Friday, November 25, 2016

13445: Diverted Diversity Donation Drive.

Campaign reported HP and Visa made diverted diversity donations to Free The Bid—the drive designed to detonate the dearth of director dames. For Diverted Diversity Defender and HP CMO Antonio Lucio, the contribution reflects the technology company’s bullshit bold demand for diversity and inclusion—starting with White women. Meanwhile, Visa SVP of North American Marketing Lara Balazs declared the following on the company blog:

Visa is thrilled to take the pledge to #FREETHEBID globally. We want to partner with like-minded agencies who value diversity and inclusion as much as we do…

Well, that would explain the cash donation from BBDO. But a search for “diversity and inclusion” at the White advertising agency’s website presented no results. In contrast, Visa and HP are pretty explicit in their online commitment to the cause. Yet both advertisers continue to team up with White advertising agencies where diversity is a dream deferred, delegated, diverted and denied.

Balazs also remarked, “Visa’s ‘Everywhere You Want to Be’ stands not only for acceptance of our product physically and digitally, but also acceptance of diversity and inclusion. [Participating in #FreeTheBid] is a way to not just talk about it, but walk the talk.”

Okay, but when will Visa and HP “walk the talk” and end the hypocrisy of partnering with ad shops that demonstrate acceptance of discrimination and exclusion?

HP and Visa ‘walk the talk,’ donate funds to #FreeTheBid

By Kathryn Luttner

Both brands back their promise to support female directors with funds to help the initiative grow globally.

When director Alma Har’el announced her #FreeTheBid initiative, challenging both agencies and brands to include at least one female director on triple bids, several agencies, brands and production companies signed on—but no one donated money. Today, HP and Visa become the first corporate sponsors of #FreeTheBid, pledging more than $100,000 to help the program grow globally.

HP CMO Antonio Lucio and Visa SVP of North American Marketing Lara Balazs made the financial support public today at the Women’s Entrepreneurship Day event at the United Nations. HP is donating $100,000 to the initiative. And Balazs declined to detail the amount of Visa’s contribution.

The financial support comes on the heels of both companies making public pledges to advance their diversity and inclusion efforts. In September, Lucio challenged HP’s ad and PR agencies to diversity their workplaces, and last month Visa Global CMO Lynne Biggar declared diversity and inclusion in the workplace a “strategic business imperative” in a blog post.

“We’re excited to implement this pledge globally, giving women a voice in advertising to the benefit of everyone, everywhere,” said Lucio. “Diversity is a business imperative, not just a moral one. We hope to inspire more brands and agencies to join us in this pledge and #FreeTheBid.”

Others putting money where their mouths are include agencies BBDO, Gyro, and Fred & Farid. Airbnb is also expected to make a monetary pledge next week, said a source. Although only a handful of companies have committed financially, the movement is growing. Nineteen agencies (including 72andSunny and Joan), five brands (HP, Visa, eBay, Coca-Cola and Nestle) and 13 production companies (such as Great Guns and Wondros) have taken the pledge to include more female directors in their bidding processes.

“Visa’s ‘Everywhere You Want to Be’ stands not only for acceptance of our product physically and digitally, but also acceptance of diversity and inclusion,” Visa’s Balazs said. Participating in #FreeTheBid “is a way to not just talk about it, but walk the talk.”

Until today, #FreeTheBid was solely financed by Har’el, with donations funneled through the nonprofit Women Make Movies. The funds provided by HP and Visa will be used to hire someone to run the #FreeTheBid website, which is currently maintained by Har’el and a friend. The two admit they can’t keep up with the “hundreds” of daily emails, so adding a full-time staffer is the first step in taking the initiative global. Har’el, whose work includes ads for Airbnb and Stella Artois, also wants to start a board of directors selected from #FreeTheBid-friendly ad agencies and brands to examine case studies that will back their actions with proven methodologies.

“We intend to continue growing as the No. 1 source for ad agencies and brands to discover female directors,” she said. “The more women are given a voice and an opportunity in advertising, the faster we can change how women are represented and turn them from an object to a subject.”


DPHere said...

Take a good, long look at the owner of this initiative, and then the female directors being represented as beacons of diversity. Then look at who's producing them and controls the ad agency money once a directing job is awarded.

The reason Free The Bid is so popular is because white foreigners are funding white foreigners.

The HP guy is example #1,000,000 of a white foreigner who can't, or won't, differentiate between ethnic minorities in America, and anyone with an exotic name who steps onto American soil with a travel or work visa. Of course he's going to put money behind Free The Bid, it doesn't require any actual diversity.

Instead (again, look at that list), client money will go to ad agencies hiring the all white production companies they've always hired, who in turn will now hire either white foreign female directors, or exotic foreign female directors.

At the cost of male black and brown American minority directors, who were finally making a tiny bit of advancement until this initiative came around.

Now, we get to enjoy white foreign clients funding white foreigners and collecting their ADCOLOR Awards for diversity (3% Conference already gave them an award for diversity a few weeks ago).

The same white foreign CMOs that wouldn't say a peep about ethnic diversity in advertising are pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into a PR machine that rewards white female directors, of course.

Golf clap for keeping the status quo while pretending this will shake anything up.

Another golf clap for white women coming out on top yet again.

still_nobody_black said...

I just had this argument with our agency.

If you have a campaign aimed at Black consumers, and the only directors you invite to bid are white guys, and you purposely throw a white female in there for FreeTheBid and call that diversity, that's not diversity.

ACD said...

Already seeing this in action. On the creative side, it's 'Here's three guy directors we really want to bid, we already pretty much know which one we're going to pick, but we need to get rid of one of the extra bidders and make them a female director for the FreeTheBid thing.'

Doesn't mean it's a fair or even bid, but I guess it ticks the diversity box so it looks good from the outside.