Thursday, October 01, 2009
7142: Advertising Week Tweak Four.
Wanted to spend a moment to ponder discussion points made during the VCU Brandcenter event. Specifically, IPG Chief Diversity Officer Heide Gardner offered a few details on her company’s initiatives. Visitors are encouraged to hear the meeting mutterings via the WADV Radio recording.
Gardner stated that IPG has tied diversity to compensation. That is, senior-level honchos’ raises and reviews will be affected by their accomplishments in reaching the company’s staffing goals.
On the one hand, this sounds good. At least IPG is presenting deliberate efforts. However, it’s interesting that Gardner declined to share hard numbers to define the results. She claimed that her enterprise experienced growth with minority executives in recent years. Yet the lack of transparency makes it difficult to evaluate. After all, White women qualify as minorities by most standards.
Additionally, are such incentives really enough? In these times, the majority of adfolks receive minimal salary bumps—and agencies are even knocking managers with pay freezes and pay cuts. The potential demerits might not be noticeable to many.
Besides, everyone knows that one decent campaign—or one shitty campaign that pleases a major client—will negate any failure to recruit people of color. IPG has generated plenty of shitty campaigns that allegedly moved the proverbial sales needle. So it’s quite likely the greatest diversity slackers have taken zero hits in the wallet.
Has anyone considered strict reprimands? Forget docking someone’s paycheck for perpetuating exclusivity. The chronic offenders should be handed a stack of moving boxes and instructed to pack their belongings.
Gardner declared, “Homogeneous creative teams limit the number of idea combinations. They can also come up with some embarrassing creative.” Well, Draftfcb is guilty in that department. Perhaps it’s time to penalize workers for producing culturally clueless advertising too.
Unfortunately, breakthrough thinking is only applied to commercials at places like Draftfcb. And we’re painfully familiar with the quality of the commercials at that shithole.