Advertising Age published a report titled, “P&G Cuts Agencies 40% in First Wave of Consolidation Drive.” The mega-client’s minority advertising agencies probably didn’t even notice, as consolidating and cutting crumbs is like burglarizing the homeless. Hey, in the advertising industry, it’s not unheard of or uncommon to undercut, underfund and underappreciate the underrepresented—in fact, it’s understood.
Friday, July 31, 2015
Adweek published a fluff piece titled, As the Tech Industry Grows and Diversifies, Digital Agency Dress Codes Now Range ‘From Hobo to GQ’. Um, when did the tech industry diversify? It will probably happen around the same time the advertising industry diversifies—and the technology to predict that date has not yet been invented.
Thursday, July 30, 2015
Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Advertising Age published a story titled, “What You Should Know About P&G’s Next CEO, David Taylor.” The trivia includes Taylor toiled as a plant manager before becoming a brand manager; plus, he’s experienced failure and champions risk taking. Well, if he’s familiar with failing and ready to risk, maybe Taylor will use his authority to promote diversity, especially among the White advertising agencies on the P&G roster. After all, it’s been roughly six years since the NAACP asked P&G and other clients to demand their White agencies become more inclusive. The most P&G did involved sending an email asking shops to engage in supplier diversity. In other words, the mega-advertiser pushes supplier diversity, but doesn’t scrutinize the diversity of its suppliers of advertising. Indeed, P&G probably prefers to hand crumbs to minority agencies. Will the risk-taking Taylor display courage, conviction and commitment to conquer industry exclusivity—or carry on the tradition of delegating, deferring and dodging diversity?
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
Advertising Age published a report titled, “Timeline of Recent MDC Events In Case You’ve Been Sleeping.” If you weren’t sleeping already, you will be after viewing the series of escapades. Then again, perhaps it’s the deliberate intent of MDC PR efforts; that is, fool the industry into believing there’s nothing of great interest brewing at the White holding company in order to avoid closer investigation that would reveal the enterprise is thoroughly corrupt. After all, the average MDC employee probably gets reprimanded for raiding the hotel mini-bar during production trips—versus having to reimburse the company over $10.5 million for non-billable expenses.
Monday, July 27, 2015
McKinney seems awfully proud of itself for hiring the industry’s youngest intern, shamelessly maximizing the PR opportunities via Digiday and Durham magazine. However, MultiCultClassics predicted White advertising agencies would eventually recruit embryos to boost diversity figures—so handing an internship to a 12-year-old is no surprise. A peek at the agency website clearly indicates McKinney is struggling mightily to lure adult minorities. The North Carolina-based agency previously displayed cultural cluelessness when appearing on AMC series The Pitch in 2012. But bringing a kid on board for a mere week is, well, weak. That said, Glenn Green deserves an ADCOLOR® Award at least.
Sunday, July 26, 2015
Campaign published a sponsored piece from Monster featuring a White person roundtable on diversity—although it was mostly inclusiveness via promoting White women. “It’s not just women,” insisted Lindsey Clay. “Colour, race, gender, social background and age are all under-represented.” Of course, Clay doesn’t give a shit about colour, race, social background and age, except when applied to White women. The story was titled, “Failing the Future,” but anyone who has seriously considered diversity knows our industry is failing the present, and has failed the past since the birth of adland. Most pathetic is the photo above depicting the roundtable participants. Leave it to White folks to hold a discussion on diversity that excluded people of colour.
Failing the Future
The next-gen crisis: are we failing to discover, develop and retain the diversity of talent required to be the next marketing leaders?
So hot is the issue of talent development and diversity that Campaign had no trouble luring business leaders out of the Cannes sunshine and into a private dining room at the Carlton Hotel to chew it over during the recent Lions Festival of Creativity.
“The fear is that we are heading towards a homogenous and dwindling talent pool of people equipped to lead in an increasingly global and digital world,” said Andrew Warner of Monster, Campaign’s partner in the debate.
The digital economy was expected to democratise career structures, but, in fact, he suggested, flatter organisations provide less scaffolding for progression. And a high percentage of women fall out of tech careers in their thirties.
“It’s not just women. Colour, race, gender, social background and age are all under-represented,” added Thinkbox’s Lindsey Clay. “Differences make output strong,” said HMG’s Darren Goldie. “I always recruit for attitude and then develop talent.”
Digitalisation brings challenges to more traditional businesses too. “I have people with marketing degrees who are not equipped,” said HSBC’s Amanda Rendle. Agencies also face a huge challenge, said Maxus’s Richard Stokes. “We bring people in to do specific tech jobs but how are they going to develop into the leaders of tomorrow?”
Some businesses, such as Expedia, aim to transfer skills like search optimisation via lunchtime masterclasses. “It’s OK not to know,” said Andrew Cocker. “And it’s OK to learn.” The skill set required these days is incredibly demanding,” said Stephen Maher. “You’ve got to be good at tech and data, as well as conceptual and creative and also a brilliant leader and presenter.”
If such talent is to be attracted to marketing as a career, “we all have a responsibility for it not to be that small thing sat in the corner,” said Clear Channel’s Sarah Speake.”Marketing has lost some of its sizzle,” admitted Chesters. “It’s cobblers’ children going barefoot. How appalling we are at marketing ourselves. “We need to be more intelligent and flexible and interesting in the people that we recruit and where we find them.”
Saturday, July 25, 2015
Helen McRae continued the rise of White women by being named UK CEO of Mindshare. Mindshare Global CEO Nick Emery gushed, “Helen is a rare talent able to lead intellectually and is a demon shit-kicker.” Wow, a woman that can “lead intellectually” is a rare bird indeed. However, “demon shit-kicker” is a not a good term to use in light of the controversy surrounding media kickbacks.
Meanwhile, McRae’s glass-ceiling-busting feat was offset when OMD appointed a White man, Dan Clays, as its UK CEO. No word if Clays is a “demon shit-kicker” as well. The photo above, however, shows he’s a demon crotch-grabber.
Andrew Dimitriou was crowned Y&R President of Europe. Y&R Global CEO David Sable said, “Andrew is a true globalist and a thoughtful integrated marketer, no doubt because he is a creative and entrepreneurial thinker.” If Dimitriou is a “true globalist,” why is he only overseeing one White continent?
Chris Carroll returned to Subway in a marketing leadership role, perhaps replacing former CMO Tony Pace in a typical White man swap. At this point, Carroll’s official title and responsibilities are as guarded as the investigation that Jared Fogle is facing.
It turns out Subway has been quietly talking to agencies for a while now, and the chain already has four finalists for its creative account.
Longtime incumbent MMB is defending against three other shops, which sources identified as BBDO, The Martin Agency and McCann Erickson. The brand spent more than $530 million in media last year, according to Kantar Media.
The search is being led by former marketing leader Chris Carroll, who returned to the fold more than a month ago in a senior role. Joanne Davis Consulting in New York is managing the process.
Great. Four White advertising agencies are wooing a recycled White man in a pitch being conducted by a White woman’s search firm—all for a (literally and figuratively) White-bread account. Now that’s diversity at work!
Campaign published another pathetic perspective from Lindsey Clay, who is continuing her culturally clueless crusade to promote White women. Clay challenged everyone in adland to “Speak Up” and champion the cause—while remaining deafeningly silent about the true dearth of diversity disabling the industry. Ms. Moron declared, “Remind people to include women on shortlists for any senior jobs, speak up when you hear casual sexism.” Regarding casual racism, stay quiet. Clay also whooped, “And to all the men who are trying hard to address the challenges around diversity and gender, I salute you. Thank you for going out of your way to engage with these important topics.” Yes, kudos to all two or three of you actively working on real diversity—but don’t expect Clay to join you anytime soon, as she’s focused on faux equality.
Memo to Lindsey Clay: Shut the fuck up.
Memo to Lindsey Clay: Shut the fuck up.
It’s time to speak up: Why adland needs to be more vocal
As she takes on the presidency of Wacl, Lindsey Clay discusses her theme for the year and why adland needs to be more vocal.
I recently had the huge honour and privilege of taking over the presidency of Women in Advertising Communications London, or Wacl.
My theme for the coming year is “speak up”. Thankfully, this isn’t an acronym. I did toy with one – “stop politically egregious arseholiness…” – but I couldn’t hurdle that “K” and the “U” was also daunting. So “speak up” is an imperative.
As I was formulating my theme, I had two starkly contrasting experiences that reinforced my focus.
The first was hearing Sheryl Sandberg, the chief operating officer at Facebook, interviewed by our brilliant outgoing president, Lindsay Pattison of Maxus. She was compelling and inspiring about the challenges facing men and women in achieving equality and the opportunities for our industry in doing so. One of the recurring themes was women’s lack of confidence in stepping up.
Later that same day, I had a conversation with a senior man in the industry. He congratulated me on my upcoming presidency but advised me to be careful as he felt Wacl had “gone too far” – women were now dominating the industry, and he and a lot of his friends were worried about it.
After handing him a hankie to mop his tears and then checking which century we were in, I tried to reassure him that his concern was misplaced. He and his friends were in no immediate danger of being dominated, given that women make up only 25 per cent of the most senior positions in the industry and, in any case, there is no anti-men agenda. Pro-women is not the same as anti-men. But he remained unconvinced and was at pains to warn me against the dangers of being too vocal. Given the choice, I suspect he’d prefer the theme to be “shut up”. I fear I’m going to disappoint him.
So what do I mean by “speak up”? I mean it in three different ways.
Speak up to inspire others
I find it frustrating that, although women are famously brilliant communicators, for some reason, when it comes to the public sphere, they are often eerily silent. Simply not enough women’s voices are heard in public. I want to change this.
This is so important because young women find it very hard to speak up and female leaders are doing them a huge disservice if we don’t lead the way in showing them how. As Cindy Gallop says: “You can’t be it if you can’t see it.” Not every senior woman is confident about speaking in public, but confidence is a product of our experience – so the more you do it, the easier you’ll find it.
Speak up to challenge and change
To adapt a famous quote for our purposes: “All that is required for evil to flourish is for good men and women to remain silent.” Wacl aims to be a critical friend to our industry on issues around gender and diversity, pointing out what needs to change and offering help to make it happen.
Speak up to point out the gender imbalance at the conference you’re attending. If you’re a man, refuse to accept any speaking engagement until you have been reassured that there is some balance among the speakers and you won’t be appearing on yet another “manel”. Challenge your board to investigate the status on equal pay, remind people to include women on shortlists for any senior jobs, speak up when you hear casual sexism, encourage women in your organisation to accept speaking engagements.
Remind people to include women on shortlists for any senior jobs, speak up when you hear casual sexism.
Various studies have shown that women are more likely to be interrupted in a meeting, so speak up when you see it happening. And then, for the brave, speak up about these issues publicly when you have the opportunity.
Speak up to celebrate
Public celebration and praise is a very powerful tool. We should use that tool to celebrate the successes of women as well as those companies and individuals that are leading the way in making positive change happen.
Let’s give praise in the industry where praise is due: Tom Knox for the courageous decision to choose “advertising for good” as the theme of his IPA presidency; conference organisers who make an improvement in their gender balance; the companies that come top of the diversity league tables; Campaign for being a leading voice on the issue of equality.
I know that the man who was worried about Wacl is not representative of men in our industry. And to all the men who are trying hard to address the challenges around diversity and gender, I salute you. Thank you for going out of your way to engage with these important topics.
My Wacl theme for the year is a call to action for everyone who likes the idea of having a more interesting, more creative, more commercially successful industry and a much nicer, balanced working environment.
Within Wacl, we will be developing a diverse programme of activity on the “speak up” theme over the next year or so, from encouraging and inspiring women to celebrating the best of what is happening. If you have a great idea on this topic, speak up – I’d love to hear it.
Lindsey Clay is the chief executive of Thinkbox