Friday, December 31, 2010
8306: 10 X 2010.
MultiCultClassics reminisces, regurgitates and reexamines 10 topics from 2010.
Cyrus Mehri sightings throughout the year.
In January, Jim Edwards at BNET interviewed Cyrus Mehri and discussed the state of legal affairs on Madison Avenue. In February, Mehri announced he was filing charges against advertising agencies with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. In May, the civil rights lawyer released a report showing zero minority creative directors worked on commercials for the Super Bowl. The report and subsequent press conference drew a few responses from industry bigwigs, which prompted a rebuttal and color commentary from MultiCultClassics. In September, Mehri teamed up with Janelle M. Carter to offer a perspective that labeled the lack of diversity a great moral issue and business issue. Yet it’s difficult to tell if the majority of adpeople really consider all of this to be a serious issue. Can’t help but wonder if the standard Madison Avenue executive knows Cyrus Mehri from Miley Cyrus.
Two books to turn the page on rampant exclusivity.
White adman John Hunt wrote “The Art Of The Idea”—with plenty of ideas to inspire inclusive environments. The 4As kicked off a proposed series of diversity-related books with “Diversity: How To Do It Right” by Adonis Hoffman. Can’t help but wonder if most Madison Avenue executives will read a subpoena from Cyrus Mehri before perusing these published pieces.
A game-changing promotion that no one wants to play.
MultiCultClassics invented The Cultural Competence Contest, which was unveiled at Transformation 2010, the 4As combined Leadership and Media Conference. Can’t help but wonder if anyone will have the courage to become a contestant.
Advertisers and agencies go on the offensive defensive.
While advertisers typically are almost too quick to pull messages that elicit outrage, two companies stood their ground when accused of insensitivity. Pine-Sol pooh-poohed Pepper Miller’s post, proudly praising its plump spokesperson and “Powerful Difference” propaganda. Meanwhile, MetroPCS and probable employees at The Richards Group complained over Bill Imada’s post, proclaiming that the “Chad and Ranjit” campaign was hatched by an art director of Indian descent. Can’t help but wonder if the Pine-Sol and MetroPCS morons will ever realize that the best defense is no offense—no cultural offense, that is.
Same old, same old from Old White Guys.
Ex-CP+B honcho Alex Bogusky went on the air with former partner Shelton Scott and Lincoln Stephens of The Marcus Graham Project, earning a Delayed WTF from MultiCultClassics. Luke “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This” Sullivan went on the air with Lincoln Stephens and crew, also earning a Delayed WTF from MultiCultClassics. Can’t help but wonder if there are any enlightened White leaders in our ranks.
AOR actually means Anglos Of Record.
What do you call it when minority advertising agencies are prohibited from participating in pitches for Cadillac, H&R Block, Denny’s, MetLife, Transitions Optical, Red Lobster, U.S. Army, California Lottery, Arby’s, Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s, Harley-Davidson, El Pollo Loco, Steak & Shake and more? MultiCultClassics calls it Corporate Cultural Collusion. Can’t help but wonder when clients will be called out for the unfair practices.
U.S. Census unintentionally reveals the changes ahead.
The U.S. Census advertising campaign featured a multicultural marketing coalition designed to celebrate racial harmony and billing equality. The corporate kumbaya was short-lived. Lead agency Draftfcb was criticized for being too White, and its President-CEO Laurence Boschetto was bashed for being a bullshit artist. Black agency GlobalHue was zapped for being too shady. Although the overall effort was panned by adpeople with taste, Mediaweek showered accolades and awards in the “Best Multicultural Campaign” and “Best Branded Content” categories of the publication’s Media Plan of the Year competition. Can’t help but wonder how folks manage to accept trophies with a straight face in such instances.
Hip Hop delivers instant cred and crud.
Madison Avenue displays questionable affection for Blacks, but the industry sure loves Hip Hop. The rap range runs from gangsta to garbage. For every Kia Hamsters and Mtn Dew Code Red Jay Electronica there is a Toyota Swagger Wagon and Bounty Hip-Hop Holiday. But Duncan Hines takes the cake—or cupcake—for its Hip Hop Cupcakes. At first, MultiCultClassics believed the public overreacted by seeing Blackface minstrels in the infamous video. However, after studying director Josh Binder’s film library—which includes an obscene Heinz ketchup character ejaculating his tomato seed onto his girlfriend, as well as demeaning stereotypes involving Asians, women and rednecks—Hip Hop Cupcakes appears to be a reasoned, racist recipe. Can’t help but wonder what Duncan Hines will do with its brownie mix.
General Motors drives in crazy cultural directions.
Don’t believe the hype that General Motors has turned itself around. After dumping its Black advertising agency on Cadillac and giving full responsibility to a White agency, the automaker dumped the White agency for another White agency. Then GM dumped the White Marketing VP who admitted she planned to assign additional multicultural projects to White agencies, replacing her with a new White Marketing VP—who wound up dumping White agencies for other White agencies without competitive reviews. The White Marketing VP later hired Spike DDB for Chevrolet and rehired Carol H. Williams for Cadillac before getting promoted to Global Marketing Czar. Oh, GM also appointed a new Diversity VP, who happens to be Black. To complete the bizarro ride, the American Advertising Federation declared the 62nd Annual Advertising Hall of Fame® will honor inductee—you guessed it—General Motors. Can’t help but wonder if the automaker signed a pact with Satan.
Shifty Segregation®—new and improved for 2010 and beyond.
Shifty Segregation® covers a lot of ground on Madison Avenue. It occurs when clients and White agencies conspire to consolidate accounts. It prevents measures patterned after the Rooney Rule from succeeding. It excuses companies who elect to sever professional ties with minorities altogether. Shifty Segregation® is often disguised as “cross-cultural”—which may lead to mandates, manic depression, manifestos and manure sniffing. Can’t help but wonder how long people will continue to tolerate it.