Monday, February 28, 2011
The Digital Issue of Advertising Age named Procter & Gamble to the Digital A-List; plus, the trade publication displayed the photo above depicting potential future CEOs at the mega-advertiser. The image presents a snapshot on why clients are hesitant to criticize advertising agencies for lacking diversity. That is, the advertisers appear to suffer from the same damn problem.
The 4As Transformation 2010 conference featured presentations of ideas designed to transform the advertising world, and MultiCultClassics’ entry was among the spotlighted concepts. This year, Transformation 2011 is “bringing together top venture capitalists to nominate new, fresh companies that are making the innovation happen today. Hear their stories at Transformation 2011 and learn just how this new breed of entrepreneurs is reshaping business, culture, and technology.” Looking forward to seeing the diversity-related trailblazers in this elite group.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Wow. James Franco and Anne Hathaway stunk up the Academy Awards. Franco made the telecast appear to drag over 127 hours, while no amount of love and other drugs could’ve deadened the pain of watching Hathaway’s smarminess. If Oscar officials really hoped to draw a wider and younger audience, they should have recruited Justin Bieber and Snooki.
Advertising Age interviewed Will.I.Am on his evolving role as an advertising creator. Here’s the best quote:
“What’s interesting is that Chiat/Day, Y&R, all those cats are working on commercials for months. I went on tour for two months, rehearsed for Super Bowl, did music for Super Bowl and all that stuff, and I still produced these [SalesForce.com] spots,” Will.I.Am told Ad Age.
Um, Will.I.Am’s cool, but given that the USA TODAY Ad Tracker didn’t even list the Salesforce.com spots, he’d better keep his day job.
From USA TODAY…
Black women paved economic inroads
By Julianne Malveaux
Black History Month has often been a celebration of well-known African-American men, but many women were no less accomplished in breaking historic barriers, including in the economic arena.
Many people know about Madame C.J. Walker, born Sarah Breedlove, who founded her own hair care company and was the first female African-American millionaire in our nation. Most don’t know about Maggie Lena Walker, the first woman to charter a bank in the USA. She founded the St. Luke Penny Savings Bank in 1903. In 1929, the bank was merged with two other African-American-owned banks in Richmond, Va., and Walker stayed on as chairman of the board.
When people think about African Americans and the economy, we rarely think of black economic history, of those African Americans who, despite a tilted playing field, managed to both survive and thrive. Others included Sadie Tanner Mosell Alexander, the first black woman to get a Ph.D. in economics, and Mary Ellen Pleasant, a San Francisco millionaire, and many more.
The point is not to regale riches but to remind Americans that though the economic game has been rigged, it is a game African Americans have played and won despite the barriers.
And the trails are still being blazed. Ursula Burns, who started as an intern at the Xerox Corp., is hailed today as the first African-American woman to lead a Fortune 500 company. Less well known are Carla Ann Harris and Aulana Peters. Harris is a senior investment banker at Morgan Stanley who was named one of the 50 most powerful African Americans on Wall Street.With the meltdown of financial markets, the Securities and Exchange Commission has been front and center in the news, but who knows that Peters was the first African American to serve — from 1984 to 1988 — as an SEC commissioner?
History belongs to those women who hold the pen, who choose to write themselves or their sisters into the annals of our nation’s history. For those whose names we hear, we stop to honor and note their accomplishments. For the scores of others whose names we’ll never know, the country owes a debt of gratitude that can’t be repaid in a month, but will surely be remembered for years to come.
Julianne Malveaux is an economist, writer and president of Bennett College for Women in Greensboro, N.C.Her most recent book is Surviving and Thriving: 365 Facts in Black Economic History.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
From FOX News Latino…
U.S. to compensate Latino, women farmers for discrimination
Washington – The U.S. Department of Agriculture will pay up to $50,000 each to Hispanic and women farmers who can demonstrate the USDA discriminated against them on loan applications between 1981 and 2001.
The program was announced Friday by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Assistant Attorney General Tony West.
“The Obama Administration has made it a priority to resolve all claims of past discrimination at USDA, and we are committed to closing this sad chapter in USDA’s history,” Vilsack said.
Eligible Hispanic and women farmers and ranchers are encouraged to apply for a share of $1.33 billion in compensation and up to $160 million in farm debt relief.
Claimants who don’t want to take part in the program remain free to pursue their claims through the courts, the USDA and Justice Department said.
To demonstrate eligibility, a farmer or rancher must prove he or she sought a loan or loan servicing from the USDA during the 1981-2001 period and that they were denied or otherwise shortchanged by virtue of being Hispanic or female.
While the USDA has launched an information campaign to alert potential claimants of their rights, it cannot offer them legal advice.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Adweek also reported on the gender discrimination lawsuit filed against Publicis Groupe by a former employee. In fact, Adweek actually provided more thorough and balanced coverage than Advertising Age—despite numerous typos and misspellings of the ex-employee’s name. Regardless, it’s pathetic for Publicis to state the company does not usually comment on pending legal affairs, and then follow through by declaring the EEOC’s dismissal of the charge “reflects the lack of merit to [the ex-employee’s] claims.” For added effect, Publicis even handed the declaration duties to a spokeswoman.
Gee, maybe the French conglomerate could ask former WPP Worldwide Creative Director Neil French to explain matters to a jury. Or better yet, round up the panel of female ad executives from the 2010 Advertising Week event who said glass ceilings are no longer a problem on Madison Avenue. Just be sure to include the responses from other female ad executives who ripped the panelists for being out of touch.
It should be noted that an EEOC dismissal doesn’t amount to much. The EEOC is like any bureaucratic and understaffed governmental agency. That is, it’s a mess. Filing a charge with the EEOC is legally required before filing a lawsuit. Any dismissive ruling by the EEOC, however, does not necessarily negatively impact the validity of a potential case. After all, the EEOC granted the ex-employee a right-to-sue letter. Anyone who is interested in learning more can visit the EEOC website for details.
It should also be noted that despite White women’s progress in our industry, they still lag behind White men in key areas such as salary and position. Too bad EEOC officials couldn’t find the time to walk the halls or check the accounting books at Publicis Groupe agencies for proof.
Hey, Publicis Groupe could instantly clarify the situation by simply offering a gender-based list of employees, indicating titles and salaries. The holding company will undoubtedly get their chief diversity officer on it right away.
Anyway, here’s the Adweek story:
Former Exec Sues Publicis for Sexual Discrimination
In suit, ex-employee claims women were underpaid, seldom promoted
By Janon Fisher
A former female executive of advertising giant Publicis slapped the French company with a $100 million federal sexual discrimination suit on Thursday, claiming women at the company are often underpaid and seldom promoted.
“A Publicis woman's place is in the back of the line, far removed from senior management positions, almost all of which are reserved for men,” claims Monique da Silva Moore, former global healthcare director for MSLGroup, a subsidiary of the ad company.
Da Silva Moore was forced out of the company during a reorganization in January 2010 after 13 years at the company's Boston office, where she acted as a PR agent for healthcare companies, according to court papers.
Following a three-month maternity leave in January, MSLGroup offered her a position in their New York City office. However, Publicis, she says, did not give her or her newborn and two children adequate time to relocate or provide for moving expenses. As a result, she claims, she was forced to turn down the position and leave the company.
Men and women without children who were forced to relocate because of the restructuring, she says, were given time for their move.
Even before the restructuring, Da Silva Moore claims that the gender gap was evident.
“Publicis's glass ceiling might as well be a cement wall,” she says in court papers. “Gender discrimination permeates Publicis’s entire PR practice.”
She says that the MSLGroup leadership team includes only two women worldwide.
Da Silva Moore, who said that she has won 22 awards, including the 2009 Silver Anvil from the Public Relations Society of America, also claims that she was paid less than her male counterparts in Atlanta and New York.
Although Da Silva Moore is the only plaintiff in the suit, other women say they’ve had similar experiences are named in the complaint. Her lawyers are seeking class action status for the case.
The Publicis subsidiary denied her allegations. “We generally do not comment on pending litigation, but we can say that the fact that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission dismissed Ms. Da Silva’s charge reflects the lack of merit to her claims,” MSLGroup said in a statement.
Her lawyers countered with their own spin. “The EEOC did not issue any finding concerning our client’s charge and did issue a right to sue letter. However, the EEOC’s investigation has no bearing on the litigation,” Janette Wipper, da Silva Moore’s lawyer, told Adweek.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Minority Groups Lambaste FCC for Inaction
Congressman says commission only good for “lip service and platitudes”
By Katy Bachman
In the two years since President Obama named his law school buddy Julius Genachowski as chair of the Federal Communications Commission, the FCC has depended on support from minority groups for its biggest policy initiatives, including net neutrality and the National Broadband Plan. Now those groups are looking for some payback, or at least more attention.
“We had the administration’s back. Now the administration should turn their authority to this objective,” said David Honig, president and executive director of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council.
In a Feb. 22 letter to Genachowski, 23 minority groups—including the MMTC, the NAACP and Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow PUSH Coalition—blasted the commission for what they said has been a poor civil rights record recently. The groups charge that the FCC has dragged its feet on just about every minority-related responsibility it has.
“We did not think it possible that…the status of civil rights at the FCC would get even worse, but it has,” the groups wrote.
Rep. Bobby Rush, D-Ill., who is a senior member of the House committee that has oversight responsibility for the FCC, was copied on the letter. In a statement that his office provided to Adweek, Rush—a former Black Panther—said he agreed with the sentiments expressed in the letter.
“I have been grossly underwhelmed by the lip service and platitudes I have heard from this commission,” Rush said. “Their words aren’t matching up with their actions.”
Asked by Adweek to respond to the minority groups, FCC spokesman Robert Kenny said by e-mail that the FCC was “committed to upholding and fostering the civil rights of every American.” Kenny also offered a few examples. “This FCC has made great strides in this area, from its work with Comcast and NBCU and fixing key provisions in the Sirius-XM merger to working with Congress to solve a significant dispute over Arbitron’s portable people meter service,” he said.
The statistics show that whatever the FCC has been doing or not doing, improving minority media ownership remains an uphill climb.
“Minority television ownership has decreased by 50 percent since 1999. Minority radio ownership has declined by 9 percent just within the last three years. Minority wireless and cable system ownership levels are near zero. Finally, minority radio journalism employment has plummeted to less than 1 percent, a level not seen since 1950,” the minority-group letter said.
Advertising Age reported on the award-winning stupidity surrounding the 2011 Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. This year, the event has dropped the honor for interactive agency of the year. However, the gala fest will hand out a new trophy for holding company of the year. Can it get more pathetically patronizing than that? Wait, here’s a better idea. Give a statuette for diverse agency of the year. Perhaps the allure of a coveted Lion will inspire agencies to strive for an inclusive workplace. Of course, Madison Avenue firms would likely submit scam entries, loading their staff figures with receptionists, janitors, mailroom attendants, security guards, elevator operators and chief diversity officers.
Advertising Age reported that Publicis Groupe is facing a $100M gender discrimination lawsuit by a former employee. Illegal bias from an advertising network? Why, the mere thought is outrageous. After all, Publicis Groupe seems so sincere in expressing its commitment to diversity and inclusion on the corporate website.
$100M Gender Bias Complaint Filed Against Publicis Groupe, MSL
Company Says EEOC Dismissed Former Employee’s Claims
By Kunur Patel
A former employee of Publicis Groupe’s MSL Group has filed a class-action gender discrimination complaint against the Paris-based holding company and MSL, Publicis’ umbrella unit for public relations and events shops. The plaintiff, Monique da Silva Moore, is seeking $100 million in damages.
Publicis and MSL have all-male management, even though far more women than men occupy PR roles, alleges the complaint, filed today in New York federal court on behalf of Ms. da Silva Moore and female employees of MSL. Ms. da Silva Moore served most recently as MSL’s global health-care director in Boston, putting in 13 years with the company.
“Publicis’s glass ceiling might as well be a cement wall,” the complaint says. “Gender discrimination permeates Publicis’s entire PR practice.”
The complaint further alleges that Ms. da Silva Moore was wrongfully terminated in 2010 after she returned to work from maternity leave. Despite strong performance reviews and record growth for the Boston office, she was also passed over for promotions in favor of male counterparts, it says.
For its part, the agency denies any legitimacy to the complaint.
“We generally do not comment on pending litigation, but we can say that the fact that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission dismissed Ms. da Silva Moore’s charge reflects the lack of merit to her claims,” an MSL spokeswoman said in a statement.
The EEOC is a federal government organization that enforces employment discrimination laws; filing a complaint with the organization is one step toward a class-action suit.
The Black EOE Journal announced that Burger King Corporation received the 2010 Best People Practices Award from People Report™ for outstanding human resources activities including initiatives to promote workplace diversity. Um, did anyone report to People Report™ that Burger King dumped its minority advertising agencies in favor of a White shop where exclusivity is the main menu item? Talk about a Whopper® Freakout. Have it your way, flame-broil minorities and win philanthropic honors too.
Carter G. Woodson presented Black History Month (technically, he started Negro History Week). Now Craig Brimm presents How Not to Become Black History—a manifesto for multicultural marketing practitioners.
Vibe Editor Sues Site Over Posts Attacking His Wife
Poster termed Leslie Hall ‘ugly wilderbeast’
By Janon Fisher
The editor-in-chief of hip-hop magazine Vibe wants to hunt down the anonymous author of an online rant who called his wife “an ugly wilderbeast [sic]” and accused him of using his position to steer business to her PR company, according to a recent lawsuit.
The poison pen poster, who goes by the name BETonBlack, also posted a photo of the couple’s child on the Web site.
Vibe editor Jermaine Hall and his wife, Leslie, slapped Lipstickalley.com, an online bulletin board dedicated to music, race and celebrity gossip, with legal papers demanding the name of the phantom flamer who they say has libeled them.
On Nov. 7, BETonBlack wrote that Leslie Hall “has a business called Iced Media where [Jermaine Hall] has hooked her up with contracts and clients”—an assertion that the couple denies.
It wasn’t the only time the poster attacked Leslie Hall; in other posts, BETonBlack has called Hall “a butt ugly heiffer [sic],” “the homeliest ugliest busted decrepit disgusting wilderbeast [sic]” and Jermaine Hall’s “manly fangled deranged rhymes with hacker wife.”
Race appears to have been the reason for BETonBlack’s venom. The flamer took offense at the Halls’ interracial marriage and alleged that there are few black photographers, editors or writers at the magazine.
In addition to the identity of BETonBlack, the couple is also seeking damages for defamation, claiming the statements were intended to harm their reputations and livelihood.
Calls to the Halls and their lawyer were not immediately returned. Lipstickalley.com did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Can’t help but think the headline of this recruitment ad was influenced by a lousy job market and a conservative legal department. The advertiser could have gone with typical messages like:
Start a career in special education
Realize your potential in special education
Find your dream job in special education
Opportunities await in special education
Instead, they opted for Vacancies Anticipated.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Wireless Week reported MetroPCS hired Snoop Dogg to promote the Samsung Galaxy Indulge. Can’t wait to see what the perpetually culturally clueless crew at The Richards Group does with this. Looking forward to a team-up between the rapper and Chad and Ranjit.
Adweek reported on moves being made at the top of Human Resources at IPG. However, it’s hard to decipher exactly what’s happening. The Chief Human Resources Officer is being replaced by someone whose current title is Executive Vice President, Strategy and Corporate Relations. But the memo from IPG Chief Michael Roth announced the evp’s reassignment before noting the former chief’s retirement. And of course, there’s no mention of the Chief Diversity Officer or patronizing commitments to inclusive hiring. Not sure why any of this is newsworthy. In fact, MultiCultClassics apologizes for posting about it.
Chief HR Officer Out at IPG
Current evp Krakowsky takes on duties
By Noreen O’Leary
Tim Sompolski, chief human resources officer, is leaving Interpublic Group of Companies. Philippe Krakowsky, currently evp, strategy and corporate relations, succeeds him as he assumes the new position of IPG’s evp, chief strategy and talent officer.
The holding company is still determining Sompolski’s exit date. Sompolski, who joined Interpublic in 2004 when he was 52, had not worked in the ad industry previously. He came to the job after working at Altria Group, parent of Philip Morris USA, where he had been svp, human resources and administration. He had also worked in HR and compensation at Kraft Foods, McGraw Edison Co. and Quasar Electronics Co. (a unit of Matsushita Electronics).
In an internal memo announcing the change, IPG chief Michael Roth wrote:
“Philippe has a keen grasp of our industry’s trajectory, as well as trusted relationships with our operating unit leaders, which will be vital in ensuring that our strategies and the people who implement them are fully aligned. He will of course continue to work closely with me and other members of the senior corporate team to drive IPG’s success at this time of great change and opportunity for providers of marketing services. In a related development, Tim Sompolski has informed me that he is retiring.”
Adweek published a story on an alleged con artist who scammed up to $400,000 from over a dozen advertising agencies. The man apparently promised to deliver new business in exchange for cash. Um, not sure what the crime is here. This guy isn’t the first smooth-talking White man who positioned himself as a rainmaker, only to utterly fail to bring the goods. Plus, what does it say about the shops who sought to buy billings? Add it to the list of covert tactics White agencies routinely employ to secure victory in pitches. (Actually, MultiCultClassics isn’t certain that the con artist exclusively connected with White agencies—but it’s a safe bet he knew there was no money to be made with the minority shops.) And to think idiots were recently complaining about the seemingly unfair actions of clients in reviews.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Anybody else find this Quilted Northern commercial endlessly annoying? “It’s time to get real about what happens in the bathroom.” Um, no, it’s not. And what’s with the wrap-up line? “Protection for a confident clean. Or your money back.” Right. Like someone would have the cojones to insist on a refund with a shit-encrusted ass.