Adfreak reported Chandelier Creative is rewarding its employees with a holiday gift of an all-expenses-paid trip to Japan. Chandelier Creative Founder and Creative Director Richard Christiansen explained, “…I realized that there is something incredibly transformative about cultural displacement … about going somewhere where no one speaks your language. Those places are harder to find now, but Japan is one of them. Almost no one in the company has been, which is shocking to me.” Wonder how many Chandelier employees have experienced the incredibly transformative power of cultural displacement by visiting non-White communities near agency offices in New York or Los Angeles. Hell, have they even ventured to Here Are All The Black People or ADCOLOR® events? Chances are, almost no one in the company has been, which is not shocking to anyone.
Monday, November 30, 2015
Thursday, November 26, 2015
In keeping with the arguably dumb decision to celebrate Native American Heritage Month in November with Thanksgiving, MultiCultClassics presents advertising and marketing featuring descendants of the true founding fathers (and mothers).
Ralph Lauren displayed cultural cluelessness in classic style.
Victoria’s Secret exposed insensitive ignorance on the catwalk.
Folks were not feeling happy with Pharrell and Elle.
Natural American Spirit appears to be smoking something strange by insisting the brand shows its Native American spirit via philanthropic support.
The Land O’ Lakes Indian Maiden escaped one White advertising agency, only to be taken captive by another.
All of which warrants closing out with a little cry.
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
The Wall Street Journal reported Omnicom is acquiring the largest independent advertising agency in Brazil, Grupo ABC, planning to fold it into DDB Worldwide. Omnicom will surely record the acquisition as a major diversity boost—but still refuse to provide EEO-1 data to prove it. Then again, the newfound diversity doesn’t necessarily lessen the cultural cluelessness, given the insensitive ignorance routinely displayed from Brazil. Plus, the majority of culturally clueless Caucasians at DDB probably think they just acquired Groupon.
Omnicom Boosts Presence in Brazil with Grupo ABC Acquisition
Grupo ABC’s clients include Banco Itau, Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson
By Nathalie Tadena
Advertising giant Omnicom Group Inc. said it will acquire Grupo ABC, boosting the company’s presence in one of the world’s biggest advertising markets.
Grupo ABC, the largest independent ad agency in Brazil, will become a part of Omnicom’s DDB Worldwide division, the companies announced Monday. The deal is subject to regulatory approval in Brazil and is expected to close by the first quarter of 2016.
The São Paulo-based firm has clients ranging from Banco Itau to Procter & Gamble and Johnson & Johnson. DDB Worldwide will be gaining holdings that include DM9, which DDB already owned a majority stake in; Africa and Loducca, which DDB also had held minority stakes in; CDN; Sunset and Newstyle. Grupo ABC, which now has more than 2,000 employees, was founded in 2002 by Brazilian advertising executives Nizan Guanaes and Guga Valente, both of whom will stay in their leadership roles at the company.
“Grupo ABC is widely acknowledged as an outstanding company with impressive creative work and expertise in a broad range of disciplines,” said Omnicom Chief Executive John Wren in a statement. “Over the years, Grupo ABC have been great partners of Omnicom and their depth of talent will strengthen our business capabilities not only in Brazil but around the world.”
The deal will give New York-based Omnicom a stronger foothold in Brazil, the sixth-largest advertising market in the world. Ad revenue in the country is expected to increase 4.4% to $18.1 billion in 2015, according to Interpublic-owned research firm Magna Global. While ad spending in Brazil has been weaker than expected this year during the country’s economic downturn, the Summer Olympics in 2016 will be held in Rio de Janeiro and are expected to provide a minor boost to ad spending.
Omnicom’s deal with Grupo ABC will bring the company’s reported billings, which don’t include rate card discounts, in line with rivals Interpublic and Publicis in Brazil, though all three still remain behind WPP, said Pivotal Research analyst Brian Wieser. According to Grupo ABC’s website, the company had revenues of $402 million in 2012, though the exchange rate has since weakened.
“Brazil is one of the most important markets globally,” Mr. Wieser said in an interview. “For agencies, it’s probably a much more profitable market than larger markets like the U.K. and Germany not least because of unique laws that oblige creative and media to remain integrated. It’s also an important market for talent. In the long run, everyone expects Brazil to rebound.”
The company is not disclosing terms of the acquisition or how much it plans to spend on M&A in 2015. Reuters earlier reported that Omnicom was set to acquire Grupo ABC for one billion reais, which is about $270 million.
At that price, Grupo ABC would be Omnicom’s largest acquisition this year. Other 2015 acquisitions include German digital marketing agency TLGG, web analytics company Trakken, public affairs firm Mercury, search and web analytics agency Semetis, healthcare agency Cortex and data-on-demand firm Re-Mind. In 2014, Omnicom made 10 acquisitions of new subsidiaries and made additional investments in companies where it had an existing minority ownership.
Omnicom executives have indicated that the company has been looking at a number of potential acquisitions that could be announced in the fourth quarter.
“We’re going to continue to look for acquisitions that are the right fit, meet our strategic requirements, and we’re going to be aggressive in trying to find those assets [that] help us to grow the business, where we think it makes sense,” Chief Financial Officer Phil Angelastro said on the company’s third-quarter earnings call in October. “We are in the process of negotiating some deals. The pipeline is strong at the moment.”
On an earnings call in July, Mr. Wren said the company was “talking to” a couple of companies that would expand its presence in markets outside the U.S. and a couple of companies in media. In April, Mr. Wren told investors on an earnings call that the company had just formed a new dedicated acquisition group, which Omnicom had not had in several years. Omnicom would look at “sensible acquisitions,” that are mid-sized and fit its strategic growth areas.
“We’re looking at quite a number of opportunities, probably on a more formal basis than we have in the last several years. And so I expect over time we will be doing more,” Mr. Wren said in April. “No big bang type things.”
Omnicom was among the ad companies that had sought to buy digital agency Essence Digital, according to a person familiar with the matter. Omnicom declined to comment. Essence is now being acquired by WPP.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Monday, November 23, 2015
Sunday, November 22, 2015
At Advertising Age, Rochelle Newman-Carrasco provided a perspective on the latest ANA Multicultural Marketing & Diversity Conference titled, “Cultural Courage Trumps Cowardice.” Okay, but cash trumps crumbs—and it looks like multicultural marketing continues to see more of the latter than the former. It also looks like the same usual suspects—Allstate, Denny’s, Verizon, Western Union, Wells Fargo and Kaiser Permanente—are experiencing the same challenges, such as general lack of investment and gigantic lack of interest. Of course, folks are still debating and defining the total bullshit of total market. Newman-Carrasco’s closing remarks included, “Perhaps … we can look forward to a day when the Masters of Marketing conference authentically reflects inclusion and diversity, with an agenda crafted to turn up the volume on multiculturalism, elevating it from invisible to inclusive to influential.” Hey, according to Leo Burnett, the day will come in 2079. Until then, diversion trumps diversity.
ANA Multicultural Conference: Cultural Courage Trumps Cowardice
How Leading Brands Are Taking a Targeted and Total Market Approach
By Rochelle Newman-Carrasco
About two weeks before this year’s ANA Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference, Kimberly-Clark’s Lizette Williams wrote a LinkedIn post entitled “Courageous Leadership.” In it, she referred to a favorite quote: “True courage is not the absence of fear. It is acting in spite of it.”
Last week at the conference, this idea came alive in presentations by top executives from companies like Verizon, Allstate, Western Union and Kaiser Permanente. These leaders assembled in Miami—one of the most diverse cities in the world—to discuss their multicultural marketing strategies. They shared successes but emphasized that “this isn’t easy” and “it takes work.” They learned from failures and had the courage to say “I don’t know” or “I was wrong.”
Verizon’s Javier Farfan underscored the need to “get your house in order” as a foundation for multicultural effectiveness. Infrastructure and operational readiness were key ingredients for many marketers who worked on cultural fluency from the inside out. Apoorva Gandhi of Marriott International highlighted “differences that make a difference,” stating that “diversity of thought will always get you better results.”
Denny’s CMO John Dillon turned around the brand by understanding the new American family and strategically focusing on shared values inherent in the idea of a “diner.” “It’s an environment where everyone is equal,” said Mr. Dillon, adding that Denny’s work leverages insights that connect emotionally across cultures but are not “one size fits all.”
Wells Fargo’s Mariela Ure shared work targeting bilingual, bicultural Latinos that tested well against a broad spectrum of consumers. Wells Fargo’s total market strategy overlaps a total and target market approach. Michael Lacorraza, also from Wells Fargo, acknowledged that while it was “tempting” to consolidate creative under one agency roof, the benefits of working with specialized agency partners outweighed other efficiencies, suggesting that specialists delivered a greater return on insights.
Trying to define “total market” for those not familiar with the concept was not easy. Many speakers tried. The definitions were always preceded by caveats about how convoluted they were and how hard it was to explain simply. As an example, the ANA’s own definition reads:
“A marketing approach … which proactively integrates diverse segment considerations. This is done from inception, through the entire strategic process and execution … In marketing communications this could lead to either one fully integrated cross-cultural approach, individual segment approaches, or both in many cases, but always aligned under one overarching strategy.”
Total market was not developed as a replacement for target marketing. What total market was designed to address was out-dated “Mad Men”-esque marketing—the kind of marketing that targets a dominantly straight-white-traditional America; the kind of mono-cultural advertising that floods TV and print. Total market was intended to encourage, if not demand, that marketers finally reflect and respect all consumers, in the face of a demographic tipping point and the changed (not changing) face of America.
Conference chair Gilbert Davila reminded attendees that it wasn’t really about multicultural marketing—it was about marketing in and to a multicultural world.
Given the demographics of America, isn’t all marketing multicultural? At the conclusion of Manny Gonzalez’s presentation on Moet Hennessy’s strategy, titled “Reinventing a Classic for Today’s Millennial Consumer,” Mr. Davila asked a crystal ball question about the future of multicultural marketing. Mr. Gonzalez predicted a future blending of the ANA’s Masters of Marketing Conference with its Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference.
At Hennessy, Mr. Gonzalez works with master blenders—artists known for their craftsmanship. Perhaps, with this spirit in mind, we can look forward to a day when the Masters of Marketing conference authentically reflects inclusion and diversity, with an agenda crafted to turn up the volume on multiculturalism, elevating it from invisible to inclusive to influential. That said, when it comes to covering multicultural content, another Hennessy saying comes to mind: “Never stop. Never settle.” There is room for both a crafted cultural blend and “single malt” approach to the multicultural conversation, one that allows for deep dives into the specifics of reaching each segment. We live in the age of “And.” Why settle for “Or?”
Saturday, November 21, 2015
Advertising Age published a perspective by Collins President Amber Guild titled, “Agencies Should Follow Clients’ Lead on Diversity.” Guild makes some decent points; however, her piece lacks any new ideas on the old topic. For example, Guild opened by saluting PepsiCo Global Beverage Group President Brad Jakeman—who criticized White advertising agencies for their abject lack of diversity and alleged surfeit of gender inequality despite constantly conspiring with the firms. So it could be argued that agencies are following client’s lead on diversity, in that both parties talk the talk while failing to walk the walk. Guild also claimed her company is attempting to be progressive about inclusion. Yet one of Collins’ first solutions involves a Harlem high school apprenticeship. Wow, that’s a fresh concept.
Agencies Should Follow Clients’ Lead on Diversity
By Amber Guild
A few weeks ago, PepsiCo’s Brad Jakeman called out advertising agencies for not evolving with the times. Most important, he criticized them for their lack of diversity.
Amen, Mr. Jakeman.
As a woman of color who is the president of a growing brand and experience firm, I can tell you from firsthand experience that everything Mr. Jakeman said is true.
I got my first job in advertising when I was 19. I needed to make some money to help pay for my next year at college. My sister, who had been working as a receptionist at Bozell Worldwide, asked her friend in HR if there were any openings. Before I knew it, I was a secretary in their retail group.
That summer, I was introduced to a world I never knew existed. A vibrant world where people came together to play each other songs (I learned they were called jingles), where you could spend all day at an edit studio eating M&M’s, where artists sketched all morning long and where the last day of the week was Keg Friday.
But it wasn’t until I sat behind a two-way mirror and listened to people talk about what our clients’ brands meant to them that I was hooked. What self-respecting psychology major wouldn’t want to work in a world where we tried to figure out what people think? And it was fun.
From day one, though, I noticed that the only other people of color seemed to be secretaries, receptionists or workers in the mail room. And the only women on the executive floor sat in front of their C-suite bosses’ office doors minding their calendars. It was 1998.
Over the next 17 years, I experienced the worst and the best of the ad industry. I saw people of color relegated to “urban” work. I heard male supervisors say that women “lost their focus” after they came back from maternity. I saw working mothers call their babysitters at 8 p.m. and through cracked voices tell them they weren’t sure when they’d be home. I witnessed women being consistently paid less than their male counterparts.
By the summer of 2014, I was a senior executive and I just walked out. I was tired—exhausted really. Yes, I had “leaned in,” but I was starting to think, “Why should I? Why should we be the ones who have to lean into a world and a culture that wasn’t created for us?”
I am not saying there has been no progress. The client world is changing much faster than ours. There are many more senior female marketing executives than when I began—and that’s a good start. But it’s time for agencies to do what many clients are doing: take a long, hard look at their cultures and identify the areas for change.
We are in the business of ideas. Diversity—and collision of thought, experience, perspective and people—is where the electricity comes from. It just doesn’t make business sense to ignore it any longer.
It’s time that the leaders of the industry start asking themselves:
• Is there a correlation between the lack of diversity and the ad industry’s growing business irrelevancy?
• Why exactly do women leave? And why have the people of color never arrived?
• Do we think our culture of overwork really leads to great work?
• Why are women paid less than men doing the same job?
Last fall, I had coffee with Brian Collins and Leland Maschmeyer, two creative leaders whose work I deeply admire. We realized that the three of us were trying to answer the same question: Why should an industry tasked with building brands have a talent base that in no way reflects the diversity of the world we live in?
We also had a shared belief that the only way we could get to business-changing ideas for our clients is if we focus on building a culture that represents the wider world and allows us richer perspective into it. That meant creating a new kind of place where women, parents, people of color, people with disabilities, gay, lesbian, straight, transgender, caregivers, introverts, white dudes, extroverts, data seekers, “Firefly” geeks and every faith can thrive.
So last December, I joined the team at Collins. While we certainly don’t have it all figured out at our firm, we’re moving full steam ahead, working to build a culture for a quickly evolving creative industry. Among our first efforts is one that starts at the beginning: a new program with Harlem high schools for apprenticeships in design thinking. (But that’s a story for another day.)
We need more places where all people are valued—and supported. Our clients face new, complex challenges every day. The only way we can create meaningful experiences for people is if we share a real understanding of how we all live. Then we can celebrate our unity in our diversity.
Friday, November 20, 2015
Clinton Campaign Hires Black Owned Advertising Firm
By Lauren Victoria Burke
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign has hired Burrell Communications, an African American advertising and media firm.
Based in Chicago and Los Angeles, the firm is owned by two African American women, McGhee Williams Osse and Faye Ferguson, both seasoned marketing and advertising professionals.
Burrell Communications, founded in 1971, will assist the campaign in focusing on African American voters, targeting their concerns and issues as Clinton moves forward towards the first primary and caucus tests.
In 2012, African American women showed up big at the polls and delivered the highest voter turnout of any voters, between the ages of ages 18 to 29, in the U.S. electorate.
Though many political observers wonder if that level of voter participation was only possible because President Obama’s name was on the ballot, Clinton is expected to fight hard to assemble Obama’s coalition of voters as the cornerstone of a winning strategy.
It’s likely Burrell Communications’ influence will be seen in South Carolina, where Black voters are a big key in a race primarily between Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. (Ms. Williams Osse even completed her completed post-graduate advertising studies at the University of South Carolina.) The South Carolina primary is on February 27th and currently Clinton is polling ahead.
“We choose to be an agency that specializes in the African-American market. This is our DNA — our passion... and we believe that we are responsible to the community to whom we speak — the African-American community; our community,” the Burrell website reads regarding the company’s overall mission. The firm has designed campaigns for major corporations ranging from McDonald’s to Toyota to General Mills to American Airlines.
These new hires add to other African American hires who are currently working for Clinton.
The most prominent of those hires includes LaDavia Drane, who is Hillary Clinton’s Director of African American Outreach, Marlon Marshall, who is Clinton’s Director of Political Engagement, and Karen Finney, Clinton’s strategic communications adviser and spokesperson. Finney also worked for Clinton during her run for Senate in 2000.
The campaign also hired well known political veteran Ron Lester to focus on the campaign’s African American polling.
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Adweek spotlighted the workspace at 72andSunny, unintentionally underscoring the exclusivity at the White advertising agency. A photo accompanying the piece (above) appears to depict minorities, but in the roles of receptionist and probably a mailroom attendant or delivery person. A peek at the company website shows the shop’s true colors—and the diversity forecast is far from sunny.
Former Subway Pitchman Jared Fogle Is Sentenced to Over 15 Years in Prison
For sex crime and child porn charges
By Kristina Monllos
Jared Fogle, the former Subway pitchman, was sentenced today to more than 15 years behind bars. As previously reported, Fogle was expected to plead guilty to charges related to the possession of child pornography as well as soliciting sex from minors. He accepted a plea deal.
U.S. District Judge Tanya Walton Pratt handled the case, which centered around Fogle’s interstate travel to have sex with minors as well as his possession of over 400 child pornography videos.
The case broke earlier this year after the head of Fogle’s charity, Russell Taylor, was found to be using his home to create hundreds of child pornography videos, many of which Taylor sent to Fogle.
Fogle’s 15-and-a-half-year sentence comprises the 188 months he will serve concurrently on the two counts.
Fogle’s defense addressed his dramatic weight loss—aided by eating at Subway—and argued that it could have impacted his sexuality.
“Once he lost weight, it seemed as though in a short time he had hypersexuality,” said forensic psychiatrist John Bradford. “There are brain disorders that can be associated with sexual drive.”
While Subway declined to comment on today’s sentencing, the brand pointed to its previous statement on the matter: “The actions of Mr. Fogle were inexcusable and do not represent our brand values,” said a spokeswoman. “That is why as soon as we learned about the disturbing allegations against him, we immediately suspended and subsequently terminated our relationship with him.”
Since the scandal began making headlines, the beleaguered sandwich chain has replaced its chief marketing officer as well as its creative agency, tapping BBDO in New York to help buoy the brand.
Fogle has already committed to paying 14 underage victims a total of $1.4 million.
The prosecution was reportedly looking for Fogle to serve roughly 12 years in prison, while Fogle’s lawyers lobbied for five years.
Here’s another questionable hiring tactic that probably perpetuates exclusivity. It appears to be an attempt to use data to assess candidates in order to find the “right fit” for roles. In other words, assessment won’t lead to assortment; but rather, systemized assimilation. Additionally, who would want to hire the goofball depicted in the ad above? Then again, he’s got a better chance of landing a job in the advertising industry—just by virtue of being a White man—versus a fully-qualified minority.
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
This campaign from Switzerland manages to present offensive stereotypes for Blacks and Native Americans—let’s give a hand to the idiots responsible for the awfulness!
Campaign Global Editor In Chief Claire Beale posted a pathetic and patronizing perspective on gender equality in adland, inadvertently exposing the cultural cluelessness that persists in the field. For example, Beale opened by stating, “When a select bunch of the brightest and best young stars in the ad business were asked this week to name a leader they admired, there were plenty of answers, from Nelson Mandela to John Lennon.” First of all, why would the brightest and best name John Lennon as an admired leader? Second, putting Lennon in the same category as Nelson Mandela is pretty sad. Third, naming Mandela while working in a field where the exclusivity is arguably worse than pre-Mandela South Africa shows extraordinary hypocrisy, insensitivity and ignorance. Beale then segued to plug the Women of Tomorrow awards. Additionally, Beale spotlighted initiatives launched by various White advertising agencies to address the alleged dearth of dames, including equal pay schemes and Rooney Rule-style mandates for interviews. Um, why haven’t such tactics been implemented to address diversity in regards to recruiting and retaining non-Whites? If someone hatched an awards show to salute racism in the advertising industry, it would require producing an infinite number of first-place trophies.
Plenty of room at the top for women in advertising
By Claire Beale
When a select bunch of the brightest and best young stars in the ad business were asked this week to name a leader they admired, there were plenty of answers, from Nelson Mandela to John Lennon.
What there weren’t, though, were any women. Not a single female leader made the impromptu list.
The respondents were attending the second Campaign Future Leaders Programme. All had been identified by their agencies as people heading for top jobs in our industry. As it turned out, only a third of the future leaders on the course were women, which is in itself a worrying prognosis for the future of our business.
Anyway, if this group of ambitious execs had been asked to name great female leaders, no doubt they would have offered up plenty of examples — there’s no shortage. As it was, they appeared to succumb to a default association that conflates leadership with men.
So it was appropriate that this was also the week that the IPA and Campaign kicked off the Women of Tomorrow awards for 2016, which identify and champion those women on track for leadership positions in agencies. The awards invest a new generation of role models for young women coming into the business.
Yes, these are awards that recognise women but, crucially, they are designed to drive the success of the industry and secure its future: businesses with a good gender split at the top are proven to be more successful. A report last month from the accountants Grant Thornton found that publicly traded companies in the UK with only male directors missed out on £49 billion of investment returns last year — about 3 per cent of GDP.
We simply aren’t doing enough to encourage and support women as they rise through the ranks. WoT is a fabulous initiative and sits alongside Wacl’s prestigious Future Leaders award, which offers a training bursary to help women get to the top. But agencies themselves need to take systematic action.
It was clear from the WoT debate on Tuesday night, which officially launched the call for entries, that plenty of agencies are already doing just that. Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO has set up a benchmarking system to ensure salary parity across the company; Bartle Bogle Hegarty is into the second year of its equal pay initiative but, when the agency interrogated its salary data, it actually found that it only had issues with the pay of three executives — and one of them was a man; J Walter Thompson is introducing a new approach to hiring creative talent, ensuring there’s always a woman on the interview shortlist and that interviews are conducted by a man and a woman. If your agency isn’t working on similar schemes, now’s the time to ask why not.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Adweek reported on findings from the ANA and The Advertising Coalition hyping the alleged benefits that the advertising industry supplies to the U.S. economy. ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice gushed, “This new study underscores the essential nature of advertising in promoting both business and economic growth in this country. The very fact that this industry contributes nearly 20 percent to the nation’s GDP sends a powerful reminder to policymakers that advertising is an essential stimulus to the U.S. economy that should be promoted and not subjected to tax.” Okay, but Madison Avenue’s insistence on perpetuating exclusivity in blatantly discriminatory fashion—completely ignoring all the basic values of being American—negates any potential pats on the back or tax relief. Most outrageous are the factoids showing how many jobs are created by the industry, especially given that these jobs are being handed to White people. The ANA and The Advertising Coalition also presented an infographic (depicted above) to make their case. Unfortunately, The Marcus Graham Project produced an infographic to make a stronger case to penalize the advertising industry—with fines, taxes and more.
Study: Ad Industry Accounted for 19 Percent of U.S. GDP in 2014
New findings from ANA and The Advertising Coalition
By Katie Richards
For anyone down on advertising, the Association of National Advertisers and The Advertising Coalition commissioned a study that highlights some of the industry’s big economic benefits. Namely, advertising contributed $3.4 trillion to the U.S. GDP last year, a figure that accounts for 19 percent of the country’s entire economic output.
The study, done in partnership with IHS Economics & Country Risk, was also designed to analyze the impact a recent tax proposal would have on the U.S. economy. The proposal would allow businesses to deduct 50 percent of their annual advertising spending.
“This new study underscores the essential nature of advertising in promoting both business and economic growth in this country. The very fact that this industry contributes nearly 20 percent to the nation’s GDP sends a powerful reminder to policymakers that advertising is an essential stimulus to the U.S. economy that should be promoted and not subjected to tax,” Bob Liodice, president and CEO of ANA, said in a press release.
Here are a few additional findings:
• Advertising jobs reportedly made up 14 percent, or 20 million, of the 142 million jobs in the country for 2014.
• Each industry job was said to support an additional 34 jobs across different industries.
• The ad industry supported $1.9 trillion in salaries and wages, roughly 17 percent of all labor income in the U.S.
• Advertising will support over 23 million jobs in the U.S. by 2019.
• In the next few years, advertising spending rates are projected to grow 3.3 percent annually and will reach $349 billion by 2019.
“Time and again, the data supports that advertising brings a unique benefit to the U.S. economy. When considering the impact the advertising industry has had on the output of goods and services in this country, and the creation and retention of U.S. jobs as a result, there are very few American industries that can compare in terms of across-the-board economic value,” Bob Flanagan, director at IHS, said in a press release.
“ANA is proud to see data that affirms that advertising is a major contributor of revenue and a true engine of job creation in the U.S,” Liodice added.
Take a look at some of the key points from the study in the infographic [above].
Campaign continues to jump on the White women bandwagon by presenting Supergirl as a launching pad to discuss diversity.
‘Supergirl’ has a diminutive name but could have a big impact on diversity
By I-Hsien Sherwood
The new CBS TV series highlights the difficulties of working with old properties in a modern world
In the pilot episode of “Supergirl,” CBS deftly highlighted the glaring issue of its main character’s anachronistic name, choosing none other than Ally McBeal (née Calista Flockhart) to argue for the defense.
“What do you think is so bad about ‘girl?’ Huh? I’m a girl. And your boss, and powerful, and rich, and hot and smart,” says Flockhart as Cat Grant, founder and owner of the eponymous media conglomerate CatCo. “So if you perceive ‘Supergirl’ as anything less than excellent, isn’t the real problem you?”
Certainly, CBS isn’t the first to embrace the “girl” moniker. The Girl Scouts have long been at the vanguard of women’s empowerment, the Always “Like a Girl” campaign won the first Glass Lion at Cannes this year and a generation of children grew up watching the Powerpuff Girls kick butt.
But the way CBS chose to handle the inevitable questions about “Supergirl” exemplifies a problem many companies face when dealing with comic book media — a growing challenge in our comics-saturated culture. Namely, how does one reflect the diversity and values of the audience while remaining true to source material that is often decades behind the times?
“We sort of wanted to have a conversation with our characters that we believed that the audience would be having, and that others might be having in terms of saying, ‘Well, she’s an adult woman — why isn’t it called Superwoman?’” executive producer Andrew Kreisberg said in a conference call after the pilot aired. “The temptation is there by executives to alter things that are, I think, just part of the DNA of what was so great about the comic book, and so we really wanted to be protective about the name of the show.”
It’s a name with plenty of history. Supergirl was introduced in 1959 as part of a pattern of young sidekicks to established male superheroes. Power Girl — an alternate universe version of Supergirl known for her particularly revealing costume — appeared in 1976. Janet van Dyne was a founding member of the Avengers in 1963, and T’Challa debuted as Black Panther in 1966.
So historically, comics properties haven’t been very diverse, and that’s reflected in present-day casting choices. Batman and Superman are both played by white men, as are five of the six original Marvel Cinematic Universe Avengers. “It’s still a white, middle-class, cisgender world in comics, but there has been some improvement,” said Alyson Buckman, an associate professor at California State University, Sacramento who teaches pop culture and multiculturalism and an editor of “Joss Whedon’s Dollhouse: Confounding Purpose, Confusing Identity.”
But what is a studio or a TV network to do?
In most cases, they simply run with it. Hollywood is pretty white anyway (all 20 of the 2015 Oscar acting nominations went to white actors), and diverse casting changes can sometimes backfire. A black Batman, for example, might justifiably be viewed as pandering, but less-than-iconic characters have proven to be more malleable. “Supergirl” recasts red-haired, freckle-faced cub photographer Jimmy Olsen as award-winning African-American photojournalist James Olsen. “It just kind of goes to show you that all things are possible, that we can reimagine what our great-grandfathers didn’t,” Mehcad Brooks, who plays the updated Olsen, told IGN at San Diego Comic-Con this summer. Black British actor Idris Elba portrays Heimdall the Asgardian (aliens based on the ancient Norse gods) in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
In CBS’ case, they already had a popular female character with a difficult publication history (at one point, the comics simply wrote her out of existence) and a child’s name. Fans would have resisted a name change for someone so well-known that hadn’t already been telegraphed in the comics. Yet it would have pushed the bounds of believability to have the show’s millennial characters refrain from commenting on the old-fashioned name. The only choice CBS had was to call it out and explain it away. Results were mixed.
“I reacted to the ‘Supergirl’ conversation in the pilot as a post-feminist moment: we’re all just girls here!” Buckman said. “Calling a woman over the age of 18 ‘girl’ is insulting, though they’re not going to change the name.” While Buckman understands the reasoning behind that decision, she said the negative consequences remain. “Clark Kent gets to be a ‘man,’ while his cousin remains infantilized due to her gender.”
That post-feminist feeling was intentional. “In today’s world it kind of doesn’t matter that she’s female. She’s just a powerful, incredible person,” said executive producer Ali Adler at New York Comic-Con last month. “If we were to have a female president, we’d talk about her gender first, but ultimately we’re going to see her as the president, and I think that’s the same thing with Supergirl. She just is an incredible, strong, brave, smart ass-kicker, and so it’s great that she’s female, but she’s really just getting the bad guy every week.”
Still, “Supergirl” does get credit for being more diverse than most shows. “It’s unusual to have four powerful women: the two Danvers women, Supergirl’s aunt and the newspaper boss,” Buckman added. “I also like that they made Jimmy/James Olsen into a black man who is smart and insightful.”
An alternative to reimagining characters is to elevate lesser-known but diverse characters to prominence. In 2011, DC Comics made Cyborg — a black athlete turned human/machine hybrid after a serious accident — a founding member of the Justice League, making him a close colleague of the holy trinity of comics: Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman. War Machine, Falcon and Scarlet Witch are now full-fledged Avengers in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel also took the bit character Peggy Carter and fleshed her out as a fully capable secret agent. After a starring role in “Captain America: The First Avenger,” the character (as well as the actress, Hayley Atwell) went on to headline her own series. “I’ve really enjoyed ‘Agent Carter,’” Buckman said of that show. “She’s smart, resourceful, and physically capable.”
Of course, even when minority characters appear in comics, they’re not always represented well. Consider the kerfuffle over “Supergirl” star Melissa Benoist’s costume. No exposed midriff, dark tights — a far cry from the more traditional cheerleader outfit Kara Zor-El usually sports. One of the first TV-to-comics characters was Joker-sidekick Harley Quinn, who first appeared on “Batman: The Animated Series” in the 1990s, but she’s become more a caricature and sex object than relatable woman. Still, the character is very popular, and Margot Robbie could bring depth to the role in the upcoming 2016 film “Suicide Squad.”
The other, more difficult, more expensive option is to create new, more diverse characters. But that requires the will to invest in creative processes that value new and different viewpoints. There’s evidence that it pays off, in time. The superpowered private investigator Jessica Jones first appeared in comics in 2001, but the much-anticipated Marvel series debuts on Netflix later this month.
Monday, November 16, 2015
A MultiCultClassics visitor pointed to an AgencySpy post announcing C-level hires at WPP digital agency POSSIBLE that underscore the New Racism in the advertising industry. POSSIBLE Global CEO Shane Atchison declared, “We care about results and this leadership appointment strategy will herald a whole new level of positive growth at the agency, which is already burgeoning in terms of client work and staffing. Digital sits at the disruptive center of many industries. We see tremendous value in creating a modern agency that brings together a diverse team of people with unusual experiences, ideas and relationships from not only other agencies but the realms of media, software, startups and beyond.” POSSIBLE Global Chief Talent Officer Martha Hiefield chipped in, “Recently, we were at the 3 Percent Conference to support increasing the ratio of female creative directors within our industry. We are taking it a step further and going beyond the diversity demographics of gender, ethnicity and geographies to recognize the power of diverse thinking. This commitment within our culture helps POSSIBLE bring a greater range of ideas to the table and drive creative work forward for our clients and their consumers.” Funny how this breakthrough commitment to diversity ignores non-White people, save for a few token folks who appear to be of Asian descent. A peek at the POSSIBLE website’s people page indicates an inclusive workplace is imPOSSIBLE at the White digital agency.
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Saturday, November 14, 2015
Campaign reported that WPP acquired a major stake in Essence. At first, MultiCultClassics thought the White holding company had taken control of the iconic Black women’s magazine. But the Essence involved turned out to be a White digital media-buying agency run by White men. WPP stands for White People Preferred.
Friday, November 13, 2015
Adweek reported Grey New York created a new department that is essentially a talent agency. Grey TLC—Talent, Licensing and Casting services—will cover all the duties in its acronym. The agency has apparently run casting in-house for some time, and is now combining “that service with the talents of Grey employees who specialize in outreach, management, licensing, contract negotiation and content creation/distribution.” Imagine if Grey and other White advertising agencies showed a similar passion for creating inclusive work environments, charging Grey executives to specialize in outreach, management and contract negotiation for minority candidates. No such luck. In the advertising industry, celebrity talent trumps diversity—and minorities don’t receive TLC from anyone.
Grey New York Makes a Splash in the Talent Pool with New TLC Unit
Department will handle casting and talent management
By Patrick Coffee
Grey New York is expanding its services by launching a new department focused on a unique sort of skill set: talent management.
The agency started Grey TLC—or Talent, Licensing and Casting services—earlier this month in order to better address “rapid changes” in clients’ needs. Those needs include casting actors, non-actors, athletes, rock stars, experts and all sorts of social media influencers for a given campaign in addition to handling the legal and professional challenges that are sure to follow.
This is not a completely new development for Grey, which has long maintained an in-house casting department. The new offering aims to combine that service with the talents of Grey employees who specialize in outreach, management, licensing, contract negotiation and content creation/distribution.
TLC will be housed within Grey’s public relations practice, Activation, and run by its president, Amy Tunick, along with Ketchum/William Morris Agency veteran Michelle Overall, who will be svp of the newly formed Grey TLC.
In recent months, Grey has aimed to expand its team’s offering services beyond traditional advertising: The agency acquired New York-based Workman Group Communications over the summer before hiring two new creative leaders on the PR/activation side.
“Talent no longer provides brands with just a famous name or face; talent and property partnerships are a strategic and contextual channel to communicate a brand’s message,” said Tunick. She positioned the new offering as a natural extension of Grey’s existing services, adding, “We’ve been delivering strategy, creative ideas, program development and customized outreach in this arena for Grey’s clients for many years, and we created Grey TLC to continue to stay ahead of the curve and offer clients a more turn-key, comprehensive and integrated approach.”
While Grey TLC is technically a new department, the agency credits its members with negotiating such past partnerships as Ron Howard’s Canon U.S.A. contest and the perfect breakfast duo of eggs and (Kevin) Bacon.
The purpose of TLC is to make Grey’s work even more “famously effective” while minimizing clients’ desire to seek out other agencies for PR and talent services.
Campaign reported Adam & Eve/DDB promoted six White executives—and one of them even has White as his last name. While the skin tones of the original Adam and Eve continue to be debated, no such questions are pondered at Adam & Eve/DDB.
Thursday, November 12, 2015
Advertising Age reported DDB Worldwide tapped Coca-Cola executive Wendy Clark to become President and CEO of North America—a move the company will undoubtedly count as a diversity hire. Why, Clark’s appointment is another victory for White women in the advertising industry. Yippee! Look for Kat Gordon to take credit for the groundbreaking move too. Actually, it’s surprising that DDB raided Coca-Cola for talent, given parent company Omnicom’s devotion to PepsiCo. According to Ad Age, Clark will be the highest-ranking woman for DDB in the United States. Additionally, Coca-Cola North America President Sandy Douglas gushed about Clark’s “dedication to women’s leadership initiatives.” Which means White women will gain more ground at DDB, while minorities will continue to be institutionally ignored—and essentially told to have a Coke and a smile.
DDB Taps Coca-Cola’s Wendy Clark as North America President and CEO
Former AT&T, GSD&M Exec Will Start Work in Early 2016
By Lindsay Stein, E.J. Schultz
DDB Worldwide has appointed Coca-Cola marketing veteran Wendy Clark to serve as president and CEO of North America, effective January 2016.
Ms. Clark, most recently Coca-Cola’s president of sparkling brands and strategic marketing in North America, will succeed Mark O’Brien, who will take on the position of exec VP at DDB parent company Omnicom Group.
Mr. O’Brien will work on operational development for some Omnicom businesses in the newly created position, said Chuck Brymer, CEO of DDB Worldwide. Mr. O’Brien will report to Omnicom exec VP-CFO Philip Angelastro.
Having lived in Atlanta since joining Coca-Cola in 2008, Ms. Clark will relocate to DDB’s New York headquarters next year.
Mr. Brymer, who has known Ms. Clark for more than a decade, said she’s an innovator, as well as an outstanding leader and major figure in both the business and marketing worlds.
“In her role right now [at Coke], she’s managing a number of very visual and important brands, and she’s dealing with not only the traditional media platforms, but an array of innovative techniques and tools to drive engagement with customers, so she brings a wealth of experience and an understanding of the changing needs of our industry,” added Mr. Brymer.
In a memo sent to Coca-Cola employees, Sandy Douglas, president of Coca-Cola North America, said the company will name a successor soon, noting she’s “built a talented team and a deep bench of Coca-Cola North America marketers who are ready to assume their place as our next generation of brand leaders.”
“Wendy’s impact on our business has been significant. Over the course of her seven-year tenure with us, she has guided our global and North America marketing teams. Under her direction, many of our brands found their voice and an authentic presence in the social and digital world. Through it all, she has been an inspiring ambassador for our flagship brand,” he said in the memo. “She and her team have created some of our company’s most innovative and engaging campaigns, including the global rollout of Share a Coke and the 2014 FIFA World Cup campaign, which spanned more than 175 countries.”
In addition to her client-side experience, Ms. Clark, one of Ad Age’s Women to Watch in 2007, also brings expertise on the agency side, having worked at GSD&M earlier in her career. She has also served as a board member of the Association of National Advertisers, is an inductee to the American Advertising Federation’s Advertising Hall of Achievement and received a Matrix Award from New York Women in Communications in 2014.
“A lot of people say the agency world is under pressure and seeing her coming across from her side of the desk speaks volumes, not only as a vote of confidence for the agency business, but for what we’re doing at DDB,” said Mr. Brymer.
Some of DDB’s current clients include Unilever, Mars, Johnson & Johnson, ExxonMobil and McDonald’s.
Ms. Clark will be the highest-ranking woman for DDB in the U.S., Mr. Brymer said, noting the management team in Canada is also led by women. Mr. Douglas noted Ms. Clark’s dedication to women’s leadership initiatives in the memo.
In April, Ms. Clark returned to Coca-Cola after a three-month leave for a personal project. While the beverage giant did not disclose details about the nature of her project, it was widely reported that she was working in some capacity for presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton.
Ms. Clark joined Coca-Cola in 2008 as global head of integrated marketing and communications after serving as senior VP-advertising at AT&T. While at AT&T, Ms. Clark steered that brand through a rebranding and was credited with helping the telecommunications giant navigate a slew of complex acquisitions.
In 2013, Ms. Clark was promoted to lead a new Global Sparkling Brand Center at Coca-Cola. A year later she took on the North American role, while Katie Bayne, who had been president-North American Brands, moved to the global role vacated by Ms. Clark.
Major changes came to Coke’s marketing leadership late last year when global CMO Joe Tripodi—who had hired Ms. Clark—departed and was replaced by Marcos de Quinto, previously the president of Coke’s Iberia business unit.
In March, while Ms. Clark was on leave, Coca-Cola launched a global creative agency review. The review concluded in August when the company tapped three WPP agencies to lead its next big global campaign for brand Coke: Ogilvy New York; Sra Rushmore of Madrid; and Santo of Buenos Aires. The new campaign has yet to hit the market. While Coke has not discussed the new creative direction of the effort, it is possible that “Open Happiness,” which debuted in 2009, during Ms. Clark’s tenure, could be shelved.
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Campaign reported on a pathetic and patronizing film—created by Campaign, the IPA and Lida—to hype the Women of Tomorrow competition. The film essentially exposes the oh-so-shocking differences between White women and White men in the advertising field. Jesus, this faux outrage over adland’s alleged gender inequality is getting tired. Why not focus instead on what these two groups have in common—that is, they are co-conspirators in deliberately and systematically maintaining the exclusive status quo in our industry?
Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Monday, November 09, 2015
For Cathy Hughes, Information Is Power for Black Community
Her Biggest Challenge: ‘Everybody’s in the Black Programming Lane’
By Rance Crain
Entertainment alone doesn’t cut it in the radio business, according to the woman who heads the biggest black-owned broadcast company in the U.S.
Cathy Hughes, founder and chairperson of Radio One, contends that one of the problems that has plagued the African-American community is lack of information.
“I think that when we have the proper facts and figures we will make the right decisions,” she said, “but usually by the time we get the information it’s black history, not current events.”
So, she told me during a video interview prior to her induction into the Advertising Hall of Fame in the spring, pure entertainment “doesn’t serve a purpose.”
She pointed out that the black community has never had a national daily newspaper, so “I had to figure out how to diplomatically dispense information and weave it into a blanket of information so I wouldn’t lose the attention factor.”
Ms. Hughes said her biggest challenge is that “everybody’s in the black programming lane.” Radio One, in addition to its 54 radio stations and nine syndicated shows, operates cable channel TV One and an interactive division. Last month marked the company’s 35th anniversary. Ms. Hughes said every cable channel on the dial now has some form of black programming. And sponsors are interested. But at the same time, iHeartMedia “thinks they’re the experts on black radio. So I have competitors that I have never seen before. It’s a little easier to secure major sponsorships and advertising, but it’s still very difficult.”
One of the problems with advertisers, she said, is that although they recognize black consumers as trendsetters, they only allocate about 1% of their budgets to black programming. Advertisers believe that they can reach the urban market with general-market advertising.
But, Ms. Hughes pointed out, “just because an advertiser reaches a consumer does not mean they have touched that consumer… There’s a big difference between reaching and touching.”
Ms. Hughes liked radio from an early age, when she was eight years old and her mother gave her a transistor radio. She would lock herself in the bathroom and use the toothbrush for a microphone. She wouldn’t come out until she had delivered all the commercials and the news, and said goodbye to the audience, which was her mirror.
Ms. Hughes grew up in the projects in Omaha, the daughter of a professional musician mother who married a high-school dropout. Her mom put her dad through college and he became the first black CPA in the state of Nebraska.
At 16, she became pregnant. “I thought I knew everything. I was only concerned with what looked good on me, who looked good with me. But once I got pregnant I had to shift my priorities, and for the first time in my life I had to think beyond myself.
“And it was the best training ground I could have ever had, because once I was able to do that with [my son], I was able to do that with my entire family. I consider my staff my family, my extended family. I do that with my community initiatives and efforts. It became second nature for me, because before I was 21 I was putting someone else first.”
That proved to be a pretty good formula. After working at an Omaha station while attending college, the dean of Howard University’s school of communications hired her not only as a lecturer but also general sales manager of the Howard radio station. In two years Ms. Hughes increased revenue from $250,000 to $3 million, and she was appointed head of the station, becoming Washington D.C.’s first female general manager.
In 1980 Ms. Hughes and her then-husband bought a struggling station, WOL-AM. At one point, after she lost her house and car because of sky-high interest rates, she and her son moved into WOL’s offices, where they cooked on a hot plate and slept in sleeping bags on the floor.
And she also became a successful talk-show host, relying on more talk than music in keeping with her motto “Information is power.”
Her proudest achievement has been “rearing and grooming my son to embrace my dream and take over the mantle of leadership of my company.” She gives credit to her son, Alfred Liggins, for convincing her to take the company public. When advertisers tell him they don’t want to buy, he says “it simply means they haven’t made up their minds correctly.”
And through it all, Cathy Hughes still thinks of herself as “a work in progress.”
Sunday, November 08, 2015
This patronizing and pathetic video advocates for gender equality—yet the key creators appear to be White men. The girls in the video express shock and dismay to discover women face insults, inequities and injustices that one might expect to happen in 1915 versus 2015. Um, in the advertising industry, White men have aimed discrimination towards minorities for about 200 years—and counting.