Monday, October 22, 2018

14344: Gallop Garbles.

Advertising Age published commentary on the Wendy Clark-Ted Royer fiasco from Divertsity Diva Cindy Gallop as follows:

“I don’t want to see our industry focusing on stories about which white man who was terminated for #MeToo is hired now,” [Gallop] says. “I want to see our industry focusing on stories about agencies hiring women into creative leadership.”

She adds that it would help if ad agencies and holding companies were more transparent about reasons behind their termination. Droga5 never explained Royer’s departure.

“That habit is entirely at odds with the other statements agencies and holding companies are prone to making about having ‘zero tolerance,’” she says. “We are hearing about zero tolerance from everyone, then tell us precisely what you have zero tolerance for.”

Clearly, Gallop doesn’t have zero tolerance for delivering confused and contradictory commentary. After all, Gallop has declared sexual harassment is the biggest business issue in our industry, as well as the biggest issue facing every industry and society today. Plus, she demanded holding companies eradicate non-disclosure agreements connected to sexual harassment cases. So why would Gallop suddenly want to avoid focusing on stories addressing the issue? Curious indeed.

Gallop also repeated another soapbox cause, calling on White advertising agencies to provide greater transparency around the reasons for firing people. Sorry, but it’s sometimes difficult to believe Gallop actually held senior-level positions in the industry. Personnel matters—especially those tied to terminations—are almost always private and confidential affairs, except in cases where crimes have occurred. To date, it doesn’t appear that any of the alleged sexual harassers in adland have faced criminal charges and arrest. While Gallop is correct to note Droga5 declined to explain the rationale for dumping Royer, Advertising Age reported Royer was among the executives targeted by Diet Madison Avenue; hence, like it or not, connecting the dots to reach certain conclusions is to be expected. BTW, has Gallop ever provided a personal stance on Diet Madison Avenue? Curiouser and curiouser.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

14343: Climate Control Not Cool.

Reports indicate WPP lost the Ford account because the creative sucked. This Ford campaign from JWT in Chile—part of the WPP network—confirms matters. Is the porno shop image a salute to Sir Martin Sorrell?

Friday, October 19, 2018

14341: Paradigm & Pretense.

Adweek reported DDB hired fired Droga5 CCO Ted Royer to serve on the Omnicom pitch team for the global Volkswagen account.

This is not surprising.

Advertising agencies partnering with shady individuals is hardly unprecedented. After all, WPP continued to employ Gustavo Martinez while he was embroiled in an infamous discrimination lawsuit against JWT and the White holding company. Besides, Royer’s alleged transgressions didn’t transpire in the Omnicom network. Let’s hope his freelance contract included stipulations to keep his pants on during working hours, as well as maintain zero contact with DDB females unless closely monitored by multiple senior-level executives.

Adweek also revealed that DDB Global President and CEO Wendy Clark initially denied Royer had been freelancing for her, but later confessed she had recruited and retained him. The admission apparently prompted navel-gazing, hand-wringing and teeth-gnashing angst at TIME’S UP Advertising, and Clark subsequently resigned from her position on the group’s steering committee—although she’ll keep her membership status. Clark’s mea culpa stated, “Regrettably, I fell into a traditional paradigm of business first and given the choice again I would do things differently. … I want to thank Time’s Up for being a moral compass, and supporting both our teams and me, personally, as we work through this defining moment, to ensure that in every way and everything we do our agency is a safe, fair and dignified place to work.” Oh, and Clark’s steering committee replacement is a DDB employee.

All of this is not surprising.

For starters, Clark has demonstrated time and again that she is a global bullshit artist and world-class liar. She hollers about her restless ambition for diversity, yet hires for divertsity, bringing on more White women and White men. And now, she’s proven that she’ll hire an alleged sexual harasser over other qualified candidates and minorities.

Sadly, Clark feigns complete ignorance regarding the wide impacts of her dishonesty. As a public service and professional courtesy, MultiCultClassics will humbly offer food for thought.

First, Clark’s false apology—“Regrettably, I fell into a traditional paradigm of business first…”—shows her inexperience and insanity. There was no “traditional paradigm” involved. Rather, Clark engaged in traditional denial and deception. She used the default alibi for people afraid to do the right thing. Management expert Peter Drucker stressed that “business ethics” do not exist. Ethics are ethics, with no special qualifiers or subcategories. Believing otherwise leads to the slippery slopes that Clark is sliding straight down. The woman lacks character and integrity. Period.

Second, Clark disregarded her Omnicom compatriots on a host of levels. Simon Sinek said, “Leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge.” Hiring Royer made lots of DDB and Omnicom staffers feel uncomfortable, unhappy and unsafe. Sorry, but hiding behind “a traditional paradigm” is inexcusable—especially for a “leader” espousing the imperative for diversity/divertsity. Clark also disrespected teammates like Tiffany R. Warren, who has been a loyal soldier and stalwart company representative, boldly preaching inclusion and gender equality. Keep in mind that ADCOLOR® is owned and operated by Omnicom too. Sister White advertising agency BBDO recently instituted a quota for hiring White women. Pioneer of Diversity and Omnicom Chairman and CEO John Wren is tainted as well. And the list goes on. In short, Clark wasn’t taking care of those in her charge—rather, she was taking care of herself.

Third, the issues mentioned in the preceding paragraph can be extended to a vast range of industry figures—from Cindy Gallop to The 3% Movement to Diet Madison Avenue to beyond. Clark’s asinine action adversely affected advertising people far outside of the Omnicom universe. Not to mention the modern-day Mad Women and Mad Men who’ve experienced sexual harassment firsthand and fear speaking out after seeing perpetrators get off scot-free—and freelancing to boot.

Fourth, Clark’s fibbing and finagling call into question the concept of forgiveness. It’s bad enough that Clark will likely be forgiven for her hypocritical blunder—while any man committing the same screw-up would have been absolutely fired upon and undoubtedly fired. But if Royer could be absolved of his misconduct, why not Joe Alexander, Tham Khai Meng, Ralph Watson and the rest? Hey, let’s stretch the pardons to Neil French and Kevin Roberts—and don’t exclude Jim Palmer.

Fifth, Clark put her potential client in possible dire straits from a PR perspective. Should Omnicom win the Volkswagen pitch, what happens when the public—with its growing support for #meToo—learns that the automaker unwittingly collaborated with an alleged perpetrator? Heaven forbid the inquiry might escalate to examine the dearth of diversity displayed by DDB and Omnicom.

Finally, it’s offensive and obscene for Clark to gush, “I want to thank Time’s Up for being a moral compass…” Um, Adweek’s exposé served to ignite the measurement of morals in this mess. Clark should know that a real leader serves as the moral compass for her company. And regarding Royer, diversity and divertsity, she should know better.

If there’s any sign of progress to spot here, it’s that Wendy Clark ultimately acted with the unequivocal equality of a White man.

14340: F-Bombing Havas.

AgencySpy posted follow-up factoids featuring the fuck-ups at Havas Chicago. Fortunately, few folks bother to visit AgencySpy anymore, which will perhaps lessen the demoralizing embarrassment experienced by the drones working at the agency—especially the few of them who fucking love it.

Regardless, the sloppy post highlighted fucking hilarious points worth noting:

• Fucking Hilarious Point 1 The White advertising agency hosts something called “Havas Faces, a series of regular discussions primarily concerning matters related to diversity and inclusion.” Of course, attendance and participation is not mandatory. And discussion topics probably involve brainstorming for the next award-winning-yet-hypocritical publicity stunt.

• Fucking Hilarious Point 2 Havas CEO and Chairman Yannick Bolloré allegedly spanked Havas Creative North America CEO and Chairman Paul Marobella and Chief Creative Officer and Chairman Jason Peterson for producing the shitty video wherein they said other shops were shitty agencies. From now on, Marobella and Peterson must let Bolloré review videos before release. Given that Bolloré landed his position via nepotism—making his credibility and credentials questionable at best—the edict is like if Jeff Sessions and Kellyanne Conway were told that everything they planned to do must first be approved by Eric Trump.

• Fucking Hilarious Point 3 Chief Creative Officer and Chairman Jason Peterson appears to be an ignorant boss. This is not uncommon in adland, where people are elevated based on ego and execution versus leadership skills. So maybe Peterson warrants some compassion for lacking the basic qualities of a legitimate leader. For example, Peterson posted an Instagram message stating the need to “fight fire with fire.” As a professional courtesy, MultiCultClassics offers this simple wisdom: “When tempted to fight fire with fire, always remember the fire department fights it with water.” People like Peterson typically require a few decades to figure this out.

• Fucking Hilarious Point 4 Chief Creative Officer and Chairman Jason Peterson appears to be an arrogant douchebag. It’s bad enough that he green-lighted the insipid installation that generated more bad press for his agency—and escalated internal chaos and morale problems for his staff. But AgencySpy claimed, “He apologized if it had offended anyone before adding, ‘I’d do it again in a minute.’” Sorry, but an apology without amends demonstrates maximum insincerity and minimal integrity.

According to AgencySpy, the offending installation has been removed and will be replaced by a breast cancer campaign. In light of all the gender-related controversies in the advertising industry and society at large, let’s hope Peterson doesn’t fuck up this self-promotional exercise too.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

14339: Gallop Gall.

Campaign published international idiocy from Divertsity Diva Cindy Gallop, who sought to globally extend her pseudo-influencer status by hammering the men of India over sexual harassment. Gallop altered her message for Indian men, transitioning from declaring sexual harassment is the biggest business issue in our industry to branding it as the “biggest issue facing every industry and society today.” Yes, sexual harassment deserves more attention than poverty, famine, war, crime, addiction, terrorism, racism, crumbling economies, natural disasters, global warming and any other trifling world crises outside of Gallop’s self-absorbed bubble. Somebody designate the woman as a candidate to replace Nikki Haley as United States Ambassador to the United Nations pronto.

But seriously, sexual harassment is clearly a huge problem that must be addressed. Victims and potential victims must be supported, protected and defended, while guilty parties must face the consequences. At the same time, exaggerating matters doesn’t help the cause, and might actually adversely affect how people respond and react.

What’s more, it’s pretty likely that the average Indian male—and even the average Indian male in advertising—doesn’t know Gallop from Gallagher. As a public service, here’s all anyone needs to know: Gallop boasts, “I like to blow shit up. I am the Michael Bay of business,” and Gallagher likes to smash watermelons. It’s a safe bet Indian men would unanimously prefer Gallagher.

Oh, and Michael Bay is a world-class artist at blowing things up. Gallop just blows shit.

Cindy Gallop: India’s men must call out harassment too

A view from Cindy Gallop

As women in the Indian advertising industry continue to share allegations, the British advertising consultant and vocal supporter of the #MeToo movement calls for more women—and men—in India to keep speaking up.

I am delighted to see that the women of India are finally breaking silence and naming names of #metoo perpetrators. Sexual harassment and assault is as all-pervasive in every Indian industry as it is in every industry around the world.

To those women who are speaking up: Thank you, thank you, thank you. To those women who have not yet spoken up: Please take strength from your sisters and consider raising your voice, because there is no better time to finally speak out than now. But equally, that choice is yours to make.

I do want to call out to the men of India—men who stood by, watched, stayed silent, participated, laughed, shielded other men—now is your chance to put that right. Please come forward and support Indian women, by calling out the men you know have been giving masculinity a bad name for years.

And to every man, in leadership or below: You need to do just two things. Listen to women. And believe women. If nobody speaks up, nothing changes. And #MeToo must lead to change, because sexual harassment is destroying the Indian economy and India’s chance of a successful future through forward-thinking, innovative business and enlightened, progressive society.

The biggest issue facing every industry and society today is sexual harassment—because it forces women out of companies and industries, destroys women’s ambitions and derails their careers, by destroying their confidence, their security and their sense of self.

In doing that, this abuse is keeping out of power and leadership the female leaders who would innovate and transform every area of business and society. India cannot afford to hold itself back on every front by allowing perpetrators to continue unpunished and uneradicated.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

14338: Nailed It. Not.

The Canadian creative team responsible for this nail fungus campaign deserves a foot in the ass.

14337: Is Ageism Getting Old?

Adweek reported Landor is facing an age discrimination lawsuit charging the White branding agency with “systematically eliminating older employees … over the past year” in favor of millennials. The accusations come from former Landor Executive Director of Insights and Analytics Suzanne Hernandez, a 60-year-old officer terminated in June, whose allegations include being excluded from pitches as the firm sought to present a youthful appearance to potential and existing clients. The woman has an uphill—or over-the-hill—battle ahead of her, as Landor exhibits a few things that could be used to refute the charges. First, the place is part of WPP, which until April was run by a 73-year-old jackass. Second, Landor leadership is comprised of White people who look pretty old. Third, the company website shows a job listing for the Executive Director of Insights and Analytics position, meaning Hernandez’s case could suffer if the company hires a replacement older than a millennial. Oh, and the holding companies are always seeking to reduce costs by employing cheap labor versus seasoned and expensive veterans. As previously noted, it’s offensive how the industry prefers younger workers, but is led by Old White Guys and Gals. The hypocritical hierarchy almost presents a built-in defense against ageism lawsuits.

Landor Associates Sued by Former Executive Alleging Age Discrimination

Suit contends dismissal was part of a pattern of ‘systematically eliminating older employees’

By Erik Oster

Suzanne Hernandez, who spent more than four years as executive director of insights and analytics at WPP-owned brand consultancy Landor Associates, has filed a lawsuit accusing her former employer of age discrimination.

The lawsuit, which Hernandez filed in New York County Supreme Court on Oct. 4, contends that despite being a digitally savvy Microsoft alum, Hernandez at age 60 was perceived as “incompatible with the youthful image that Landor wanted to convey to the clients they were pitching,” leading to her exclusion from pitches and subsequent termination on June 15, 2018. According to the lawsuit, Chris Lehmann, managing director of Landor’s San Francisco office, said the agency’s senior management wanted to “stack the pitch team with millennials” for an Amazon pitch, for example.

Hernandez’s lawyer claims Landor exhibited “the same ageism that is standard in the industry,” citing several publications’ reports on the allegedly widespread nature of ageism in advertising, including [a 2016 AgencySpy story], [a Digiday story] from the same year, a Forbes story asking if “ageism” is the ugliest “ism” in the industry and a recent Wall Street Journal story about AARP enlisting former advertising executive Cindy Gallop to take on ageism.

“If you wanted to create a petri dish for age discrimination, it would be in an advertising agency,” Lou Pechman, head of Pechman Law Group, which filed the case, said in a statement to Adweek. “The industry is notorious for age discrimination issues.”

The American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) declined to comment on Pechman’s contentions.

The lawsuit asserts that Landor Associates’ termination of Hernandez is part of a pattern of “systematically eliminating older employees … over the past year” in favor of younger, less experience hires and points out that during the last year of Hernandez’s employment, Landor eliminated “at least six” employees 50 or older. The lawsuit claims 80 percent of the employees at Landor’s New York office qualify as millennials or digital natives.

A Landor representative told Adweek the company “is not able to comment on pending litigation.”

The lawsuit attempts to demonstrate that any perceived lack of digital savviness is at odds with Hernandez’s education, experience and accomplishments. According to the lawsuit, Hernandez received Coursera certification in gamification from the Wharton School in 2012 and has four years experience with Silicon Valley market data and research companies, three as director of global market research for Microsoft’s interactive entertainment division and a year as vice president, research and insights for digital ad agency Undertone. According to the lawsuit, Hernandez built up the agency’s insights and analytics practice, created new market research projects, developed the agency’s M&A Brand Study and led the development of new offers which the suit claims were worth around $800,000 to $1,000,000 in additional revenue.

While Hernandez was told at the time of her June 15 termination that she was being fired due to “lack of performance,” the lawsuit states that chief strategy officer Thomas Ordahl did not bring up any performance issues during a one-on-one meeting on May 8, and, according to the suit, Hernandez “met or exceeded” all the objectives outlined in her last performance review in May 2017.

Following her dismissal on June 15, Landor North America President Stuart Sproule said in announcing Hernandez’s dismissal that “the marketing industry is changing” and that Landor would be hiring “different types of talent” to keep up with these changes.

Hernandez is seeking back pay, front pay, damages for “mental anguish,” compensatory and punitive damages, “reasonable attorney fees and costs” and “such other and further relief as the Court deems just and proper,” according to the lawsuit, which you can read in its entirety [at Adweek].

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

14336: TTFN VMLY&R.

Adweek reported PepsiCo is dumping WPP’s VMLY&R ASAP. The former VML served as digital agency for Gatorade and Tropicana for over 8 and 4 years, respectively. Soon-to-be-fired staffers will need Gatorade’s electrolyte-replacing benefits when required to quickly pack their belongings and hurriedly vacate their cubicles. The geniuses behind the recent merger likely aren’t sweating, so they’ll just sip Tropicana juices in their safe offices. No word yet on where the businesses might shift. Omnicom is probably checking to see if Fathom Communications is available.

PepsiCo to End Its Relationship With WPP’s VMLY&R After More Than 8 Years

Agency ran digital and social for Gatorade and Tropicana

By Patrick Coffee

PepsiCo has moved to end its relationship with VMLY&R after eight and a half years, a client spokesperson confirmed today.

The WPP-owned agency has counted Gatorade and Tropicana digital as two of the larger accounts run out of its Kansas City, Kan. headquarters.

“Gatorade and digital agency of record VML have enjoyed a successful relationship over the past eight and a half years (Tropicana for four and a half years),” the Pepsi representative wrote.

She also said the company is “proud of our work together and the business results it has achieved” but has “agreed to part ways,” adding: “As we look ahead to 2019, we will be evaluating a differentiated model within the digital space. The companies will begin to transition work but continue to work together throughout the remainder of 2018. We wish VML continued future success.”

An agency spokesperson declined to comment and referred to the client. According to multiple parties close to the business, VML executives alerted employees to the change on Tuesday morning.

The news comes approximately two weeks after WPP announced that VML would merge with the more traditional creative network Y&R to form VMLY&R in the first major move made by incoming holding company CEO Mark Read.

It is unclear at this time what the “differentiated model” will entail and where the work in question will go. Sources did confirm, however, that it will not be handled by the two primary brands’ agencies of record, TBWA\Chiat\Day and BBDO.

Representatives for both Omnicom shops declined to comment.

TBWA\Chiat\Day handled the digital work on Gatorade from 2008 until 2010, when PepsiCo went outside its Omnicom stable to award the business to VML. The agency reportedly beat out Tribal DDB, Organic, Huge and Publicis Groupe’s recently-shuttered Odopod in a competitive review.

As noted in the quote above, the shop then added digital creative duties for Tropicana to its client roster in 2014, later picking up secondary beverage brands Brisk Tea and Propel.

Pepsi has been moving much of its social media work in-house over the past two years. In late October 2016, Adweek reported that the company would be handling social for its namesake brand internally, and Pepsi confirmed the news two weeks later.

14335: CEO = Caucasian Exclusivity Officer.

Black Enterprise spotlighted an Advertising Week event titled, “CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion,” where the panel was exclusively comprised of White people. Plus, one of the White men—Scott Kauffman of MDC Partners—recently lost his CEO job. Ironically, at the same event last year, Kauffman declared, “I’m intolerant of intolerance. We are on a journey that is not going to end, at least as long as I’m on this planet. We are swimming against a tide of hundreds of years of history, and I think we have to keep pressing on.” Okay, but we’ll have to keep pressing on without you. Meanwhile, the other advertising-related White panelist was IPG Chairman and CEO Michael Roth, who reportedly is plotting his exit from the company proclaiming to be recognized for leadership in diversity and inclusion, despite staging the most notorious racist- and sexual harassment-based scandals in recent years. Oh, and the White holding company Chairman and CEO crowned a Pioneer of Diversity—John Wren of Omnicom—didn’t bother showing up. Somebody needs to change the event name to “CEO Inaction for Diversity & Inclusion.”

All-White Panel at #AWNewYork Addresses the Lack of Diversity in Corporate America

By Selena Hill

Day one of New York Advertising Week kicked off Monday with a plethora of sessions, workshops, industry leaders, and networking events centered on marketing, advertising, technology, and creative spaces. One panel discussion, titled CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, focused on fostering D&I solutions within corporate culture. During the discussion, the panelists addressed a wide range of issues, including gender inequality, Charlottesville, LGBTQ rights, and implicit bias. The only problem, however, was the blatant lack of ethnic diversity among the all-white panel.

Facilitated by PwC, the panel was named after PwC’s CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion initiative, the largest CEO-driven business commitment to advance diversity and inclusion within the workplace. The speakers included Shannon Schuyler, the Chief Purpose Officer at PwC; Deirdre Mahlan, the president of Diageo North America; Scott Kauffman, the Chairman & CEO of MCD Partners; and Michael Roth, the Chairman & CEO of Interpublic Group. Shortly before wrapping up the conversation, the elephant in the room was finally addressed when Kauffman acknowledged the irony of “two white Jewish men and three white women” talking about the need for more diverse work environments.

When asked about the lack of diversity on the panel, Schuyler told BLACK ENTERPRISE afterward that both she and her partner, who happens to be a black man, were aware of the glaring oversight. “Certainly, it was not lost on me. In fact, my husband said he was watching [via livestream] and he was like ‘do you know you guys are all white?,’” she said. “It’s something we need to work on.”

Schuyler admitted that working in a corporate D&I role and being married to an African American has helped make her more aware of situations where minority voices are missing. “We’re all white and we’re talking about diversity,” she said very matter-of-factly. “That’s why I think this is a journey and we’re not there. We’re not even close to being there. But it’s about recognizing it and saying what can we do differently next time.”

She went on to talk about how she sees her role in overseeing PwC’s CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion program as part of a much-needed solution. Since its inception in 2014, the initiative has recruited over 500 CEO and university president signatories who are actively working to recruit and retain diverse employees and ultimately change the face of their organizations, industries, and corporate America. “One of the things we hope for is that we get more CEO’s who sign up for CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion, then the number of women and minorities will increase,” she said. “Generally, you don’t have many African Americans or Hispanics that are CEO’s. So that’s the problem we have to solve.”

Another main part of Schuyler’s role at PwC is to help employees find their individual purpose at the multinational professional services firm. “If we can’t create a sense of belonging and fulfillment [making] people believe that they can succeed, then we won’t be successful,” she said. “We have really focused the last couple of years on being this focus-driven organization and what our values are.” Schuyler added that data “shows that a more diverse workplace is more successful financially, but more importantly, it’s more successful for your people to be able to grow, develop, and be their best.”