Friday, October 31, 2008
TGIF with a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• Burger King reported 1Q profits swelled 2 percent. Americans’ waistlines likely increased significantly more.
• Delta Air Lines finished its acquisition of Northwest Airlines to become the world’s largest carrier. Which technically translates to the world’s largest failing airline. “I will tell you from a customer perspective and a frequent-flier perspective it is business as usual,” said the chief executive. Wow, guess we can expect the same lousy service at the same lousy prices. The only benefit appears to be having one less airline to complain about.
• The Washington Post reported The Washington Post reported 3Q profits dropped 86 percent. The reporter who reported the report will probably be asked to report to HR along with other laid-off reporters.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Dangling members in a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• Membership no longer has its privileges at American Express, especially for 7,000 employees slated for termination in 2009. Before long, Amex will be eligible for its own Open small business card.
• Motorola plans to lay of 3,000 employees in the next two quarters. The cuts will happen across the globe and begin immediately. Employees are encouraged to not answer their cellphones if they see the HR director’s name in their caller ID.
• Comcast reported 3Q profits jumped 38 percent. Bob Garfield’s blood pressure probably did likewise.
This actual job listing shows Nielsen is seeking a Global Creative Director. It would be mucho ironic if the company hired a Latino for the position.
Global Creative Director
About the Job
The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions and recognized brands in marketing information (ACNielsen), media information (Nielsen Media Research), trade shows and business publications (Billboard, The Hollywood Reporter, Adweek). The privately held company is active in more than 100 countries, with headquarters in Haarlem, the Netherlands, and New York, USA. For more information, please visit www.nielsen.com
Superior creative portfolio and 10 plus years experience in all aspects of trade marketing (both on and offline) copywriting and art direction
Capacity to develop vast range of creative, user-centered advertising experiences (direct mail, email, print, online, sales collateral, etc.)
Solid understanding of stated global business objectives, time management, and budget supervision.
Transparent, collaborative, and effective leadership style as well as the desire to mentor, inspire, and develop others.
Exceptional written, verbal, listening, interpersonal, and client relationship skills.
Adept at gathering information, expertise, and advice from multiple sources and perspectives.
Proven ability to analyze needs, provide solutions/alternatives, anticipate and minimize impact of problems, and take responsibility for actions.
Demonstrated credibility from building teams, gaining respect, giving feedback, and following through on deliverables.
Knowledge of and interest in emerging technologies and digital platforms.
Responsible for overall quality, innovation and global creative vision for The Nielsen Company
Leads the effort to translate global business strategies into design strategies, interactions, and visual solutions.
Direct the activities of a team of producers, designers, and copywriters - providing day-to-day supervision and overseeing development of projects.
Participates as a Creative team member in new-business development efforts.
Maintains consistency across global corporate touch points.
Manages all steps in the creative development process, including staffing projects effectively (using both internal and external agency resources), providing clear creative direction, giving timely and helpful coaching to improve creative, and producing all work cost effectively and on-schedule.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
From The New York Post…
AD BIGS SEE DOWNTURN, LAYOFFS INTO 2009
By Holly M. Sanders
Ad chiefs are taking a dim view of the fourth quarter and beyond and are bracing for cutbacks, including more layoffs.
Three agency holding companies — Interpublic, Britain’s Aegis and French firm Publicis — reported solid third-quarter results yesterday but said the ad business is looking a lot shakier headed into 2009.
Interpublic CEO Michael Roth said clients canceled some projects in recent weeks and marketers became cautious as the financial meltdown spread to the broader economy.
“We’re seeing it beginning to weigh on marketers’ plans for both the fourth quarter and 2009,” he said.
Despite strong third-quarter results, Interpublic saw softness in financial services and automotive, as well as slowing in Europe and Japan.
Wachovia analyst John Janedis, who cut his growth forecasts for the company, said he expects a more “broad-based pullback” in 2009.
Interpublic, which owns creative agency McCann Erickson and ad-buying firm Universal McCann, said it was prepared to reduce staffing if necessary.
Rival WPP Group, which is scheduled to report earnings tomorrow, has had a hiring freeze in place since the start of the year. Chief Martin Sorrell has already said he expects 2009 to be rough.
Last week, Omnicom, the world’s largest ad agency holding company, said clients in the automotive and retail sectors had begun to cut spending. Omnicom agencies such as TBWA and Fathom Communications have trimmed jobs.
Across the pond, Publicis Chairman and CEO Maurice Levy predicted a “marked slowdown” in the ad industry next year. Revenue fell 1.5 percent in the third quarter for the group, including ad agency Saatchi & Saatchi and media giant Starcom MediaVest.
Meanwhile, Aegis, whose holdings include media planner Carat, said it was having a hard time forecasting clients’ spending for the fourth quarter.
Already, there have been cutbacks at the major media agencies.
In the US, Carat cut around 75 jobs because of client losses. Publicis’ Starcom plans to slash about 150 jobs by the end of the year, mostly because of cutbacks at major client General Motors. WPP’s Mindshare has trimmed fewer than 10 jobs.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Doing time with a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick can look forward to 120 days in a jail cell like the one depicted above for lying about an affair with his chief of staff. “The Wayne County jail, and the cell Mr. Kilpatrick will be staying in, is no country club,” said the Wayne County Sheriff. “It’s a Spartan cell, cinderblock, typical of jail cells.” No word if he’ll be able to receive text messages.
• Verizon reported 3Q earnings were up 31 percent. However, expect a significant drop if Kwame Kilpatrick is unable to send text messages during the next quarter.
• Whirlpool announced plans to cut 5,000 jobs. It’s about time someone cracked down on the Maytag repairman, who hasn’t been doing anything for decades.
• UPS reported 3Q profits dropped 10 percent. Looks like Brown can’t stay in the black.
• Rev. Al Sharpton is mad at the New York Post for a sports column he considers racist. Sportswriter Steve Serby commented about New York Giants coach Tom Coughlin punishing player Plaxico Burress for assorted infractions. Serby wrote, “Good for Tom Coughlin. Good for Coughlin for tightening the noose around Plaxico Burress.” Sharpton declared, “To make such a blatant racist statement about an African-American football player with a neck injury is completely unacceptable. Clearly, the racial connotation is very disturbing. … This is the verbal reflection of a hanging noose.” Should be interesting to read the New York Post headline for this one.
Africa Rising by Vijay Mahajan presents 900 million African consumers as a viable target market. Mahajan shows Africa is richer than you think, with a middle class referred to as Africa Two. The audience is not monolithic, and the African Diaspora extends opportunities beyond the borders. Mahajan even dispels popular myths like Africa is a “Media Dark” continent. The basic presentation is strikingly similar to how U.S. minority advertising agencies must sell audiences to potential clients.
Hey, Africa is definitely worth considering, especially given the waning interest in pursuing U.S. Blacks.
Monday, October 27, 2008
Brandweek presented a story claiming Hispanic marketing executives are not too concerned about the possibility that our lousy economy might adversely affect multicultural business. The piece spotlighted three reasons why Hispanic marketers can feel relatively calm:
• The categories remaining strong are comparatively nondiscretionary for Hispanics: wireless, food and cars. People cannot give up talking, eating or driving to work, execs say. Thus those dollars are protected.
• Hispanics under-index in terms of stock market holdings and income, and their finances have not been impacted the way the general market has.
• Hispanic marketing budgets are already so small that cutting them doesn’t really have a significant impact on most company’s expense lines.
Huh? First, the nondiscretionary categories hardly offer safety, especially when the automakers are tanking. Sure, Hispanics “cannot give up talking, eating or driving to work,” but advertisers can give up funding the minority efforts—and they often do before whacking general market budgets. Second, the second point must be applied to the global industry. That is, when advertisers’ stock market holdings and incomes are negatively impacted, the minority agencies will absolutely see financial repercussions—usually proportionately larger than the hits delivered to general market agencies. Third, the final bullet is almost obscene in its matter-of-fact tone. Admitting minority expenditures are so tiny that clients won’t realize significant savings by eliminating them clearly demonstrates the blatant inequities. Congratulations, Hispanic professionals, you’re in little danger of losing your table scraps.
Danny G at AdPulp pointed out that JWT CEO Bob Jeffrey appeared at The Huffington Post to ramble on about “Idea Racism.” Jeffrey has used this phrase before—mostly to criticize the advertising industry—and he really needs to stop already.
Now, George Parker has gone on record to say Jeffrey is a decent bloke, so it’s probably true, as Parker rarely offers false praise. But Jeffrey demonstrates being a good guy does not exclude you from being a jackass on occasion.
Jeffrey undoubtedly has keen reasons for hyping his term, but it’s quite a stretch when considering the standard definition of racism. No, Jeffrey ultimately has assumed the clichéd adman position, injecting shock value to gain attention. It’s a case of bad borrowed interest.
If Jeffrey is trying to communicate the failure of professional integration, he should be more explicit. He might come to understand the deferred dreams of integrated marketing are tied to the inability to connect on other levels. It’s rooted in White male ignorance and arrogance—an area likely familiar to Jeffrey.
There’s a high level of insensitivity on display. What does Jeffrey honestly know about racism? Does he believe people have faced discrimination and even death over campaign concepts? Why not call it “Idea Holocaust” or “Idea Nazism” instead? To answer our own question, it’s because Jeffrey realizes he’d be rightly condemned for going there. Race-based dramas still lead to problems everywhere. It’s sad that Jeffrey trivializes matters with his inane corporate-speak.
Given that Madison Avenue continues to be labeled as racist, you’d think Jeffrey would see the stupidity of his words. Then again, most advertising executives have shown stunning cluelessness on issues like bias. You’d also think the racial tensions ignited by Senator Barack Obama’s presidential bid would make Jeffrey pause before launching his dumb comments. But again, like most advertising executives, Jeffrey seems oblivious to it all.
Jeffrey ought to address the old-fashioned regular racism in his field and agency before taking his hare-brained notion to a bigger stage.
Or perhaps JWT should revamp its breakthrough diversity advertisement, incorporating Jeffrey’s “Idea Racism” theories. That would spike minority recruitment for sure.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The season finale of AMC series Mad Men couldn’t have arrived soon enough. While the episode maintained the show’s dark quality, there were few dark-skinned folks. A Black man took Betty Draper’s horse at the stables. A “blackground” bartender served patrons at a bar where Betty had sex with a stranger. And Carla the housekeeper dropped in for a moment. There didn’t even appear to be any Blacks at the cast party presented after the airing. Fade to black.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Weekend bits in a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• Chicago will vote on November 19 to create the city’s first high school for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students. If successful, the place is bound to stage some fabulous high school musicals. Just kidding.
• Apple pledged $100,000 to defeat California’s Proposition 8, a ballot measure designed to ban gay marriage. Next, the company will announce the engagement of the Mac and PC advertising characters.
In addition to saying hasta la vista to Marketing y Medios, Nielsen Media recently bid adios to former Marketing y Medios senior editor Della DeLaFuente and senior editor John Consoli—which essentially translates to no más Hispanic marketing expertise.
Not sure how these moves demonstrate the “new content development strategy to gather, report and analyze news and information from an increasingly diverse and complex marketplace.”
In the meantime, look forward to mucho fútbol y flamingos.
Friday, October 24, 2008
Ups and downs with a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis suspended sales of its anti-obesity drug after health officials stated the drug posed too many risks. Or maybe Sanofi-Aventis saw McDonald’s continuously escalating profits and decided, “Aw, fuck it.”
• Xerox announced plans to cut 3,000 jobs. The affected employees can expect to receive termination paperwork as soon as someone unjams the Xerox machines and gets the damned things to work.
• The New York Times announced 3Q profits dropped 51 percent. Ironically, it was not exclusively reported in The New York Times.
• Samsung reported 3Q profits dropped 44 percent. “Overall, our third-quarter earnings were impacted by the worsening market conditions resulting from the slowdown in the global economy,” said Samsung’s executive vice president. “Moreover, our DRAM, NAND and LCD businesses all faced steep price declines led by persistent oversupply in the industry.” Hey, you can never have too many DRAMs, NANDs and LCDs.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Singing along with a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• Metromedia Restaurant Group, which owns the Ponderosa and Bonanza Steakhouse brands, filed for bankruptcy with the restaurants. Guess Hop Sing will be looking for a new job soon.
• Speaking of Hip Hop singers (OK, it’s not the smoothest segue), 50 Cent reached a settlement with his ex-girlfriend over visitation rights for their 11-year-old kid. The son will spend one weekend per month with Fiddy, plus a month in the summer and half of his spring and winter breaks. No word on who gets to keep the fire-gutted house.
• Allstate reported a 3Q loss of $923 million, citing hurricane-related losses and the continuing financial crisis. Would the financial crisis be categorized as a man-made disaster?
• AT&T reported 3Q earnings rose 5.5 percent, probably thanks to subsidized iPhone sales. There’s nothing like riding Steve Jobs’ coattails to profits—it’s the only network you need.
• Chrysler announced plans to cut 1,825 jobs, while GM is cutting employee benefits. Gee, if these two auto companies do merge, will anyone want to work there?
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Profits and propositions in a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• Philip Morris reported 3Q profits puffed up 20.6 percent. Mickey D’s reported 3Q profits super-sized 11 percent. Now, if these corporations were to introduce the McMarlboro Cigarette Sandwich, they would probably rule the Earth.
• Wachovia reported 3Q losses at $24 billion. Shareholders will soon be eating at McDonald’s and bumming cigarettes from their peers.
• San Francisco is considering decriminalizing prostitution. Proposition K goes before voters next month, and the measure would prohibit local cops from investigating, arresting or prosecuting people for selling sex not involving minors. If successful, look for Wachovia to offer new banking services.
To hawk the Asian Collection from Corelle, the advertiser uses Asians. Very subtle—like smashing a plate over one’s head. And what’s with the stormy relationship? Based on the woman’s ring finger, the couple isn’t even engaged.
Adweek ran a story that presented the potential road ahead now that Nielsen Media has decided to completely erase Marketing y Medios. The title and subhead read:
Not Lost in Translation
As major brands will attest, the differences between general-market ads and their Hispanic versions are subtle, but critical
How subtle? Don’t mean to be critical, but here’s another excerpt:
At H&R Block, for example, a primary goal of the general market campaign was to wean consumers off tax software. But research revealed different barriers among Hispanics. One was the misperception that retail branch employees didn't speak Spanish, an idea countered by a pair of Spanish-speaking flamingo dancers in another TV spot.
Flamingo dancers? Well, flamingos are certainly graceful, but can’t recall seeing any capable of dancing—except in Fantasia 2000.
Could Adweek possibly have meant flamenco dancers? Granted, the difference is subtle, but critical. ¿Comprende?
Sombrero tip to Laura Martinez for birdwatching.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Late-breaking market reports in a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• Not to be outdone by other failing banks, National City reported 3Q losses at $5.15 billion and announced plans to cut 4,000 jobs. Looks like National City should have charged fees after all. Lots and lots of fees.
• Apple reported a 26 percent profit jump, spiked by iPhone sales. Ironically, the PC character is doing quite well financially.
• Yahoo! saw 3Q profits drop 64 percent, prompting the decision to cut 1,500 jobs. First, Washington Mutual had to stifle its Whoo hoo! Now, there’s uncomfortable silence from Yahoo! Quick, somebody check on Yoo-hoo!
From The Los Angeles Times…
Rudy Ray Moore dies at 81; comedian and filmmaker influenced rap and hip-hop
By Jocelyn Y. Stewart
Rudy Ray Moore, the self-proclaimed “Godfather of Rap” who influenced generations of rappers and comedians with his rhyming style, braggadocio and profanity-laced routines, has died. He was 81.
Moore, whose low-budget films were panned by critics in the 1970s but became cult classics decades later, died Sunday night in Toledo, Ohio, of complications from diabetes, his brother Gerald told the Associated Press.
Though he was little known to mainstream audiences, Moore had a significant effect on comedians and hip-hop artists.
“People think of black comedy and think of Eddie Murphy,” rap artist Luther Campbell of 2 Live Crew told the Miami Herald in 1997. “They don’t realize [Moore] was the first, the biggest underground comedian of them all. I listened to him and patterned myself after him.”
And in the liner notes to the 2006 release of the soundtrack to Moore’s 1975 motion picture “Dolemite,” hip-hop artist Snoop Dogg said:
“Without Rudy Ray Moore, there would be no Snoop Dogg, and that’s for real.”
When it came to his own sense of his accomplishments, Moore was never burdened by immodesty.
“These guys Steve Harvey and Cedric the Entertainer and Bernie Mac claim they’re the Kings of Comedy,” Moore told the Cleveland Plain Dealer in 2003. “They may be funny, but they ain’t no kings. That title is reserved for Rudy Ray Moore and Redd Foxx.”
The heyday of his fame was in the 1970s, with the release of “Dolemite” followed by “The Human Tornado,” “Petey Wheatstraw: The Devil’s Son-in-Law” and “Money Hustler.”
The way Moore told it, his introduction to Dolemite came from an old wino named Rico, who frequented a record shop Moore managed in Los Angeles. Rico told foul-mouthed stories about Dolemite, a tough-talking, super-bad brother, whose exploits had customers at the record shop falling down with laughter.
One day Moore recorded Rico telling his stories. Later Moore assumed the role of Dolemite, a character who became the cornerstone of his decades-long career as a raunchy comedian, filmmaker and blues singer.
“What you call dirty words,” he often said, “I call ghetto expression.”
But long before “Dolemite” debuted on theater screens, Moore had found fame -- and fans -- through stand-up routines and a series of sexually explicit comedy albums.
Not only were the album contents raunchy, the album covers featured women and Moore nude and were too racy for display. So store clerks kept the albums under the counter. Without airplay or big-studio promotion, the so-called party records were underground hits.
“I put records in my car and traveled and walked across the U.S. I walked to the ghetto communities and told people to take the record home and let their friends hear it. And before I left the city, my record would be a hit. This is how it started for me,” he told the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 2001.
Although contemporaries such as Foxx and Richard Pryor found success with a broader audience, Moore’s stardom was bounded by the geography of race and class: He was a hit largely in economically disadvantaged African American communities.
According to his website, Moore was born in Fort Smith, Ark., on March 17, 1927.
In his youth Moore worked as a dancer and fortune teller and he entertained while serving in the U.S. Army. But his big break came with the recording of his Dolemite routine:
Dolemite is my name
And rappin and tappin
That’s my game
I’m young and free
And just as bad as I wanna
By the time Dolemite appeared on film, he was the ultimate ghetto hero: a bad dude, profane, skilled at kung-fu, dressed to kill and hell-bent on protecting the community from evil menaces. He was a pimp with a kung-fu-fighting clique of prostitutes and he was known for his sexual prowess.
For all the stereotypical images, Moore bristled at the term blaxploitation.
“When I was a boy and went to the movies, I watched Roy Rogers and Tim Holt and those singing cowboys killing Indians, but they never called those movies ‘Indian exploitation’ -- and I never heard ‘The Godfather’ called ‘I-talian exploitation,’” he told a reporter for the Cleveland Scene in 2002.
Late in life, Moore saw his work win fans far beyond his African American audience. There is a “Dolemite” website and chat room that boasts a cross-cultural collection of young fans. Such interest won him mainstream work in an advertisement for Altoid Mints and a commercial for Levi's jeans.
Though Moore built a career on talking dirty, he was very religious. He took pride in taking his mother to the National Baptist Convention each year and often spoke in church at various functions. He rationalized his role as a performer.
“I wasn’t saying dirty words just to say them,” he told the Miami Herald in 1997. “It was a form of art, sketches in which I developed ghetto characters who cursed. I don’t want to be referred to as a dirty old man, rather a ghetto expressionist.”
Newz in a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• MillerCoors stopped producing Zima malt liquor beverage on October 10. The probable reason behind the move: Zima zucked.
• Pfizer reported 3Q profits tripled, due primarily because a huge charge depressed the previous year’s results. You should see your doctors for profits lasting more than four hours.
If you’re in Chicago between now and January 18, 2009, catch the exhibition at Spertus Museum—Twisted Into Recognition: Clichés of Jews and Others. Here’s the official hype:
Twisted Into Recognition: Clichés of Jews and Others explores the ways images and objects that depict stereotypes are seen, perceived, and classified. Stereotypes and clichés are an integral part of our perception, shaping our image of ourselves and others as well as our sense of belonging to a distinct group or nation apart from others. Through their simplification, these characterizations may help us to overcome our fear of the unknown, but at the same time, serve as a breeding ground for racist ideologies.
Twisted Into Recognition is a multimedia exhibition that juxtaposes historical objects, items from material culture, and contemporary art and film to demonstrate the persistence of stereotypes (whether intentional or supposed) and how they have been subverted for commentary today. This exhibition was organized by the Jewish Museum Berlin and the Jewish Museum Vienna.
Twisted Into Recognition is a cornucopia of cultural clichés, presented in a contemporary and provocative style. The exhibition features a series of mini-galleries covering a range of stereotypes.
On the 10th floor of the Spertus Institute of Jewish Studies, the show opens with 49 Jewish Noses by Dennis Kardon, a collection of nasal sculptures hanging upon the gallery wall. Accompanying Kardon’s work are other sculptures by Rudolf Beling, Gerd Bauer and Rudi Sopper.
The next installation spotlights Black Venus and Aunt Jemima, with a filmed performance of Josephine Baker, a related painting by Hassan Musa and an Aunt Jemima syrup dispenser from the Jim Crow Museum at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan.
From Jesus Christ to Michael Jackson to Harakiri School Girls, the exhibition covers a lot of cultural ground in a variety of media. There’s even a reference to Bill Bernbach’s iconic “You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s real Jewish Rye” advertising campaign. If you can’t experience it all live, try ordering the catalog from Spertus Shop. It’s a $40 hardcover and the text is in German, but the high-quality plates display everything just fine.
Monday, October 20, 2008
Hispanic Market Weekly confirmed the news from Laura Martinez that Nielsen Media is completely eliminating Marketing y Medios. In roughly four years, Marketing y Medios has gone from monthly publication to monthly insert to weekly email to memory, as the website is also being dismantled. While it’s a dream come true for the Minuteman Project, the rest of us can look forward to quarterly Nielsen revelations like, “Latinos Love Fútbol!” Of course, there will be no reduction in Latino-related coverage spanking rival Arbitron and its controversial PPM. And as always, Nielsen didn’t even wait for the office cleaning lady to sweep up the piñata debris from the company’s Hispanic Heritage Month party before saying adios. If you need an expression to accurately describe this sad scenario, you’ll find plenty in Martinez’s book.
Petra Group sure goes to extremes, from depicting a kid cuddling a bunny to Armageddon and back to a happy, harmonious world. Maybe the ads should have included the children in a fight to the death with the Michelin Man.