Friday, April 15, 2016

13159: Sprint Is So Ghetto.

Advertising Age reported Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure pulled a video from his real people “listening tour” featuring a White woman calling competitor T-Mobile “ghetto.” First of all, when will Claure realize his brand has a history of bad advertising starring a CEO? Just stay in your C-suite and figure out how to actually turn around your lame company. Native Bolivian Claure must be taking cultural competency courses with former JWT Worldwide Chairman and CEO (and native Argentinian) Gustavo Martinez. In the meantime, expect to see Campbell Ewald make a pitch for the T-Mobile account.


Want_to_Know said...

It's like there's two Americas when you read the discussions and feedback online.

On one side you have thousands and thousands of people of color who were hurt and offended by the use of "ghetto," and damn angry at the brand.

On the other side you have dozens of white ad agency insiders whitesplaining to them that they're wrong to be angry, too sensitive, and Sprint did nothing wrong.

It amazes me how insistent white Madison Ave is that (when it comes to racial issues in advertising), they know best, and the consumer is wrong. Why is that?

ThoughtProcess said...

The more advertising screwups like Sprint I see happening, the more I think about why there’s never anybody diverse sitting at those advertising tables to call a stop to it.

“We at the 4A's are engaged in numerous initiatives to support gender equality and diversity—from the Glass Ladder series, designed to empower and educate female leaders, to our MAIP multicultural mentorship program.”

Why is it that Madison Avenue’s response to the diversity crisis is helping white female executives already in the system move further up the ladder (Glass Ladder series), but ignoring the few people of color who made it inside the system to focus on teens and college students instead (MAIP).

Glass Ladder leaders are popping up all over, if the white female executives assuming roles left and right this year is any indication.

And yet MAIP fizzles out again and again. Churns out a few grads that end up ditching the industry shortly after. No impact.

Maybe, just maybe, if the 4A’s applied the Glass Ladder approach to minorities already in advertising instead of constantly trying to get photos of themselves standing in front of inner city youth on the one day a year they volunteer in their schools and talk about advertising, there’d be less of Sprint and GapKids and WPP and Campbell Ewald lawsuits and yanked campaigns, and more tangible success.

FTS_Louisiana said...

Here's a good example of how everybody black gets shoved to the back of the line in advertising.

You've got so many black directors trying to crack ad agencies that I've lost count. Agencies say there aren't any good black directors, and the ones that are out there only have "urban" work, so that's why they don't hire black directors, because they can only do urban work. It's a Catch-22.

So what does an ad agency do when they're called out on diversity by their clients?

Help a black director out? Get some ethnic diversity in there? One of those black directors who did their time in film school and worked in the trenches for years? One of the many ones who've been begging for a chance and a shot?

Nope. Agency bends over backwards to help A WHITE ACTRESS learn how to direct advertising.

A white comedian who has never directed an ad is preferred to any of the dozens of black directors who have been knocking on their doors for years, only to be told to go away because they only had urban work on their advertising reels.

There are rules for black directors (gotta have ten times the qualifications and work history of all other directors approaching the ad agency), and separate rules for white friends (just have to be part of the inner circle, and the agency will bend them for you and even teach you how to do the job).

321plan said...

This happened at Sprint because of the same reason the IAB is launching their pointless diversity program.

Reason tells us that people should be hired for their skill sets and abilities. Maybe their portfolio if they're in a creative position.

Actual practice in agencies if friends hiring friends. Portfolio and work history be damned.

That's why someone like Bill Grizack can float between a ton of agencies without even a background check. Friends broke the hiring rules for buddies, even when that buddy didn't have a proven track record:

That's why IAB training minorities to have "special agency skills" is doomed from the start. You can train all the people you want, agency insiders always going to hire buddies first.

Sprint guy surrounded himself with all his friends and buddies, and the agencies AND internal marketing staff at Sprint is stuffed full of white dudes helping white dudes close off the door to anybody else.

Beer_Refugee said...

I feel like the exact same ad industry people standing up for Marcelo Claure by saying Sprint consumers are just being overly PC (what happened to the customer always being right, by the way? Do they mean only if the customer is white?) are the same ones standing up to say Gustavo Martinez at JWT was misinterpreted and people are being too PC about rape jokes.

The problem of course is that I know from experience that these voices are not in the minority in Madison Avenue. They're the runs running the ship, making all the important decisions for brands and the industry as a whole, and pulling down the highest salaries while people of color are relegated to admin, janitorial, translation and security positions.