Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Monday, May 22, 2017

13687: Publicis Groupe’s Financial Follies.

Campaign reported a French magazine claimed Publicis Groupe “incorrectly accounted for a settlement agreed with one of its software and IT services suppliers.” Um, does anyone doubt Publicis Groupe might fuck up the finances regarding any deal connected to a digital enterprise? Hell, whatever happened with the $500 million termination fee stemming from the failed merger with Omnicom? The White holding company’s accountants must be cooking the books with all the skills of world-class French pastry chefs.

Publicis Groupe refutes accounting allegation

By Maisie McCabe

The agency has strongly refuted claims made in a French magazine that it has incorrectly accounted for a settlement agreed with one of its software and IT services suppliers.

Yesterday the weekly news magazine L’Orbs reported on claims made by Fabrice Rémon, founder of the shareholder activist organization Gouvernance en Action, that the way Publicis Groupe had accounted for the settlement inflated its results.

In a statement, Publicis Groupe said the dispute was “arbitrated and resulted in a settled resolution, covered by a confidentiality agreement, whereby Publicis Groupe would be compensated for the costs of the delays and difficulties it sustained.”

The compensation was accounted for through a reduction of the book value of the balance sheet assets relating to the project, in part through the neutralization in the 2014 accounts of the extra costs the delays had caused and in part to cover extra costs in subsequent years as a result of the delays, Publicis Groupe said.

Publicis Groupe did not mention this accounting treatment in the notes to the financial statements for the 2014 or in that year’s annual report as its auditors — who had validated the treatment — deemed it was not necessary to do so.

In its statement, Publicis Groupe said it communicated this information to Rémon and to L’Obs ahead of publication. It said it reserves “all our rights for any damages that such publications may have on our stock price, the company or our shareholders.”

Sunday, May 21, 2017

13686: Diversity Heroes & Villains.

Advertising Age reported on a media event where CW representatives spoke about diversity, with the trade publication writing that the “network reminds buyers that all heroes don’t wear capes.” Okay, but White advertising agencies have used superheroes for diversity smokescreens in lieu of personally taking heroic actions. Plus, most advertising executives with hiring authority—who typically perpetuate the exclusivity with discriminatory hiring practices—could be categorized as super villains in the diversity scenario.

CW Upfronts Diary: In a Pitch for Diversity, Network Reminds Buyers That All Heroes Don’t Wear Capes

By Anthony Crupi

After a week of brazen hucksterism designed to separate advertisers from their marketing dollars, Gina Rodriguez on Thursday detonated an emo bomb onstage at the New York City Center, and for the first time since the upfronts began it felt like the audience wasn’t being outright hustled.

As she has done so eloquently in past upfront presentations, the star of the CW’s “Jane the Virgin” won over buyers with a heartfelt speech about how television has the potential to bring people together by fostering understanding and empathy. (It probably goes without saying that she wasn’t talking about cable news.)

“I’m an artist, and I see the world through that lens,” Rodriguez said, noting that she stars in one of the five CW shows with a woman at the top of the call sheet. “Art tears down misconceptions and opens eyes to the beauty of our differences. We can’t all be the same, but we can learn a lot about what we are not through art.”

Rodriguez went on to thank CW president Mark Pedowitz for his efforts to program a network that more accurately reflects American dynamism and diversity. “The CW uses its platform to build bridges for understanding and inclusion,” she said, before wrapping with a more overt appeal for advertisers to reach for their checkbooks. “For those who have yet to join us: The doors are wide open, baby.”

Rodriguez effectively became an ambassador for the CW two years ago, when she made her first upfront address to TV buyers. Her spiel, which was delivered with all the warm fuzzies of a Grammy Awards acceptance speech, included an acknowledgment that advertising dollars made it possible for her and her cast mates to pursue their lives’ passions. “Thank you for letting me do what I love every day,” she said. “It may be just money to you, but to us it’s our dreams!”

On the off chance that anyone in the room today didn’t respond to Rodriguez’s speech, Pedowitz doubled down on the “awwwwws” with an absolutely shameless clip from a puppy cam from Guide Dogs of America.

Of course, as the upfronts are meant to prime the pump for the June/July negotiations, the CW pitch featured its share of more blatant entreaties for ad dollars. Sporting a green cape with a stylized $ emblazoned on the back, Rob Tuck, exec VP-national sales, swooped in to talk up streaming, demos and stacking rights. When “Supergirl” star Melissa Benoist asked why the ad sales chief was rocking the garish accessory, Tuck introduced himself as “Salesman,” and suggested that he join in when the CW airs its annual four-part superhero crossover stunt in November.

The crossovers have been a huge success for the CW, which notched its highest ratings in six years during last fall’s multi-show event. Deliveries for “Arrow” and “DC’s Legends of Tomorrow” alone doubled during their respective stunt episodes, and “The Flash” put up the network’s biggest numbers of the season.

Speaking of the capes-and-cowls set, Pedowitz noted that another new superhero series is making its way to the CW schedule in 2017-18, as “Black Lightning” joins fellow DC Comics properties “The Flash,” “Supergirl,” “Arrow” and “Legends of Tomorrow” in mid-season. Produced by the ubiquitous Greg Berlanti, “Black Lightning” stars Cress Williams (“Prison Break,” “Hart of Dixie”) as a retired crime fighter who resumes punting rump and taking names after gang violence threatens to tear his city apart.

Also in the hopper for next season are “Valor,” a military drama about a team of damaged yet vertiginously-cheekboned young U.S. Army helicopter pilots who embark on a suicide mission to extract a soldier being held captive by terrorists, and a reboot of the ‘80s kitsch artifact “Dynasty.” A sudsy whirl of intrigue, excess and weapons-grade bitchery, this new-look Carringtons saga drew the most noise from the buyers in the crowd.

A second mid-season offering, “Life Sentence,” features “Pretty Little Liars” alum Lucy Hale as a Manic Pixie Dream Girl who survives cancer only to face the existential dilemma of What Now? Hale, who appeared eager to emulate Gina Rodriguez’s charm offensive, interrupted her own stage patter to ask producer Bill Lawrence (“Scrubs,” “Cougar Town”) to make his presence known so that she might thank him for giving her the opportunity to work with him.

Before Pedowitz brought Upfronts Week to a close with an invitation for the audience to join him outside the theater for a toast with some “Dynasty”-quality bubbly, the CW boss wanted to reiterate his earlier assertion about how the network has evolved from a vanilla TV channel to “a digital-linear hybrid.” Pedowitz illustrated this shift with a particularly revelatory graphic, which put the median age of the CW TV viewer at 45 years old and that of the net’s digital audience at 26.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

13685: Burnett’s Billboard Body Bigotry.

Advertising Age reported on a stunt by French anti-racism organization Le Conseil Representatif des Associations Noires (Le CRAN), whereby a Black man “tattoed” with racial epithets walked through the streets of Paris to bring attention to racism. That Leo Burnett—a global White advertising agency—hatched the concept brings grand hypocrisy to the act. Then again, Leo Burnett employees probably offered lots of legitimate insight, at least from the racist side of the equation. The concept might have been more powerful if a White person had been adorned with all the slurs typically used by bigots, bringing consciousness to unconscious bias.

This ‘Human Billboard’ Tattooed With Insults Highlighted Racism in France

Man Walked the Streets of Paris Ahead of the French Election

By Alexandra Jardine

French anti-racism organization Le Conseil Representatif des Associations Noires (Le CRAN) highlighted the country’s ongoing racism problems ahead of the country’s Election last month, by sending a man through the streets of Paris tattooed in racist insults.

Agency Leo Burnett Paris collated the racist insults and names included in the tattoos via social media, interviews with celebrities and audio testimonials. On April 24, Le CRAN sent the man out into crowded areas of the city to hand out leaflets, and encouraged people to tweet about it with the hashtag #jeffaceleracisme. With National Front leader Marine Le Pen running for President at the time, it was a timely stunt.

“We want to alert the French to racist insults, the impact of which is often underestimated,” explained Louis Georges Tin, president of Le CRAN, in a statement.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Thursday, May 18, 2017

13683: 100% Bullshit.

The Media Online reported a self-promotional billboard for Black-owned BWD Advertising was investigated for being racist after receiving a complaint from a “member of the public” in South Africa. Is Gustavo Martinez freelancing for WPP in Johannesburg now? But seriously, the individual apparently took offense to the billboard proclaiming, “100% Black Owned Advertising Agency. Some things are better at 100%.” In the end, the Advertising Standards Authority ruled the message was not racist. Hey, somebody ask the ASA to investigate the White advertising agencies in the country. Those places are full of racism. And it’s likely that BWD Advertising collects Vegemite sandwich crumbs compared to its exclusively White counterparts.

BWD’s ‘100% black-owned’ ad agency billboard not racist, says ASA

Posted By TMO Reporter

A billboard with the wording, ‘100% Black Owned Advertising Agency. Some things are better at 100%”, using an image of a cup of black coffee, is not racist, the Advertising Standards Authority has ruled.

The BWD Advertising billboard, on a footbridge spanning across the M1 South approximately one kilometre north of the Marlboro Drive off-ramp in Johannesburg, was the subject of a complaint lodged by a member of the public in February.

After a two-month investigation, the ASA directorate said transformation processes, such as B-BBEE, were the result of government policy, and were aimed at improving the overall wealth and prosperity of those sectors of the community that did not previously have the means to create their own prosperity. The advertisement did not impose “any burden on any person or race and is therefore not in contravention of Clause 3.4 of Section II of the Code”.

Therefore the advertisement clearly makes a hypothesis and is justifiable in terms of government’s B-BBEE policy, it said. The complaint was dismissed as the billboard’s message was not infringing on any government or advertising laws. The ASA said BWD Advertising was merely exercising its right to broadcast an achievement and an “edge” it has in the advertising industry.

Bongani Gosa, founder and CEO, established BWD Advertising in 2006 as a full service marketing agency. Gosa said the billboard was placed to communicate BWD’s achievement as one of the very few South African advertising agencies that are 100% black owned, which honours the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) strategy. This mandate clearly calls for companies to increase the number of black people participating in the country’s economy to fight high unemployment rates and challenges imposed by the past.

Gosa said he was relieved that the ASA clearly saw his agency’s intention with the billboard – to celebrate, not affront. “I firmly believe in growing our country by empowering the youth. Only if they are mentored correctly, will they lead the country forward without racism and corruption, which is something that I promote passionately. No divided country can truly prosper,” he said.

Gosa employs 10 full-time employees and gives five graduates the opportunity every year to gain work experience. BWD Advertising also contributes financially to the the Each One Teach One Foundation, a business mentorship initiative that helps accelerate the growth of entrepreneurs. The foundation gives small-business owners and entrepreneurs the opportunity to get face-to-face time with proven business specialists, enabling upcoming entrepreneurs and owners of SMMEs with expert advice and invaluable insights.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

13682: Exclusive Explicit Event.

AgencySpy posted on the “Implicit Bias Workshop” being held at Venables Bell & Partners, where attendance for the event is mandatory. The mandate is likely rooted in the fact that the White advertising agency hired an outside consultant to run the workshop, making it a pricey experiment if no one shows up. Sorry, but does “Implicit Bias” really apply to an industry where discriminatory exclusivity has been publicly recognized for over 60 years? At some point, the label should change to “Explicit Bias” for honesty and accuracy. The hack editors at AgencySpy called the affair an “Implicit Bias Workshop Party”—and considering the lack of diversity among VB&P’s leadership, is it much different than the infamous Campbell Ewald Ghetto Days party?