the entry level. What are you doing about the senior level? They hire juniors, who come in and don’t see anybody who looks like them. [Without] recruiting senior talent there’s no pathway.”

Panelists opined that there simply wasn’t enough talent to go around—hiring away an executive of color from a competing agency doesn’t solve the problem—and that the industry simply needs time to grow creatives of color into executive-level talent.

This was not enough for Walker.

“Don’t tell black folks we have to wait,” he responded. “There are hundreds of black creatives who are already freelancing or on the fringe of advertising who are capable of doing the job. If I told a white woman, ‘Wait ten years until we can grow you,’ she’d be offended. What you wouldn’t do to white women, please don’t do to black folks.”

After a brief silence, Stromberg replied and closed out the discussion: “That is a beautiful invitation for our industry, and I would like to commend your agencies for setting the standard for what could be.”

The challenges continued following an afternoon keynote from Billy Bean, a former Major League Baseball player who came as gay out shortly after his career ended in 1993. Fourteen years later, the league approached him to serve as its first-ever ambassador of inclusion. After a speech sharing his journey from living a heartbreaking double life to becoming an advocate for marginalized people in the sport, he opened the floor to questions.

An audience member brought up the racist anti-Asian gesture Astros batter Yuli Gurriel pulled during the World Series, asking Bean whether he thought the league had handled it in a way that demonstrated a true commitment to respecting diversity (Gurriel was suspended for the first five games of 2018). “I’m Asian-American. How am I supposed to explain that to my kids?” the audience member asked.

Bean struggled to respond, first chalking the incident up to cultural misunderstanding. “Yuli played in Japan, and culturally the way it has been interpreted, he was trying to say that he did not do well in Japan [but] that he ‘finally got the Chinito,’ which is not a slur in Cuban culture. [He’s] someone in their first year in the US, who doesn’t speak English at all.”

He praised the league’s commissioner, Rob Manfred, for grace under pressure, then referenced the players’ union (“It doesn’t matter what someone does—a union can file a grievance to stall the process.”) before concluding, “I was not part of the decision, and have my own personal feelings about it, but [we] wanted to get something tangible for people to put their hands around and know it was not acceptable, and I hope it never happens again.”

It was fitting that such an unexpectedly contentious day ended with a speech from former BBH chair and outspoken diversity advocate Cindy Gallop. While she did not address the largely unanswered questions that preceded her presentation, she dove immediately into a confrontation of her own.

“The biggest issue facing our industry today is not diversity,” she said. “It’s sexual harassment, because it prevents diversity, equality and inclusion from ever happening. I am so tired of how very low the creative bar has been set in our industry by the white, male dominance that has held our industry in a state of stasis while sexual harassment prevents the progression of female leaders.”

She talked at length about #metoo: the power it gave women, but also her concern that anonymous stories won’t change things. “Women empathize, but men don’t give a shit because [they] can’t relate to an anonymous story. We have to attach names and agencies and holding companies and brands to get our industry to take it seriously.”

She brought up an anecdote shared on a panel the previous day by Prettybird’s Kerstin Emhoff. Early in her career, Emhoff went to a cocktail party to meet the client overseeing a project her firm was bidding on. A male colleague introduced Emhoff to the client, who responded, in front of an all-male group of Emhoff’s coworkers, “Oh, that’s funny—I thought the first time I met you, your ankles would be behind your ears.”

“When you say things like that,” Gallop said, “you ensure the men around us will never look at us the same way again, and you destroy our career path.”

She spent the remainder of her speech imploring the audience to leave behind the current advertising paradigm to start “the agency of the future,” grounded from inception in inclusion, transparency and a healthy work-life balance.

Thursday, November 09, 2017

13886: Color Commentary On Mandela.

This probable Brazilian scam campaign appears to be culturally clueless too. After all, Stephen Hawking, Mother Teresa and even President Donald Trump emerge from books that might have inspired them—and were published before the prominent figures were born. Why is Nelson Mandela stepping out of The Color Purple? Surely there are other historical works that might have made more appropriate connections to the man.

Wednesday, November 08, 2017

13885: Interracial Peas In A Pod.

Wonder if the interracial couple in this Peapod commercial met at the grocery store—in the “awkward casting” aisle.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

13884: Playing The Percentages.

Campaign reported on the latest 3% Conference soiree with a misleading headline proclaiming, “The 3% Conference goes beyond gender in its sixth year.” The organization even declared, “This year, we go beyond gender,” on its website. Don’t believe the hype. Besides an opening stunt designed to help the privileged recognize their privileges, the rest of the Campaign article covered standard excursions on the White women’s bandwagon. Sure, the event included a pep talk from Glenn Singleton, a diversity consultant who actually specializes in helping foster and achieve racial equality in education—which is kinda funny, as Madison Avenue’s go-to strategy for diversity usually starts and ends with recruiting inner-city kindergartners and erecting advertising high schools. But the true focus of the girlfriend gala was exemplified via FCB Worldwide CEO Carter Murray’s discussion on the imperative for diversity, which segued to promoting Free the Bid. Beyond gender is code for diverted diversity. Sorry, Kat Gordon’s commitment to racial and ethnic inclusion is, well, less than 3%.

The 3% Conference goes beyond gender in its sixth year

By Zoë Beery

On Day One, speakers tackled race, mentorship and playground sexism.

After five successful years challenging the gender disparity in advertising, the latest edition of the 3% Conference—the name refers to the low representation of women among creative directors—faces a very different world. For one, the statistic from which it takes a name has since doubled. For another, the White House has a different view of women than its predecessors. Always seeking to push the industry, the organizers have widened the scope of the conference to include an intersectional analysis of workplace diversity.

Mainstage emcee Luvvie Ajayi opened the conference with an exercise to highlight how privilege persists in diverse spaces. With the help of ten onstage volunteers—including 4A’s CEO Marla Kaplowitz, Hill Holliday CEO Karen Kaplan and Pereira & O’Dell Co-Founder PJ Pereira—she ran through a series of questions that instructed the participants to step either forward or backward based on their answers: If you have gone by a different name because people can’t pronounce your real one, step back. If you can find bandages that match your skin tone, step forward.

Participants had their right hand on a neighbor’s shoulder, so when they drifted too far apart as the questions continued, they had to physically desert colleagues with either more or less privilege. “In real life, you never feel the break, so you forget there are people who can’t come with you.” Ajayi said. “If you’re in the front”—someone with a lot of privilege—“you have to turn around and figure out how to bring those people up with you.”

Breakout sessions followed, with one track dedicated to “manbassadors”—talks on how men should tackle the gender imbalance. First up was DDB Worldwide Chairman Emeritus Keith Reinhard, who began by noting that some of DDB’s most iconic campaigns, like Levy’s Jewish Rye and the VW Lemon, were created by women. He shared advice to male mentors he’d solicited from successful women colleagues, which he distilled to several key points: listen, engage, encourage, be present (don’t mentor if you don’t have time) and follow up. “Mentors should be givers, not takers, of energy,” he explained. “See your mentee as someone bigger than themselves, and stay in touch even after they succeed and seem not to need you as much.”

Next, Eleven Chief Growth Officer Michele Sileo and VML Director of Inclusion and Cultural Resonance God-Is Rivera talked with Swarthmore behavioral scientist Matt Wallaert (who was inexplicably wearing sunglasses for the duration of his moderating) about how men’s support, or lack thereof, has shaped their careers. Rivera’s husband has stepped into a more domestic role as her career has skyrocketed, and she implored the men in the room to understand that it may be hard for women to accept that level of support. “We beat ourselves for not being able to be both a mother and fight battles at work,” she said. “We have to know there’s no judgment, and that you won’t complain” about traditional gender roles being flipped.

Sileo emphasized that male supervisors can improve their office gender dynamics by being more open about flexible scheduling, which removes the guilt women often feel for making reasonable requests that they may think of as special treatment. “Make the conversations you’re having in private, public. Acknowledge the flexibility people have, because when you as a leader talk about it, it becomes okay.”

A ballroom over, the leadership track hosted by FCB Worldwide CEO Carter Murray discussed how diversity creates great leadership. He illustrated with a counter-example—the mostly male, almost entirely white Trump administration. “It’s a total echo chamber,” he said, “but there is one truth in America no one can run away from: the distribution of under 18-year-olds is no longer a white majority, and how can we say we’re representing the people we need to market to if our companies are not diverse?” He implored agencies to implement Free the Bid, which he said has worked well for the agency: In the last 12 months, 30 percent of FCB’s jobs went to female directors.

Back with the manbassadors, Glenn Singleton led the room in a hyper-condensed version of the training he provides at Courageous Conversations, which focuses on race in the workplace and beyond. “You can’t deal with gender disparity without dealing with race,” he said. “If you don’t, there will be a modicum of change for white women, and women of color will fall behind.” He encouraged the leaders in attendance to set an example for their firms and not shy away from difficult topics and moments. “People at the highest level have to build the highest capacity for sticking around, because when we run, so does everybody else.”

The day finished with a saccharine dose of family bonding at a panel featuring four high-powered ad women and their daughters. The senior execs shared highlights and horror stories of their multi-decade careers, while the young women reflected on years of watching their mothers’ strengths and sacrifices in a demanding industry. R/GA CCO Chloe Gottlieb said, “I’m 44 and am just coming into the inner confidence to ask for what I deserve, whereas my husband had it all the time. I want to give young girls a toolkit so they can get there faster than I did.”

But the best quote of the panel, and indeed the day, came from fourth grader Vivi McHugh, daughter of Goodby Silverstein & Partners CCO Margaret Jonhson. Asked if she’d ever been told she couldn’t do something because she was a girl, she recounted a story from first grade about a male classmate saying she wasn’t welcome on the basketball court because there was already one girl there, and “we don’t need two.”

“And how did you respond?” asked the moderator, photographer and filmmaker Lauren Greenfield.

“Well,” McHugh replied, “I punched him in the stomach.”

Monday, November 06, 2017

13883: P&G Bias BS.

Advertising Age spotlighted the latest patronizing propaganda from Procter & Gamble: the #LoveOverBias video that covers bias based on race, gender, religion, disability, sexual orientation and class in just two minutes. According to Ad Age, P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard “is still making good on his promise to keep putting the corporate brand behind anti-bias efforts.” Heaven forbid Pritchard might extend the anti-bias efforts to his White advertising agencies, demanding that the shops embrace diversity in meaningful and measurable ways. Or maybe toss a few more crumbs at minority firms. Hey, it’s so much easier to let his exclusive agencies churn out hypocritical hype.

P&G Tackles Bias in New ‘Proud Sponsor of Moms’ Work

By Jack Neff

Here’s something you don’t expect in the first frames of a Winter Olympics ad – an African-American girl growing up to compete in predominantly white Alpine skiing.

That’s the point of Procter & Gamble Co.’s #LoveOverBias video from Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, launching today. P&G is mashing up its long-running “Proud Sponsor of Moms” campaign with its stepped-up efforts to talk about racial and other forms of bias in a video premiering on “The Ellen Degeneres Show” 100 days out from the start of the games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

The #LoveOverBias ad asks, “Imagine if the world could see what a mom does,” after showing brief vignettes that include a Muslim speed skater, a gay figure skater and a female Korean hockey player, all set to a new version the Five Stairsteps’ “O-o-h Child” by Chinese-American performer Milck. P&G takes on race, gender, religious, disability, sexual orientation and class bias in the 2-minute film.

P&G’s last anti-bias video, part of its “My Black Is Beautiful” campaign in July, unleashed a wave of criticism. But Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard is still making good on his promise to keep putting the corporate brand behind anti-bias efforts. The current highly polarized environment of the political landscape factored into the messaging decision, he says.

“This time given the context of what’s important in the world right now, we decided to kind of pivot our Proud Sponsor of Moms advertising more to a company point-of-view,” Pritchard says. This is part of a broader corporate citizenship effort, he says. “We want to be a force for good and a force for growth.”

The ad also is focused squarely on winning with millennials, who “are highly focused on the Olympics” and consume on average four hours of Olympics content a day, Pritchard says, and are focused on equality and inclusion.

“Sports may be the most level playing field of all professions and in fact has probably the greatest degree of diversity and many biases, but even athletes face bias,” he says. “That’s why we wanted to take a look at that.”

Adding to the theme of overcoming bias, W&K tapped director Alma Har’el to direct the ad. Har’el is founder of the Free the Bid movement, the ad industry initiative to put more female directors behind the camera, with backing from brands including HP, Coca-Cola and eBay.

The Olympics and other corporate issue advertising represents “a small fraction of our spending, but it has enormous impact, because it creates conversation,” Pritchard says. “People like to talk about it, and it endears our brand to consumers because they see that we talk about things they care about.”

The Olympics work has had demonstrable impact on P&G’s corporate reputation scores and helped build retailer support for promotional programs around the games, Pritchard says.

This is the fifth wave of P&G’s Olympics work. Janet Fletcher, director of sports marketing for P&G, and Dave Luhr, global president of W&K, who’ve been involved from the beginning in 2009, say they wanted to avoid this being the “Rocky V” of Olympics advertising.

Unifying sentiments aside, the winter games open 60 miles from North Korea amid threats from both sides of nuclear war with the U.S. But Pritchard says he’s not concerned about that affecting P&G’s Olympics sponsorship.

“We count on powers greater than us to deal with that,” he says. “In every Olympic games there’s always some drama beforehand. What’s great about the Olympics is that people tend to come together for it.”

Sunday, November 05, 2017

13882: Papa John’s Problems.

Advertising Age published a Bloomberg News story reporting Papa John’s is blaming the national-anthem protests at NFL games for declining pizza sales. Heaven forbid the plummeting pizza profits might be attributed to the brand’s plain product, pathetic promotion and political alignment with President Donald Trump. Oh, and the Ad Age illustration for the article (depicted above) is ridiculous.

Papa John’s Blames NFL ‘Debacle’ for Hurting Its Pizza Sales

Papa John’s International Inc. founder John Schnatter is going after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, saying weak handling of the league’s national-anthem controversy has hammered sales of his pizza.

“The NFL has hurt us by not resolving the current debacle to the players’ and owners’ satisfaction,” Schnatter, who serves as the pizza chain’s chairman and chief executive officer, said on a conference call. “NFL leadership has hurt Papa John’s shareholders.”

The remarks follow a controversy over NFL football players protesting during the national anthem, a movement that started last season. The demonstrations have sparked calls for a boycott and raised concerns among league sponsors. But Schnatter’s comments mark the highest-profile example of an NFL partner publicly blaming the outcry for hurting business.

Goodell, whose contract is up for renewal, has taken flak for not resolving the controversy more quickly. The flap has even drawn tweets from President Donald Trump, who called for owners to fire or bench players who refuse to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

“Leadership starts at the top, and this is an example of poor leadership,” Schnatter said.

It’s hard to quantify the connection between the NFL and pizza sales, but Papa John’s did post disappointing results in the latest quarter. Its shares fell as much as 13 percent on Wednesday—the most in two years—after same-store sales missed analysts’ estimates. The Louisville, Kentucky-based company also trimmed its revenue and profit forecasts for the year.

The NFL didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Schnatter has appeared frequently in advertisements during NFL games, including alongside star quarterback Peyton Manning, a franchisee of the chain’s restaurants in Colorado. Back in 2014, when Papa John’s posted a nearly 10 percent gain in North American same-store sales, the company credited its close relationship with the NFL and Manning for driving its business in the U.S.

On Wednesday, the tone was quite different. Papa John’s post-earnings conference call was dominated by negative talk of the NFL. The league’s name came up 44 times during the discussion, compared with 12 mentions in the year-earlier call.

The company wasn’t specific about the sales impact from the NFL protests, but indicated it was shifting some marketing spending away from the league.

It’s not a stretch to say the current ratings decline is hurting pizza sales, said Michael Halen, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. With fewer Americans watching games, fewer people are presumably ordering pizza—and seeing Papa John’s ads.

“I’m not blaming them for citing it,” he said. “If this is a permanent thing, they have to figure out where to spend some of those ad dollars.”

Trump Donor

Papa John’s has been the NFL’s official pizza sponsor since 2010. Schnatter, who founded the company in 1984, donated to Trump’s campaign and has railed against government regulations.

NFL players began kneeling during the national anthem more than a year ago—starting with a protest against racial inequality and police brutality by Colin Kaepernick, then the quarterback for the San Francisco 49ers. The action spread across the NFL and got new life in recent weeks after Trump began criticizing the players.

Goodell critics have said that he should force players to stand for the anthem.

“This should have been nipped in the bud a year and a half ago,” Schnatter said on the call. “Like many sponsors, we’re in touch with the NFL. Once the issue is resolved, we’re optimistic the NFL’s best years are ahead.”

Bloomberg News

Saturday, November 04, 2017

13881: Fashioning Diversity.

From Adweek…

Select World’s New Chief Creative Officer on Diversity in the Fashion Marketing Industry

Hans Dorsinville joins the agency after 15 years at Laird + Partners

By Erik Oster

Hans Dorsinville thinks the fashion industry and the agencies that help promote its biggest brands have only just begun to reflect the diverse makeup of the world.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but I think the only way we can do it is keep having the conviction that things need to change,” said Dorinsville, who joined independent agency Select World this week as its North American chief creative officer. “At the end of the day, we are here to represent brands that are for people. How do we do that if the people creating the work are not representative of society, and how do we do that if the people that we put in the actual advertising don’t represent the world that we live in?”

Dorsinville, who will co-lead the agency’s New York office with managing director Sabrina Yu, arrives at Select after 15 years with Laird + Partners, where he served as partner and executive creative director. This year, he was named to Adweek’s Creative 100, largely for his work on Lane Bryant’s #ImNoAngel and #ThisBodyIsMadeToShine body positivity campaigns.

“The truth of the matter is there are not that many agencies out there where there’s a black man and an Asian woman at the head of the agency,” he said, “and that, I think, sends a really great message out there that this is possible and that we’re going to be an agency … that is going to be able to represent a better cross section of consumers out there.”

Dorinsville told Adweek he was drawn to Select World as “an agency that has really been around awhile and has proven its worth and its expertise in this area of beauty and fashion.” Its client list currently includes Balenciaga, Davidoff, J.Lo, Seiko and Fekkai, among others.

“At Select World, we are global entrepreneurs working at the crossroads of creativity, technology and media, and we believe that the best and most breakthrough ideas are born out of diverse perspectives,” Yu said in a statement. “In addition, we wanted a creative and strategic leader who is equipped with international sensibility, attitude and style—an innovator who will develop our clients’ presence, relevance and prosperity. Hans embodies all of these talents and more. We believe he is the ideal choice to take Select World to the next level.”

Thursday, November 02, 2017

13880: Annie Is Smokin’ Hot.

Annie The Chicken Queen is back—and she’s smokin’ with her Smokehouse Boneless Wings. Plus, she’s cooking Cajun Style Turkey to order. Thanksgiving with Annie The Turkey Queen is the perfect prelude to Black Friday.

13879: Do The Human Rights Thing.

From Adweek…

I Survived a Nightmare, Yet I Remain Confident in the Power of Compassion

At 83, an agency owner says marketers must champion human rights

By Shelley Stewart

If the advertising industry wants to carve out a new role in our society, there is a way.

Now more than ever, our world needs a beacon that can guide us to greater peace, justice and equality for all people.

After more than 50 years in the agency business, overlapped with my 83 years of experiencing life from a broad spectrum of tragedy and success, I feel there appears to be no other single industry powerful enough to collectively change hearts and minds.

And this is the change we need—human rights. The advertising industry’s new role should be that of advocacy for human rights. We should guide our clients, our employees and communities into the unrelenting devotion of valuing all people based on the single cherished fact that we all share a common humanity.

Let me explain.

I was only 5 years old when I watched my father murder my mother with an axe. Here was an uneducated, angry man ending the life of an innocent, loving mother.

We lived in a black neighborhood near Birmingham, Alabama. The police wouldn’t even look for my mother’s killer. The life of a black woman at that time just wasn’t worth much.

After another two years of torturous abuse from family members, with my brothers and me sleeping on a mattress on an outdoor back porch and being fed rats, I found myself homeless.

As a 7-year-old wandering across Red Mountain into Birmingham, I miraculously found myself in the same horse stable with my older brother who had “escaped” our abusive father months before.

Then came the unlikely embrace from a white family. A local businessman named Clyde Smith, along with his wife and daughter, took me into their home, where by day I walked to the Irondale Colored School and at night I ate and slept as an accepted family member.

At an early age, I knew firsthand the power of human relationships, how the respect of another human being is critical to our survival on all levels.

Later, in the 1960s, as a society, we made a grave mistake. The media led us to believe that the blacks of that era wanted “civil rights.” So, it was then and since labeled the “Civil Rights Movement.” I have documents that disprove that the movement was only about “civil” rights. The organizers of our day said that “we will commit civil disobedience in order to secure human rights for all people.”

It wasn’t just about having the right to vote, ride on a bus or sit at a lunch counter. It was about being understood and respected as human beings, period.

When I co-founded my agency (what is now o2ideas) in 1967, my business partner was the late Cy Steiner, a man who happened to be Jewish. Together, he and I built an agency that worked across what we felt were superficial racial and cultural lines. It was unheard of at the time. I believe o2’s success over five decades has been due to this fundamental human rights viewpoint. Every day here in Birmingham, o2ideas practices human rights in the birthplace of what has been branded the “civil” rights movement.

Why and how should the advertising industry commit to human rights?

First, it’s the right thing to do—for our industry, our country and our planet. We collectively have a powerful role in what people see and think about the brands we represent.

Our brand storytelling should be predicated on the value of all people. That means guarding against the temptation to paint other people in a negative light compared to what we are advertising or promoting. Throughout history, our craft has succeeded in creating countless straw enemies where we disparage and criticize others through thinly cloaked humor or downright ugliness. It’s time to turn that around. We can’t make our clients better by de-humanizing their competitors.

Instead, let’s tell those stories of brands that intuitively go against the grain and purposefully lift people up, regardless of their beliefs, traits and lot in life.

Secondly, we can “lead from the back.”

As a young U.S. Air Force recruit, I had a sergeant who taught us to march in formation. I noticed that he was never in front of our unit. He always droned the cadence from the rear of the pack. One day I had the courage to ask him why he did that. He responded, “I can lead from the back, not just the front.” His voice had more influence from the rear than if he were at the front of the line. It’s the same way with advertising agencies. We should be the trusted advisers lending our voice and conscience to our clients. We should guard our position of knowing audiences and their essential humanity.

Finally, we should “listen to learn, talk to teach.”

That means we must be the great listeners of our society. Stephen Covey said it another way: “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” Once we have insights by listening, then we can teach these to our clients and help them tell their brand stories in compelling ways. This is a strength we can grow as well as any consulting firm or data company. It’s what we should be doing anyway for our clients.

Championing human rights sounds easy. We each may think we’re good at it, and that we are already doing it. But it’s not as easy as it sounds.

When you are dependent on client revenue, the temptation is to go along with the flow and with whatever seems clever or catchy for the moment. It will take all of us working together for the greater good of our industry and world to consistently focus on the rights of all individuals to be heard, respected and, yes, loved.

Our industry has the power and the intellect. Now we need the will to do it.

Shelley Stewart is president and CEO of Alabama-based agency O2ideas.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

13878: Roth Is A Big Fat Zero.

Adweek reported on another memo sent by IPG Chairman and CEO Michael Roth, this time denouncing sexual harassment in the workplace. Roth declared that IPG has “zero tolerance” for any type of harassment—as well as “zero tolerance” for retaliating against whistleblowers. Why, the White holding company has even established an anonymous hotline to field grievances—which will probably field zero calls. After all, whistleblowers have not traditionally received protection, and the infamous JWT discrimination lawsuit communicates the truth much more clearly than Roth’s memo. Hell, just ask Harry Webber about the benefits of whistleblowing. To believe that IPG is a safe harbor from sexual harassment—or any harassment—demonstrates zero contact with reality. And zero credibility too.

IPG CEO Issues Memo Promising ‘Zero Tolerance’ for Sexual Harassment

Michael Roth’s note ensures protection for whistleblowers

By Patrick Coffee

IPG leadership took a step today to make its workplace safer as reports of alleged sexual misbehavior by Harvey Weinstein and other prominent personalities continue to spread beyond the media and entertainment industries.

At 9 a.m. this morning, a memo from chairman and chief executive officer Michael Roth went out to all 50,000-plus IPG employees around the world under the subject line “A Workplace Free from Harassment.”

Roth’s note outlined a “zero-tolerance policy for all types of harassment,” encouraging employees to speak with managers or use an anonymous company tip line if they have experienced or witnessed “behavior that runs counter to an inclusive, respectful workplace.” He also directly addressed fears that whistleblowers may be punished for coming forward, writing, “You can do so without fear of reprisal as we also have a zero-tolerance policy against retaliation, and will take steps to protect you.”

He did not elaborate on those steps but did announce that all U.S. staff will soon be required to complete an “online anti-harassment course.”

The note included links to both the company’s official anti-harassment policy and its code of conduct booklet. The latter describes harassment as any behavior “that has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with another’s work performance or creating an offensive, intimidating or hostile work environment.” It continues, “Although in many cases harassment is a pattern of behavior, even one word or act may constitute impermissible and/or illegal harassment.”

Roth’s memo follows widely publicized calls for greater transparency from activists led by former agency executive Cindy Gallop, who told CNBC last week that harassment is “a systemic cultural problem” for the advertising industry. He appears to be the first CEO of a major holding group to release such a statement, which follows a note he sent to all staff the day after the deadly confrontation between white nationalists and protesters in Charlottesville, Va. this August.

An IPG spokesperson declined to comment on Roth’s behalf today, noting that the memo speaks for itself.

Adweek has reprinted the full text below.

Memo from Michael Roth: A Workplace Free from Harassment

We have all been reading about the prevalence of sexual harassment in the workplace, including in the ad industry. It is therefore an important time to re-emphasize that one of our core values at IPG is to ensure that all employees can enjoy workplaces that are respectful and supportive. This is about more than violations of local laws—we strive to support a higher standard of inclusion.

Know that IPG has a zero-tolerance policy for all types of harassment and in fact, it’s part of our Code of Conduct and our standard policies and procedures as detailed in SP&P 400.

Sexual harassment isn’t limited to its most obvious forms—such as making inappropriate advances. It also includes any unwelcome verbal or physical behavior that creates a hostile work environment. You should not be subject to any such behavior by anyone that you come into contact with as part of your job—colleagues, managers, suppliers or clients. And the prohibitions are not limited to the office—they apply to off-site events and social gatherings—anywhere that you are with your colleagues or business partners.

To help ensure that our employees are familiar with our policies surrounding harassment, we will soon be launching a mandatory online anti-harassment course in the U.S.

If you have been the subject of sexual harassment or if you see behavior that runs counter to an inclusive, respectful workplace, report it to a member of management, human resources, or the legal department. You can do so without fear of reprisal as we also have a zero-tolerance policy against retaliation, and will take steps to protect you. You may also anonymously contact the IPG AlertLine at 1-800-828-0896 if you are located in the U.S. If you wish to make a call to the AlertLine from a location outside the U.S., visit, and click on the box for the AlertLine on the homepage. We will investigate any complaint as thoroughly and confidentially as possible, and any violations of our policy will be dealt with appropriately.

Ultimately, we all perform best and serve our clients most effectively when we operate in an environment free from harassment and where behavior to the contrary will not be tolerated. We appreciate your cooperation in helping to ensure that IPG is always such a place.

Michael Roth

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, IPG

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

13877: C’MON WHITE MAN! Episode 52.

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

Campaign published head-scratching history lessons from Creativebrief Managing Director Charlie Carpenter. Creativebrief, incidentally, claims to “provide real-time market intelligence that enables brands to look beyond their own universe, monitor the flows of the industry around them, and supercharge the success of their marketing activity.” Too bad Carpenter’s perspective lacks intelligence, doesn’t really look beyond Carpenter’s own universe, seems oblivious to the flows of the advertising industry and is unlikely to supercharge the success of anything—except maybe diverted diversity and exclusivity.

Inspired by his father-in-law’s book—The Real Mad Men—Carpenter declared that Madison Avenue circa 1950 was a bastion of diversity and inclusion. After all, Bill Bernbach broke through barriers for Jewish people, while others represented people of Greek and Italian descent. Additionally, Mary Wells Lawrence and Phyllis Robinson were trailblazing for White women. Why, the Mad Men era featured a cornucopia of Caucasian classes and categories. Forget that Blacks were still struggling in subservient roles or operating elevators.

Carpenter proudly proclaimed his company is now collaborating with Creative Equals to advocate for arguable advancement. Oh, and a peek at the Creativebrief crew shows a lack of creative equals—or any significant equality, for that matter.


Lost horizons: unlikely lessons in diversity from 1950s New York

By Charlie Carpenter

Diversity is the key to unlocking raw and unbridled creativity. It is time to step up and challenge the status quo, writes Creativebrief’s managing director.

In looking to build an industry business case for diversity, I can appreciate it might seem odd to hark back to 1950s New York.

Complex and delicate as it may be though, that’s exactly what I intend to do having recently re-read The Real Mad Men by Andrew Cracknell.

There are two things I should state here in full disclosure. Andrew is (for better or worse) my father-in-law. Andrew (sadly) is paying me nothing to write this piece. Hey-ho.

But I do believe there are valuable lessons to be learned from an era that might more immediately conjure up images of discrimination, misogyny and racism.

It’s important to start by setting the scene.

Against an uncertain social backdrop, New York at the time was entering an intoxicating period of experimentation in the worlds of art, literature and music.

Miles Davis was a growing force on the jazz scene, Kerouac and Ginsberg dazzled, Warhol was finding his feet and just shy of establishing The Factory, a young Dylan was about to bowl into town.

Vigilance and activism is the only route forward

Raw and unbridled creativity was fizzing through the city. In the ad industry, a handful of revolutionaries were beginning to have a disproportionate impact on the advertising landscape that would change things forever.

One man in particular set about tearing-up the rule book.

In 1949, Bill Bernbach wrote his now infamous resignation letter at Grey and in a flash set-up Doyle Dane Bernbach (DDB). This was the agency that would become the beating heart of the ensuing ‘Creative Revolution’.

The entirety of what Bernbach and his peers achieved is simply too long to list, but the impact on the industry in little more than a decade was nothing short of remarkable.

The established advertising formula of the time was one of structured, rule-based, rational messaging; often pushy and selling hard.

Under the pioneering approach of DDB (and others that followed), there was a palpable shift from didactic and sometimes patronising to deferent and more respectful of consumers’ intelligence: fresh, challenging, playful and often funny.

But the point is less about the change itself, and more about those behind it.

Bernbach himself was the son of Russian and Austrian Jewish parents.

His head of copy (and key linchpin in both the work and ethics of the emerging DDB) was a lady by the name of Phyllis Robinson, who built a creative department around her that boasted more women than men.

Other key architects in the dramatic developments of the era were Mary Wells Laurence (the First Lady of advertising), George Lois (the son of Greek immigrants), Carl Ally (the son of an American-Italian mother and a Turkish father), Jerry Della Femina (of Italian descent) amongst numerous others.

It transpires then, that this era many look back on as the Golden Age in advertising was driven by a cohort of key protagonists who were minority group representatives: women, Jews, second- and third-generation immigrants from all manner of nationalities.

Bernbach and his contemporaries, led by the desire for ‘different’ above all else had recognised that a diversity of ideas (the real advertising currency) was born from wide-ranging backgrounds, perspectives and frames of reference.

As any dominant group feels power begin to slip away, the most instinctive reaction is an ominous tightening of the grip

Surely that is a blueprint for diversity that we should all be looking more closely at today? A fiercely compelling business case for change in contemporary times.

Yet somehow we have failed to learn. The “mature and developed” advertising world seems to have taken little but retrograde steps since that seminal period.

This is particularly hard to stomach when you consider the environment of discrimination that Bernbach and his peers fought against (there were still reports of some clients specifying “no blacks or Jews” on their account, even in the late 60s).

Now thankfully we’re operating in an ostensibly different environment today. Febrile still, yes (for good reason), but finally more pliable and accommodating to the need for change.

The broader cultural stage would suggest as much too. Doctor Who will soon return to our screens in the form of Jodie Whittaker. Star Wars now has a kick-ass female lead, fast-becoming cult feminist icon. Clamours rise for James Bond to be played by either a female or black actor.

So surely our industry’s journey to greater diversity will be a straightforward undertaking from here? Only it won’t be; know that.

As any dominant group feels power begin to slip away, the most instinctive reaction is an ominous tightening of the grip. (Did anyone watch the very brilliant television adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale?).

So vigilance and activism is the only route forward. We all must take responsibility for not becoming fatigued by the regularity with which the topic now arises.

It’s for this reason that at Creativebrief we’re establishing an ongoing partnership with Creative Equals.

In February we outlined in Campaign the launch of a section on our digital platform that challenged agencies to be ever-more transparent about diversity in their personnel make-up at all levels of the organization.

With Creative Equals we will take this a stage further, enabling those agencies signed-up to their Creative Industry Equality Standard to display the kitemark and demonstrate a serious commitment to change.

The aims of our efforts are simple.

Firstly to continue to urge a more open (and less defensive) dialogue around the topic industry-wide; to drive a symbiosis between brands and agencies that sees them hold each other to account.

Secondly to use technology to generate greater commercial benefit for both parties in shifting the dial on diversity; a key thing for us in the fight to pilot a more prescient industry vision.

Because whilst Bernbach may have been a diversifier, his decisions were led by what he believed was best for his business and those of his clients. And while we mustn’t lose sight of the moral arguments, practicality is what will propel the next phase of our industry’s diversity struggle.

Charlie Carpenter is managing director at Creativebrief

13876: Kellogg’s Pop Quiz.

Oh, look! Kellogg Company is seeking a Graphic Design Associate Director. All applicants should be required to pass a Corn Pops Cultural Competence Test.

Monday, October 30, 2017

13875: Kellogg’s Corny Cluelessness.

USA TODAY reported Kellogg revised a Corn Pops package illustration deemed culturally clueless. The original image featured a shopping mall filled with Corn Pops characters, where the only brown critter was a janitor pushing a floor waxing machine. After being criticized on social media, the cereal maker quickly responded with an apology and promise that the illustration had been fixed. Or maybe Kellogg will introduce chocolate-flavored Custodian Pops. Gee, how could a company allegedly committed to diversity bungle so badly?

Kellogg’s to replace racially insensitive Corn Pops boxes following Twitter call out

By Mike Snider, USA TODAY

Kellogg’s will be redesigning Corn Pops cereal boxes after a complaint about racially insensitive art on the packaging.

The Battle Creek, Mich.-based cereal and snack maker said on Twitter Wednesday it will replace the cover drawing of cartoon characters shaped like corn kernels populating a shopping mall. The corn pop characters are shown shopping, playing in an arcade or frolicked in a fountain. One skateboards down an escalator.

What struck Saladin Ahmed was that a single brown corn pop was working as a janitor operating a floor waxer. Ahmed, current writer of Marvel Comics’ Black Bolt series and author of 2012 fantasy novel Throne of the Crescent Moon, took to Twitter on Tuesday to ask, “Why is literally the only brown corn pop on the whole cereal box the janitor? this is teaching kids racism.”

He added in a subsequent post: “yes its a tiny thing, but when you see your kid staring at this over breakfast and realize millions of other kids are doing the same…”

Kellogg’s responded to Ahmed on the social media network about five hours later that “Kellogg is committed to diversity & inclusion. We did not intend to offend—we apologize. The artwork is updated & will be in stores soon.”

Ahmed noted that he appreciated “the rapid response” from Kellogg’s.

In a statement to USA TODAY, spokesperson Kris Charles said Kellogg respects all people and is committed to diversity.

“We take feedback very seriously, and it was never our intention to offend anyone,” he said in a statement. “We apologize sincerely.”

He confirmed that the package artwork has been updated and will begin to appear on store shelves.

The Kellogg’s Corn Pops incident follows some other recent marketing snafus.

Earlier this month, Dove apologized for a three-second video posted on Facebook that many found racially insensitive. The clip showed a black woman removing a brown T-shirt to reveal a white woman underneath, who then with another T-shirt removal became an Asian woman. An image showing just the black woman and white woman spread virally on social media, causing additional outrage.

The initial clip “was intended to convey that Dove Body Wash is for every woman and be a celebration of diversity,” the company said in a statement.

In April, Shea Moisture apologized over an online video ad about its hair products being on sale at Target. The commercial featured white women, but the hair product company has long catered to women of color.