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:
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.