This Greenpeace campaign from Y&R in Namibia declares, “Trash Shouldn’t Define Our Culture.” Can’t help but notice a lot of the depicted trash is rooted in Western culture. Oh, and Y&R colonizing Namibia is pretty peculiar too, given the White advertising agency’s history and culture of trashing Blacks.
Wednesday, June 28, 2017
A MultiCultClassics visitor pointed at the Tweet depicted above, which really underscores how diverted diversity has interrupted and disrupted the true diversity discussion. To gasp, “Racism in advertising isn’t tolerated—why is sexism still ok?!” displays a disturbing level of cultural cluelessness. For starters, the instances of insensitive and ignorant portrayals of minorities in advertisements far outnumber the sexist imagery. Even today, Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben are alive and well—with descendants carrying on the tradition. Plus, there’s another layer of tolerated racism in advertising when considering the unbelievable underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities in campaigns. The racist trifecta is completed by the conscious and unconscious bias—exhibited by White admen and White adwomen—that keeps minorities, well, minorities in the industry. To tweet racism in advertising isn’t tolerated in order to protest a gender inequality that barely exists is deceptive, hypocritical and stupid.
Tuesday, June 27, 2017
Adweek reported on a Cannes study revealing that gender equality smokescreens in adland have not benefited women of color. Wow, what a shocking revelation! Can’t wait to hear what diverted diversity divas Kat Gordon, Madonna Badger and Cindy Gallop have to say on the polling data. “Absolutely, the industry’s movement has not engaged or been very responsive to women of color,” chirped IPG Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Heide Gardner. “Frankly, I think it’s because most of the advocates are not women of color and that they just haven’t been aware that the game is different. … It is impossible to advance gender equality without dealing with other dimensions of diversity and identity.” Not sure what planet Gardner has been living on, as the White women’s bandwagon has been rolling merrily along for quite a few years. It is completely possible to advance gender equality while ignoring true equality—and our ever-exclusive industry has been doing exactly that. On Madison Avenue, White women have shattered the glass ceiling, but women of color have been relegated to cleaning lady roles to sweep up the shards.
Refinery29’s Cannes Study Finds That Gender Equality Efforts Have Left Women of Color Behind
Ad campaigns and workplaces still run on stereotypes
By Patrick Coffee
Given last week’s intense debates about Publicis and Marcel, one may have missed a major topic of conversation at the 2017 Cannes Lions festival: diversity, or the persistent lack thereof.
Several panels sponsored by companies like The Wall Street Journal addressed the matter only yards away from Mother London’s #CampaignForEquality billboards that featured industry personalities like Martin Sorrell and Cindy Gallop calling for more women in leadership roles. In an interview with Adweek, HP CMO Antonio Lucio also restated a dedication to diversity at both his own company and its agency partners.
But for all this talk, the movement has quite a ways to go. Research unveiled during last Wednesday’s IPG Women’s Breakfast panel found that marketing campaigns still traffic in stereotypes. And despite the ad industry’s highly visible efforts to move beyond a history of inequality, many feel ignored or left behind—especially women of color.
Nevertheless, gender stereotypes persisted
A study commissioned by IPG, National Geographic and female-focused media brand Refinery29 examined intersectionality and gender equality by way of a survey involving 4,000 women in five global markets and a series of in-depth follow-up interviews.
It found that the equality movement, as it were, has fallen short in both the global workforce and a marketplace still saturated with gender stereotypes.
A majority of survey participants think marketing remains dominated by such cliches (54 percent). Perhaps for this reason, most said these campaigns feel irrelevant (51 percent), and they do not believe that brands on the whole care about their personal experiences (53 percent).
“Given the changing landscape of consumer trends and how we are defining ourselves across many dimensions, it is surprising that the stereotypes we have used for so long are still quite prevalent,” said National Geographic evp, chief marketing officer Jill Cress.
She continued, “Take the current conversation around gender, for example, where around the globe we find individuals and organizations [like Facebook and Tinder] redefining traditional notions and expressions of gender identity. As marketers, we must also recognize this changing landscape and understand the layered identities of our customers.”
Deeper than demographics
Surprising as they may be, the IPG study’s findings fit with another piece of research from JWT and the Geena Davis Institute, which found that women remain under-represented in marketing campaigns by a striking margin of four to one.
Why have brands not corrected this imbalance despite the oft-repeated fact that a vast majority of consumer purchases are made by women?
“If marketers and agencies can go beyond the demo and psychographic definitions of women leveraged for marketing campaigns, and look at the small but important nuances of how women see themselves, we can start to see change taking place in creative and advertising,” said Hallie Johnston, Refinery29’s svp of client services and strategy for branded content.
The company’s own marketing efforts draw from what Johnston called “the power of niche audiences to move ideas at scale.” She said, “the more you can get closer to the micro topics and issues that women care about and reflect back a mirror of their mindset in marketing, the more you can humanize your brand and drive more engagement with your audience.”
This increased focus on targeting and personalization is in keeping with the findings of a survey in which only 44 percent of participants called womanhood “a universal experience.”
Paying lip service to diversity
Marketing strategies aside, the survey’s most striking findings concern the business world’s inability to improve its own diversity numbers, along with employees’ reluctance to speak out on the matter.
Seventy percent of women around the world said their workplaces are not diverse, and 53 percent do not believe gender equality has been achieved in either a professional or societal context.
Despite these sentiments, only 34 percent of participants said companies need to focus on “building an inclusive environment”—and a mere 22 percent agreed that women of color should hold more leadership roles.
These numbers are hardly surprising to veterans of a notoriously monochrome industry. While agencies have made a point of promoting more women to prominent positions in recent years, the overwhelming majority of those executives are white.
“Absolutely, the industry’s movement has not engaged or been very responsive to women of color,” said IPG chief diversity and inclusion officer Heide Gardner. “Frankly, I think it’s because most of the advocates are not women of color and that they just haven’t been aware that the game is different.”
Gardner continued, “It is impossible to advance gender equality without dealing with other dimensions of diversity and identity. Consider this: the overall wage gap for women in the US is 76 percent, but for Black women it is 64 percent and Hispanic it is 52 percent. It is mathematically impossible to solve this issue without solving for women of color also.”
“Even the stereotypes they have to overcome are different,” she added. “We did a program on Black women in leadership and motherhood did not come up once in the discussion. How people experience the world is driven in part by their identity.”
Progress is impossible without change
Despite overwhelming support for diversity and inclusion in the abstract, only 24 percent of respondents in this survey said they would speak up if uncomfortable with the “-isms” directed toward colleagues or consumers.
In other words, many decline to take action even in cases of problematic behavior and tone-deaf campaigns.
Given these discouraging findings, how will the ad industry—and the business world at large—begin to live up to its own promises? And how should young women and minority candidates who want to enter this field proceed?
“I’m not just a woman of color, I’m also a mother—and I think that I would say to my boys, ‘It is what it is, and you have a decision to make,’” said Gardner while noting that advertising is hardly the only industry to fall short on this front.
She added, with cautious optimism, “I really do think that we are beginning to move beyond that everlasting ‘conversation’ into more action. But if young people decide to join or stay in our industry, they also need to choose wisely. Diversity and inclusion is a value proposition … if the emperor has no clothes, hide your eyes and move along.”
A study released earlier this week by Ketchum and Fast Company argued that blind hiring, especially for entry level positions, could increase diversity. But Gardner countered, “Just having a blind resume process isn’t going to help if your job specs are biased … or if you ask biased interview questions and don’t have a clear framework for decision making.”
“We are not retaining and advancing people of color, in part, because of our business models and compensation strategies—but also because of the environment and lack of proof points for upward mobility,” she said. “I also believe we have talent on board and ready to go and they are probably underutilized.”
Unfortunately, the study’s findings indicate that this debate will continue and that women, particularly women of color, will face the same frustrations until a perceived need for action grows more urgent.
In the meantime, the fact that most executives—and reporters—addressing the matter are both white and male does little to move the conversation forward.
Monday, June 26, 2017
Wanted to add commentary in response to a remark made by HP CMO Antonio Lucio during interviews at Cannes. While discussing the official memo Lucio sent to his White advertising agencies in August 2016, challenging them to improve their staff diversity, the CMO told Advertising Age the following:
By October we’re going to give you all of the numbers. What I can tell you right now is that in our lead agencies, the number of women leading the account has grown. The number of the women working in the creative department working on our account has grown where they were almost nonexistent. And in the media agency, the number of strategic resources leading our account, which in media is the most important role, has increased significantly as well. Our plan is that in October, by the one year anniversary of our call, we will sit down with all of the agencies and we’re going to do a white paper on the good, the bad, the ugly and the extraordinary.
Now, technically, Lucio only tasked his White advertising agencies with starting the inclusive revolution by promoting White women, as his comment above seems to indicate. At the same time, when Ad Age asked if the original request was exclusive to boosting female figures, Lucio clarified the intended goal by stating, “Women and people of color.” If Lucio does indeed share “all the numbers” as promised, it will be quite an accomplishment. To date, BBDO and Omnicom have steadfastly refused to disclose EEO-1 data to the public. So based on Lucio’s ability to keep his word, October could present an extraordinary trick or treat.
Sunday, June 25, 2017
Unfortunately, the book offers nothing fresh or original. Roberts simply regurgitates the perspectives of business experts like Peter Drucker and Tom Peters, repackaging the insights with his own alliterations and acronyms. Plus, he makes lots of tired sports analogies, embracing his personal obsession with Rugby. To complete the dearth of newness, Roberts closes by revisiting his Lovemarks concept.
Roberts’ resignation from Saatchi & Saatchi was ignited by commentary deemed sexist, and the book certainly doesn’t help his cause with its lack of lady lauding. The truth is, however, that White women thrive at the White advertising agency Roberts once led, making his claim—“the fucking debate is all over”—somewhat accurate. Hell, White women seem to be doing swell at the White enterprise that recently hired Roberts too.
On a related tip and flipside, Roberts’ book makes ample references to Black icons including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela and Colin Powell. Roberts marveled, “How many organizations start each day with the rolling thunder of inspiration? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not say ‘I have a mission statement.’ He didn’t talk about rules or tactics. He talked about a moral imperative, about the Promised Land. He had a dream.” Yes, and idiots like Roberts slept on the dream, failing to embrace progressive change, marginalizing minorities and perpetuating exclusivity in a crazy advertising industry that desperately needs leadership with vision. Despite his patronizing faux reverence for equality fighters, Roberts is an Old White Guy, culturally-clueless hypocrite and discriminatory douchebag. On that point, the fucking debate is all over.
Saturday, June 24, 2017
Oh look! Campaign also provided column space to HP CMO Antonio Lucio and his diverted diversity drive. Forget Cannes. This guy’s going to nab an ADCOLOR® Award. Give the man bonus points for integrating the company’s tagline—Keep Reinventing—into his
heartfelt half-hearted rhetoric. “I challenge each of you to influence others in your ecosystem to be more aggressive with their own D&I efforts,” implored Lucio, adding the imperative “to encourage your partners to meet your own D&I standards.” Okay, except Lucio’s D&I standards are admittedly focused on White women versus people of color. The ecosystem remains exclusive.
HP global CMO: diversity and inclusion create the fire that stokes marketing reinvention
By Antonio Lucio
If marketers aren’t inclusive they can’t authentically understand their customers, says Antonio Lucio, global chief marketing and communication officer, HP.
More global, more social, more diverse. Increasingly mobile and always-on. The pace of change in today’s digital world can make us feel disconnected and anxious, making deep emotional ties both rare and precious. And yet it is these emotional connections that help brands to stand the test of time.
In our digital era, every brand message acts as a human-to-human conversation, regardless of what platform it’s consumed on. Brands must reinvent their marketing to deliver emotional resonance. This is not just for consumers but for business partners as well. Doing so demands a deliberate and disciplined approach informed by perspectives that reflect a varied customer base—making diversity and inclusion (D&I) a prerequisite to any successful transformation effort.
67% of active and passive job seekers consider a company’s diverse workforce a major factor in evaluating prospective employers
While advancing D&I is unarguably the right thing to do, it is also increasingly becoming a business imperative for global competitiveness. Manpower reports that one-third of global employers experience difficulty filling jobs. Adding to the impetus for diversity in recruitment, Glassdoor found that 67 percent of active and passive job seekers consider a company’s diverse workforce a major factor in evaluating prospective employers. Faced with a shortage of skilled workers, companies in Silicon Valley and beyond understand the necessity of looking far beyond their usual pool of talent.
As we have embarked on our reinvention journey at HP, we have pushed to have D&I be more than simply a moral imperative; we are baking it into the DNA of our organisation. Data shows that D&I leads to more innovation, better creative work and stronger results. Simply put, if we aren’t inclusive how do we hope to ever authentically understand the customers we serve? We must make every effort to walk in the shoes of our customers to ensure their voices are present at the table.
So how is this accomplished? Look around you. Do most people in your group, department, company or industry look like you? If so, it’s time to define a new talent bar and expand your horizons. Recruit from diverse schools, actively search for underrepresented candidates and create programs to attract and retain diverse talent. Actively expand the global proficiency of your leadership team so they can better connect with and represent your various audiences.
At HP, we are building a more inclusive culture by providing our leadership and, most importantly, our hiring managers with unconscious bias training. We’re using technology to eliminate biased language in our job listings and giving underrepresented current employees a voice, ultimately resulting in opportunities for advancement at all levels of the organisation.
To reach a more diverse talent pool, HP recently launched a recruiting effort with a clear and simple message: HP is hiring, and talent is our only criteria. Our first spot featured the African American community and results speak for themselves, with an uptick in diverse candidate resumes, invitations to speak at Harvard and Howard University, and strong business school engagement with our recruiting and mentorship programs.
Dads and Daughters, the second spot, addresses the biases women face during the interview process. As a father to five daughters, I am profoundly grateful to represent a company that addresses these tough issues head-on. HP’s commitment to ensuring the next generation of women in the workforce have the same opportunities as their male counterparts fills me with great pride.
I challenge each of you to influence others in your ecosystem to be more aggressive with their own D&I efforts, and to encourage your partners to meet your own D&I standards. Demand your advertising and PR agency partners submit a plan laying out how they will increase the number of women and minorities in key creative and strategy roles. Join others, such as PwC’s chief executive Action for Diversity and Inclusion, to work alongside the most progressive organisations in the world to address diversity. Contribute to, volunteer or start initiatives to support underrepresented groups in your industry—such as Free the Bid, which aims to increase the number of female directors in advertising by pledging to give one in three competitive bids to a female director.
Reinvention is hard. Success depends on becoming more insight-driven and emotionally resonant—which emanates from a highly inclusive and diverse workforce. It’s working for HP—we are worth 30 percent more today than we were 18 months ago. This is tangible proof that forging emotional connections through perceptive, you-understand-me moments makes a difference to the bottom line. Creating an environment where unique perspectives are actively sought and celebrated will serve to power an innovative future.
Friday, June 23, 2017
Adweek and Advertising Age spoke with HP CMO Antonio Lucio, who blathered on about diverted diversity from the exclusivity of Cannes. “If I could point at one thing that is getting in the way of real progress in our industry, it’s the lack of diversity,” declared Lucio. “We’re spending way too much time talking about it, not enough time doing what needs to be done.” Of course, Lucio is only doing the less-than-minimum of what needs to be done, as his progressive baby step involves promoting White women. Indeed, his comments to Ad Age were almost entirely gushing about rising female figures. Lucio revealed that his White advertising agencies will publicly share the actual success numbers in October, and he announced, “…We’re going to do a white paper on the good, the bad, the ugly and the extraordinary.” Yes, it’s so appropriate to call the report a White paper.
HP CMO Believes the Ad World Spends Too Much Time Talking About Diversity Instead of Implementing It
Company has balanced its leadership teams
By Kristina Monllos
CANNES, France—The ad world isn’t doing enough to improve the diversity of marketing teams and that’s something that HP CMO Antonio Lucio wants to change.
“If I could point at one thing that is getting in the way of real progress in our industry, it’s the lack of diversity,” said Lucio during a video interview with Adweek. “We’re spending way too much time talking about it, not enough time doing what needs to be done.”
And Lucio isn’t just paying lip-service to an industry-wide issue that has been a popular topic at this year’s Cannes Lions festival. He’s actually doing something at HP. “Over the last year, we’ve undertaken a very important initiative … to balance our teams internally to the point that today 50 percent of our most senior leaders in communications and marketing are female,” said Lucio.
Added Lucio: “If you believe in innovation, if you believe in improvement, diversity becomes a business imperative much more than a values issue. … We believe our ability to deliver more innovation and better innovation from a product standpoint and our ability to connect with our customers around the world will improve by having teams that are diverse in their composition.”
‘It’s Working’: HP Says Its Push for Diversity at Its Agencies Is Getting Results
By Brian Braiker
Last September, HP Chief Marketing Officer Antonio Lucio sent a memo to HP’s five advertising and marketing agency partners asking for a commitment “to radically improve the percentage of women and people of color in leadership roles” in their organizations. In April, it released an ad promising to fight bias among its hiring managers. Now, almost a year into the diversity push, Lucio tells Ad Age that HP is already seeing real results—both internally and from HP agencies Gyro, BBDO, Fred & Farid, Edelman and Porter Novelli.
In a quick discussion at Cannes, Lucio reiterated his commitment to diversity and hinted at things to come.
Explain how it’s been going.
Better than I expected. Back in October we made an invitation to our agency partners to participate. We allowed them to set their own targets, understanding that they had to show meaningful improvement in the number of women working on our account, with specific emphasis on strategy and creative services.
Women and people of color.
And they were going to set those targets themselves?
That was the only way they were going to commit to it. I thought that was a very important point. I’ve been doing marketing for a very long time. It is stronger when I can convince you to set your own target because it is your target. You are committed to delivering it as opposed to me imposing it on you.
Were there any targets that weren’t good enough for you?
None at all. I was very encouraged by the level of enthusiasm. I met with CEOs only. They did put some very interesting stretch targets. And over the last two quarters, we met once over their scorecard.
Can you share some specifics?
By October we’re going to give you all of the numbers. What I can tell you right now is that in our lead agencies, the number of women leading the account has grown. The number of the women working in the creative department working on our account has grown where they were almost nonexistent. And in the media agency, the number of strategic resources leading our account, which in media is the most important role, has increased significantly as well. Our plan is that in October, by the one year anniversary of our call, we will sit down with all of the agencies and we’re going to do a white paper on the good, the bad, the ugly and the extraordinary.
Any hints at what might be in there?
The only hint that I can give is that it’s working.
We’ve heard from some agencies, off the record, who bristle at this sort of mandate. They say it’s unfair, that it’s a sort of reverse discrimination.
I will tell you one of the CEOs told me that if his 10 lead clients had done this, the industry would be transforming at a faster pace. What we’re requesting is not arbitrary.
Talk about the internal adjustments you made to your own team.
When you looked at my team—like many marketing departments—out of the total population, about 60 percent are women. When you take it a notch higher—to managers—that number goes from 66 to 53 percent. From there to the senior leadership team, the ten most senior people in my global team, there were only two. So over a 12 month period, we worked it out through movements—changes, logical evolution of the structure, if you will—to get to a balanced 50/50. We had to do that first because without the strength of the argument, I could not have gone to the agencies.
You have to walk the walk.
I believe the changes has to be structural. The clients have to change, the agencies have to change and the production houses have to change as well. The number of heads of creative in the agencies is in the 20% range, the number of women directing commercials is less than 10.
When do we start seeing this reflected in the work, then?
Out of the work we just released, for example, the mother-daughters film, that was a female creative director that was not involved in our account before we started this. On the more mainstream stuff, our biggest product introduction on the computer side, which is inking, the director came from Free the Bid and she directed five spots that are going to be seen globally [starting this week]. That had never happened before. So we’re going to see this more and more and more. We test everything, and the way those five spots on the premium line tested, was some of the highest scores we’ve seen.
AgencySpy posted about creatives at Leo Burnett protesting the Publicis Groupe ban on award shows and trade shows in 2018. When the White advertising agency noticed industry equality would not happen for at least 66 years, they launched a tumblr demonstration. When threatened with the loss of trophies for a mere year, they deface their own headquarters and mount a global revolt. Perfect.
Thursday, June 22, 2017
Adweek reported on a Cannes study that showed “diversity of experience” trumps racial and ethnic diversity. It must be noted, however, that the study participants were 500 creative professionals. Um, polling members of an exclusive field on the topic of diversity is like asking the Ku Klux Klan to vote on inclusion. Diversity of experience prevents the experience of diversity.
Cannes Study Finds Diversity of Experience Is the Most Important Factor in Building Creative Teams
Ketchum and Fast Company call for ‘diverse voices’
By Patrick Coffee
Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. The meteoric rise of social media and our own unconscious biases have created an echo-chamber effect that intensifies, rather than discourages, cultural and personal divisions.
The bubble narrative has grown increasingly popular after last year’s Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump. But a new survey examining the phenomenon doesn’t touch on partisan politics—it’s about the creative work performed by industries like media, communications and advertising.
A majority of creative professionals (54 percent) participating in a study conducted by global PR firm Ketchum and media brand Fast Company agreed that such an echo-chamber effect exists in their fields and that it can greatly impede creativity.
The most significant finding in the survey, which involved 500 members of the Fast Company community and precedes a June 21 Cannes Lions panel moderated by editor Robert Safian, may be that diversity of experience is seen as more influential than ethnic or gender diversity when building an effective creative team.
Experience is the key factor
“The biggest wake-up call that sets this study apart from lots of diversity conversations is that so many participants say diverse life experience makes the difference: how you grew up, your socioeconomic background, whether you traveled, etc.,” said Ketchum partner, chief strategy and creativity officer Karen Strauss.
A whopping 87 percent of participants said “personal experience” is a formative factor in their ability to develop creative ideas. Work experience (70 percent) and personal experience (61 percent) were deemed to have the greatest effect on the judgment and selection of those ideas.
Despite the ad industry’s well-publicized efforts to achieve greater ethnic and gender diversity, respondents ranked those variables last when it comes to shaping creative product (25 percent for race and 26 percent for gender) and evaluating that work (11 percent and 15 percent, respectively).
This isn’t to say that gender and ethnic diversity are not important, that the ad industry has lived up to its own promises on those fronts, or that demographics don’t play a large role in shaping each individual’s personal experience. Simply that those who work in creative fields think hiring those with diverse backgrounds should be emphasized.
And gender blinders do exist. When asked which groups provide “braver” ideas, a majority of both men (61 percent) and women (65 percent) chose their own genders.
A resistance to true diversity
Strauss said the echo-chamber effect stems from “deriving, testing and suggesting ideas only with like-minded thinkers.”
“We think we are bringing in a range of views,” she added, “but we tend to hire people with particular types of experience who are hired through networking and referral, instead of those who have virtually no experience in the [particular] field or come from a very different background.”
A majority of respondents across age groups, disciplines and backgrounds agreed that this sort of approach is common and that it is detrimental to creative work.
Nearly everyone involved in this study (95 percent) said interacting with others who challenge their beliefs and assumptions is a crucial part of any creative endeavor. And while 71 percent of respondents believe their organizations respect such diversity of thought, an overwhelming 85 percent said more needs to be done.
The message is clear: Agencies, media companies and marketing organizations draw too heavily from the same talent pools. But at least they’re aware of the problem.
“The survey respondents see that working alongside people just like themselves limits creative potential, and to get outside our bubbles, we have to build teams from varying socioeconomic, educational and geographic backgrounds,” Safian said.
Marketers failing to work with target audiences
The tendency to work only with those who think like we do also applies to market research.
According to the survey, only 9 percent of creative professionals always work directly with members of their target audiences when developing campaigns or related projects. A near majority of respondents (48 percent) said they never do so, relying instead on third-party research for the ideas that eventually shape their creative work.
“We were shocked that only 9 percent tap the target audience when they test an idea,” Strauss said, adding, “If you bring them into the process, then eureka—you’ve already diversified it.”
The overwhelming influence of seniority in agencies and related organizations also diminishes creative work, according to the survey. While 73 percent of those who participated said younger employees tend to submit “braver” ideas, nearly as many said the responsibility for choosing which ideas will prevail overwhelmingly goes to those with 10 or more years of experience.
‘Less cronyism; less hiring of sameness’
Given the near consensus that creative businesses need to encourage a greater diversity of thinking, one big question follows: What’s the best way to do so?
“One of the biggest answers involves hiring from outside your network and outside your industry—not the usual writers and designers,” said Strauss. “Another is prioritizing people with diverse socioeconomic, family, religious, ethnic and gender backgrounds.”
As one survey participant put it, “Don’t hire for portfolio; hire for curiosity.” But it’s one thing to talk about diversity of experience and another thing entirely to hire a junior art director who has no training in the advertising field.
“You can’t hire only green talent,” Strauss acknowledged, adding that many of those polled suggested a move toward more blind hiring to facilitate “less cronyism [and] less hiring of sameness.”
“It’s a very quick fix,” Strauss said.
At the same time, multiple executives speaking on background have told Adweek that blind hiring can shrink an organization’s diversity totals by focusing more on the very factors the study downplays—where you went to school, where you interned, who mentored you, etc.
Ketchum itself addressed this challenge last year by creating a “gamified” internship opportunity called Launch Pad, a program that seeks to counteract unconscious bias by anonymizing submissions and allowing recruiters to pick candidates based on their “ability to solve fictional client challenges.”
Strauss said Launch Pad increased the ethnic diversity of Ketchum’s internship class by 17 percent over the previous year and that 25 percent of all successful applicants had no prior experience in communications or marketing.
Yet, Ketchum and companies like it still rely on standard executive searches to hire C-level talent. And diversity gaps related to race, gender, education and experience persist across creative industries despite the overwhelming call for change on all fronts.
On that point, Strauss believes the conversation should move away from the word “diversity,” which she said is too closely tied to demographics.
“Most organizations are visually striving to increase gender and ethnic diversity,” she said, “but that alone doesn’t eliminate the self-segregation that happens—or the groupthink.”
She called the entire process “a work in progress” and noted that while Ketchum does not have a specific blueprint, its research has identified some clear steps that need to be taken.
The most important idea to keep in mind?
“Seek out people who challenge your views,” Strauss said. Of course, as the study revealed, this is far more easily said than done.
Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Adweek reported new Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun is banning his White advertising agencies from participating in award shows and trade shows for 2018 as part of a cost-cutting move. Guess Sadoun has to make up for all of his predecessor’s compulsive digital spending and infamous failed merger deal. One thing is certain: The bold action will clearly show that holding companies like Publicis Groupe spend far more on pursuing trophies than promoting diversity.
Publicis Groupe Forbids All of Its Agencies From Participating in Awards Shows in 2018
New CEO Arthur Sadoun makes first mark with decision to save costs
By Patrick Coffee
Publicis Groupe will be sitting out the 2018 Cannes Lions festival. The reason? To save money.
New chief executive officer Arthur Sadoun made his first dramatic mark on the holding company this week by forbidding all of its agencies around the world from participating in awards shows, trade shows or other paid promotional efforts for more than a year.
According to an internal memo written by CEO Frank Voris of Publicis Groupe’s financial services unit, Re:Sources, Sadoun’s company is “looking for 2.5 percent cost synergies for 2018” and hopes to achieve those savings, at least in part, by “eliminating all award/trade shows for the next year.”
The memo notes that Re:Sources “will not participate in any vendor conferences, industry trade shows and/or award shows effective July 1.”
“This is mandatory and exceptions will not be approved. … Award/trade show ban is effective for the entire Groupe, not just Re:Sources,” the memo states.
The news comes on the same day Sadoun announced the launch of Marcel, a platform designed to serve more than 80,000 employees in 30 different countries and described as “the first-ever professional assistant that uses AI and machine learning technology.”
The announcement is in keeping with an earlier video in which Sadoun said he wants Publicis Groupe to function as “a platform” rather than a network as part of its larger “Power of One” strategy. In some ways, the Marcel presented in the video above resembles Source, a “gamified” global operating system and collaboration tool developed by Omnicom media agency PHD in 2012.
When speaking to Adweek about Marcel, Sadoun did not directly address whether Publicis Groupe will be sitting out next year’s Cannes festival. He did, however, note that Marcel will debut during the 2018 VivaTech conference in Paris, which directly precedes Cannes. He also stated that Publicis Groupe would not be using any of its budget for self-promotional purposes during the development of Marcel.
According to the Voris memo, Sadoun made these announcements during his first “management session,” which occurred in Paris over the weekend.
A Publicis Groupe spokesperson declined to elaborate on the news beyond Sadoun’s statements and denied the plans have anything to do with “cost synergies.” Re:Sources representatives have not yet responded to requests for comment.
A Cannes Lions press contact has also not responded to a query regarding Publicis Groupe’s apparent decision to sit out the 2018 festival.
Earlier this year, the Re:Sources organization went through a round of layoffs attributed to “automating some of its financial operations in order to deliver globally standardized financial [and] accounting services.”
Tuesday, June 20, 2017
This email for 4A’s The Face Of Talent 2017 Diversity Career Fair accurately depicts the state of diverted diversity in the advertising industry. The focus is on women—and does anyone want to guess which one of the featured females clearly has the best chance of landing a job in the exclusive field?
Adweek reported Dan Gasby, TV executive and the spouse and professional partner of B. Smith, is going after Aunt Jemima. Actually, he’s going after PepsiCo, demanding that they finally dump the iconic pancake maker. “One hundred and twenty four years ago that product was created,” griped Gasby. “They used nasty grains, and they had freed slaves [to promote it], and it’s still a modern-day, 21st-century company. And someone who pours that syrup [or mix], they’re pouring slavery out of a box.” If Gasby succeeds in his crusade to crush Aunt Jemima, it will probably make Annie the Chicken Queen and The Pine-Sol® Lady really nervous.
B. Smith’s Husband Is Launching a Petition Demanding the Aunt Jemima Brand Change Its Name
Seeks to drop the mascot as well, thereby setting the character ‘free’
By Robert Klara
For well over a century, Aunt Jemima has been among the most successful and recognizable brands of pancake mix and syrup on grocers’ shelves. Starting today, however, it might just get flipped on its head.
A new Change.org petition, announced this morning, demands the company get rid of its brand name and mascot and “set Aunt Jemima free,” in the words of Dan Gasby.
Gasby, a successful TV executive and the husband and business partner of the model-turned-entrepreneur B. Smith, started the petition after his previous efforts to get the Pepsico-owned Aunt Jemima to discard its name and mascot failed. Gasby believes the Aunt Jemima name and character are enduring vestiges of racism and slavery that have no place on store shelves in 2017.
“For 124 years, [that product] has been the very epitome of African-American female humiliation,” Gasby said. “You can’t tell me Aunt Jemima is positive.”
PepsiCo has not responded to an email and a telephone message requesting comment.
Gasby’s campaign, while newly public, has been years in the making. About a decade ago, Gasby and his wife decided to go shopping in some New York bodegas, those dingy little cigarette-and-beer stores that in many of the city’s poorer neighborhoods are the only grocery-shopping options available. The couple had long passed the point where they needed to do such chores (much less in bodegas), but they were considering getting into the grocery business themselves and figured they’d do a little research.
Instead, they found a cause.
When a young black woman the couple was watching put a box of Aunt Jemima pancake mix into her basket, Smith—an actress, restaurateur, chef and among the most elegant black women of her generation—was disturbed. So she approached the young lady. “I just want to ask you something,” Smith said. “You just bought this product—do you know what it stands for?” The woman replied that Aunt Jemima was “a product that stands for us being blacks.”
“My wife was shocked,” said Gasby, still recalling the event clearly. “And from that day on, we said to ourselves that we’d try to make a difference.”
Gasby, co-owner of the B. Smith lifestyle brand, chose today, June 19 or Juneteenth, the day that commemorates the emancipation of African-American slaves, as the launch date for the campaign. He hopes the symbolism will spark a greater sense of urgency and garner more support.
“One hundred and twenty four years ago that product was created,” Gasby said. “They used nasty grains, and they had freed slaves [to promote it], and it’s still a modern-day, 21st-century company. And someone who pours that syrup [or mix], they’re pouring slavery out of a box.”
In 1889, entrepreneurs Chris Rutt and Charles Underwood of the Pearl Milling Company introduced a new brand of ready-mix, self-rising pancake flour called Aunt Jemima—a name Rutt, a newspaperman by trade, had heard at a minstrel show in a song performed by a singer in blackface. After the R.T. Davis Milling Company purchased the brand in 1890, it hired Nancy Green, who’d been born a slave in Kentucky’s Montgomery County, to portray Aunt Jemima in the company’s promotions. The perennially smiling, bandana-wearing Green was paid to be a caricature, and the resulting archetype, which passed to the ownership of Quaker Oats in 1925, survived long after Green’s death in the form of an illustration of the character on the packaging.
Apart from the cultural baggage of the name itself, the Aunt Jemima character has been a liability for the brand for decades. Though the rendering has been mainstreamed over the years—losing the bandana, shedding the housedress and appearing in pearl earrings—Aunt Jemima is still in many people’s eyes a “mammy”—a stereotypical domestic servant in the white households of the antebellum era.
But in Gasby’s view, updating the character did nothing to address what he sees as the foundational offensiveness of the brand name overall and the character in particular.
“You could make her look like Doris Day in dark chocolate—and you can quote me on that—[or] you can bob her hair, and she could look like she’s in the Daughters of the American Revolution,” he said. “But walk up to a black woman and say to them, ‘You remind me of Aunt Jemima!’ and see what they do to you. Walk into the middle of a room of a group of black women and say, ‘You know, I just want to say I hope you live up to the standards of Aunt Jemima,’ or, ‘Your little daughter or baby reminds me of Aunt Jemima,’ and see what you get. We’ve become desensitized to systemic racism—but image still matters.”
Gasby explained that he finally turned to Change.org after his own appeals several years ago to PepsiCo to change the Aunt Jemima brand name came to nothing. Ever since then, he said, “it’s been festering with me, and I know my wife was very adamant about it.”
The couple has more personal reasons for launching the petition now. B. Smith was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2013 and is unable to lead the charge on her own. And while the couple’s plans for their own grocery chain didn’t work out, their hopes to change the Aunt Jemima brand still can.
Gasby’s petition isn’t calling for the liquidation of the company. But he does want the name and mascot eliminated and also suggests PepsiCo consider changing the brand name to that of his wife. Not only is she a well known and widely respected black female entrepreneur, but a portion of sales could be donated to the causes of women’s health and brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
“You could say to me, ‘Well, I’m doing it for financial reasons—no,” Gasby said. “If not now, when? [And] who better than B. Smith?”
Monday, June 19, 2017
AgencySpy posted on the latest diverted diversity decoration from The 3% Conference: the Athena Advertising Awards, birthed in conjunction with the Athena Film Festival. How original! The jurors will undoubtedly have strong female representation, integrating loony lady luminaries like Cindy Gallop. Maybe Wonder Woman will be a presenter or keynote speaker. And of course, all award winners will also receive automatic certification from Kat Gordon. Why does bringing revolutionary change to the advertising industry usually include inventing new advertising awards?
The 3% Movement Teams Up with the Athena Film Festival to Launch The Athena Advertising Awards
By Erik Oster
There’s a new advertising awards program in town.
The 3% Movement collaborated with the Athena Film Festival, “a joint initiative of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College and Women and Hollywood,” to create the Athena Advertising Awards, which will recognize top advertising telling the stories of women and girls.
“The depiction of women and girls in advertising has steadily been improving, thanks in large part to consumers’ ability to talk back to brands via social media,” The 3% Movement founder Kat Gordon said in a statement. “It’s time to celebrate brands and agencies that are demonstrating leadership and creating messages infused with ambition, courage, resilience, and moxie.”
“One of the primary goals of the Athena Film Festival is to challenge the way society views and values women,” added Athena Film Festival co-founder Kathryn Kolbert. “In many ways, those views and values are shaped by advertising. We could not be more excited to launch this new initiative to reward those brands and agencies that are elevating images and voices of bold, courageous women and girls.”
The Athena Advertising Awards is open to North American brands and agencies and will feature six categories: Film, Digital/Mobile, Social Marketing, Print, Events/Experiential, and Integrated Campaigns. Submissions are open beginning today, with a September 8 deadline. The awards presentation will be part of The 3% Conference in New York on November 3 and will then be replayed at the Athena Film Festival, which will take place from February 22-25 at Barnard College.
The Athena Advertising Awards are not the first award program to honor depictions of women and girls in advertising. SheKnows Media launched the #Femvertising Awards back in 2015 and will begin submissions for its third annual event this August. According to its site, this year the awards will be “expanded…to be inclusive of ads that do the right thing by ALL humans, regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.”
For its part, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity responded to a petition by #WomenNotObjects founder Madonna Badger to ban ads objectifying women, while also making a move toward greater gender diversity in its jury panels. This came after the festival awarded an Almap BBDO Brazil outdoor ad for Bayer aspirin with a Bronze Lion in the outdoor category, despite objections that the campaign, which included copy like “‘Don’t Worry Babe, I’m Not Filming This’.Mov,” was overtly sexist. It wasn’t the only incident at the awards ceremony that led to accusations of sexism or female objectification, as VaynerMedia and Thrillist were criticized for a party invite specifying “attractive females and models only,” which they attributed to third party events company iGetIn.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
Campaign reported on the Daddy-Daughter diverted diversity display from HP. Plus, the trade journal interviewed HP Chief Diversity Officer Lesley Slaton Brown, who’s becoming a star of sorts as the technology company proceeds to push for progress. “Keep Reinventing” meets Delegating Diversity.
HP debuts its newest diversity video, admits it has ‘room for improvement’
By Kathryn Luttner
The brand’s Chief Diversity Officer Lesley Slaton Brown talks about the company’s hiring initiatives and its latest spot targeting women.
HP continues to market itself as a company where talent is its only hiring criteria with a new spot debuting today, titled “Dads and Daughters.” In it, real-life fathers and daughters read female-focused interview advice that’s largely negative, like “don’t wear too much perfume,” “avoid dressing too much like a woman” and “don’t be aggressive.”
The nearly three-minute ad is a continuation of the “Reinvent Mindsets” diversity campaign launched in April from agency Fred & Farid. The first spot, “Let’s Get In Touch,” focused on African-Americans and cited that “when qualified for a job, African-Americans are three times more likely to experience a denial.”
The latest commercial is directed by Jillian Martin, who is part of Alma Har’el’s Free the Bid, an initiative that challenges both agencies and brands to include at least one female director on triple bids, to which HP has donated $100,000. While the latest commercial doesn’t point to statistics, it does reveal actual interview tips found online. HP said the advice was gathered from news outlets like Cosmopolitan, FOX and The New Yorker.
To combat unconscious interview bias, HP is releasing this video through paid social media and other digital platforms. Campaign US spoke with the brand’s Chief Diversity Officer Lesley Slaton Brown to discuss why diversity has become one of HP’s top priorities.
Why did you decide to focus on women in this spot?
HP does business in 170 countries globally. We look at our different sites and say, “Okay, we need to balance our workforce.” For example, in Palo Alto, Asian is not underrepresented. In Boise, Idaho and Corvallis, Oregon, it is. And again, because we want to diversify our workforce, we look at those different sites.
So, when HP formed, when it split in November of 2015, we developed the most diverse board of directors in corporate American technology. To build from that, we increased our women in technical roles, executive technical roles by 4 percent. And the next level for us was women in technology, and so that is a focus, that is a primary segment or audience that we wish to increase within HP.
But your 14 C-suite executives consist of three women and no African-Americans, nor Asians. Would you say there’s room for improvement?
Oh, of course. I think absolutely there’s room for improvement. We started with our board of directors and just as you mentioned, we still need to do work at the L1—our senior most business leaders. Still, we represent over seven different countries within that leadership team.
But, more importantly, we also formed another layer with our global diversity advisory board, which consists of 17 people. The reason we did that is because we want to fill where we have gaps with senior leaders, influencers that are doing the work, that are making a difference, and that get it, so to speak. We have a reverse mentoring program that we do with our board of directors and our L1 leaders. That is representative of African-American, Asian, every region, every business.
That said, Cathie Lesjak as CFO, Tracy Keogh, head of HR, Kim Rivera, Latina, head of general counsel and head of legal—the representation of those leaders cannot go unnoticed and dismissed. They are leading industry change. And, of course, Antonio Lucio with Free the Bid.
Cathie is taking her role to a whole other level as well by holding our consultants to that same level of accountability and making sure that they’re representative of women and minorities in the highest level positions as well. If it hadn’t been for Tracy—guess what—none of this would’ve started as far as our board of directors.
And so, it’s more than just about the numbers. It is about the standard. That’s the work that this group of leaders is doing.
“Dads and Daughters” is the second part of your “Reinventing Mindsets” campaign. Will we see future spots centered on other minorities?
You’re going to see a lot more. This just isn’t about eliminating bias in recruiting or recruiting more talented women. It’s just the start. The work that we’re doing, it is pervasive. When I agreed to lead this effort, I said, “First and foremost, we have to debunk the myth that diversity and inclusion is the responsibility of HR.” Nor is the culture HR’s responsibility. It is about everybody being inclusive.
As you know, from a global perspective, diversity and inclusion means different things to different regions. In China, we’re dealing with people with disabilities, and other places, we’ve got women in executive positions. Within the U.S., we look at veterans, we look at, as I said, technical women. That’s the focus within the U.S. people with disabilities as well.
Have you personally experienced unconscious bias when you were interviewing for jobs?
I have as an African-American woman. And it’s funny because a name makes a difference, right? So, my former name was Lesley McNorton, and what I found was that with my resumes, if I used my name, Lesley McNorton, they automatically thought I was white, because of the “Mc.”
There were honestly times where I made sure that I didn’t put the organizations that I’m invested in as a minority because I saw the rejects. If you become real and unmask yourself, what you get and how soon the interest you get based off of your name and not exposing that you’re a part of these different organizations—“minority organizations”—versus doing that, there’s definitely a difference there. So, absolutely I have faced that.
With HP, it was a little different because one, HP’s culture, our heritage. And two, when I came to work for HP, I was actually working as a community volunteer as a co-chair for a particular organization and the woman that I was co-chairing with had just gotten a promotion at HP where she was starting her own organization. She was a Caucasian woman, and she said, “We work well together. I’m starting this new business, and I’d love for you to come work for me.”
It’s funny that time comes full circle, talk about talent being the only criteria, right? That’s because that’s true to HP’s legacy and so, have I had that happen to me? Absolutely. Absolutely.
Saturday, June 17, 2017
This Brazilian campaign for ESPN is bullshit—especially considering the fact that the sports network likely presents a disproportionately higher amount of men’s sports coverage versus women’s sports coverage. Plus, the amount of coverage has nothing to do with gender bias. Rather, it’s all about audience appeal and advertising budgets. Finally, it’s common knowledge that women’s sports will gain greater audience interest when there’s greater mob interest; that is, when spectators are placing serious bets on scores and outcomes.
Friday, June 16, 2017
Thursday, June 15, 2017
Advertising Age reported on a half-assed stunt offering half-time roles to keep White women staffers at AMV BBDO in London. Oddly enough, the story featured a photograph (depicted above) spotlighting two White men. Regardless, it demonstrates again the extension of diverted diversity, where even part-time females receive preferential treatment over minorities. Maybe AMV BBDO could adopt a Three-Fifths Compromise approach, allowing Blacks to work 3/5 days—and earn 3/5 of what White women are paid.
This BBDO Agency Is Offering Half-Time Roles to Retain Female Creative Talent
By Alexandra Jardine
London agency AMV BBDO is creating a number of permanent half-time roles for female creatives in a bid to retain talent in its creative department.
The shop, whose clients include Pepsi, Mars and Guinness, is currently recruiting for eight to 10 half-time roles for its creative department, with a view to rolling the program out across other departments in the future. The roles will be built around half the working hours required in standard working contracts.
The aim is to identify the best creative talents who may have taken a career break. Male parents who are in a primary care role and are attempting to return to work are also eligible to apply.
Executive creative directors Adrian Rossi and Alex Grieve said the initiative was born out of a realization that “experience is extremely undervalued.”
“There are a lot of women coming into this industry, but very few at the top and there is a dearth of experienced women in their 30s and 40s,” said Grieve.
“We spoke to a lot of women about this, and sometimes when they do come back, the conditions are patronizing and the work not that exciting,” added Rossi. “Returning can be disappointing: for example they are given a non-challenging brief and kept away from the best clients. We want to make sure they have access to the best briefs.”
So far, around two dozen people have applied for the roles, with both internal and external candidates applying. Each new hire will be connected to an industry mentor to help with their transition back into work. Rossi said that these could include clients, or senior women from production companies, as well as creative agencies, and that each mentor would be handpicked for each new hire.
Grieve and Rossi said that while no direct pressure came from clients, they spoke to several senior female clients before launching the effort, in order to get their advice. The scheme has been approved by the wider BBDO network.
Several networks and holding companies now have plans to boost female leadership—for example, DDB’s “The Phyllis Project” and Omnicom’s “Omniwomen”—and other agencies, including CP&B in London, have offered “returnships” to women returning to the workplace. However, AMV believes its program is the first—at least in London—to offer permanent roles.
“We want to put a flag in the ground here,” said Rossi. “It’s not a transient gesture.”
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
Campaign published diverted diversity delirium from Creative Director and Creative Equals Founder Ali Hanan, who sought to explain, “Why we lose our female talent before they even start.” The most disturbing part of Hanan’s hype is the photo (depicted above) accompanying the perspective—which appears to be a stock image that hardly represents the true diversity of women in adland. It’s a safe bet that Hanan is primarily concerned about why we lose our White female talent before they even start. While she does acknowledge BAME females have it far worse than White females, she doesn’t bother noting that BAME males have it far worse than White females too. Hell, battling “maternal bias” trumps confronting regular bias every day. Creative Equals covers a very narrow and exclusive definition of equality—as shown by the photo below from a Creative Equals event.
Why we lose our female talent before they even start
By Ali Hanan
The current system with ‘creatives’ of ‘placements’ fails our young female talent. While young women will leave the UK’s advertising and design colleges in equal numbers, about 40% of them will never make it to their first rung of the career ladder. Yes, you read correctly, writes Ali Hanan, creative director and founder of Creative Equals.
Two-fifths of young female talent are lost between graduation and industry
At advertising colleges across the country, women attend equally or skew slightly more, but then the current placement process of landing a job isn’t working for our young female talent. The question is why? The IPA’s statistics show just 29.6% of creative departments are staffed by women — up from 25% last year. What this statistic doesn’t show is many of departments Creative Equals sees run at 10% and below.
Many creative departments across London have no female creatives at all
That means a young female placement talent who comes into an environment like this will not see someone who may look or sound like themselves. Just 12% of creative directors are women and as bias studies show, people mentor those who reflect “people like me”. Young women won’t get mentored from day one on the creative shop floor. They’ll look up the ladder where those important role models are few and far between. Dig into BAME female representation at a senior level and you’ll find these numbers are not just fewer, but gulfs apart.
Social mobility is also a huge barrier
With the odds stacked against young women as they come into the workplace, there is also the simple fact some can’t afford to take up their placements. Some lack social mobility, and faced with crippling student debts and staggering London rents, they won’t even start on the ladder. More research needs to happen, which is why Creative Equals is working with D&AD New Blood to further unpack what happens over the coming months.
What we can do to change this straight away is start funding young female talent
Last year, the managing director of Major Players, Helen Stokes, died tragically. In her memory, £7,000 was raised, £5,000 of which went to an internship bursary with D&AD New Blood and Creative Equals. There were 16 applicants for the fund, but only one to give, awarded to Rebecca Rhoysn Petts-Davies. Although she had won a Yellow Pencil and received a first-class degree, her personal circumstances meant she had no means to take up a placement.
Thanks to the fund, she now has a flying career at Wunderman, where she has won second place at the recent Cannes Young Lions UK competition and D&AD New Blood Award. She said: “I really couldn’t have done any of this without this bursary.”
We already have female teams telling us they won’t come into London without financial help
To raise funds, Creative Equals has launched a bursary fund on Chuffed.Org in partnership with D&AD, teaming up with the CANNT Festival, Facebook and Major Players. The campaign — designed and shot by Petts-Davies and her copy partner Maya Halilvoc — is an ode to their talents.
Creative Equals have already put a portion of the starter funds in. We’re a tiny non-profit start up. So now your turn, adland.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
The Financial Times reported that Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity will introduce restrictions designed to reduce bad boy behavior on yacht parties. Gee, could anything better underscore the advertising industry’s Whiteness and exclusivity than festivities on yachts? WPP Overlord Sir Martin Sorrell opined, “Along with the Effies, Cannes remains the most important celebration and recognition of what we do. But I don’t think the industry does itself any favours by overspending at the festival.” The industry doesn’t do itself any favours by overspending on acquisitions, lawsuits and holding company CEOs either.
The parties are over at Cannes ad festival
Organisers seek to curb bad behaviour as industry awakes to sober outlook
By David Bond, Media Correspondent
Organisers of this year’s Cannes Lions advertising festival are introducing new restrictions on super yachts entering the Cote d’Azur port as part of a wider crackdown on what they call “inappropriate” and “distasteful” behaviour during the week-long event.
In a move likely to be welcomed by some ad and media executives who have been calling for tighter controls on Cannes’ party culture, the event’s owners Ascential have struck a deal with the city’s authorities to “privatise” part of the harbour for the first time in the festival’s 64-year history.
Duncan Painter, chief executive of Ascential, told the Financial Times that last year there was “an excess of celebration” on boats in the harbour, which was “not in line with the festival’s brand”.
Mr Painter pointed to two super yachts hired by the Daily Mail group as an example of the “distasteful” behaviour he said his customers had asked him to rein in.
“It was like Club 18-30 down there,” said Mr Painter, referring to the Mail’s hired yachts. “They ran a 24/7 party. That is not what we wanted at our event. Cannes is about the work and the quality of creativity. We want the dignity and style that reflects the industry we are in.”
Those looking to rent a yacht and moor it at the Jetee Albert Edouard, next to the city’s Palais de Festivals, to entertain guests and clients will now be required to buy an official Lions festival pass for the boat as well as the number of people on board. The new rules will also require guests to buy a pass or register with the organisers to gain access to some of the city’s top hotels.
Passes for the festival, which starts later this month and will this year feature star speakers like the actress Dame Helen Mirren and Hollywood director Ron Howard, can cost as much as €5,215 per person.
The Daily Mail’s boat parties have been one of the big attractions at Cannes Lions in the past three years with the reality TV star Kim Kardashian and the singer Sting among a number of A-list celebrities used to help promote the group’s newspapers and its website Mail Online with advertisers.
But the company said it had decided to take a break this year.
“No doubt we will be sorely missed,” the Daily Mail said. “But we are extremely happy with the wisdom of our decision not to invest in the festival this year.”
In common with all newspaper publishers, DMGT, the Mail’s parent company, has been hit by a sharp decline in print advertising revenues.
Last week, the company announced that print advertising at the Mail titles had fallen 12 per cent in the six months to the end of March although online advertising had jumped by 19 per cent over the same period.
This year’s festival was always likely to be a more sober affair with the advertising industry under growing pressure as multi-nationals like Procter & Gamble slash their ad budgets and agencies try to come to terms with the growing power of technology groups like Google and Facebook.
Sir Martin Sorrell, WPP chief executive, hinted last year that the world’s biggest advertising group might rethink its approach to Cannes.
“Along with the Effies [industry awards], Cannes remains the most important celebration and recognition of what we do,” Sir Martin said. “But I don’t think the industry does itself any favours by overspending at the festival.”
Mr Painter said that the new measures had also been introduced to help ensure the safety of the 30,000-plus guests who regularly descended on Cannes for the Lions festival.
But he added that concerns over the state of the ad business were also a factor. “Cannes is to celebrate,” he said. “But when we see the level of excess we saw last year it’s just inappropriate with where the industry is right now.”
Advertising Age declared, “Advertising Is Still a Boys’ Club”—via a painfully long report that the stereotypical adman would have little patience to peruse.
The piece opened with the following stories:
Suzanne and a colleague are hard at work on a new-business pitch for a toy targeted to little girls. The day before the big meeting, the duo’s male creative director points to Suzanne and says, “You’re going to the meeting because we need more women in the room.”
On the morning of an important pitch, one of two men in the client service department approaches Leah and asks her to take the coffee orders since no one on his team is in yet. She looks around and notices that she is the only female in the office. Begrudgingly, Leah begins to take orders until her female planning director intervenes. “Get back to the pitch,” the director says as she deputizes a man on the tech team to get the coffee.
Julia, a C-suite executive, is asked to take notes in meetings where she’s the only woman.
Then there’s Michelle, who is constantly left out of meetings and has her work handed over to younger, less qualified men on the creative team. And Gretchen, whose male former managing director sits inappropriately close to her during meetings, legs touching, and asks her to go to a client visit with him alone for the week. And Angela, an intern, whose male executive creative director slaps her butt at happy hour. And so on.
It’s not clear if these tales of woe are based on actual events. But if so, one thing is certain: While the women might have felt slighted, it’s highly likely that there were zero minorities present. That is, White women might face demeaning moments, but racial and ethnic minorities don’t even get a chance to be dissed—the truth is, people of color face far worse discrimination from White men and White women in the field.
Here’s another excerpt worth noting:
Karen Kaplan, CEO of Hill Holliday, defines it this way: Diversity is being invited to prom; inclusion is being asked to dance. It’s not hard to “game the system when you report diversity numbers,” she said, but really being inclusive is about allowing people to influence the strategic direction and leadership of the industry.
Nice. The CEO of a White advertising agency admits it’s easy to “game the system when you report diversity numbers.” Hey, it’s also a breeze to create faux inclusiveness via your website culture section—however, the leadership section tells the true story. White women like Kaplan prefer to focus on diverted diversity and whine about the gender pay gap versus advocate for progressive change.
Here’s a third excerpt to inspire annoyance:
Lori Senecal, global CEO of CP&B, who is retiring at the end of the year, said she believes the industry has to evolve the vocabulary around the perception of women in leadership. “For instance, it would be great for women with a strong point of view to be described as decisive versus difficult,” said Senecal.
Okay, but Senecal once admitted, “The glass ceiling is more of a thing of the past.” Guess she’s evolving her perspective on the alleged discrimination that White women face in White advertising agencies. It would be swell if she were more decisive in her viewpoints.
“Advertising Is Still a Boys’ Club” is not the true problem. “Advertising Is Still a Whites-Only Club” is the issue everyone strives to ignore.
Monday, June 12, 2017
Adweek reported American Express shifted its global brand business from Ogilvy to mcgarrybowen—apparently without a review, making the move a major monument of Corporate Cultural Collusion. An American Express spokesperson stated, “mcgarrybowen will be working with us on developing a new global brand platform that will bring together all of our brand and product-related work under one umbrella. The new platform will capture the innovative work that is underway throughout our company and reflect the diversity of our business here in the U.S. and internationally.” Sorry, but diversity should not be mentioned when dumping one culturally clueless White advertising agency for another, especially when the new AOR has shown pride for being founded by nepotistic Old White Guys. Granted, the current mcgarrybowen leadership has diversified to feature slightly younger White men and White women, yet the agency website seems to have lost its diversity statement. Then again, maybe it’s fitting that a White advertising agency create a global concept for a company called American Express, which used to tout its exclusivity by declaring, “Membership Has Its Privileges.” In the advertising industry, membership has its White privileges.
American Express Moves Its Global Brand Account to Mcgarrybowen After More Than 50 Years With Ogilvy
Longtime agency will remain on roster
By Patrick Coffee
American Express has moved responsibilities for all global brand creative development, as well as U.S. execution of that work, from Ogilvy & Mather to Mcgarrybowen in an unexpected shift.
Moving forward, American Express confirmed that Ogilvy “will be responsible for international execution and they will also continue with some of their current U.S. work,” but declined to elaborate on which portions of the business will stay with the WPP network.
The client did not issue an RFP.
“Mcgarrybowen will be working with us on developing a new global brand platform that will bring together all of our brand and product-related work under one umbrella,” said an AmEx spokesperson. “The new platform will capture the innovative work that is underway throughout our company and reflect the diversity of our business here in the U.S. and internationally.”
Ogilvy has worked with American Express in some capacity since 1962. During that stretch, the agency has been responsible for such memorable lines as “Don’t leave home without it” and “Membership has its privileges,” and the partnership endured as other agencies came and went.
Spokespeople for both agencies deferred to the client for comment.
American Express, which is currently America’s fourth largest credit card company by membership, has long distinguished itself as an exclusive product in a series of ads aimed at upper income consumers. Its most recent global brand campaign, starring comedian Tina Fey, began running in 2014.
The reasons behind the decision to move that work to Mcgarrybowen are unclear at this time, but it’s worth noting that co-founder and chairman Gordon Bowen is a former Ogilvy executive who led the aforementioned “Membership has its privileges” campaign.
More than a year ago, American Express announced that chief marketing officer John Hayes would be leaving the company after more than 20 years as part of a larger streamlining effort. At the same time, the company created a global marketing operations unit led by vp Mike McCormack and promoted longtime executive Elizabeth Rutledge to the role of evp, global advertising and media.
Kantar Media lists American Express’s 2016 domestic paid media budget at approximately $502 million, a significant increase over the $408 million the company spent on marketing in 2015.