MultiCultClassics is often occupied with real work. As a result, a handful of events occur without the expected blog commentary. This limited series—Delayed WTF—seeks to make belated amends for the absence of malice.
Wanted to revisit the Walmart post featuring the happenings at the ANA Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference—specifically, the words and deeds of Walmart Senior VP-Brand Marketing and Advertising Tony Rogers.
Rogers boldly announced, “One hundred percent of the growth [in sales] is going to come from multicultural customers. … Our spending against multicultural customers will grow by at least 100%.” Forget the fact that doubling the budget is still painfully inadequate. There’s actually quite a bit of bullshit behind Rogers’ proclamations.
For starters, if 100% of the sales growth will come from minority customers, why aren’t the minority agencies handling 100% of the account? Rogers and Walmart VP Creative Marketing Greg Warren claimed they’ve given the minority partners “a seat at the table”—yet the sales figures indicate they deserve the whole table and dinette set.
In 2011, Rogers boomed about blowing up multicultural marketing budgets and deconstructing silos. Now he has the opportunity to detonate the entire budgetary scheme and decimate the segregated, separate-but-unequal hierarchy present with his advertising agencies. And he can do it for legitimate, revenue-based reasons.
Rogers and Warren clearly recognize the face of America is changing; however, the two are content to conspire with a “general market” agency whose complexion does not reflect the new mainstream. A bump in the underfunding is not revolutionary—it’s simply rational. If you want to measure progress and performance review objectives, do something original.
It’s time to completely overturn and overhaul the Walmart advertising org chart. You’ll probably save money—and live better.