Friday, May 31, 2013

11171: Adland—Immigration Leader?

Advertising Age published a unique perspective on immigration by P.J. Pereira. The writer makes some interesting observations about the industry’s open-minded attitude when wooing foreigners and its arguably close-minded ways regarding local grassroots recruiting. Yet should our industry be saluted for welcoming international adpeople? As Pereira points out, acquiring an O1 visa usually requires winning awards and accolades abroad. So it could be argued that such recruitment essentially constitutes extended exclusivity. No one in the U.S. appears to be scouring the inner cities of other countries for minority employees. It would be nice to see numbers supporting Pereira’s contention that the ad business is doing a great job of reeling in top talent from around the globe. A lot of industry immigrants fail to assimilate and/or ultimately reveal themselves as idiots with an accent. Besides, Adland might look a tad hypocritical touting its success with immigration when there has been total failure with integration.

Why the Ad Industry Should Speak Up as Part of America’s Immigration Policy Debate

What Would American Advertising Be Without Linus Karlsson, Nick Law, David Droga, Rei Inamoto, and Jose Molla?

By P.J. Pereira

What would American advertising be like without people like Linus Karlsson, Nick Law, David Droga, Rei Inamoto, or Jose Molla? In a moment when this country discusses its immigration policies, its ad industry should be proud of the fact that it has been, for decades, bringing the world to our backyard.

And if a lot of the discussion around this theme ends up on border protection, low wage immigrants, and amnesty for illegals, the issue also influences how open we are to bringing in highly skilled academics and professionals that can’t be found enough around here. The Silicon Valley in particular has been fighting for years on better ways to attract great minds, but they are always pushed back.

Well, we can help. Not with a campaign though. We can be an example.

The ad world’s accomplishments in its ability to attract global talent is ahead of most industries. Although it’s important to note that this happened at least partially because of a very peculiar advantage we have. When I immigrated from Brazil to work in the states, my first visa was given as an “O1” type. This designation surprisingly caused every immigration officer I met to ask me why I was so special. O1 was a type of visa originally created for Nobel Prize winners, Olympians and other super humans, as one officer once explained. It so happens that because our industry has international awards, it’s easier for us than other disciplines to provide the evidence necessary to receive that prestigious code; a visa that is otherwise hard to prove your worth yet very fast and painless once you do.

The ad world just took advantage of this opportunity, as we should have. With the O1, it became easy to follow who was doing great work abroad and attract them to the biggest and most powerful market in the world. And that’s the reason why we are ahead of other segments. Our advantage isn’t based on any kind of moral superiority, global taste or vision, but on a blurry opening in the system that allows us to use a mechanism created for brilliant scientists and super athletes.

In other disciplines that don’t have the same kind of validating evidence that award shows provide our industry, restrictions to hosting foreigners become so daunting that most of the time it amounts to far too much work, and risk. But because things have been easier for us, we have been ensuring America remains consistently among the top leaders in our sector. And this is a very timely and valuable stance! The American ad industry is proof that making it easier to attract top talent will make us more competitive. It’s this ease, and its impact, that we should highlight and demonstrate, not the intention or even the fact that these immigrants create jobs, etc. Let the Valley do that part. Our story is the proof of how making immigration processes easier works for the nation as a whole. Period.

This business gets knocked around a lot, but the ad industry can confidently say it’s good on bringing foreigners into the business. However, it should make a bigger noise about to underscore the importance of making things easier.

At the same time, we shouldn’t rest on our laurels and only go for the tried and tested. And we shouldn’t import the best and brightest minds exclusively. It’s imperative for us to be training young talent too. And it’s downright scary how little of that is going on.

A few years ago I told some colleagues that I was planning to hire three kids straight from school to work on a big client. An account guy screamed at me, “You want to hire these first-timers to work on a Fortune 500 account? No way! Let those beginners learn their craft somewhere else, and then come here after they are 3, 5 years into this.” A CD joined him, “I looked at their books. They aren’t professional enough to work here. Let them learn first so we can use them on something.” Luckily my boss was more open-minded and gave me all the support to do it, because he also believed that someone had to help these people start. Six months later, those 26-year-old “kids” were kicking ass, doing amazing work, growing that account and winning awards. And both the CD and the account guy came to apologize.

When we get too used to looking outside for proven talent, we create a pattern of going for the guaranteed bet, instead of investing on nurturing new, slightly risky ones. So while we praise our own modernity as global recruiters, we should also be ashamed of fueling the exact opposite side of the issue.

Rather than blindly taking sides, our industry has a job to do on both camps of this battle of “let’s-bring-in-the-geniuses-that-will-create-more-jobs” versus “let’s-employ-the-Americans-that-need-those-jobs-so-badly.” We are shirking responsibility if we don’t position our industry as an example of how an easier process of bringing in top global talent makes us more competitive as a nation. But denying how lazy we have been with the just-out-of-school-kids may be worse—it may be immoral.

P.J. Pereira is co-founder and chief creative officer at San Francisco-based Pereira & O’Dell.

11170: Color Commentary On Cheerios.

Lots of sources have already addressed the controversy and commentary surrounding the Cheerios commercial featuring an interracial couple and their daughter. Even AdFreak has collected 175 comments and counting.

Is there really anything here to be offended over? Yes, but the insulting issues have nothing to do with the actual commercial.

For starters, Saatchi & Saatchi New York created the spot. It’s always annoying when White advertising agencies try to come off as oh-so-progressive with race and culture—yet completely fail to demonstrate bona fide progress in their own hallways. When and why did the agency creatives decide to mix things up with the casting? Does such open-mindedness occur when hiring decisions are made at Saatchi & Saatchi? Don’t bet on it.

Annoyance must also be directed towards General Mills, the company behind Cheerios. Would the client ever have allowed its minority agencies to produce an integrated message like this one? Don’t bet on it. Hell, General Mills probably cut the crumbs typically handed to the minority partners, figuring the interracial family covered White and Black audiences.

Saatchi & Saatchi and General Mills are likely patting themselves on the back for being pseudo-forward thinkers. Too bad their day-to-day actions show their true colors.

11169: Massive Woody.

Does this ad from Kenya stereotype the men of an entire continent?

From Ads of the World.

11168: No Quiero Coors.

From The New York Times…

Seen as Offensive, Beer Can Has a Shortened Shelf Life

By Winnie Hu

The special cans of Coors Light beer started popping up in New York City in recent weeks ahead of the coming parade. The vitriol followed soon after with elected officials and others saying that the cans were tasteless and sent the wrong message.

So now the commemorative cans are no longer being produced for the 2013 Puerto Rican Day Parade.

The cans were imprinted with a circular logo that depicted the Puerto Rican flag as an apple along with the words: “National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Inc.” It was produced by MillerCoors — based on a modified version of the parade’s official logo — and was reviewed and approved by the parade’s organizers.

“The flag is a symbol of a nation, of a culture, and slapping it on a can of beer is disrespectful and trivializes a community and its contributions,” said City Councilwoman Melissa Mark-Viverito, who was born and raised in Puerto Rico. She added that the beer can was particularly inappropriate this year because the parade’s official theme was “Salud: Celebrate Your Health.”

MillerCoors, which brews Coors Light, issued an apology over the can hours before a protest outside a beer distribution center in the Bronx that was organized by Boricuas for a Positive Image, a group of Puerto Rican activists. The annual parade down Fifth Avenue, scheduled this year for June 9, is one of the nation’s largest parades and attracts more than 80,000 marchers and two million spectators, according to the parade’s organizer, the National Puerto Rican Day Parade. (This year’s grand marshal is Chita Rivera.)

“We apologize if the graphics on our promotional packaging inadvertently offended you or any other members of the Puerto Rican community,” Nehl Horton, a spokesman for MillerCoors, wrote in a letter to the Boricuas group.

Mr. Horton said that MillerCoors was no longer producing the packaging and would stop distributing it by Friday morning. He said that the company had “a strong history of supporting the U.S. Latino community” and that its intent in sponsoring the parade was “to highlight the cultural strength and vibrancy of the Puerto Rican community and to provide scholarship funds to deserving individuals who are seeking to improve their lives through higher education.”

The company declined to say how many cans had been sold or how much had been spent to produce them.

It was the second time that MillerCoors, which has been a sponsor of the parade for seven years, has faced criticism in the partnership. In 2011, the company canceled an advertisement displaying three beer bottles and the word “emboricuate,” which would translate as “make yourself Puerto Rican,” after people complained that it could also be interpreted as a play on the Spanish word “emborrachate” (get drunk).

Madelyn Lugo, chairwoman of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade, said through a spokesman that the board had worked with the company to try to avoid potentially offensive promotional elements, and apologized for any misunderstandings caused by the final product.

Ms. Lugo added that the organization was taking steps to develop new guidelines for using and displaying the parade’s logo by third parties.

Ramon Jimenez, a lawyer for the Boricuas group, said that it was still considering whether to accept MillerCoors’s apology, and that the issue pointed to a larger problem with the parade’s organizer. His group has called for a change in leadership, and for more accountability in the marketing of the parade.

“They’ve commercialized the parade to the point where big floats for Budweiser and Coors dominate the parade while the cultural exhibitions and the various towns that march are minor players,” Mr. Jimenez said. “They’re overshadowed by the commercial interests.”

Thursday, May 30, 2013

11167: Batting Around With Hank Aaron.

From USA TODAY…

Hank Aaron broke records, barriers both on and off the field

Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY Sports

ATLANTA — Hank Aaron, surrounded by hatred and bigotry in the Deep South, refused to leave when they wanted him gone.

He broke the record many in America didn’t want him to break.

Now, he speaks at a time when it’s just as easy to be silent.

Aaron, 79, a man who symbolizes excellence and grace, will forever be remembered as the man who broke perhaps sports’ greatest record, hitting his 715th homer in 1974, and eclipsing Babe Ruth’s all-time mark.

Yet, the greatest feat in his lifetime, Aaron says, is the barrier broken in Washington.

“I never thought we’d ever have a black president,” Aaron tells USA TODAY Sports. “President Obama has done such a tremendous job. … He just has been unable to get what he needs to be moved at the level it should be moved. My wife and I pray that people will understand that.”

Aaron received death threats, constant hate letters, and vicious racism when he broke Ruth’s sacred record on April 8, 1974.

“People were not ready to accept me as a baseball player,” Aaron says. “The easiest part of that whole thing, chasing the Babe’s record, was playing the game itself. The hardest thing was after the game was over, dealing with the press. They could never understand. Here comes a young black player from Alabama, he’s challenging one of the most prestigious records in the world, and they couldn’t handle it.”

Aaron doesn’t want to be known as simply one of the greatest ballplayers who ever lived, with 755 homers and a record 2,297 RBI and 25 All-Star Game appearances, but remembered as a great American.

“I am very proud to be an American,” Aaron says, “This country has so much potential, I’d just like to see things better, or whatever, and I think it will be.

“I hope (young adults) understand they are very lucky to be born in this country. The most important thing they need to understand is that when they go to school, go to college, and graduate, it’s to make a contribution to this country.”

Aaron is aware of the statistics that still plague this country. There are currently only two African-Americans in the U.S. Senate, both of whom have been appointed. The unemployment rate for African Americans (as of April) is 13.2%. Aaron believes there can’t be a level playing field in the corporate world, Aaron says, until there are more black CEOs and presidents in the boardrooms.

“I still think we have a ways to go,” Aaron says, “to make people understand. We still have problems. In all walks of life.”

Even Major League Baseball, which has just three African-American managers and one general manager among its 30 teams.

“In baseball, I’d love to see black ownerships,” Aaron says. “People say, well, we have Magic Johnson (Los Angeles Dodgers part-owner), but that’s a carrot really.”

DISAPPOINTING JACKIE

While Aaron is grateful that Jackie Robinson cleared the way when he broke the color barrier in 1947, he wishes it had happened earlier.

“Too bad integration didn’t come sooner because there were so many ballplayers that could have made the major leagues,” he says. “That’s why you look back, and not to take away anything from Babe Ruth or some of those other guys, they didn’t play against the greatest ballplayers in the world.”

Aaron says that he owes so much to Major League Baseball, but he also believes MLB owes African-Americans a greater avenue for participation.

“I think Jackie certainly would be disappointed in the way things are today, especially for African-Americans,” Aaron says. “Let’s face it, baseball was down, and when he came along, he put a big spike into baseball with the way he played, and along came other great black ballplayers.

“And to see where it is today, he certainly would be disappointed. You look at baseball. The African American (segment) is not one they’re concerned with.”

African-Americans accounted for just 7.7% of players on MLB rosters on opening day, the lowest mark since the Boston Red Sox became the final team to integrate its roster in 1959, according to a USA TODAY study.

“A lot of people want their kids to play baseball, but can’t afford it financially. Today, black kids don’t have places to play,” he said. “They don’t have the bats, balls, gloves. They don’t have coaches.

“I think Major League Baseball has to reach back in their pocket and do something to help these kids. I know they’re trying to, but I know there’s so much room for improvement.”

HAPPY FOR BONDS

Aaron’s record stood until Bonds eclipsed it in 2007, invoking a different type of controversy. Bonds broke the record amid allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs. A federal jury acquitted Bonds on three counts he committed perjury in 2003 grand jury testimony regarding steroid use, and Bonds’ appeal of a felony conviction of obstruction of justice is still pending.

“That is mind-boggling,” Aaron says. “When you think about all of the guys who have been accused of cheating, and didn’t necessarily have to cheat. If you cheat, and you lie, the public holds you accountable.”

Despite the controversy over Bonds’ record, Aaron insists he is happy for Bonds, and his absence when Bonds broke the record was misperceived. He purposely stayed away, he said, out of respect for Bonds.

“I was glad he did it,” Aaron says, “I sent a congratulatory note. It was his day. It was not my day.

“I had already been through it. I didn’t want to go through that again.”

11166: Laxative Vacuum Ad Sucks.

How does a laxative act like a vacuum?

From Ads of the World.

11165: ADC’s 50/50 Is Half-Assed.

AgencySpy posted an inane video from the Art Directors Club calling for the industry to embrace gender equality with its 50/50 initiative. First of all, if any art directors were involved in the production of the video, they should have their club memberships immediately revoked. An organization that routinely displays sexism, exclusivity and racism should not be lecturing culturally clueless co-conspirators on the virtues of affirmative action. BTW, does the ADC even realize that the group which most benefitted from affirmative action is White women? ADC Executive Director Ignacio Oreamuno admitted the 92-year-old club’s creators were discriminating White men who refused to open the doors to women until 1942 (although the ADC website states it happened in 1943). Of course, Oreamuno failed to mention that the first Black member—George Olden—wasn’t allowed in until 1952. The organization’s current Board of Directors comes close to reaching the 50/50 goal; however, the numbers aren’t nearly so rosy when held up against the screen of diversity. Maybe Oreamuno can host another soiree featuring Neil French. Hell, advertising women like Karen Mallia seem to corroborate the old man’s perspectives. In the end, the ADC’s 50/50 is 100 percent bullshit.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

11164: Wendy’s Mucho Bullshit.

Advertising Age reported Wendy’s ranks dead last among fast food chains with Latinos—even behind Taco Bell. Given Latinos’ feelings for Taco Bell, no amount of commercials featuring soccer, mariachi bands or telenovelas will help Wendy’s. Yet the burger joint’s new targeted tagline reads: Mucho mejor (which translates to “far better”). Mucho mejor than what? Eating caca?

Wendy’s Last Among Big Burger Chains With Hispanics: Survey

Comes in Behind Both McDonald’s and Burger King

By Maureen Morrison

Can the Rojas family make Hispanics more likely to eat at Wendy’s? Whether the fictional family, which is featured in a new Wendy’s Hispanic campaign launched earlier this month, can move the needle remains to be seen. But a new study by market-research firm Placed suggests that the No. 2 burger chain may have an uphill battle compared to its rivals.

According to the report, called “Dining Out in America: The Quick-Service Restaurant Landscape,” Hispanics were least likely to visit Wendy’s compared to McDonald’s, Burger King and Taco Bell. Overall, the survey, based on direct measurement of 70,000 U.S. smartphone panelists in April that opted in to location measurement, found Hispanics 16% less likely to visit Wendy’s than the average U.S. consumer.

While the report didn’t give specific reasons, it’s likely Wendy’s is not high on Hispanic’s fast-food list in part because the chain isn’t spending as much to lure the demographic as rivals. Though it has said it plans to increase spending on the segment by double digits, Wendy’s in 2012 spent close to $11.7 million on Spanish-language network TV, according to Kantar Media—and that was down from $13.2 million in 2011. Meanwhile, McDonald’s, the largest advertiser in Spanish-language media, was the chain most likely to be visited by Hispanics in the study, compared to Taco Bell, Burger King and Wendy’s.

Last year, McDonald’s spent nearly $85 million on measured media on Spanish-language networks, according to Kantar and the Golden Arches has long courted the Hispanic demographic, said Julia Gallo-Torres, category manager for U.S. foodservice at Mintel. “McDonald’s has really for a long period had great outreach to Hispanics.” She added that Burger King also had a leg up on Hispanic marketing last year with a major menu rollout and campaign featuring Hispanic actors like Salma Hayek.

So beyond the big burger chains, where are Hispanics going for fast food? Pollo Tropical, El Pollo Loco and west coast burger chain In-N-Out ranked in the study as the top Hispanic-skewing fast food destinations; Steak ‘n Shake, Culver’s and Arby’s ranked at the bottom of that list.

There is good news for Wendy’s, however: It’s visited by African-Americans more than Burger King, McDonald’s and Taco Bell. African-Americans were 13% more likely than the average consumer to visit Wendy’s, showing the strongest skew among those four brands. Taco Bell showed the lowest index with African-Americans being 14% less likely to visit than average. Subway, by comparison, was visited by two in five Americans and Starbucks was visited by one in four, the study found.

Among all demographics Wendy’s is the fifth most-visited fast-food chain overall in the U.S., behind McDonald’s, Subway, Starbucks and Burger King. McDonald’s, the most-visited, saw more than half of all U.S. consumers walk through its doors in April, according to the study.

Other findings: Women visited McDonald’s the most; men visited Burger King and Taco Bell the most. Taco Bell saw the youngest visitors, with those under 44 over-indexing; Taco Bell visitors also skewed slightly lower in income compared to other chains.

11163: Staples—That Was Not Easy.

Advertising Age reported on the Staples pitch where the client wound up mixing and matching agencies throughout the review. Ironically, Staples was allegedly “seeking greater collaboration from agency partners.” According to Ad Age, “In an unusual move, the company paired up a handful of agencies on its own and invited them to pitch in teams. Later in the process, it reworked the agency groups and asked its incumbent shops—which include Interpublic Group of Cos’ McCann, WPP’s MediaCom and Publicis Groupe’s Razorfish—to pitch as one team. In the final round, that group of incumbents competed with the Dentsu team.” For a brand known by its iconic “Easy Button,” Staples managed to complicate matters—and demonstrate that agencies will prostitute themselves without hesitation. Choosing The Three Stooges of mcgarrybowen, Carat and Edelman shows the client has low expectations and even lower standards of excellence. Hell, Staples should simply use its in-store Copy&Print services to produce the advertising.

Staples Consolidates Advertising with Dentsu-Owned Shops, Edelman

Retailer Spent $90 Million on Measured Media in 2012

By Alexandra Bruell and Natalie Zmuda

After a review launched earlier this year, Staples has selected Dentsu agencies to handle its North American marketing business.

The team includes McGarryBowen for integrated creative duties and Carat for media. Also on the roster will be independent giant Edelman for PR.

The selection follows Dentsu’s acquisition of Carat parent company Aegis and marks the first time Carat and McGarryBowen have won a piece of business together within the same holding company. Aegis’ IProspect, the incumbent on the search business, also helped pitch the account.

According to people familiar with the matter, Staples launched the review early this year seeking greater collaboration from agency partners. In an unusual move, the company paired up a handful of agencies on its own and invited them to pitch in teams. Later in the process, it reworked the agency groups and asked its incumbent shops—which include Interpublic Group of Cos’ McCann, WPP’s MediaCom and Publicis Groupe’s Razorfish—to pitch as one team. In the final round, that group of incumbents competed with the Dentsu team.

Agencies either couldn’t be immediately reached or declined to comment. Staples didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Steven Fund, senior VP-global brand marketing, is understood to have led the search. He joined Staples in 2010 from Procter & Gamble, where he led the Gillette global business unit.

Santa Monica, California-basd consultancy Select Resources International managed the review. Despite the change, as recently as February, Staples said it was “pleased with the quality of work” from the incumbent agencies. The office retailer said its new strategic plan, launched in 2012 was the impetus for the search. “As part of this effort, we launched a new corporate vision,” a Staples spokeswoman said at the time. “In light of these changes, this is a perfect time to get new thinking on branding and advertising.”

Staples, which also owns B2B supplies brand Quill, spent $90.7 million on U.S. measured media in 2012, according to Kantar Media. That’s down from the $115.8 million it spent in 2011.

The company has struggled with competition from online and big box retailers in the commoditized office supply category. The retailer reported sales of $5.8 billion for the first quarter, a 3% decrease from a year ago. Profits fell 9%.

“We’re gaining momentum in many parts of our business,” said Ron Sargent, Staples’ CEO in a statement, following the disappointing earnings. “We’re driving growth online and in categories beyond core office supplies, and we look forward to building on our progress throughout 2013.”

Still, for the winners of the pitch it’s good news in a relatively dry new business year. It’s especially welcome for McGarryBowen, which has had some client losses and management changes in the past year.

In April, John McGarry III—the son of McGarryBowen founder and veteran adman John McGarry – announced his departure from the Dentsu-owned shop where he founded the digital practice. That news came a few months after co-founder Stewart Owen said he was retiring from the agency, and came one year after his father left day-to-day agency operations.

In January, the agency lost its Reebok account and late last year it lost a chunk of its Marriott business. Last summer, it parted with AB Inbev.

Carat, meanwhile, adds to its roster another win. Since picking up General Motors in early 2012, it has won Macy’s, Burberry, GoPro and PlayStation.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

11162: Mad Men Are Ad Whores.

AMC series Mad Men has become a promotional whorehouse. John Slattery hawks the Lincoln car brand. Christina Hendricks is the spokeswoman for Johnnie Walker Red Label. Now, Jon Hamm provides voiceover for American Airlines. Oh, and let’s not forget Elisabeth Moss whining about migraine headaches for Excedrin. So when will Teyonah Parris land an appearance in the My Black is Beautiful campaign?

Monday, May 27, 2013

11161: Memorial Day Tribute.

The Root presents Call of Duty: 19 Top Black Military Officers.

11160: Football Star Kicks Out Racist.

Australian soccer player gets girl, 13, removed after she calls him ‘ape’

TV footage shows Sydney Swans star forward Adam Goodes — an Aboriginal Australian — pointing out the teen racist to security. Goodes says it isn’t the first time he’s been called names during a game.

By Lee Moran / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

An Aussie soccer player confronted a racist teen fan who’d called him an ape — and had her escorted away from the game.

TV footage shows Sydney Swans star forward Adam Goodes — who is an Aboriginal Australian — calling out the 13-year-old who’d screamed out the word.

The 33-year-old is seen running past the girl — a fan of city rivals Collingwood — but then turning around and pointing her out to security.

She is then taken from her seat at Melbourne Cricket Ground.

The incident, during Friday night’s bitter derby game, was seen by millions.

Goodes, whose side went on to win 15.12 (102) to 8.7 (55), said the abuse had rendered the victory “meaningless.”

“To come to the boundary line and hear a girl call me an ‘ape’, and it’s not the first time on a footy field I’ve been referred to as a ‘monkey’ or an ‘ape’, it was shattering,” he told ABC.

Cops questioned the girl, who has not been named, for two hours and she was released pending further inquiries.

She has since apologized to the football star, who revealed he would not be pressing charges and would prefer she undergoes an education program instead.

”It’s not her fault, she’s 13, she’s still so innocent, I don’t put any blame on her,” he said.

“Unfortunately, it’s what she hears in the environment she’s grown up in that has made her think that it’s OK to call people names,” he added.

In the aftermath, Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard described Goodes as “someone we can all look up to.”

“His words and actions displayed the highest levels of respect and fairness — qualities he carries on and off the field,” she added.

11159: Students Bond Through Differences.

From The Los Angeles Times…

Differences give mixed-heritage students a common bond

Increasing numbers of college campus clubs give voice to those who don’t fit into the traditional perceptions of race.

By Larry Gordon, Los Angeles Times

No matter what their ancestry or their skin color, many members of UCLA’s Mixed Student Union say they have repeatedly been asked the same question by classmates and strangers curious about an ambiguous racial appearance: “What are you?”

And that shared experience, they say, helps to bond the otherwise extremely diverse group, which is devoted to the rising numbers of students who are biracial and from mixed ethnic heritages.

Jenifer Logia, 20, a UCLA sophomore who is one of the Mixed Student Union’s directors, said much of campus life is defined by distinct ethnic, religious or social groupings. But none comfortably fits someone like her — from a family that blends Nicaraguan, Filipino and Guamanian heritages.

In contrast, she recalled her first Mixed Student Union meeting: “I looked around the room, and every person was different, every person had a unique background. Yet I felt we all face similar experiences. We all know what it’s like.”

Faced with questions about their backgrounds, “mixed” students are aware that they “don’t quite fit into people’s perceptions of race,” said Logia, who is from Redwood City.

The UCLA group, which started three years ago and has about 50 members, is part of an increasing trend at colleges across the nation to give a social and political voice to these students. The movement began in the 1990s, inspired in part by early activism of Hapa organizations for people with part Asian ancestry. Campus clubs, including those at several UCs, are growing in response to demographics and increases in transracial adoptions.

Beyond social events, the UCLA group has been active in pressing the UC system to change its application forms to include a self-identification category as “mixed.” The form currently allows applicants to check several boxes for race or ethnicity but does not include specific “mixed” or “biracial” ones. The club also has been involved in health issues, by volunteering for genetic tests in case a multiethnic person needs a bone marrow donation that is difficult to match.

The growth of such campus organizations “reflects the kind of world we live in,” said Benjamin D. Reese Jr., a Duke University administrator who is president of the National Assn. for Diversity Officers in Higher Education. “It is the result not only of intermarriage but also reflects the broader, more complex way people, especially young people, think about things like this.”

Biracial college students increasingly refuse to identify themselves as belonging to just one category, even if they feel pressure to do so, he said. For example, his own daughter, with a white mother and an African American father, identifies herself as multiracial and multicultural.

UCLA sophomore Farhan Mithani is the son of immigrants from Burmese Buddhist and Pakistani Muslim families. Raised as a Muslim in a mainly white, Christian town in Texas, he said he did not focus much on his ethnic identity until he enrolled last year at UCLA and was stunned by the diversity.

He attended meetings of the Islamic and Pakistani student clubs, which welcomed him, but he became a leader at the Mixed Student Union. “It was a great way to meet different kinds of people who are passionate about their own cultural aspects and are willing to learn more,” said Mithani, 20.

Such explorations of self-identity often are sparked during college years “when you’ve left the nest and left your hometown and meet people from very different backgrounds,’” said Kendra Danowski, a recent Smith College graduate who co-founded the National Assn. of Mixed Student Organizations in 2010.

Another influence, she and others noted, was the 2008 election of President Obama, who is the child of a black Kenyan father and a white American mother. Obama’s personal narrative has encouraged young people to emphasize their biracial backgrounds more, they said.

Off campus, groups such as the Assn. of MultiEthnic Americans and Multiracial Americans of Southern California have been active for decades. The “mixed” movement won a breakthrough in 2000 when the U.S. census allowed people to self-identify with more than one race.

By the 2010 census, the percentage of people who reported more than one grew to nearly 3% of the overall population. However, since the census methodology did not include a separate category for Latino or Hispanic, critics say, the true level of “mixed” Americans was greatly undercounted. The census also experimented in 2010 on a limited basis with questions that listed Latino or Hispanic “origin” alongside white, black, Asian and other designations and allowed more than one to be chosen; in those tests, the mixed-race population rose to as high 6.8%, officials said.

At recent meetings of the UCLA Mixed Student Union, leaders put posters on the walls around the room with handwritten statements that generated lively discussion.

“Sometimes I feel like an outcast in my family,” one placard said. Others stated: “I sometimes feel I can pass for white, but I don’t feel like I really fit it in.” “I feel like a minority no matter where I go.” “Sometimes I think it’s weird my parents got together.”

Students talked about happy blends of family customs and food as well as painful racial rifts between family factions and pressures to choose one side. They told childhood stories, blending humor and sadness, of strangers in supermarkets assuming that their mothers, with a different skin color than the youngsters, must be a baby sitter or, worse, a kidnapper.

Others, some wearing club T-shirts proclaiming “Mixed Love,” spoke about exhilarating and difficult overseas trips to investigate complicated family trees.

“There’s always some conflict, and there’s always some triumphs,” said Matthew Sanchez, 18, a UCLA freshman from Moreno Valley, referring to the life stories recounted by fellow members of the group. Sanchez, whose family combines Mexican, Ivory Coast, African American and Native American roots, said it is a relief to join with other students “who try to embrace all that they are all the time.”

Sunday, May 26, 2013

11158: University Of Phoenix Rising.

This University of Phoenix commercial—which has over 2.2 million views on YouTube—reverses stereotypes. For example, a White man is shining the shoes of a Black man. And it looks like a Black job applicant will beat out the White candidates. The guy is clearly not interviewing for a position at an advertising agency.

11157: Mad Men And Racial Profiling.

The latest episode of AMC series Mad Men Season 6 failed to show any people of color at all, opting instead to only mention their existence. It happened when Peggy Olson came home to discover her boyfriend, Abe, had been attacked at the subway station. Abe refused to identify his assailants to the police officer writing the crime report, and he later revealed to Peggy that he didn’t want the cops profiling every Black guy in the neighborhood. This is the second week in a row that the program has depicted Blacks as criminals. Yep, Mad Men continues to perfectly reflect the advertising industry.

11156: Marvelous Maria Borges.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

11155: Real Questions For Mickey D’s CEO.

Mickey D’s CEO Don Thompson recently faced off with members of Corporate Accountability International and children likely prepped by the consumer group. Additionally, Michelle Dyre knocked Thompson with the following:

“CEO Thompson, when is McDonald’s going to stop its aggressive marketing to communities of color? Especially outrageous is McDonald’s targeting children of color. Children of color are already more likely to live in environments where healthy food is less available. That they are more likely to develop diet-related diseases than their white counterparts should be no surprise considering how McDonald’s overwhelmingly targets them with predatory marketing.”

Ms. Dyre is on target with the commentary regarding the health issues facing minority kids. However, the charges of “aggressive marketing to communities of color” are arguably overblown. While Mickey D’s is among the few advertisers actively engaged in multicultural marketing, the fast feeder is still offering McCrumbs to minority advertising agencies—especially compared to the piles of loot handed to White agencies to peddle menu items.

It would have been more appropriate to ask Thompson when Mickey D’s is going to start aggressive marketing to communities of color. When will minority audiences receive their fair share of marketing dollars? When will major advertisers begin treating minority advertising agencies with equal respect—and stop forcing the shops to produce stereotype-riddled messages? Will Mickey D’s ever weigh in on the dearth of diversity on Madison Avenue? These key questions point to the especially outrageous conditions in the advertising industry.

11154: Godzilla Fries Attack Japan.

From The New York Daily News…

McDonald’s Mega Potato back at select Japan restaurants

The eateries will sell the massive servings of fries for about $5 and the serving size is the equivalent of two large orders.

By Sasha Goldstein / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Super-super-super-size me!

In Japan, they want fries with that — and McDonald’s is giving it to them.

On Friday, the country’s fast-food lovers will welcome back the Mega Potato, a gigantic, unwieldy looking box of those delicious golden fries. It’s the equivalent of two large orders, Japan Today reported, and will set you back 490 yen — about $5.

It might also be your only meal for the day. The thing weighs about three-quarters of a pound and clocks in at 1,142 calories, Muripo reports. It also has about 57 grams of fat and almost 800 milligrams of sodium.

But McDonald’s insists the carton is perfect for sharing. The promotional photo of the beast shows four different hands digging in.

The Mega Potato is a limited-time offering at the fast-food restaurant, like the on-again, off-again McRib sometimes found at McDonald’s in the U.S.

Japan Today said the hefty potato package is about three times the size of your standard hamburger.

It’s not the first time Japan’s love for those Golden Arches fries has made headlines. Last year, Japanese students were photographed having “potato parties” in McDonald’s. With a low promotional price of about $2, kids were getting together to buy huge amounts of fries. In one instance last October, a group of high schoolers bought 60 servings of large fries and spent three hours downing each and every last one.

Friday, May 24, 2013

11153: Mickey D’s CEO Grilled.

From Advertising Age…

McDonald’s CEO: ‘The Way You Describe Us Is Not Who We Are’

Thompson Answers Critics Charging Chain with Contributing to Obesity, ‘Predatory’ Marketing

By Maureen Morrison

McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson delivered a pointed retort to critics at the chain’s annual shareholders meeting Thursday morning: “The way you describe us is not who we are.”

Mr. Thompson was responding to critics who say the chain markets unfairly to kids and exploits children of color in its marketing. Corporate Accountability International, a consumer advocacy group that routinely criticizes McDonald’s for marketing to kids, was on hand at the meeting to confront the company about its marketing and issue a proposal. Like last year, CAI brought a proposal up for vote that would call on the company to issue a report assessing the chain’s impact on public health. And like last year, it was struck down, this time with 6.3% of shareholders voting for the proposal.

After Mr. Thompson was asked by a CAI representative when the company will stop targeting kids and undermining childrens’ health, he said: “The way you describe us is not who we are.”

McDonald’s—and many other fast-food chains—for years has been under fire for marketing directly to kids, particularly with its Happy Meal, TV ads and, in recent years, online games. But the chain has said it’s made strides through a modified Happy Meal announced in 2011 that includes apple slices and low-fat milk. It also last year launched Happy Meal ads that focused on nutrition and highlighted the apples and milk.

Though it’s a common occurrence for critics to call on the company to reform its marketing tactics, Mr. Thompson said the issue of kids of color hit close to home for him when he was asked: “CEO Thompson, when is McDonald’s going to stop its aggressive marketing to communities of color?”

The question was posed by Michelle Dyre, a young African-American woman and self-described millennial who recently completed an internship at Corporate Accountability International.

“Especially outrageous is McDonald’s targeting children of color,” she said during the Q&A session. “Children of color are already more likely to live in environments where healthy food is less available. That they are more likely to develop diet-related diseases than their white counterparts should be no surprise considering how McDonald’s overwhelmingly targets them with predatory marketing.”

Mr. Thompson, an African-American, said that McDonald’s has not and will not try to “target people of color with subversive tactics.” He began his response by saying that the issue hits close to home, followed by, “I wonder why.”

“I grew up in the neighborhood,” said Mr. Thompson, a native Chicagoan who is from Cabrini Green, a low-income public housing project. He said that his family often couldn’t even afford McDonald’s. He added that though there needs to be more fresh foods available to people who grew up in circumstances like his, “the epidemic of obesity is not about McDonald’s.”

Ms. Dyre also brought up athletes that appear in McDonald’s marketing such as LeBron James, Gabby Douglas and Venus Williams. “Not only does McDonald’s use athletes of color in advertising such as Gabrielle Douglas, Venus Williams and LeBron James, it also invokes culturally inappropriate stereotypes and borrows liberally from hip-hop culture, to aggressively target children of color.” Mr. Thompson said that the athletes “don’t view us as the brand you view us as…. We’re not the brand that you describe.”

Other critics asked Mr.Thompson when the chain would leave children alone and let parents decide what’s best for them. Mr. Thompson noted that McDonald’s is part of the Children’s Food and Beverage Initiative—a marketing-industry self-regulation group—also noting that the average McDonald’s customer visits the chain three to four times per month, and thus McDonald’s cannot shoulder all the blame for the obesity epidemic. “We’re not the cause of obesity,” he said, adding that the chain doesn’t market unjustly to kids. He said that in recent years the chain hasn’t included Ronald McDonald in ads and noted that it offers apple slices and low-fat milk in its Happy Meals. He added that the chain offers a $1 side salad and also recently unveiled its Egg White Delight McMuffin, which has egg whites and fewer calories than the standard McMuffin.

Other adversaries included a group of protesters outside the meeting that called for $15 per hour wages and the right to form unions without interference—a move that’s part of a campaign called Fast Food Forward. A similar group protested outside of Wendy’s annual meeting Thursday.

McDonald’s wasn’t just barraged with accusations, though. The Humane Society appeared at the annual meeting, not to criticize, but to applaud the company for being a pioneer among fast-food chains to end the widely criticized practice of using gestation crates, which give confined pigs little to no movement for extended periods of time. Since McDonald’s announced the policy to phase out the practice, more than 50 other major pork buyers in the country followed the chain’s footsteps, said a representative of the Humane Society.

The accolades didn’t go unnoticed by McDonald’s. Mr Thompson said the company appreciates the recognition and Chief Operating Officer Tim Fenton said, “We are an industry leader and we take that seriously.”

11152: Brainless Or Bulging?

Mickey D’s via DDB in Australia shows kids will give up mindless video games for obesity-inducing junk food.

From Ads of the World.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

11151: Why Ask, “Is It Racist?”

Gitamba Saila-Ngita, Founder and Chief Innovation Strategist of Deft Collective, posted a perspective at AgencySpy titled, “Is it Racist?” So far, the piece has drawn few responses. Don’t expect much more. AgencySpy is hardly the pulpit for smart commentary. The site is TED for the intellectually challenged. Additionally, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has already noted our nation of cowards is reluctant to engage in race-related dialogue—and Madison Avenue may be the most cowardly place in the country.

While contemplating the recent Mtn Dew campaign, Saila-Ngita wrote:

So, is it racist? No. It’s not. But it’s pretty offensive to some folks; I’ll give you that. But for an ad clearly meant for [a] demographic of folks who listen to Odd Future & Tyler The Creator, the creative is on point. Should the offended folks even have been watching these ads? That’s a topic for another post.

MultiCultClassics begs to differ with Saila-Ngita on some points.

First, no one can declare whether or not something is racist. As always, everyone is entitled to their own opinions—which are usually based on personal experiences and perspectives. If you think it’s racist, it’s racist.

Saila-Ngita appears to take the standard stance that the work was not racist partly because it was conceived and crafted by Tyler the Creator. Problem is, the message didn’t come from Tyler the Creator; rather, it came from Mtn Dew and parent company PepsiCo. Big difference. BTW, remember when Mountain Dew commercials featured Willy the Hillbilly? Perhaps integrating Tyler the Creator should be viewed as a sign of progress.

Saila-Ngita also seems to state the ads were intended for a specific audience and folks outside of said audience probably shouldn’t even have been watching. Um, it’s quite possible that many of the offended never viewed the videos at all. Is it necessary to witness an event to feel outrage? Does not being the intended target invalidate the insult? Sorry, but until somebody finds a way to exclusively and accurately aim spots at specific individuals, advertisers must show respect to the general population. It’s just a matter of responsibility and common courtesy.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

11150: Jimmy Smith’s Reality TV Check.

Amusement Park Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Chairman and CEO Jimmy Smith discusses his experience on new VH1 series Model Employee.

11149: FAB Awards Campaign Not So Fab.

The 15th International Food and Beverage Awards presented a campaign featuring advertising agency executives apparently very serious about winning trophies. Of course, they’re all White men.

From Ads of the World.

11148: Sergio Garcia’s Fuzzy Remark.

From The New York Daily News…

Sergio Garcia makes fried chicken joke about Tiger Woods, quickly apologizes

Garcia steps over the line and cracks racially charged joke about the world’s greatest golfer referencing fried chicken.

By Hank Gola / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

It was another bogey for Sergio Garcia in his feud with Tiger Woods Tuesday night and this time, El Nino may have hit one out of bounds by making a racially insensitive remark as he tried to joke about their relationship.

Garcia was onstage at the European Tour’s gala awards dinner at Wentworth in England, where The Golf Channel’s Steve Sands playfully asked him if he planned to host his rival for dinner one night at next month’s U.S. Open.

“We will have him round every night,” Garcia said. “We will serve fried chicken.”

Garcia later issued an apology through the European Tour office.

“I apologize for any offense that may have been caused by my comment on stage during The European Tour Players’ Awards dinner,” his statement read. “I answered a question that was clearly made towards me as a joke with a silly remark, but in no way was the comment meant in a racist manner.”

The incident revived memories of Fuzzy Zoeller’s botched attempt at humor under the oak tree at Augusta National as Woods was on his way to winning the 1997 Masters. “You pat him on the back and say congratulations and enjoy it and tell him not to serve fried chicken (at the Champions Dinner) next year. Got it?” he asked.

Zoeller even turned back one more time as he was walking away to add, “Or collard greens or whatever the hell they serve.”

Zoeller also apologized at the time and asked that he be forgiven as a “jokester.” After all, Woods had been quoted off the record in a national magazine telling off-color jokes with a racial twist. But Zoeller paid the price. He never again seemed quite the funny man. His sponsorships, including a deal with K-Mart, dried up, and his relationship with the budding star was irrevocably damaged.

That won’t be a problem between Garcia and Woods, whose disdain for each other has never been more obvious since a flare-up during The Players Championship at Sawgrass two weeks ago. Garcia said Woods carelessly created a disturbance in the gallery while Garcia was hitting a shot. The two traded barbs about the incident.

On Monday, Woods was holding a press conference at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., and was asked if he thought about reaching out to Garcia with an olive branch. His answer was succinct and made to break up the room: “No.”

Garcia answered back earlier Tuesday at his pre-tournament press conference at Wentworth.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” he said of Tiger’s one-word answer. “That’s what he’s like. He called me a whiner. He’s probably right. But that’s also probably the first thing he’s told you guys that’s true in 15 years. I know what he’s like. You guys are finding out.”

That’s when Garcia was asked if he would consider calling Woods to smooth things over. “First of all, I don’t have his number,” he said. “And secondly, I did nothing wrong and don’t have anything to say to him. And he wouldn’t pick up the phone anyway. But that’s OK. I don’t need him as a friend. I don’t need him in my life to be happy and that’s fine. It’s as simple as that. Like I have always said, I try to be as truthful as possible. Tiger doesn’t make a difference to my life. And I know that I don’t make a difference to his life.”

Had he left it at that, Garcia may have earned points for his candor as opposed to the secretive Woods. It just took one more question at the wrong time to get him into trouble again.

11147: Chrysler CEO Slurs, Wins Award.

News sources reported Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne apologized for using an Italian-American slur during the North American International Auto Show last January. Gee, this guy should be working for General Motors.

Chrysler CEO apologizes for Italian-American slur

By Brent Snavely, Detroit Free Press

UPDATE: 6:30 ET with comments from head of Italian-American organization and excerpts from Marchionne letter of apology.

Chrysler and Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has apologized to the Italian-American One Voice Coalition for using a term offensive to Italian-Americans during an interview during the North American International Auto Show last January in Detroit.

During a roundtable discussion with reporters, Marchionne was discussing a new Alfa Romeo car to be sold in the U.S. when he said, “with all due respect to my American friends, it needs to be a wop engine.”

Marchionne’s use of the term was intended to convey that a Fiat-designed engine would be better than an American engine for this particular model. The term, however, is offensive to Italian Americans and others, and Marchionne apologized in a letter dated May 15.

The Italian-American One Voice Coalition, which exists to fight bias and ethnic slurs against Americans of Italian descent, sought an apology from Marchionne for several months.

“We jumped on it immediately,” said Manny Alfano, founder and president of the coalition.

Marchionne’s letter acknowledges that his remark was unacceptable and apologized to “anyone who may have been offended.”

“Having had to live through a period of integration into another country a number of years ago, I am keenly aware of the negative implications of stereotyping and the significant efforts required to undo its effects,” Marchionne wrote about his move as teenager from Italk to Toronto with his family. “I am proud of my Italian heritage, and nothing I have said should be interpreted as an attempt at minimizing its value. I extend my apologies to anyone who may have been offended by my remark.”

The term is said to be short for “without papers,” according to the Urban Dictionary, and was used as a derogatory reference to Italian immigrants who came to the U.S. in droves largely from Southern Italy in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.

“I am very happy that we got the apology. I think that is the best we could do at this point in time,” Alfano said.

In 2011, Marchionne apologized for using the term “shyster” to describe the high-interest rates on the loans from the U.S. and Canadian governments that funded Chrysler’s turnaround.

Marchionne is to be honored Friday by the Sons of Italy Foundation, a separate organization from the Italian-American One Voice Coalition. A Chrysler spokeswoman said the timing of Marchionne’s apology is unrelated to the Sons of Italy event.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

11146: IPG Discrimination Suit Update.

Advertising Age revealed the discrimination case against IPG is going to trial. An IPG statement included, “Diversity and inclusion have been long-term priorities for IPG and we’ve made significant strides in this area in recent years. This is especially true at our corporate office. That’s why we are very gratified that the judge has agreed to dismiss the majority of [plaintiff Joy Noel’s] claims. We continue to believe her one remaining claim is equally ‘devoid of facts,’ as the court itself stated in its initial finding, and look forward to demonstrating this at trial.” Wow. Let’s dissect that poppycock. “Diversity and inclusion have been long-term priorities for IPG” really means the holding company and its agencies have completely failed to erase the exclusivity for a loooooong time—at least 60 years. Plus, “long-term priority” should not be mistaken for top priority. Or even top-ten priority. As the defendant in the upcoming case, IPG will not have to prove they’ve “made significant strides in this area in recent years.” Otherwise, they’d have to admit the area they meant is human resources, reception, administrative assistance, security, janitorial or the mailroom. “This is especially true at our corporate office.” And especially false at the C-suite offices. IPG is undoubtedly “very gratified that the judge has agreed to dismiss the majority of [plaintiff Joy Noel’s] claims”—although losing $50 million would have looked good versus the company’s $59.2 million first-quarter net loss. Plus, using the phrase “devoid of facts” is pretty bold when your agencies are virtually devoid of Blacks. IPG better hope outgoing Draftfcb President and CEO Laurence Boschetto isn’t called to the stand to report on his progress in eliminating the term “diversity and inclusion” by 2014. After all, they’ve been long-term priorities for the parent corporation.

Discrimination Claim Against Interpublic Heads to Trial

Most of Plaintiff’s Claims Tossed, but Jury Will Decide if She Wasn’t Promoted Because of Skin Color

By Rupal Parekh

Various claims filed in April 2012 as part of a race discrimination lawsuit against Interpublic Group of Cos. have been tossed out by a New York district judge. However, one claim made by Trinidadian employee Joy C. Noel—that Interpublic failed to promote due to her skin color—has been permitted to proceed to trial.

The trial begins on June 3, according to court documents.

When Ms. Noel filed suit in Manhattan federal court last spring, she sought a whopping $50 million in damages. She claimed that in her many years working for the company, Interpublic fostered an environment where discrimination based on race and color is condoned. She alleged that she was passed over for promotions because Caucasian and light-skinned Hispanics are treated more favorably than African-Americans or other dark-skinned employees. Ms. Noel has been at Interpublic since 1993 and is still an employee there.

Also named in the original suit were several high-ranking executives, including Interpublic Chairman-CEO Michael Roth. His name was later removed from the suit.

Interpublic in a statement told Ad Age it is pleased that most of the claims have been thrown out and it expects her remaining claim will be too. “Diversity and inclusion have been long-term priorities for IPG and we’ve made significant strides in this area in recent years,” the company said. “This is especially true at our corporate office. That’s why we are very gratified that the judge has agreed to dismiss the majority of Ms. Noel’s claims. We continue to believe her one remaining claim is equally ‘devoid of facts,’ as the court itself stated in its initial finding, and look forward to demonstrating this at trial.”

But unless something changes in the proceedings in the next couple of weeks, District Judge Harold Baer Jr. has ruled that it’s up to a jury whether Ms. Noel was really passed over for a job unfairly.

Said Mr. Baer in an opinion issued on the matter: “Prior experience interacting with Board members is hardly a ‘basic skill’ necessary to perform these administrative tasks. By contrast, Plaintiff has worked at IPG in an administrative capacity for over 20 years and holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting. This experience demonstrates that Plaintiff was at least minimally qualified for the promotion to Executive Assistant.” He added: “The true significance of this ‘Board experience’ is thus a credibility issue that only a jury may decide.”

11145: Archie Comics Show Pride.

From The New York Post…

Archie Comics pokes fun at One Million Moms protest, openly gay character to kiss boyfriend in series first

From ASSOCIATED PRESS

It’s just a quick kiss, but it’s a long step forward for Archie Comics’ only openly gay character Kevin Keller.

The Riverdale teen finds his life turned upside down after locking lips with his boyfriend, Devon, in Pop Tate’s diner, drawing the ire of at least one disapproving Riverdale mom.

The woman “gets very offended and kind of pitches a bit of a fit,” said Dan Parent, who writes and draws the issue, “Kevin Keller” No. 10 that is released Aug. 7.

“Kevin is kind of used to that, but Veronica records the whole thing and of course uploads it to the Riverdale equivalent of YouTube and that starts a bit of a debate,” said Parent.

For Archie Comics it’s a bit of art imitating life. Parent said he wrote the story after efforts to remove a comic magazine showing Keller getting married drew at complaints. One Million Moms, a project of The American Family Association, asked Toys R Us not to display “Life With Archie” No. 16 near its checkout aisles. Toys R Us did not, and the issue went on to sell out its print run.

Parent called the new story a “playful poke” at the protest.

Keller debuted in “Veronica” No. 202 in September 2010. It resulted in Archie Comics’ first-ever second printing. It was quickly followed by a four-issue miniseries and the current monthly title.

Publisher and co-CEO Jon Goldwater said the fact that any kiss is being shown in the pages of an Archie Comics book is a step in and of itself.

“There aren’t that many on-panel kisses in the pages of Archie, but you often see the lipstick on Archie’s face afterward,” he said.

Goldwater said Keller’s character has let the company weave in contemporary issues to its imaginary world.

“We certainly pride ourselves on being contemporary, but that’s not the reason why we’re showing ‘The Kiss.’ Just like when Kevin first told Jughead he was gay, it was in the natural course of conversation,” said Goldwater. “We are creating this in the same way. It’s just part of the story.”

Monday, May 20, 2013

11144: Stereotypical Mad Men Episode.

The latest installment of AMC series Mad Men Season 6 continued to introduce more Black stereotypes. Dawn Chambers made a handful of cameo appearances, executing subservient secretarial duties. But the new stereotype came in the form of a sassy, heavy Black woman. “Grandma Ida” claimed to be Don Draper’s mama, made a reference to fried chicken and wound up robbing the apartment. So that covers the Black felon category.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

11143: Advertisers Won’t Heart This Ad.

The agency that produced this ad—RAF Communicação in Brazil—can probably look forward to never landing a fast food, snack food, soft drink, cigarette or liquor account.

From Ads of the World.

11142: Uni-Ball Takes Hit To Balls.

At NewsOne, Kirsten West Savali criticized the South African Uni-Ball spot perpetuating stereotypes. Uni-Ball connected with West Savali via Twitter to assure her the spot was being pulled—and of course, the U.S. company was clueless that the commercial had even been created. West Savali isn’t buying it.

11141: Ronald Is Watching.

The New York Times article on the adverse health conditions immigrants face in the U.S. was accompanied by a banner ad from Mickey D’s.

11140: Immigrating To U.S. Not Healthy.

From The New York Times…

The Health Toll of Immigration

By Sabrina Tavernise

BROWNSVILLE, Tex. — Becoming an American can be bad for your health.

A growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in this country, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And while their American-born children may have more money, they tend to live shorter lives than the parents.

The pattern goes against any notion that moving to America improves every aspect of life. It also demonstrates that at least in terms of health, worries about assimilation for the country’s 11 million illegal immigrants are mistaken. In fact, it is happening all too quickly.

“There’s something about life in the United States that is not conducive to good health across generations,” said Robert A. Hummer, a social demographer at the University of Texas at Austin.

For Hispanics, now the nation’s largest immigrant group, the foreign-born live about three years longer than their American-born counterparts, several studies have found.

Why does life in the United States — despite its sophisticated health care system and high per capita wages — lead to worse health? New research is showing that the immigrant advantage wears off with the adoption of American behaviors — smoking, drinking, high-calorie diets and sedentary lifestyles.

Here in Brownsville, a worn border city studded with fast-food restaurants, immigrants say that happens slowly, almost imperceptibly. In America, foods like ham and bread that are not supposed to be sweet are. And children lose their taste for traditional Mexican foods like cactus and beans.

For the recently arrived, the quantity and accessibility of food speaks to the boundless promise of the United States. Esther Angeles remembers being amazed at the size of hamburgers — as big as dinner plates — when she first came to the United States from Mexico 15 years ago.

“I thought, this is really a country of opportunity,” she said. “Look at the size of the food!”

Fast-food fare not only tasted good, but was also a sign of success, a family treat that new earnings put in reach.

“The crispiness was delicious,” said Juan Muniz, 62, recalling his first visit to Church’s Chicken with his family in the late 1970s. “I was proud and excited to eat out. I’d tell them: ‘Let’s go eat. We can afford it now.’”

For others, supersize deals appealed.

“You work so hard, you want to use your money in a smart way,” said Aris Ramirez, a community health worker in Brownsville, explaining the thinking. “So when they hear ‘twice the fries for an extra 49 cents,’ people think, ‘That’s economical.’”

For Ms. Angeles, the excitement of big food eventually wore off, and the frantic pace of the modern American workplace took over. She found herself eating hamburgers more because they were convenient and she was busy in her 78-hour-a-week job as a housekeeper. What is more, she lost control over her daughter’s diet because, as a single mother, she was rarely with her at mealtimes.

Robert O. Valdez, a professor of family and community medicine and economics at the University of New Mexico, said, “All the things we tell people to do from a clinical perspective today — a lot of fiber and less meat — were exactly the lifestyle habits that immigrants were normally keeping.”

Read the full story here.