Saturday, March 31, 2012

9949: Pepsi Salutes Michael Jackson.

From Advertising Age…

Pepsi Partners With Michael Jackson Estate for Commemorative Packaging

Limited-Edition Package Coincides With 25th Anniversary of ‘Bad’

By Natalie Zmuda

Pepsi is paying homage to the King of Pop one more time.

The brand is working with Michael Jackson’s estate to create a limited-edition package featuring the singer, according to an executive close to the company. The package coincides with the 25th Anniversary of the “Bad” album, which was released on Aug. 31, 1987.

The package will be a 16 oz. can available in convenience stores and grocery stores around Memorial Day, according to Beverage Digest. The can, said to have a blue background with an image of Mr. Jackson dancing, is expected to cost 99 cents. Pepsi declined to comment.

Pepsi sponsored the 1988 Bad World Tour. The tour spanned 16 months, with 123 concerts in 15 countries attended by 4.4 million fans. It was the largest-grossing tour in history and the one with the largest audience.

The brand’s relationship with Mr. Jackson dates to 1984 and the “New Generation” campaign. The singer’s hair caught fire during a commercial shoot that was part of that campaign. Mr. Jackson appeared in a number of ads for the brand over the years, performing versions of “Billie Jean” and “Bad,” among other songs.

Pepsi has a long association with music but has been emphasizing it in the past year. It poured $60 million into a sponsorship of “X Factor,” Simon Cowell’s music competition, and featured the show’s winner, Melanie Amaro, in a Super Bowl spot. The tagline for the ad, created by TBWA/Chiat/Day was “Where there’s Pepsi, there’s music.”

Earlier this week, Pepsi confirmed to Ad Age its relationship with singer Nicki Minaj, who is said to be appearing in a new global campaign for the brand.

9948: Banning Hoodies.

The comment thread for the Advertising Age story on Daniel Maree, the McCann staffer who helped kick-start the New York 1,000,000 Hoodie March for Trayvon Martin, featured a peculiar statement:

McCann Staffer,
Those of us who have children in the real world know that their schools prohibit “hoodies” as part of their dress code. Did you know that? Do you know why?

Old Ad Guy
Bloomfield Hills, MI

A quick Google search showed that some schools have indeed banned hoodies from the student dress code. However, the explanation is that kids were concealing their cell phones in the big pockets and texting each other during classes. Is there more to it than that? And why did Old Ad Guy feel the need to point it out in such cryptic fashion?

9947: The Sunny Side Of Sunshine.

Advertising Age reported on Sunshine, a film masterminded by commercial director Doug Nichol, and starring freelance producer Jon Benet. The documentary short features Benet’s cynical musings about advertising and assorted topics, delivered during the production of a McDonald’s campaign for TBWA in China. While the film is receiving great praise and viewership on the Web, Mickey D’s and TBWA are not amused.

“We did not authorize it. As a company we don’t encourage releasing our projects without informing us or getting our approval,” said a McDonald’s official in China. “[The marketing team] didn’t authorize any individual to use our project as an example.” A TBWA official added, “TBWA also did not authorize use of any of this footage and we find it disappointing that a director would take it upon himself to show material that wasn’t authorized by the agency or our client.”

Nichol responded to the irked client and agency by saying, “I loved the experience of making the short and being in China and working with the TBWA team there. I’m sorry that they took this the wrong way, and look forward to a few laughs someday over a bottle of Tsing Tao.” Benet said, “I have to admit, if I’d known ‘Sunshine’ was going to become what it has I would have been more careful about the things I said, but I guess since I never expected so much to come of it… I just said what was on my mind, which maybe isn’t always the best idea, especially in terms of my job security.”

Benet’s comment is especially worth considering. After all, when advertising executives have criticized the industry for its lack of diversity—e.g., Harry Webber, Lowell Thompson and Hadji Williams—they have felt adverse effects in regards to job security. Meanwhile, Nichol and Benet exploited a professional scenario that was literally bankrolled by Mickey D’s and TBWA. The duo openly disrespected the client and global agency employing them, as well as Chinese people and culture. Yet it’s a safe bet they will probably experience zero negative consequences regarding their job security. In fact, things are looking pretty sunny for Nichol and Benet right now.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

9944: Goodby, Silverstein & Partners & McCann.

Adweek reported Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and McCann have created a joint agency to handle the Chevrolet account. It’s bad enough that Omnicom manages to keep accounts under the global umbrella via Corporate Cultural Collusion, but this move shows the holding company will conspire with any White agency to seize billings. The new enterprise is called Commonwealth—which probably means that everyone with common skin color can expect to share the wealth.

Goodby and McCann Form New Agency to Handle Chevy in Global Creative Consolidation

Commonwealth is a 50/50 joint venture

By Noreen O’Leary

Agencies at two rival holding companies have become partners in a new company, Commonwealth, formed to work on Chevrolet’s global account. Omnicom’s Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, and Interpublic’s McCann Erickson Worldwide, N.Y., have signed on to the 50/50 joint venture after a creative review to consolidate the global business for the General Motors brand.

In the review launched last autumn, GM roster shops Omnicom, Interpublic, Publicis Groupe and Cheil Worldwide put forth proposals to the auto marketer.

Chevrolet, GM’s largest brand, previously worked with 70 global agencies. The creation of the new Detroit-based Commonwealth agency follows the recent selection of Carat as GM’s agency for media planning and buying.

“These agency consolidations are expected to create about $2 billion in savings over the next five years, with a portion used to take advantage of key global marketing opportunities and strengthen the focus on our global Chevrolet brand, and a portion hitting the bottom line,” GM global cmo Joel Ewanick said in a statement.

GS&P has been since 2010 the lead creative agency on Chevrolet in the U.S.—the brand’s largest market—and is behind the “Chevy Runs Deep” strategy. McCann Worldwide has overseen the brand in many global markets including Mexico, Canada, Brazil, India, Japan, China and Latin America (Brazil and China are just behind the U.S. as Chevy’s largest markets). Commonwealth will now handle creative in most global regions except for China, India and Uzbekistan, where marketing efforts will continue to be handled by agencies that have been working on the brand in those countries.

Commonwealth will be managed by an eight-person global advisory board, with assignments handled through global hubs in Detroit, Milan, Mumbai and Sao Paulo. The agency’s board includes GS&P co-founder Jeff Goodby who is Commonwealth’s creative chairman; Linus Karlsson, McCann’s chairman, chief creative officer of N.Y. and London; Washington Olivetto, chairman at WMcCann Brazil and CCO McCann Worldgroup Latin America; and Prasoon Joshi, president, McCann Worldgroup South Asia.

9943: American Made Exclusivity.

Advertising Age reported on three former CP+B executives launching a new agency. Made will specialize in “supporting a resurgence in American manufacturing.” But in true American advertising fashion, the staffers do not appear to reflect The New America—so don’t expect any assistance for African American, Asian American, Latino American or Native American businesses. Only in America.

Trio of CP&B Execs Launches Shop to Support American Companies

Breakaway Agency, Made, Will Promote USA-Built Brands

By Rupal Parekh

Three executives from MDC Partners’ CP&B—Dave Schiff, Scott Prindle and John Kieselhorst—are breaking away to form Made, an agency billed as the first marketing firm focused on supporting a resurgence in American manufacturing.

The trio, who say they will specialize in brand-building and communications efforts to help U.S. companies better compete against global rivals, are in the tradition of a number of other CP&Bers who have gone on to open independent marketing firms. They include Boulder, Colo.-based Victors & Spoils, whose founders include former CP&B execs John Winsor and Evan Fry; Stick & Move in Philadelphia, now part of Red Tettemer; and Goodness Mfg., which has Los Angeles and New York offices and was founded by execs who worked together at CP&B for a decade.

While at CP&B, Mr. Schiff was a VP-exec creative director, Mr. Prindle was VP-exec technology director and Mr. Kieselhorst exec design director. Collectively, they worked on clients such as Burger King, Domino’s, BMW’s Mini Cooper, Volkswagen, Best Buy, Sprite and Coke Zero.

“CP&B is a great agency, and I could never see myself leaving to go to another agency,” said Mr. Schiff in a statement. “But this is a mission. We work a lot in advertising, and I want to put every hour into building something I’m deeply committed to. ... More than 5.5 million U.S. manufacturing jobs have been lost or outsourced since 2001, yet if the average American spent 1% more on American-made goods and services, it would create 250,000 new jobs. We feel like we can help make that happen and more.”

Underpinning the strategy is the partners’ belief that the “buy American” mentality won’t fade even after the economy improves and unemployment rates fall. Still, in a global environment, the shop risk shutting itself out of future possibilities to work on exciting business, which could make it harder to hire and retain talent.

Mr. Schiff insists that’s not a concern. “We don’t really think we will run out of exciting opportunities. We believe there are plenty of people who will want to join this movement—both on the client and on the talent side.”

The launch is being funded by an undisclosed venture-capital firm. “One of the reasons we’re confident that we can attract clients and talent is because of how exciting the idea has been to investors,” said Mr. Schiff. “We’re working with a new venture fund that has a ‘brand communities’ focus. They have no other investments in the agency world.”

Asked if Made is launching with clients, Mr. Schiff said it is in discussions with potential marketers. “We are talking with several clients, but we want to build the agency around the mission,” he said. “In our opinion, too many agencies launch around a single big client and essentially become in-house marketing.”

9942: Read The Writing On The Wall.

Gotta believe these Canadian ads will actually inspire taggers.

From Ads of the World.

9941: Criminal Campaign.

Worst. Campaign. Ever.

9940: Silly Sushi Symbolism.

Hey, is this a tribute to Japanese-American contributions to the creation of railroads throughout the Pacific Northwest?

From Ads of the World.

9939: The Hypocrisy Of Diversity.

Kraft is committed to building a culture where talented individuals can contribute their best. Kraft’s agencies have an individual culture—White.

PepsiCo is committed to diversity in everything we do. Provided everything comes from Omnicom.

Sprint believes in inclusion. Team Sprint, not so much.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

9938: C’MON WHITE MAN! Episode 19.

(MultiCultClassics credits ESPN’s C’MON MAN! for sparking this semi-regular blog series.)

Oops. MultiCultClassics was wrong to wonder why AMC series Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner tagged Y&R as racist. Turns out Weiner was historically accurate after all. Should have known better than to defend a White advertising agency. Consider the following an attempt to make amends.

Referring to the 1966 incident, Y&R Global CEO David Sable remarked, “Part of that story is sad but true—a few idiots dropped water balloons on protesters some 50 years ago. What I don’t know was whether or not they were fired. I certainly hope they were. Needless to say, their behavior was completely repulsive and not in line with the values of our company.”

Sable doesn’t know whether or not the culprits were fired? Please. If they had been axed, it would have been news—and the agency records would have noted the action. It’s a safe bet the morons were promoted.

As for the behavior being “completely repulsive and not in line with the values of our company,” consider the fact that advertising icon and Y&R alum Roy Eaton once declared, “I was the ‘Jackie Robinson’ of general market creatives. Starting at Y&R in 1955. I am appalled at the lack of progress that has been made till now. I have a presentation that I gave at DraftFCB and will be giving at my alma mater Y&R that addresses the action that must be taken on both sides of this equation. To continue the lie that ‘there just isn’t enough Black talent out there’ is a cover-up for an American malady that must be addressed.”

Remember too that Y&R essentially blackballed Harry Webber for having the audacity to expose Madison Avenue’s dirty little secret in 1969.

Most outrageous is Sable’s eagerness to brag about his agency’s creation of the classic UNCF campaign, “A Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste.”

Sorry, Mr. Sable, but the water balloon scenario is hardly a first offense for Y&R. Your agency has essentially been turning the fire hoses on Blacks forever.


9937: Madison Avenue Bombers.

From The New York Times…

On ‘Mad Men,’ an Opening Scene Straight From Page 1

By Michael Wilson

The opening scenes of the Season 5 premiere of “Mad Men,” set in 1966, depicted a sort of knucklehead-racism at work, when young men from the advertising agency Young & Rubicam dropped bags filled with water on protesters picketing on the Madison Avenue sidewalk below. Wet and angry, several protesters came upstairs to demand to know who at the firm had dropped the water bombs.

One protester said in disgust, “And they call us savages.”

Some critics found the scene, broadcast on Sunday, a bit too on-the-nose. “It’s a terrible line that should have been red-penciled,” wrote Matt Zoller Seitz for New York magazine. Mike Hale of The New York Times called it “unfortunately ham-handed.”

But no writer is to blame.

Everything in the scene really happened, written almost verbatim from an article on Page 1 of The Times on May 28, 1966.

“Poverty Pickets Get Paper-Bag Dousing on Madison Avenue,” the headline read. The article described more than 300 people picketing the Office of Economic Opportunity, between East 40th and 41st Streets, the day before, chanting, “O-E-O, we’ve got the poverty, where’s the dough?” Executives upstairs at Young & Rubicam, half a block from the building, shouted at the protesters, and hung up signs saying “If you want money, get yourself a job.”

And then, the article said: “A container of water was pitched out of one of the windows of the building, splashing two spectators. Later, two demonstrators were hit by water-filled paper bags thrown from the building.”

A 9-year-old boy was struck. Several women in the protest, including the boy’s mother, hurried up to the advertising agency’s sixth-floor offices and confronted a secretary about the water throwing.

“This is the executive floor,” the secretary said. “That’s utterly ridiculous.”

“Don’t you call us ridiculous,” a protester shouted. “Is this what Madison Avenue represents?”

“And they call us savages,” a protester named Vivian Harris said.

Somewhere in the room was John Kifner, a cub reporter for The Times who had been hired as a copyboy three years earlier.

“Kif,” as he is still known in the newsroom, would go on to cover more or less every armed conflict on planet Earth in the decades that followed, but on this day in 1966, he was on Madison Avenue.

Forty-five years later, Allison Mann, head of research for the writers of “Mad Men,” came across Kif’s clip while scanning front pages from that time, and gave it to Matthew Weiner, the show’s creator.

“I was blown away,” Mr. Weiner said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. “I just loved the level of outrage from the participants in the protest. It was so eloquently said, and it struck to the heart of the conflict. They were being lampooned. This was a very serious issue for them and a joke to everyone else.”

He quickly decided to keep Mr. Kifner’s dialogue. “His story was such that I thought it inviolable,” Mr. Weiner said. “The way that quote-unquote ‘average person’ got to the heart of it was way better than any writer could have made up. If I had concocted the story, I would have never written that. It was a great capturing of the lack of respect, which is to me what a lot of the show is about.”

He toyed with the idea of having characters from his fictional firm of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce dropping the water, but chose to keep the action at Young & Rubicam. “It was not a slight at Y&R at all,” he said. “It’s something I thought our agency would be amused by.”

David Sable, the present-day chief executive of Y&R, was not amused.

“Part of that story is sad but true — a few idiots dropped water balloons on protesters some 50 years ago,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. “What I don’t know was whether or not they were fired. I certainly hope they were. Needless to say, their behavior was completely repulsive and not in line with the values of our company.”

The critics, informed that the scene that seemed to them to be wooden was in fact born of flesh and blood, stood their ground.

Mr. Hale: “There is no connection between the fact that it actually happened and the scene was taken from a New York Times article and whether the scene was any good or not.”

Of the “savages” quote, he said, “When she said that, it just rings so false.”

Mr. Seitz: “It’s good to know that all that actually happened, but it’s still a terrible line in context of the scene, because it’s an editorial summing-up that tells us all how to feel.”

Mr. Kifner, 70, has no recollection of that day.

“There was a lot of poverty and racial stuff,” he said. “I had the poverty beat. It’s so long ago, and so many stories. I can’t remember.”

Mr. Kifner does not watch “Mad Men” — “My sister watches it,” he said – but when told he basically wrote a key scene for the hit show, he said: “No kidding! That’s great.”

There is a reporter in the background of the “Mad Men” scene, scribbling notes, a fictional Kif. “He knew that he had stumbled into a way better story than what he had shown up for,” Mr. Weiner said. “He is the poster for why somebody would want to be a journalist when they grow up. The whole thing smacks of adventure and intellect.”

9936: All-Star Salute.

A salute from the Most Influential Blacks in the NBA…? Although it’s not clear why Kevin Love is in the picture.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

9935: Being Open With Recruiting Tactics…?

The New York Times reported on a new 4A’s brainchild designed to recruit young people to the advertising industry. The online video looks like someone tried to sneak a diversity initiative into the project too. However, if one really wants to woo a youth audience, don’t do it with work that appears to have been conceived and executed by, well, Old White Guys. The grand scheme is called Open Advertising, which sounds oxymoronic. Wonder if the openness will include revealing the issues surrounding diversity—as well as gender and ageism. Plus, the Digital Set being targeted should be apprised that digital salaries are lower than traditional advertising salaries.

Pitching the Ad Life to the Digital Set

By Stuart Elliott

THE leading trade organization for advertising agencies is intensifying efforts to cast a wider net when recruiting employees with an initiative aimed not only at students, but also at talented younger people who work in other industries.

Executives of the organization, known as the Four A’s, are to describe the initiative during their annual Transformation conference, to be held in Beverly Hills, Calif., beginning on Monday and concluding on Wednesday.

The centerpiece of the initiative, called Open Advertising, will be a video-focused Web site,, that is to go live on Wednesday. It is meant to address a survey last year that concluded the industry was falling short in its attempts to attract and keep talented employees.

The contents of the Web site will be devoted to subjects like creativity, technology and agency work life. Another survey, conducted this year by two Four A’s members, Colle & McVoy and Partners & Napier, found considerable misconceptions on those subjects among the target audience.

“The No. 1 thing you hear from students and young people in other fields is, ‘Wow, I didn’t think you could do that in advertising,’ ” said Andrew Benett, global chief executive of Arnold Worldwide, part of Havas. He is to announce the initiative during the conference along with Sharon Napier, president and chief executive of Partners & Napier, part of Project WorldWide, and Nancy Hill, president and chief executive of the Four A’s.

The goal is “to tell the story of the industry in a high-touch, high-engagement way,” Mr. Benett said, and show advertising in a way that makes it appealing to “career switchers” as well as those seeking their first jobs.

Mr. Benett acknowledged that “you can never ‘solve’ the talent problem for the industry, because talent is going to constantly evolve.” But the industry needs to move beyond “a communications effort or a P.R. campaign,” he added, and address its recruitment problems in a substantive manner.

Among the initial participants in Open Advertising, Ms. Hill said, are digital and social media specialists like Razorfish, R/GA, Rokkan and Socialistic as well as agencies like Arnold Worldwide; Deutsch; Euro RSCG; McGarryBowen; McKinney; Mullen; JWT; Rapp; Saatchi & Saatchi; and Y&R.

“Three months ago, I was on a panel and someone asked, ‘How do I get into advertising?’” Ms. Hill said. “We want to make it easy to answer.”

“This is about bringing in a generation that’s been content creators all their lives,” she added, on social media like Facebook and YouTube, “and making advertising the preferred career choice for talent of all stripes.”

To underline the target audience for Open Advertising, anyone will be able to watch video clips on the Web site but to comment, share content or upload work, visitors will need to log in through their Facebook accounts.

The discussion of the initiative is among steps being taken by Ms. Hill and the Four A’s to make the conference agenda more compelling than “a bunch of agency talking heads saying the same stuff over and over,” as she put it.

Speakers and panelists are to include Rebecca Campbell, president of the ABC Owned Television Stations Group; Charlie Collier, president at AMC Networks, whose AMC channel presents “Mad Men”; Carolyn Everson, vice president for global marketing solutions at Facebook; Jack J. Haber, vice president for global advertising and digital at Colgate-Palmolive; Jason Kilar, chief executive of Hulu; J.B. Perrette, chief digital officer at Discovery Communications; Robert Pittman, chief executive of Clear Channel Media and Entertainment; Randall Rothenberg, president and chief executive of the Interactive Advertising Bureau; Larry Scott, commissioner of the Pacific-12 Conference; Kristin van Ogtrop, managing editor of Real Simple magazine; and Chuck Woolery, the former game show host who is now a “senior citizen marketing specialist” at Western Creative.

The fact that registrations for the conference, at 1,300, are higher than had been expected indicates that “a lot of people think they’re going to get value out of it,” said Chuck Porter, the 2010-12 chairman of the Four A’s who is also chairman of Crispin Porter & Bogusky, part of MDC Partners, and chief strategist of MDC.

“People are busy, and the Four A’s has begun to understand this is business,” Mr. Porter said. “Nobody feels comfortable flying off to Bermuda.” (In 2000 and 2005, the organization, formerly the American Association of Advertising Agencies, held its annual management conference, a predecessor to the Transformation conference, in Southampton, Bermuda.)

“It’s less about socializing and golfing,” said Greg Stern, a Four A’s board member who is chief of Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, and more about offering “a results-oriented conference” with “substantive, significant topics relevant to everyone in the business.”

9934: Save The White Creatives.

Adweek reported Ogilvy & Mather alums Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin are launching a training company for young creative staffers. “With agencies no longer investing time and money to bring people along, it’s pretty much ‘sink or swim,’ and a lot of talented people sink,” declared Vonk. “Careers are stalling, work is suffering, and retention is poor.” Oh, so it’s not just the minority adfolks who require extra training?

Vonk and Kestin Launch Training Consultancy

Ex-O&M creative leaders fill a void in advertising

By Andrew McMains

Nancy Vonk and Janet Kestin have turned the dearth of training in the ad industry into a business model.

Vonk and Kestin, co-chief creative officers of the Toronto office of Ogilvy & Mather, are leaving the agency to launch Swim, a company that will help train and nurture creative staffers. The business opens next month.

“With agencies no longer investing time and money to bring people along, it’s pretty much ‘sink or swim,’ and a lot of talented people sink,” Vonk said in a statement. “Careers are stalling, work is suffering, and retention is poor.”

Swim will offer in-person and online training, and incorporate the experiences of leaders from many creatively driven industries. The company will work primarily with agencies. Its first client is the duo’s former employer: Ogilvy.

In unveiling the business, Vonk cited a spring Adweek story that illustrated how a Starbucks barista gets more training than the average agency staffer. That story stemmed from a talent management survey that Arnold global CEO Andrew Benett unveiled at a 4A’s conference in March.

To fill the CCO slot that Vonk and Kestin are vacating, Ogilvy named Ian MacKellar, executive creative director at Canadian independent shop Bensimon Byrne. Earlier in his career, MacKellar was a creative leader at BBDO Toronto.

9933: Find Your Concept.

Not sure what the hell this ad is trying to communicate.

Monday, March 26, 2012

9932: Best Joint To Work.

Jim Edwards at Business Insider pointed out Roberts Communications—voted 20th Best Place to Work by Advertising Age—was represented with a photograph of staffers sporting Jamaican gear, drinking Red Stripe and carrying a gigantic joint. Agency officials claimed the photo depicted “Team Reggae,” winner of the shop’s summer picnic kickball squad. Wonder if there’s a photo somewhere of at least one employee in a dreads wig and blackface.

9931: Living Up To The Hype…?

If Draftfcb Global Chief Talent Officer Cindy Augustine makes good on Draftfcb President and CEO Laurence Boschetto’s multicultural manifesto, she’ll deserve to be named the Most Influential Black in Corporate America.

9930: Celebrating Workplace Exclusivity.

Leave it to DDB in Spain to produce a campaign featuring animated resumes—where all the candidates are White.

From Ads of the World.

9929: Mulatas And Gringos.

The headline for this Brazilian ad reads, “While the mulata’s feet samba, the gringos dance with their fingers in the air.” Guess the advertiser knows their tourists—and knows what they’re looking for.

From Ads of the World.

9928: Quirky And Quarky Job Listing.

This actual job listing seeks a Production Artist with a good eye for design to receive $20-25 per hour working with InDesign and Quark. Quark?! Wonder if the lucky candidate will be paid the stellar rate in Buffalo nickels.

Position: Production Artist w/eye for design
Location: City of Chicago
Status: Freelance
Estimated Duration: could be ongoing
Rate: $20-$25/hour DOE

Job Description:
Our downtown agency client is seeking a Production Artist with a good eye for design.

Looking for someone to hit the ground running on a variety of projects.

Will be making edits to existing layouts for collateral in addition to creating PDF's and setting up presentations with Quark and InDesign, etc.

Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign and Quark

If you feel you are qualified for this position please send your resume to:

Best wishes!

Creative Circle

9927: Plane Bullshit.

Adweek reported Southwest Airlines has at least eight advertising agencies vying for its billings and advancing to the visitation round. Wonder how many of the bigwig ad people will actually fly Southwest to meet the prospective client.

Southwest’s Semifinalists’ List is Long

At least 8 shops advance in creative review

By Andrew McMains

Southwest Airlines isn’t lacking in choice for agencies. At least eight agencies have advanced to the visitation round of the airline’s search for a lead creative agency.

Airline marketing executives chose the shops based on their replies to an initial request for proposals.

Each agency will visit Southwest at its Dallas headquarters over the next two weeks, and based on those meetings, the airline will select three or four finalists to compete for the assignment. Sources estimate revenue on the account at $4-5 million.

Beyond incumbent GSD&M, the participating agencies include Deutsch LA in Marina del Rey, Calif.; BBDO in New York; DDB in Chicago; The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va.; TBWA\Chiat\Day in Playa del Rey, Calif.; Arnold in Boston; and Leo Burnett in Chicago, according to sources.

The airline spends about $200 million annually on media.

Regardless of the outcome, GSD&M will remain on the roster. Southwest plans to complete its search by the end of May. Select Resources International in Santa Monica, Calif., is managing the process.

9926: Hitler Hawks Haircare.

From The New York Post…

Turkish shampoo ad featuring Hitler sparks outrage


ANKARA, Turkey—A Turkish shampoo commercial featuring Adolf Hitler has drawn outrage from Jewish groups worldwide and calls for it to be withdrawn immediately.

“It’s totally unacceptable to make use of Hitler, the most striking example of cruelty and savagery,” the Turkish Jewish Community said in a statement, blasting the 12-second ad that has been airing since last week.

The commercial for Biomen, a men’s shampoo, shows a gesticulating Hitler delivering an enthusiastic speech, urging male customers to buy the product that is “a 100 percent male shampoo.”

“If you are not wearing a woman’s dress, you should not use her shampoo either,” he says.

Jewish organizations in Turkey have asked the advertising agency to pull the commercial.

On an international level, the United States-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL), which fights anti-semitism, said it was “repulsed.”

Using Hitler, “who was responsible for the mass murder of six million Jews and millions of others in the Holocaust to sell shampoo is a disgusting and deplorable marketing ploy,” said Abraham H. Foxman, the national director of the ADL and a Holocaust survivor, in a statement.

“It is an insult to the memory of those who perished in the Holocaust, those who survived, and those who fought to defeat the Nazis.”

9925: Mad Men Drops Season 5.

The premier episode of the 5th season of AMC series Mad Men was bookended by racial references. Staffers at Young & Rubicam were displayed dropping water bombs from their high-rise offices onto Black protestors below. The activists stormed the agency lobby to complain, and when the bombers were caught red-handed, one Black woman sniffed, “And they call us savages.” A drenched Black child allowed creator Matthew Weiner another chance to cast minorities as heroic victims.

At Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce, Roger Sterling joked about the incident and wondered if his agency shouldn’t advertise itself as an equal opportunity employer. Don Draper laughed along with Sterling. The Draper character has always been schizophrenic with his insensitivity. One moment, the man employs and shows respect to former housekeeper Carla. Next, he’s giggling over racist goofballs.

At a later event where executives continued discussing the Y&R scenario, Pete Campbell remarked, “Couldn’t have happened to a better bunch of bigots.”

It seemed odd that the program would tweak Y&R in such a way, as the iconic agency did hire Roy Eaton in 1955, while Mad Men appears to be depicting the early-to-mid 1960s. Not saying the place was or is a bastion of multicultural harmony, but surely the authenticity-obsessed Weiner could have chosen a better target.

A surprise birthday bash for Draper presented an effeminate Black attendee, giving partygoers opportunities to insult homosexuals. Weiner has been consistently comfortable exploring blatant bias aimed at gays. The party also featured a live band with a Black saxophonist, perpetuating a stereotype that still plays in advertisements to this very day.

Lane Pryce found a wallet in a taxicab and conversed with the Black driver, permitting more reverent depictions of Blacks.

Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce ultimately ran a prank want ad, touting itself as an equal opportunity employer. The episode closed showing the agency lobby filled with Black applicants, leading to an impromptu meeting where the dumbfounded executives decided they must at least pretend to offer someone a job. Plus, Y&R delivered a counter-prank, sending an African sculpture with a fake resume attached. Lane Pryce announced the shop would interview for secretary positions, dismissing the male candidates and collecting resumes from the women.

All in all, Mad Men exhibited two hours of cultural cluelessness—from the fictional characters as well as the series’ writing crew.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

9924: Invisible Admen And Adwomen.

From Advertising Age…

Silent Minorities: Industry Employees Speak Out About Adland Isolation

Results of Study Called ‘Very Disenchanting, But Not Surprising’

By Ken Wheaton

The average ad-industry employee likely agrees the diversity issue is a very unfortunate situation. One that should be remedied. By someone. But on a daily basis, he’s likely to carry on, figuring for the most part the industry will evolve and that his nonwhite coworkers are content with the state of adland.

The reality, according to a new study, is that a whopping 74% of minority employees in the industry agree that “My experience as an employee from a multicultural background is different from my colleagues’.”

The Impact Study, conducted by cross-cultural talent consultancy Tangerine-Watson, surveyed a total of 831 ad-industry professionals of various races and across general-market and ethnic shops between September and December of 2011.

The study’s numbers likely won’t shock anyone who’s paying attention to the issue. As 4A’s CEO Nancy Hill said, “It is very disenchanting, but not surprising at the same time.” Carol Watson, founder and CEO of Tangerine-Watson, called the results “sad and concerning.”

But one thing this survey provides is actual voices from those responding. What comes through is mostly a sense of resignation tinged with sadness.

“I try to keep my cultural preferences outside of work. … Since there isn’t much diversity I just have to go along with the flow,” wrote one respondent.

Another wrote about feeling excluded “when nobody [in the office] introduced themselves to me.”

“Many other people are allowed to just ‘be.’ As a black man I often have to shield my ‘real’ self a bit. I wish I could be as open as others. It’s something they don’t even recognize.”

Gender came up in a number of comments. Indeed, men (37%) felt more strongly than women (27%) that their experiences were “very much different” than their white colleagues.

Why does any of this matter? Obviously, aside from doing what’s right, it’s good for business to have ad agencies reflect the reality of the world we live in. One of the 4A’s most recent diversity efforts is called “Competitive Edge” for just that reason.

And it can be bad for business when a creative team overlooks important cultural cues in a campaign. For all the social-media outcries in 2011, the No. 10 most-read story on last year was “Nivea Pulls Ad, Apologizes After Racism Accusations.”

But even speaking up to voice concerns about such things comes with its own baggage. “Simply being aware of the presence (or lack thereof) of racial overtones in our advertising concepts and being turned to as the one to call it out is an unwritten responsibility—and I fear an unwritten liability,” wrote one respondent.

And there’s also the worry of being stigmatized as a complainer. Wrote another: “I have been treated differently for expressing negative feelings vs. my white colleagues.”

That’s not to say everything boiled down to race. When asked what they liked least about the ad industry, whites, African-Americans and Asian-Americans all picked “instability” as the top choice. “Instability” was the No. 2 choice among Hispanics, with “challenge balancing work and personal life” being the No. 1 dislike.

That said, lack of diversity does play a major role when it comes time for employees to decide whether or not to say in adland. African-Americans (33%) and Latinos (21%) were more likely to cite lack of racial and ethnic diversity as a very important reason for leaving the industry, compared to whites (4%).

For an industry that’s been hammered over this issue off and on since the late 1960s without a great deal of progress to show for it, keeping the minorities it has is just as important as recruiting fresh talent.

Ms. Watson hopes that the answers to the surveys—as well as a more granular look at the data and follow-up surveys—will provide some guidance for agencies.

Looking at some of the responses regarding those times multicultural employees actually felt included, some of the fixes don’t exactly require an industry-wide initiative. Being invited to meetings, being included in award-submission processes, being consulted on anything from creative to the new offices—these were among the things that made respondents feel more included.

Another step agency employees could take? Perhaps realizing that not everyone sees the time period portrayed in “Mad Men” as something to admire. (Responded one person to the scenario “I feel excluded”: “When they had a “Mad Men’ party.”)

But internship programs and affinity groups and mentoring and reverse-mentoring opportunities were also all mentioned by respondents. And that’s where agency executives and the industry as a whole have to step in.

“I’ve never been shy about saying we have work to do,” said the 4A’s Ms. Hill. “Our actions … have cultural cues we just need to think about, especially when we’re the majority culture.”

Which general-market agencies are doing right by way of diversity? Ogilvy & Mather and Wieden & Kennedy came in tops across the categories among non-Caucasian respondents.

In a statement, Ogilvy & Mather North America Chairman-CEO John Seifert said: “While we are grateful to see our progress recognized, we still have so much to do in attracting and retraining the best and brightest talent from the cross-cultural landscape we serve.”

Regarding Wieden & Kennedy, former employee Jimmy Smith chairman-CEO-chief creative officer of Amusement Park Entertainment, said, “It’s incredible what Dan [Wieden] and Dave [Kennedy] have accomplished … especially miraculous when you consider that Portland [Oregon] is one of the whitest joints on the planet.”

What does Wieden have that others don’t? No. 1, said Mr. Smith, is its client roster. “Cool attracts cool,” as he put it. But it’s not just Nike. “Dan and Dave have love for people of color. Dave has been heavily involved with the American Indian College Fund since I’ve known him. And it’s true: Dan wishes he could be reborn as a Black jazz musician. …John Jay is a partner at W&K and he’s Asian. He helped me immensely with my transition into W&K, and I’m sure he’s helped many others since I left.”

Much of which affirms something else Ms. Hill said. “The clear message in all of this is [that] it starts with the CEO.”

9923: Edge Gel Gets Edgy.

The creative people responsible for this promotion are, well, dicks.

9922: Don Thompson, Big Mac On Campus.

From The Chicago Sun-Times…

New McDonald’s boss is a fry guy

By Sandra Guy | Business Reporter

Don Thompson was a pretty smart guy — at the time a designer of radar jamming systems for Northrop Corp. in Rolling Meadows.

But he didn’t understand the call he got from a corporate recruiter who talked about things a guy with an electrical engineering degree from Purdue would get excited about: robotics, control circuitry and feedback loops.

He assumed the job was with aerospace manufacturer McDonnell Douglas.

“When should I come to St. Louis for the interview?” Thompson asked.

“St. Louis?” the recruiter asked.

“Yeah, isn’t that where McDonnell Douglas is?”

Replied the recruiter: “This is McDonald’s hamburgers.”

Well, said Thompson, “You got the wrong guy, because I’m not flipping hamburgers for anybody.”

In an interview with Black Enterprise magazine in 2007, Thompson explained he was concerned about how his grandmother would feel. Raising Thompson, she moved with him to Indianapolis when he was about 10 because she feared gang influence in his Chicago neighborhood in the 1970s. “She gave everything she had to get me into and through Purdue,” he said.

Thompson’s grandmother can relax. After 22 years at Oak Brook-based McDonald’s, her grandson was tapped this week to become CEO of the world’s largest hamburger chain — the first African American to hold the post.

Rosa Martin, 96, said Thursday she was so happy, she was crying.

“I raised him from two weeks old,” she said. “I must have done something right.”

“It is Thompson’s life mission to do what he can to help others, just as others have been committed to him,” said Katey Assem, executive director of the CSU Foundation, a nonprofit arm of Chicago State University, where Thompson has donated his time.

Assem recalled how Thompson chose a struggling student to mentor when he volunteered for a university leadership program. He helped the young man with his studies, took him to church and paid for his education.

“As a mentor, Don took the kid who was struggling,” Assem said. “He never took the kid with a 4.5 GPA or at the top of the class.”

Thompson’s efforts paid off when the student graduated with a degree in electrical engineering, the same degree that Thompson, 48, had earned at Purdue. CSU recognized Thompson last year for his mentoring work and his contributions to scholarship funds. At the event, he talked to students about the importance of faith, hard work, staying in school and listening to mentors.

Thompson has been mentored by McDonald’s current CEO, Jim Skinner, 67, who announced Wednesday that he is retiring June 30 after a 41-year career at the Golden Arches.

Thompson has moved several times as he worked his way up, got a taste of overseas markets as head of the Restaurant Systems Group and is credited with persuading franchisees to invest in McDonald’s “dollar menu” in 2002 to turn around the company after it had expanded too aggressively. Yet he is known for leveraging his analytical skills to change strategy, such as when he agreed with franchisees to take the double cheeseburger off the dollar menu and sell it for $1.19.

He was promoted to president of McDonald’s USA in 2006 and to president and chief operating officer in January 2010, overseeing 33,000 restaurants in 119 countries.

Thompson, who will become the sixth African-American CEO among today’s Fortune 500 company leaders, worked on the robotics of moving vast amounts of food throughout the McDonald’s chain. He later oversaw a test of self-service kiosks, introduced a shrimp burger in Japan and led the introduction of premium coffee.

First, though, he really did have to flip burgers. As many corporate employees do in an accelerated management program, Thompson worked at a Mickey D’s in Chicago for six months before assuming his real job.

“I turned in my suit and tie for a crew uniform,” Thompson recalled in a 2008 interview with Franchise Times. He said he was “trained by 16- and 17-year-olds on how to make french fries and Big Macs.”

9921: Ad Council Is A Sellout.

Why are the Ad Council and Library of Congress doing tie-ins with Disney? Then again, it may be a public service to recommend reading John Carter books versus seeing the movie.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

9920: Annie The Chicken Queen In N’awlins.

This Popeye’s commercial attempts to present Annie the Chicken Queen in an authentic New Orleans location. Actual residents know the CBD restaurant looks more like what’s depicted in the Google map below—plus, the place attracts crowds completing Bourbon Street drinking binges.

9919: Shannon Kane And Able.