Thursday, August 31, 2017

13811: 100 Things That Trump Diversity.

100 Ideas That Changed Advertising by Simon Veksner delivers on its title, spotlighting key innovations, evolutions and revolutions that transformed the advertising field. Not on the list: Multicultural Marketing and Diversity.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

13810: Kari Traash.

Not convinced this annoying video really reflects the Kari Traa brand or resonates with its female audience. The responsible advertising agency—Wibroe, Duckert & Partners—is headquartered in Denmark and can probably best be defined by this video.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

13809: Diversity In Aisle 1.

AdFreak reported on a grocery store in Germany that created stunt to promote diversity. Hey, why not? Germans embracing equality and inclusion is not much more peculiar than White advertising agencies doing the same damned thing.

A German Supermarket Removed All Foreign Products for a Day to Make a Point About Diversity

The bold stunt comes as immigration tensions run high

By Angela Natividad

What does a grocery store look like without Greek olives, Spanish tomatoes and frozen goods from who-knows-where?

You’re about to find out.

To emphasize the importance of global diversity in a context everyone can understand, German supermarket Edeka made a surprising decision: It emptied its Hamburg location of all foreign-made products.

For shoppers wandering around confused, signs featured messages like, “So empty is a shelf without foreigners,” “This shelf is quite boring without variety,” “Our range now knows borders,” and, “We will be poorer without diversity.”

People mostly believe what their range of experience permits. Protectionist policy thrives on such blind spots: It’s easy to be racist when the groups you’re demonizing are abstractions.

That’s what gives this work its oomph—nothing is more personal than access to and preferences for food, which guarantee a visceral emotional reaction.

Hamburg is the second most populous city in Germany, behind Berlin, with resident aliens composing nearly 15 percent of the population. But German opinion’s become pretty tense since Chancellor Angela Merkel announced an open-door immigration policy for refugees two years ago.

The decision led to the arrival of 890,000 asylum seekers in 2015 alone … and early this year, Germany announced plans to roll the policy back. (The stance did, however, boost Germany’s prominence on the global stage.)

Online, vice chair of the Christian Democratic Union Party Julia Klöckner praised the campaign, calling it “a wise action” that would give people pause. The comment generated a bevy of replies, including one from Marcus Pretzell (no longer visible), representing an immigrant-hostile party, Alternative for Germany: “Why exactly should it be wise? Is it not rather completely mad?” he was quoted as saying, per The Independent.

Edeka’s got a reputation for producing the kind of quirky, unhinged advertising creatives look forward to. (2014’s much-lauded “Supergeil” comes to mind.) If you’re wondering why it would suddenly break tone to make a political stance this dramatic, consider that its work often has a moral bent.

In a 2015 Christmas ad, an old patriarch fakes his own death to compel his family to gather for the season. 2016’s holiday ad used an anti-consumerist message to remind people that being together is more important than gifts. And the controversial “Eatkarus” ad of 2017 is, at its heart, a story about embracing a path that alienates you from others—especially when you’re doing it for your own health and happiness.

“Edeka stands for variety and diversity,” an Edeka spokesperson said of the Hamburg activation. “In our stores we sell numerous foods which are produced in the various regions of Germany. … But only together, with products from other countries, it is possible to create the unique variety that our consumers value. We are pleased that our campaign caused so many positive reactions.”

13808: Pinterest & Pinheads.

Advertising Age reported on Diverted Diversity Diva Cindy Gallop, who is currently hijacking promoting a Pinterest campaign for diversity and inclusion. The image above shows one of Gallop’s contributions to the cause. Referring to the diversity-lowers-standards excuse, Gallop snapped, “It’s the single most appallingly insulting thing anybody can say. This is what men tend to say when challenged on diversity—‘Diversity is great, but it lowers the bar.’” Actually, it’s appallingly insulting that women in advertising have adopted the positions historically taken by racial and ethnic minorities facing discrimination—especially when the diversity-lowers-standards excuse has been utilized by White men and White women in adland as an alibi for denying employment opportunities to people of color.

“The problems will persist until men are operating in a working environment where they are surrounded by as many women as men, if not ideally more women than men,” gulped Gallop, “because it’s been the other way around for far too long.” In the ad game, the line should read: “The problems will persist until White men and White women are operating in a working environment where they are surrounded by as many people of color as White men and White women, if not ideally more people of color than White men and White women—because it’s been the other way around for far too long.”

Cindy Gallop Joins With Pinterest to Promote Diversity

By Garett Sloane

Cindy Gallop has a few choice words for certain men. This includes the now-ex Google employee, James Damore, recently fired for his claim that hiring to achieve diversity means sacrificing standards.

“Diversity raises the fucking bar,” says Gallop, an ad industry consultant and founder of IfWeRanTheWorld.

Her fighting words are emblazoned on a new ad campaign from Pinterest, “Right the Ratio,” that launches on the platform Wednesday, and she’ll say the same thing to anyone who will listen.

“You believe that the only people capable of creating great work are white men, and bringing women in makes it shit?” Gallop says incredulously of an attitude that Damore merely amplified.

“Right the Ratio” is another effort to encourage hiring parity in advertising and technology. The campaign includes videos and other content meant to appeal to the site’s predominantly female user base. More than 80 percent of Pinterest users are women, and many are digital savvy as well as creative-minded.

“I was interested in Pinterest as a colossal tech unicorn that has been powered by women as the primary users,” Gallop says.

But the campaign—the creative of which was worked on with Grow—is far from gender specific. Meant to help scrub sexism from company policies and work environments, the promoted pins will drive people to workplace advice and strategies for both women and men that are meant to help foster diversity.

Other prominent female advertising voices in the campaign include the creative director of Gimlet Media, Nazanin Rafsanjan, and Katie Facada, associate creative director at R/GA.

It’s only a coincidence that “Right the Ratio” launches just after Silicon Valley was stung by its latest flare-up of misogyny, which Damore wrote as a pseudo-scientific critique of women in technology.

He expressed stereotypical arguments about women being less interested in computer engineering, on average, and wrote that neurotic tendencies accounted for their lack of advancement. The point of the posting on Google’s internal message board, if there was one, was to suggest hiring for diversity leads to worse outcomes.

Gallop says she’s heard the same critique from men across Madison Avenue.

“It’s the single most appallingly insulting thing anybody can say,” Gallop says. “This is what men tend to say when challenged on diversity—‘Diversity is great, but it lowers the bar.’”

Parity for women in advertising is essential she believes, pointing out that women make up only 11 percent of creative directors.

Pinterest does have a higher ratio of women employees compared to many companies in Silicon Valley: 44 percent of its total workforce is women and 26 percent work in tech.

It’s not enough to be careful not to offend women in ads, Gallop says; the key is to hire more women as executives, and then fewer offensive ads would get made in the first place.

“The problems will persist until men are operating in a working environment where they are surrounded by as many women as men, if not ideally more women than men,” she says, “because it’s been the other way around for far too long.”

Monday, August 28, 2017

13807: High-Tech Hatemongers…?

This Lenovo video seems potentially insensitive given the increase of organized hate groups in places such as Charlottesville and beyond. Why, the Legion looks downright Klan-like with their high-tech hoods. And it doesn’t help that the creative co-conspirators include the ever-White advertising agency Ogilvy and Gentleman Scholar, a production company whose gentlemen-led staff appears to be typically exclusive.

13806: Vive La Exclusivity!

AgencySpy posted on Publicis Groupe hiring Emmanuel André as its first-ever Chief Talent Officer. Hey, it’s rare when “Publicis Groupe” and “Talent” appear in the same sentence. Not surprisingly, André is a Frenchman, sporting an accent mark in his last name like former Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy. André and current Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun blathered on about the importance of talent without making a single mention of diversity or even diverted diversity. Additionally, André previously served as TBWA\Worldwide International President, where he focused “on the collective’s ‘people’ strategy, covering the key areas of training, career development, top talent recruitment and the culture at large”—although it must be noted that the TBWA pirates run a pretty exclusive ship. Then again, the multi-talented André also works as a photographer, where he’s dabbled in diversity, based on the picture below.

Publicis Cares About Its Employees, Names Emmanuel André as First Chief Talent Officer

By Erik Oster

Publicis hired Emmanuel André in the newly-created role of chief talent officer, effective September 18.

So, while Publicis employees can’t win awards (for a year or so), they do at least have a manager now.

In the role, André will be tasked with talent management and recruitment, working closely with the Publicis’ Solutions CEOs and CTOs while reporting directly to Publicis Groupe chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun.

“Emmanuel’s appointment is an important step in our ambition to become the market leader in marketing and business transformation. Bringing a CTO at the top level of our organisation was critical at a moment when our people need to embark on our transformation journey,” Sadoun said in a statement. “Talent is the Groupe’s top priority and biggest asset. Emmanuel will have an important role to play in all the initiatives that are building our Groupe culture while attracting, rewarding, retaining and training the best and most collaborative team in the industry to serve our clients even better than before.”

“Publicis Groupe clearly has the vision, the right business model and the energy to write an exciting new chapter for our industry, and they’ve placed talent and culture at the top of their priorities,” André added. “I’ve spent my whole career witnessing how these things make all the difference in our business and I’m honored to join the team.”

André joins Publicis from Omnicom’s TBWA, where he has served as international president for the past two and a half years, following around four and a half as chief operating officer. He had been with TBWA since the agency absorbed Anglo-French marketing network GGT BDDP in 1998.

With TBWA he held roles as global account director, director of its corporate office, regional director for the Asia Pacific region and worldwide operations director, before becoming chief operating officer in November of 2010.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

13805: Marveling At Strippers.

The Admiral Theatre in Chicago is exploiting the annual Wizard World Comic Con with Comic Strip! It’s fun for the whole comic book community!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

13804: Hypocrisy On Sale At Walmart.

Advertising Age reported Walmart is the latest advertiser to jump on the Kumbaya bandwagon, promoting racial, ethnic and disabled harmony via a patronizing video. Of course, the responsible White advertising agency—mono—features a staff that is pretty, well, mono-cultural. If Walmart thinks everyone deserves a seat at the table, the retailer should ask its agency partners to play musical chairs with their hiring.

Walmart Gingerly Weighs in on Racial Controversy With ‘Many Chairs’

By Jack Neff

Walmart wants to give everyone a seat at the table in a new ad that arrives amid racial controversy stemming from violence in Charlottesville and President Donald Trump’s reaction to it.

Walmart’s updated take on Coke’s iconic “Hilltop” ad from 1971 is the 60-second “Many Chairs. One Table” ad from Mono, Minneapolis. The timing is apparently coincidental: The ad was already in the works as a follow-up to Walmart’s holiday “Come Together” ad from last year, according to people familiar with the matter. Given the production values, it clearly wasn’t slapped together in the week between the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville and when it first aired Sunday. Then again, August is a little early to start Thanksgiving ads, even for a retailer.

The ad shows an ethnically and geographically diverse crowd wheeling and carrying chairs to a giant dinner table in a field, all to tune of The Youngbloods’ “Get Together.” You know: “Come on people now, smile on your brother. Everybody get together, try to love one another right now.”

“We’re a place where 140 million people gather every week, and our stores are part of the fabric of communities around America,” Walmart says in a statement. “Inspired by what we are hearing from many of our customers and associates right now, this ad celebrates the importance of coming together.”

But Walmart, which over-indexes in Trump country with relatively few of its stores in major coastal cities, hasn’t gone out of its way to publicize the ad in social or conventional media. As of early Thursday, it’s gotten a modest 10,000 views on YouTube and 30,000 on Facebook.

Walmart CEO Doug McMillion didn’t join other CEOs quitting Trump’s advisory councils last week before they were disbanded, but took the president to task in a note to employees. “As we watched the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend, we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists,” McMillon said.

Mono, backed by MDC Partners, is a former Target agency that landed on Walmart’s roster last year and has kept its place despite consolidation of most work under Publicis Groupe’s Department W. Prior work from Mono also had a decidedly multicultural cast.

Friday, August 25, 2017

13803: Lessons Learned & Burned.

Campaign published a perspective from Siegel+Gale Associate Strategist Khalil Grell, who believes marketers can learn lessons from Charlottesville. Grell points to examples of Kumbaya commercials to argue that campaigns spotlighting diversity and inclusion can build brands. Okay, but what about the hypocrisy of employing White advertising agencies to produce the patronizing poop? The associate strategist should see the strategy of feigning commitment to change is essentially talking the talk—and walking with torches. Oh, and the people at Siegel+Gale = Exclusivity.

Building an inclusive brand: lessons from Charlottesville

By Khalil Grell

Brands are using their platforms and capital to support greater inclusion and diversity, says a strategist at Siegel+Gale.

The “Unite the Right” rally of white supremacists in Charlottesville last weekend further signaled the increasing racial tensions being brought to the forefront of political and social conversations. But while race stands at the center of the discourse, diversity of all types, including sexual orientation, gender equality and religion, have all been key topics.

In an effort to signal alliance with traditionally marginalized communities, many brands have seized the opportunity to leverage their platform and capital in support of greater inclusion and diversity. Here are three lessons highlighted so far this year.

Ensure you’re connecting with all of your audiences

Representation of all your audiences, as well as demonstration that you care about causes dear to their hearts, is crucial in building customer loyalty, especially during particularly controversial times. Nike has taken an active role in demonstrating its support. The extremely powerful ‘Equality should have no boundaries’ ad argues for individuals to be treated by their actions rather than their looks and beliefs.

Other brands have followed suit. In celebration of Pride month, Equinox teamed up with “The Center,” an LGBTQ organization in NYC, to create the ‘LGBTQ Alphabet.”

As part of its “My Black is Beautiful” campaign, P&G showed mothers having ‘The Talk’ with their African-American sons and daughters. By unabashedly aligning with historically disenfranchised communities, these brands position themselves as an advocate affecting social change.

Diversity is a core value, not a campaign

While marketing campaigns are important, diversity merits more than episodic mentions. In fact, research suggests that minorities are expected to become a majority of the US population by 2042—a statistic that suggests that diversity needs to be embedded in your entire business. Meanwhile, U.S. LGBT spending power in the US is now approaching $1 trillion.

Coca-Cola has taken note. This year, its ‘pool boy’ commercial featured a brother and sister fighting for the attention of their pool boy. Released in March, this commercial wasn’t part of a Pride campaign but an ad that simply showcased the realities of many American families today—a clear reflection of the company’s commitment to diversity.

After a particularly rough year, Uber is attempting to recover its brand from within. In another drastic shift in its executive leadership, last month the company hired African-American woman and Ghana native Bozoma Saint John as their chief brand officer, in an effort to restore their damaged brand. Saint John is also known for her Apple Music “Heartbreak Recovery Service” commercial, which featured artists including Mary J. Blige, Kerry Washington and Taraji P. Henson and garnered much positive media attention. It’s doubtful her appointment is enough to pull the company out of a PR crisis, but it affirms its attempt to increase its diversity in leadership.

Words do a lot. Actions do a lot more.

If diversity is crucial to what your business stands for, then it should extend above and beyond how you go to market. Following President Trump’s travel ban, Airbnb offered free housing to stranded refugees. A few weeks ago, it announced a partnership with the NAACP, in order to limit discrimination from hosts towards people of color. Most recently, Airbnb gained positive press for canceling accounts linked to the Charlottesville rally last weekend, due to the rally’s violation of its anti-discrimination policy.

In response the President Trump’s reaction to the events in Charlottesville, earlier this week, Intel, Merck, and Underarmour took a firm stand and resigned from his American Manufacturing Council. Following, the President disbanded the advisory council altogether on Wednesday. This is a powerful illustration of leadership committed to their brands core values.

Last weekend, Heather Heyer lost her life in Charlottesville fighting for the acceptance and equal rights of diverse populations. With so many Americans outraged at the hate and violence that spewed from white nationalists, many expect brands to use their influence and resources to be a catalyst for societal change. At a time when consumers expect the brands they buy to simultaneously represent what they believe in and deliver on their brand promise, how will you demonstrate your solidarity?

Khalil Grell is Associate Strategist at Siegel+Gale.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

13802: ESPN PC BS.

The ESPN decision to pull broadcaster Robert Lee from handling a University of Virginia football game in Charlottesville sparked lively debate for sure. But no worries—the network is bound to rebound after choosing to replace White advertising agency Wieden + Kennedy with White advertising agency Droga5. Let the hypocritical and patronizing games begin!

13801: Change The Face Of Advertising.

Campaign published a perspective from Spotify Global Head of Partner Solutions Danielle Lee, who declared, “To change advertising, you must begin with the people.” Lee actually underscores the greatest challenge to diversity—i.e., change in the advertising industry demands staffing revisions. Which means lots of people currently holding positions must be replaced, unless the overall number of available jobs dramatically increases. Given that the opposite appears to be true—i.e., the job market is shrinking—expect to see even greater efforts by the existing exclusive majority to defend their status by any means necessary.

To change advertising, you must begin with the people

By Danielle Lee

Spotify’s global head of partner solutions believes that brands need to change their input in order to affect their output.

I am a devoted mom, an advertising executive, a Drake fan, an avid runner, a wannabe interior designer—and a black woman.

All of those labels define me at any given moment more than my basic demographic profile online. When I see advertising that reflects those interests and introduces new information or helpful products, I’m intrigued, engaged even.

Yet more often than not, ad creative and targeting appears to be based on reaching a woman of a certain age, of a certain ethnicity who lives in a certain area, using a certain device—without leveraging deeper insights to demonstrate an understanding of my experience.

Once in a while it works, but usually I receive ads that don’t match my interests or needs at all. The communication is not authentic. It’s frequently almost tone deaf.

We all know that authenticity in advertising is essential to driving impact. People-based marketing is a meaningful step forward on a strategic level. As an industry, we’re moving beyond targeting only by cookies and devices and looking more holistically at understanding the person.

With streaming data, we have access to a rich and textured data set that enables a much deeper understanding than ever before. As people stream music in more moments throughout the day, we’re learning much more about their moods, mindsets and behaviors over time.

When we know more about people’s passions, the brief or target audience transcends “reach Hispanic A18-39 on mobile.” It becomes “reach business owners during their commute who are obsessed with technology” or “find moms while they’re working out who want healthy snack options.” Imagine all the creative opportunities born from briefs that are informed by contextual insights.

People-based marketing is only the beginning. There’s another transformation that we, as an industry, need to make. Now that we understand and can identify audiences, we need the right creative. And to nail the creative messaging, we have to make sure the right people have a seat at the table.

A diverse team brings varied experiences and points of view to the conversation which shine through in the creative. Without those diverse voices, you squander the opportunity to connect in a real way, an authentic way that drives brand value and outcomes.

This year, I believe the diversity conversation has moved from talk to real action for the first time in a while. Creatives and marketers seeking inspiration are boldly taking on some heavy issues that plague our communities and the advertising industry and threaten creativity.

The year 2017 has also been marked by ads and content that highlight inclusion and multicultural harmony like AirBnB’s Super Bowl Spot and Spotify’s “I’m with the Banned.” We’re collectively recognizing that diversity isn’t a buzzword; it is a business imperative.

When brands understand how to connect with their consumers, they win big across the board. In order to get there, we need to have diverse teams and more people of color in leadership positions. We need to take advantage of the abounding technological advances, but not at the expense of cultural connection. Brands can’t simply preach multi-cultural narratives; we have to live them from the inside out.

At Cannes this summer, it was refreshing to look around and see people of all genders, colors and backgrounds discussing their experiences and sharing ideas—even Jesse Jackson was there to champion our industry.

“Advertising over the years has helped to push boundaries and knock down walls,” he said. “Topics such as interracial and same-sex marriage have been brought to the forefront of the social consciousness in no small measure through their depiction in advertising.”

It’s clear that we have more work to do. Let’s get after it. The truth is we can’t afford not to.

Danielle Lee is Spotify’s global head of partner solutions.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

13800: Mindshare Shares Its Diversity.

Campaign reported Mindshare promoted Nilufar Fowler to Worldwide Central CEO. Not sure about Fowler’s racial/ethnic origin, but she appears to be more interested in diverted diversity than true diversity. Whatever. Mindshare undoubtedly checked its minority quota box twice with Fowler’s elevation—the new leaders is a 1) female 2) of color—even though she was already on staff.

Mindshare promotes Fowler to worldwide central CEO

Mindshare has promoted its global lead on Unilever, Nilufar Fowler, to Worldwide Central chief executive at the Group M agency, replacing Marco Rimini.

By Omar Oakes

Fowler succeeds Marco Rimini, who has moved into the newly-created role of chief development officer, reporting to global chief executive Nick Emery.

As chief executive of Mindshare Worldwide Central she will now be responsible for running the agency’s global client teams and also reports to Emery.

Mindshare has also created Rimini’s new role to allow him to “drive core differentiating products”, such as Shop+, its bespoke service for brands on Amazon, and the agency’s global Fast initiative (Future Adaptive Specialist Team).

Rimini, who joined the agency 11 years ago from J Walter Thompson, has been tasked with working with regional Mindshare chief executives and global client leaders to support them so the agency can better become “adaptive marketing partners” that clients want.

Fowler has been replaced as global client leader for Team Unilever by Ailsa Lochrie, who was EMEA chief operating officer.

Lochrie will now be responsible for WPP’s second biggest client account. Last month Unilever announced its marketing budget was likely up be up year on year after a decline in spend last year, the analyst Liberum reported.

As EMEA chief operating officer, Lochrie was working in a coordination role alongside Helen McRae, the Western Europe chair who is also UK chief executive. Lochrie’s replacement has not yet been chosen.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

13799: Ancient Chinese Sex Secrets.

The Chinese office of a White advertising agency owned by a Japanese holding company produced this campaign for Playboy condoms that would never have been approved in the U.S. Now that’s diversity in action!

13798: Grand Hyatt Hypocrisy.

Advertising Age reported that Hyatt Hotels celebrated “50 years of inclusivity dating back to the chain’s Hyatt Regency Atlanta hotel, which opened its doors to civil rights leaders in 1967.” According to Ad Age, the hotel’s marketing team considered not releasing the already-produced video after the events in Charlottesville, Virginia. However, it appears little consideration was given to the hypocrisy of partnering on the piece with MullenLowe, a White advertising agency whose leadership doesn’t appear to be too welcoming to minorities. Mullen was founded in 1970, so it would be unfair to speculate if civil rights leaders in 1967 would have encountered open doors at the agency. On the other hand, Lowe was founded in 1952; hence, it’s safe to say the place would have slammed shut its doors to civil rights leaders in 1967. Oh, and the currently combined MullenLowe is part of the IPG network, where feigned commitment to diversity and inclusion is as customary as a mint on the pillow.

Monday, August 21, 2017

13797: Digital Dummies Wanted.

This LinkedIn help wanted ad from DigitasLBi appears to be seeking an art director—but the place should poach a copywriter and proofreader too.

13796: Diversity Of Thoughtless.

Campaign published witless words from Sue Unerman—sporting an upgraded title of MediaCom Chief Transformation Officer—who declared, “Facebook and other media must make room for diversity of thought.” Um, Facebook has enough trouble just dealing with regular diversity. Unerman should focus on her true interest of diverted diversity versus whatever she sought to accomplish in her silly essay. The CTO did make a couple of comments worth examining:

There used to be a poster in MediaCom’s old office which I am thinking of re-issuing. It showed dogs and cats and mice working productively together with the slogan: “I hate you; you’re hired”. Its intention was to point out that diversity of opinion makes you stronger and that a good argument with a thesis, antithesis and synthesis, gets you better decisions…

Sure, MediaCom loves diversity of opinion, but its commitment to true diversity is questionable, as a peek at the company’s Global Leaders and Executive Committee shows a pretty exclusive breed of dogs, cats and mice. “I hate you; you’re hired” appears to be only half true for racial and ethnic minorities (the first half, to clarify for any clueless readers).

For a stronger, more balanced society, and for a stronger, more successful workplace, we need to encourage not just diversity of gender and personal attributes, but also diversity of thought.

Is “personal attributes” the new catch-all phrase for anyone who isn’t primarily a White man or White woman? If so, it’s a safe bet that Unerman and her MediaCom pals think diversity of thought trumps personal attributes.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

13794: Whining About Brazil.

Is it a good idea for a wine-choosing app to depict bad choices that were likely tied to overdrinking? The only explanation for such poor creative thinking: the advertisement was hatched in Brazil.

Friday, August 18, 2017

13793: SafeAuto Soul Train Wreck.

Never imagined to one day use SafeAuto and Soul Train in the same sentence. Sad.

13792: Great White Hype At Hill Holliday.

AgencySpy posted a memo from Hill Holliday Chairwoman and CEO Karen Kaplan, who joined IPG CEO Michael Roth in commenting on the racism exposed at Charlottesville, Virginia. Hill Holliday, incidentally, is part of the IPG network of White advertising agencies. Anyway, here is Kaplan’s heartfelt statement to her minions:

Hello everyone

The events in Charlottesville and the political aftermath of the last several days have left many of us stunned, shaken and saddened.

As Americans, we enjoy different political views, and we approach the world from many perspectives. But when the line has been crossed between right and wrong, between discourse and hatred, we must stand up. There is no place in this country for Neo-Nazis, the KKK, white supremacists or any other ideological hate group that uses discrimination and violence as a path to power. There is no “side” in this, except the right one.

Hill Holliday is a place of inclusion and respect, and we stand firm together against any kind of racism, hatred, intolerance or discrimination. Our country may feel divided at times, but our family should not.

We stand unequivocally with the Chairman and CEO of IPG, Michael Roth: “This isn’t a partisan or political issue, it’s an issue of basic humanity, and standing up for what is right at a particularly difficult moment. We are counting on all of you to do that, by showing respect for our differences, and living up to our commitment to fairness and inclusion.”

If you would like to talk to senior leadership, start a discussion, or make your voice heard, we are here. My door is always open. And finally, please stay safe if you are participating in any protest events. Let’s take care of each other, and defend the values that our company and this country stand for: liberty, justice, and equal rights for all.



To call Hill Holliday “a place of inclusion and respect” where employees “stand firm together against any kind of racism, hatred, intolerance or discrimination” is pretty silly—especially when a peek at the agency’s leadership shows a standard Caucasian clan. Oh, the shop likely boasts tremendous diverted diversity and diversity of thought. And Kaplan has mounted a soapbox before to promote equal pay for White women in the field—openly acknowledging things are much worse for women of color. Yet she also admitted it’s easy to “game the system when you report diversity numbers.” So any talk of inclusion and respect at Hill Holliday should be taken with a big grain of salt. In a humongous mountain of salt. Where there are probably very few specks of pepper.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

13791: Shut Down & Shut Up.

Adweek reported: “[President Donald] Trump Shuts Down Manufacturing Council After More CEOs Resign in Protest.” Now Trump will have more time to DEFEND NEO-NAZIS AND WHITE SUPREMACISTS! But seriously, shutting down a council after members are hauling ass to get out is like firing the CEO of a White advertising agency caught displaying racist behavior about three months after the incident occurred—then telling the press you took immediate action to address the situation.

13790: The One Club’s One Black…?

The 2017 inductees of The One Club Creative Hall of Fame includes Tom Burrell. The One Club added a blurb that reads:

The iconic advertising pioneer whose illustrious career transformed both the way people of color were portrayed in communications, as well as their roles within the industry itself. It’s a never-ending mission, but one with a defined starting line that he helped create.

With all due respect to Burrell, the statement isn’t accurate. While the iconic advertising pioneer certainly helped transform how Blacks were depicted in advertising, he was preceded by others in the field. The statement about transforming “their roles within the industry itself” is also fuzzy. Burrell’s agency served—and continues to serve—as a launching pad/stepping stone for many Blacks in advertising, but given the diminishing numbers, it’s tough to define any transformative phenomenon.

On the flipside, to recognize the plight of Blacks in advertising as “a never-ending mission” is factually correct. Sobering too, despite Leo Burnett’s prediction that the Promised Land is a mere 66 years away.

To be clear, Burrell’s induction to The One Club Creative Hall of Fame is a well-deserved honor. That he appears to be the only minority in the rare company is a tad disturbing.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

13789: Diversity Resonates At VML…?

Adweek reported VML created a new position—Director of Inclusion and Cultural Resonance—and delegated diversity promoted a social media staffer to the role. Not sure what “Cultural Resonance” means. To date, the White advertising agency has displayed resounding cultural cluelessness. Hopefully, the fresh leader will fare better than the standard Chief Diversity Officer.

VML Now Has a Director of Inclusion and Cultural Resonance to Address Diversity

God-is Rivera takes on a new role

By Katie Richards

VML announced today that it is promoting God-is Rivera to a new position at the agency: director of inclusion and cultural resonance.

In the new role Rivera will be tasked with energizing the agency’s diversity and inclusion practices across the board, as a member of the HR team. She will report to Ronnie Felder, managing director of human resources, but will also continue to work with clients.

“I am so extremely excited to begin in this new position,” Rivera said. “I am proud to see the level of commitment that VML displays when it comes to the important mission of inclusion and diversity, and I am honored to have the opportunity to further define our voice in this important and necessary space.”

Rivera joined the agency’s social media practice back in 2016 and, according to global CEO Jon Cook, has made an impact when it comes to diversity and inclusion since she joined the agency.

“It became clear that we needed to formalize and expand this as a new, official role to truly continue the momentum and needed progress we want as an agency in this critical aspect of our culture and capability,” Cook said in a statement.

Some of her main focuses moving forward will be to create an inclusive environment for all employees within VML as well as taking a closer look at VML’s hiring practices to boost diverse hires across the agency.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

13788: Burn, BK, Burn.

The creative geniuses who believe this Burger King campaign is a good idea should be, well, fired.

13787: Michael Roth’s Racism Rant.

AgencySpy posted a memo from IPG CEO Michael Roth, who condemned the racist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. Roth failed to receive a Twitter spanking from President Donald Trump, probably because Roth doesn’t register a mini-blip on Trump’s radar. Hell, the moron only earned a post on AgencySpy—and a probable ADCOLOR® Award nomination. Roth will undoubtedly copy the memo into the holding company’s gobbledygook on diversity and inclusion. Yet given the historical cultural cluelessness at IPG, Roth speaking out against racism is like, well, a White supremacist speaking out against racism.