Wednesday, March 29, 2017

13613: V&F Is B&S.

Adweek published a lengthy piece on a Grey London stunt intended to spark industry-wide diversity. What’s the breakthrough concept? Rename the agency after its founders—two White men of Jewish descent—who opened the flagship New York shop in 1917 when anti-Semitism was prevalent. Okay, but in that very same year, Blacks held a silent march in Harlem to protest getting lynched, beaten and burned. Lawrence Valenstein and Arthur Fatt feared their names could cost them business. Blacks feared their skin color could cost them their lives—and it would take 30-40 years before Blacks would actually be hired at New York advertising agencies. Oddly enough, the Grey London scheme is intended to woo racial and ethnic minorities. So to perhaps offset all the Old White Guys imagery, the bold initiative includes minority scholarships and high school outreach efforts. Gee, how original. Sorry, but even in 2017, White men of Jewish descent have a much better and easier chance of landing jobs at Grey London than racial and ethnic minorities—and this would still be the case if the shop suddenly hired Gustavo Martinez as its CEO.

Grey London Renames Itself Valenstein & Fatt, After Grey’s Jewish Founders, in Call for Diversity

Office will take the name for 100 days, urges industry to change too

By Tim Nudd

Grey London is using the agency’s own 100-year-old origin story as a springboard for an industry-wide call to embrace diversity and acceptance via a self-branding campaign, launching today, in which it will rename itself, for more than three months, as Valenstein & Fatt, after its Jewish founders.

It’s 1917. New York is booming. Two young Jewish entrepreneurs, Lawrence Valenstein and Arthur Fatt, set up a company. But anti-Semitism is rife. Their names could cost them business. So they call it Grey, after the color of the wallpaper.

The London office will fully operate as Valenstein & Fatt—changing its office signage, stationery and business cards, answering its phones that way, even operating under that name in pitches—for the next 100 days.

The initiative is happening just as the British government is triggering Article 50 and begins the process of disconnecting the U.K. from the European Union. It is also launching as “xenophobia is raising its ugly head once more, along with political isolationism,” the agency adds.

Also, the symbolic gesture of the name change is being backed up by more concrete plans, including the following steps, in the agency’s own words:

1) We are publishing our diversity data. Progress cannot be made without clear measures and transparency about who we are today. Our new study is independent and in-depth and is based on the voluntary responses of 305 individuals, which represents over 60 percent of the agency and reported according to standards set by the British Office of National Statistics (ONS). Research developed in partnership with PSB examines roots, identity, education and lifestyle. It will be measured and shared annually and we are encouraging other agencies to take it up as their methodology.

2) We are launching a cross-industry taskforce to identify the barriers to recruitment and retention of talent among ethnic minorities. The first gathering will be co-chaired by Trevor Philips OBE and CEO Leo Rayman, and we are inviting leading organizations in this space and the most progressive agencies, including chairwoman of Mediacom, Karen Blackett, to join us in agreeing industry-wide initiatives and targets. We will also commit to targets for our advertising output, to ensure that it is nationally representative.

3) We are launching the Valenstein & Fatt Bursary to pay a year’s rent for up to two young people from ethnic minority and disadvantaged backgrounds. To qualify, candidates must have been offered a job at Grey, be state educated and live outside of greater London. Applications are open from this summer.

4) We will inspire the next generation, by working with 100 primary and secondary schools to introduce students to a career in the creative industries. Working with exec head Michelle Williams and education therapist Jodie Cariss and starting with the New Wave Federation primary schools in London’s Hackney, we will offer a tailor-made program for the schools involved, from assemblies to full-day workshops, coaching and agency open days.

5) We will develop our diverse talent. Recognizing that recruiting people with different start points isn’t enough, 50 individuals identified as ones to watch will be matched and formally mentored by our executive and senior leadership. In parallel we will run community mentoring workshops open to any member of the agency who wants to participate.

[This video explains more about the project.]

Adweek spoke to Sarah Jenkins, chief marketing officer at Valenstein & Fatt, about the initiative.

Where did this idea come from?

We’re an agency that is feeling the craziness of the last 12-18 months. The world feels a little bit uglier. A little bit less welcoming. So we wanted to make sure we were celebrating difference. And getting diversity right into the heart of our organization. Coincidentally it’s a big year for Grey this year—100 years old. So the Valenstein and Fatt story feels relevant and meaningful in the context of business and society today. Subsequently celebrating them, and telling their story, was the right way for us to make a definitive statement about our diversity commitment moving forward.

While a great gesture, this idea will also clearly cause confusion here and there. Is dealing with that confusion an embodiment of the kind of hard work needed to commit to diversity?

It’s definitely got some risk, but good ideas are hard work and generally require a healthy kick of bravery. Which is a lovely parallel with the spirit of our founders. It definitely helps that we are in the communication business, so hopefully, for the vast, vast majority of the time, we can avoid confusing people.

Tell us why the concrete steps you are also taking will make a difference.

We should first talk about what we are going to get wrong. Diversity is complex, nuanced and gnarly. So they might not all make the difference we are wanting. We’ll fail fast and go again and tell everyone what’s gone wrong, so they don’t make the same mistake.

That said, we have worked hard to get our first initiatives right. We have talked to some brilliant and smart organizations like Channel 4 and the Social Mobility Foundation. Progressive agencies like Mediacom. People who have spent years thinking about the problem and the solutions, like Trevor Phillips. And we’ve backed our own instincts.

When you break down the initiatives, it’s hard not to see them working in some form. One-hundred schools. That’s at least 1,000 kids we are going to hang out with, possibly closer to 5,000 or even 10,000—how can they not help inspire kids to stay curious and think about a career in our industry?

A bursary to help kickstart your first 12 months in—how can they not help us attract some of the best state-educated kids in the country?

Dedicated time and investment to ensure all our diverse talent are able to develop and a clear leadership program to ensure all the glass ceilings are smashing and stay smashed—how can that not inspire the next generation of young leaders, no matter what their background and who they are?

Working with the best agencies and businesses in our industry to push the diversity agenda, so that the smartest, most creative minds are applying themselves to a big gnarly comms and behavioral challenges—how can that not shift the diversity dial in ad land?

What metrics will you look at to gauge the improvement in diversity, both at Grey and across the industry?

As an agency, we will gauge success by seeing more diverse talent coming into the building. And that is any diverse talent. We would love to encourage more people from BAME backgrounds. And more people who are state-school educated. To have more diverse talent identified as future leaders. Future leaders we then keep in our agency, or at the very least we keep in the industry.

As an industry… for agencies to stop fudging their diversity numbers and realize that diversity is a genuine commercial win, not a marketing headline or some weird, point scoring exercise. For advertising to be seen at the forefront of diversity in business, particularly in attracting the best young talent. I mean, fair play to the accountancy firms for leading from the front, but surely, with our insane communication and creative skills, we should be helping them set the bar, not be running behind them.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

13612: Dawn Chambers, Endangered Species.

Advertising Age reported on figures from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission showing there are less than 100 Black women executives in adland. The report made no mention of the number of Black male executives in the field. If anything, the EEOC total underscores that the current diverted diversity drive—with everyone jumping onto the White women bandwagon—is the greatest example of unconscious bias today. That is, the industry pats itself on the back for promoting White women under the notion of gender equality while true diversity remains a dream deferred, diverted, delegated and denied. If the advertising industry stays true to form, expect the following solutions to ignite in the years ahead:

• Categorize receptionists, administrative assistants and cleaning ladies as executives

• Offer more Global Creative Director roles to female hip-hop artists

• Increase the number of Chief Diversity Officers

• 4As to launch MAEP—Multicultural Advertising Executive Program

• Cannes to introduce the Dawn Chambers Lion

There Are Fewer Than 100 Black Women Execs in Adland

IPG and Ad Club of New York Hold Summit on What to Do About It

By Lindsay Stein

The Advertising Club of New York and Interpublic Group are hosting the first Summit on Black Women in Advertising to start a discussion and figure out solutions around the fact that there are fewer than 100 black women executives in advertising, PR and related industries across the country.

According to new statistics from the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, only 93 black female executives are in advertising, PR and related agencies with more than 100 people, out of 8,734 total executives. Additionally, of the 8,734 executives, 7,651 are white and 3,037 are white women.

The idea for “Their Truth: The Summit on Black Women in Advertising, Marketing and Media,” which will be held March 27 at The Paley Center in New York City, came from the fact that the industry doesn’t have any large scale focus on women of color, said Heide Gardner, IPG’s chief diversity officer. Ms. Gardner, who previously served as senior VP of the American Advertising Federation and was the founding executive director of The AAF Mosaic Center on Multiculturalism, said ColorComm has an emphasis on women of color, but it’s a young organization. The Ad Club of New York and IPG will also be supporting their efforts going forward.

“Women’s experience in the industry and the narrative have come primarily from white women in senior roles, but no one has provided a platform for us to hear from really accomplished black women and those are the stories that make all this real,” said Ms. Gardner.

She added that what shocked her the most from the recent findings is that there’s about 50 black women executives in creative agencies, 14 in PR and some disciplines that have zero. “We all know we have a challenge, but I don’t think people really know and the industry hasn’t generally followed the data,” said Ms. Gardner, “It’s important to bring this forward, and if they didn’t know before, now they will know.”

The EEOC research also showed that black women have the lowest upward mobility among other major demographics groups in advertising, PR and related fields, while black women in other professional services industries, such as legal, accounting and management consulting, have higher executive representation in leadership roles.

At the event, Tai Wingfield from the Center for Talent Innovation will present current research about black women professionals, and a panel will include black women trailblazers, such as Pam El, CMO of the NBA; Vita Harris, chief strategy officer at FCB; Jeanine D. Liburd, executive-VP of corporate communications and corporate social responsibility at BET Networks, and more. The event will also be streaming on Facebook Live for those who can’t attend.

“Obviously, we want to bring forward the issue and expose the industry to these amazing women and their stories, but we don’t want to just leave it at that,” said Ms. Gardner. IPG and the Ad Club New York is working with the Center for Talent Innovation to provide some solutions and a toolkit to the industry that “looks at key issues and specifics that can be undertaken by any organization, leader, manager and the talent themselves,” she said.

More importantly, Ms. Gardner said she thinks this event will “open the door to having discussions” with other holding companies and agencies to help figure out how everyone can work together to make a difference.

Monday, March 27, 2017

13611: Hubba Hubba, Diversity Hub!

Campaign Asia created Diversity Hub to collect all the diverted diversity content that ultimately prevents true diversity. The hub creates a hubbub of hubris for the White women’s bandwagon.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

13610: Exclusivity Research.

Campaign reported on a diverted diversity diagnosis via “Exclusive Research”—which really should have been titled “Exclusivity Research”—from a gender equality study conducted by Campaign Asia-Pacific and Kantar. Not surprisingly, while the presentation was made at a Campaign360 event in Hong Kong, the female factoids were delivered by a White woman from Australia. Also not surprisingly, the data showed White women in the advertising industry fare better than their peers in brand or technology companies. And totally not surprisingly, no one acknowledged that White women globally enjoy waaaaay more opportunities than racial and ethnic minorities. Unfortunately, there are no exclusive studies being done to prove the true and persistent inequality in adland—probably because it’s all common knowledge. Plus, White women are taking a “ladies first” approach to diversity.

Agencies better for gender equality than brands: Exclusive research

Women are more equal in the agency environment than they are within brands or tech companies, according to Campaign Asia-Pacific and Kantar’s inaugural gender diversity study.

Agencies provide a better experience in terms of gender diversity than brands or tech companies, according to Campaign Asia-Pacific and Kantar’s 2017 Gender Diversity study, which was revealed at today’s Campaign360 event in Hong Kong.

Anne Rayner, global head of communications research at Kantar-owned TNS, laid out the inaugural Gender Diversity study in partnership with Campaign Asia-Pacific.

The research found that women still have less access to opportunities. The crucial point, though, is that this is not related to their performance, but perception and unconscious bias.

“If you’re a male leader, you might not see this around you, it might be invisible,” she said. “But just because you don’t see this with your own eyes, it doesn’t mean this isn’t felt by the women in your organisation.”

The research also revealed that 35 percent of women at non-agencies say they spend their time in meetings dominated by men.

“Unconscious bias is a real barrier for women,” Rayer emphasised. “Agencies are doing a somewhat better job, but there’s a lot more to go. Good intentions are not enough, we need to be much more interventionist.”

The report, which in February surveyed 630 media and marketing professionals—394 women and 236 men—across 21 countries in Asia-Pacific, found that women felt more respected and credible at agencies than brands.

Eighty percent of agency respondents said men and women were equally credible to top management, compared to 62 percent of non-agency respondents. Moreover, 73 percent in agencies said women and men equally respected by top management, versus just 56 percent in non-agency companies.

Agencies are also more than twice as likely to have a female CEO than the other types of companies, the study found—although the numbers in both instances remain low.

Another key finding was that of preconception issues for women in the media and marketing industry. The study found that men feel they are judged more on what they have done—their track record and experience—whereas women feel they are appraised on who they are—their age and gender.

In addition, the research showed that men have access to more opportunities than women in the workplace: 43 percent of women surveyed said they had missed out on opportunities because of their gender, compared to just 16 percent of men surveyed.

Strikingly, given the intensity of the debate around gender diversity in the industry, an enormous 75 percent of men surveyed said gender doesn’t matter anymore in the workplace, while 51 percent of women believe it still does.

To help address these and many other issues highlighted by the report, both men and women felt the two most important areas to address are development opportunities and flexible working. It is also vital for organisations to have more female leaders in senior positions.

“The study shows that although women aspire to leadership just as much as men, there is still a glass ceiling of unconscious bias firmly in place in our industry,” Rayner said. “This means that women are often less respected than men in their workplaces and miss out on opportunities because of their gender. The study also shows that good intentions are not enough to challenge unconscious bias; we need to be more proactive and interventionist to create change.”

Saturday, March 25, 2017

13609: Airbnb Honcho Airs Grievances.

Campaign reported Airbnb Chief Marketing Officer Jonathan Mildenhall continued publicly questioning the dearth of non-Whites at Cannes, tweeting about the lack of color among speakers slated to pontificate at the exclusive event. A Cannes Lions spokeswoman replied, “Diversity is a priority across the entire Festival. Cannes Lions is a global event and people from all around the world attend, enter, judge, work and speak at it. … When organisations apply to speak on one of our stages, we actively encourage them to embrace diversity when considering individuals to put forward.” Well, diverted diversity is clearly a priority, given all the attention, action and awards addressing the promotion of White women. But to say, “Diversity is a priority across the entire Festival,” could be categorized as a scam statement. Meanwhile, Mildenhall ought to directly discuss diversity with Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Maurice Lévy, as the old man’s office is now available via Airbnb. Any conversation would clearly show Mildenhall the cultural cluelessness at the highest levels of the industry.

Airbnb’s Mildenhall hit outs at Cannes Lions again over lack of ‘brown faces’ among speakers

Jonathan Mildenhall, the chief marketing officer at Airbnb, has hit out again at Cannes Lions organisers for “only three brown faces” being among this year’s speakers.

By Omar Oakes

Yesterday Mildenhall said it was “not cool” for the organisers of this year’s International Festival of Creativity to include only three non-white people among the 102 speakers it had lined up this year.

He tweeted: “I’m confused are we a GLOBAL festival of creativity?”.

The chief marketer also posted a link to the Cannes Lions website, which advertises 102 confirmed speakers at this year’s festival. Mildenhall did not specify who among them were the “brown faces”.

This year’s speakers include leading industry names such as: WPP chief executive Sir Martin Sorrell; Procter & Gamble chief brand officer Marc Pritchard; and Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg. Non-industry figures include Russian protest pop-group Pussy Riot and movie director Jason Reitman.

Mildenhall’s diversity-conscious reproach follows a series of complaints he made on social media in January about the festival’s first 16 jury presidents containing no “dark-skinned” people. Two of these jurors were of Southeast Asian-Chinese descent (Ogilvy’s Tham Khai Meng and Dentsu’s Ted Lim).

Last month, Mildenhall was named president of this year’s creative effectiveness Lions jury at Cannes. He said at the time that, while marketing industry is becoming “more inclusive”, it still has work to do. Mildenhall added: “diversity informs everything I’m part of and I want to accelerate that change further.”

A Cannes Lions spokeswoman said: “Diversity is a priority across the entire Festival. Cannes Lions is a global event and people from all around the world attend, enter, judge, work and speak at it.

“When organisations apply to speak on one of our stages, we actively encourage them to embrace diversity when considering individuals to put forward.”

Friday, March 24, 2017

13608: ANA GEM BS.

Advertising Age reported the ANA is seeking to make its Gender Equality Measure an industry standard element in testing advertisements. Nice. Promoting White women receives multimedia campaigns with technological innovations, while promoting minorities gets segregated awards, crumbly colored committees and an unarmed army.

ANA Aims to Standardize Gender Equality in Ads

By Jack Neff

In a bid to strengthen its #SeeHer gender-equality push, the Association of National Advertisers is making the ad-scoring system behind it available for any copy-testing service, meaning it could become a standard module in the software engines by which analytically inclined marketers evaluate ads.

At the same time, the ANA’s Alliance for Family Entertainment has completed testing the 200 most-watched TV shows using its Gender Equality Measure, with an eye toward providing those ratings to advertisers that want to align their gender-conscious ads with like-minded TV buys. “The reason we’re testing both advertising and media is that context matters,” said Shelley Zalis, a co-developer of #SeeHer, founder and CEO of the Girls’ Lounge and former CEO of research firm OTX.

The Gender Equality Measure scores ads or entertainment on how prominently they depict women, amid a larger industry conversation about gender equality in both ads and the business itself.

It might seem unusual for competing copy-testing services to adopt a common methodology like the protocol behind GEM scores, but Ms. Zalis said copy testers tend to measure the same basic things, such as effects on purchase intent or likability, even if they get their scores in different ways or call them different things.

“One thing that’s very important for us is to measure what matters,” Ms. Zalis said. “One of the biggest problems we’ve had in our industry is that we don’t have accountability to measure progress.”

GEM already has been run on more than 17,000 ads, creating a “robust database,” said Stephen Quinn, the former Walmart chief marketing officer who chairs the Alliance for Family Entertainment.

While the ANA isn’t generally releasing the results publicly, both camps are privately asking for diagnostics to help improve their scores, said Mr. Quinn, who will be meeting with media companies on the subject this week. Since those GEM scores could ultimately find their way into standards or software that govern media buys, the stakes for media are potentially huge.

The Alliance for Family Entertainment also has developed GEM “bootcamps” to help advertisers understand and improve their gender-equality scores. Georgia-Pacific, marketer of such brands as Brawny and Quilted Northern, has fared well with GEM but was still the first company to participate in a bootcamp.

The top 10 ads by GEM score from the week of March 4 show that there’s no set formula. They include an ad from Procter & Gamble’s Swiffer showing a little boy cutting the hair of his stuffed animals and sister, and mom cleaning up. Another two are conventional beauty ads from L’Oréal USA for L’Oréal Paris and Garnier. Amazon’s Echo Dot fared well with two ads on the list featuring household vignettes with men and women. Coca-Cola made it with an ad featuring mostly male race car drivers plus Danica Patrick, while Geico appeared with arguably one of its least funny ads in years—albeit one with a man and woman getting equal face time.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

13607: The Whiteface Of Advertising.

Campaign reported on a stunt from Advertising Week Europe that revealed the “true face” of adland. Hey, this is exactly what MultiCultClassics pointed out when Benetton used the same data and technology to create models in 2016. Worse yet, an official behind the Advertising Week Europe stunt whined, “And it’s not just gender and ethnicity that’s an issue, our recent research on ageism in media revealed we are losing people over the age of fifty at a time when the population is living to a much greater age.” Great. The face will become older and even Whiter before it grows darker.

The ‘face of advertising’ revealed as a young white man

The average face of attendees at Advertising Week Europe this year is that of a young, white man, it has been revealed.

By Kate Magee

MEC UK created the average face by merging photos of delegates that attended Advertising Week Europe on the first day.

It is a visual representation of the lack of diversity in the industry.

As part of a diversity drive at the event, MEC UK also asked delegates to take Harvard University’s Implicit Associate Tests, which highlighted unconscious bias in the industry.

Here, Jason Dormieux, the chief executive of MEC UK, discusses the finding:

“Predictably, the Face of Advertising is a white twentysomething male. This clearly demonstrates the scale of the task ahead if the industry is to hit Campaign and the IPA’s 2020 targets of 15% of people in leadership positions from a non-white background and 25% per cent of new joiners from BAME backgrounds.

“And it’s not just gender and ethnicity that’s an issue, our recent research on ageism in media revealed we are losing people over the age of fifty at a time when the population is living to a much greater age.”

Of the Harvard tests, Dormieux said: “As more of us take the tests and become aware of our biases we can start to recognise where we as individuals can make changes. For example, when we are recruiting, questioning why we think a candidate is good. Is it because of their ability, or because they think like us?

“Even though as an industry we are behind many others when it comes to diversity, equally we know that bringing together more diverse teams results in better work, even if it makes life harder initially, because people from different backgrounds tend not to automatically agree with one another.

“While we can put processes and structure in place to help steer people in the right direction to be more inclusive, ultimately you can’t eradicate in built prejudices because it’s part of who we are. The key is to make people conscious of their biases and take responsibility for keeping a check on them.”

13606: C’MON WHITE MAN! Episode 50.

(MultiCultClassics credits ESPN’s C’MON MAN! for sparking this semi-regular blog series.)

Campaign published White man bullshit responding to White woman bullshit—and the end result is a pathetic pile of White privilege poop. As a counterpoint to an anonymous White woman bitching about returnship programs, Crispin Porter & Bogusky London Chief Creative Officer Dave Buonaguidi shat out condescending crap including the following:

I have spent over 30 years in this business and am totally stunned that we are still in the dark ages. There are several hundred reasons why adland is still so old fashioned, the main one being that the people who run the business are predominantly white, middle-class, heterosexual males, a group that tend to be quite old-fashioned and mercenary in their views and behaviors.

The only way to change things is to stop talking about stuff and actually do something.

But still, all I see is bullshit headshots of the great and the good of adland moaning about a lack of diversity and not enough action.

CPB has the same values that I do. We only want to employ great people, irrespective of color, sex, religion or status, and as I stated previously the Creative Equals initiative is a great step in the right direction.

Wow, Buonaguidi comes off like a stand-up guy and equality champion. Technically, the industry is not “still in the dark ages”—rather, things are still in the White ages. But Buonaguidi’s culturally clueless bullshit can be sniffed out with a peek at the CP+B London staff, which mirrors every exclusively White advertising agency in adland. Expect a follow-up where Buonaguidi bemoans the awful ageism aimed at Old White Guys like him.

C’MON WHITE MAN!

Dave Buonaguidi replies to ‘This is bullshit,’ an open letter to adland by a working mom

By Dave Buonaguidi

Dave Buonaguidi, the chief creative officer at Crispin Porter & Bogusky London, replies to the letter writer who took a swipe at the returner scheme his agency has signed up to.

Dear Anon,

I am sad that you got so angry when you read the article.

I have known Ali at Creative Equals for over ten years and I think getting mums back into business is a really good idea, and so it was something that we at CPB got behind.

I have spent over 30 years in this business and am totally stunned that we are still in the dark ages. There are several hundred reasons why adland is still so old fashioned, the main one being that the people who run the business are predominantly white, middle-class, heterosexual males, a group that tend to be quite old-fashioned and mercenary in their views and behaviors.

The only way to change things is to stop talking about stuff and actually do something.

But still, all I see is bullshit headshots of the great and the good of adland moaning about a lack of diversity and not enough action. (This week has been an exception, where it seems everyone is doing great work in the area, but I suspect that’s just positive press.)

What the Creative Equals initiative is doing is a great start, and if it helps encourage mums back into this archaic industry, brilliant, and if one mum can get an opportunity and then convert it, then it has been a huge success.

Sarah is a very good writer. She accepted a paid opportunity to work full time in our creative team developing and pitching ideas, something she hadn’t done a lot of for a long time. For her to have an opportunity to retrain on the job with live briefs made a lot of sense to me. Her six weeks has turned into nearly five months to date as testament to her talent. Initially we paid her as a ‘Returner’, taking into account her seniority and expertise, not an ‘Intern’. And after the official returnship period, she has stayed with us at an industry standard freelance rate.

I can’t think of any business on earth where you could take a ten-year break and then return on the same salary.

If there is one, tell me, I might try it.

I am very passionate about changing this industry and I find it as frustrating as you seem to.

But I have always put my money where my mouth is. In the mid 90’s I co-founded St Luke’s, a co-operative ad agency where everyone, even mums, were equal shareholders. I wonder why has no one followed suite and done that again? I also founded Karmarama in 2000, an agency based on doing the right thing, with a no wanker hiring policy, (that included mums,) and employed a mum of four and made her an equal shareholder.

CPB has the same values that I do. We only want to employ great people, irrespective of color, sex, religion or status, and as I stated previously the Creative Equals initiative is a great step in the right direction.

It sounds like you need a new home, not a new challenge.

Try CPB.

You might enjoy it.

We are pretty modern.

We are not a sweatshop.

We are an arsehole-free zone.

We happily work with mums and embrace the way they want to work.

And we won’t even call you a “suit”.

Besides, who even does that anymore?

Feel free to get in touch direct, and save paying the headhunters fees.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

13605: 25% Off 100% Offensive.

Wow, JWT is going all out to deflect attention from the Gustavo Martinez-Erin Johnson affair, and the White advertising agency might even nab a Glass Lion or ADCOLOR® trophy for its propaganda. Hell, it looks like Martinez was the copywriter for this campaign. And it all brings a whole new meaning to “scam ads.”

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

13604: Failing The Image Test.

Master Comunicação in Brazil created The Image Test to expose institutionalized racism. Not sure the exercise really presented anything new or surprising. And it’s not clear why all the Brazilian “HR Professionals” appeared to be White. The accompanying blurb on YouTube (copied below) claimed that—thanks to The Image Test—“a debate began in the country.” Began? What the hell took so long?

On the Black Consciousness Day, the Government of Paraná in partnership with NGOs of racial equality, released a video. An experiment called The Image Test, where real human resource professionals were divided into two distinct groups. The first group were showed pictures of white people in everyday situations. The second group were showed pictures with identical situations, only with black people this time. The result? White people pictures were described as successful people while the images of black people were always attributed to be underemployment or even worse, vandals and thieves.

The video went viral and in less than 24 hours more than 15 million people watched it and more than 400,000 shared it on Facebook. The video was commented on all TV channels, newspapers and magazines. And, more importantly, a debate began in the country.

13603: Shafting Diversity & Inclusion.

Campaign published updates on the discrimination lawsuit against JWT and WPP, with commentary from a collection of critics and critters. Of course, diverted diversity divas Kat Gordon and Cindy Gallop lamely lambasted the industry. A handful of anonymous ex-JWT executives weighed in too. Yet the arguably most peculiar—and seemingly contradictory—remarks came from 4As folks, and these statements warrant examination.

Outgoing 4As Chairman and CEO Nancy Hill said:

“There is license to have a lot of very honest conversations about the state of gender in the industry, and to a certain extent diversity in general. … This was something the industry needed to hear to wake up. Prior to this tipping point, there was a belief that there were a lot of isolated incidents, that this was not pervasive.”

So it appears that Hill believes Gustavo Martinez’s alleged words and deeds are symptomatic of a persistent problem. Hill’s experience with the trade organization—as well as her leadership roles in White advertising agencies—certainly adds credibility to her opinion.

Meanwhile, 4As Diversity & Inclusion Manager Taylor Yarbrough said:

“We have a lot of [MAIP] alums at JWT, and I haven’t heard them say they don’t want to work there. People look at it as an individual that made a mistake. It’s not like Uber, where so many individuals made so many mistakes that it must be a cultural thing. … It’s a larger societal thing that’s happening, especially after the presidential election. … This past Black History Month, so many agencies did so much more than I have ever seen. The whole office is having the conversation, not just the black affinity group. We’re seeing a shift in the way society is understanding diversity and inclusion and the problems of people outside of their communities.”

Okey-doke. Assessing these assertions requires deliberate dissection.

First of all, how many MAIP alums are employed by JWT? WPP Overlord Sir Martin Sorrell admitted women are underrepresented in leadership roles within his White holding company, while racial and ethnic minority representation is “unacceptably low.” So declaring that a miniature group of MAIP members has not complained about discriminatory working conditions at JWT ain’t saying much. Hell, it’s a safe bet that the entire staff is reluctant to voice an opinion right now. And perhaps JWT leadership has officially prohibited people from publicly speaking out—inviting them to use the awesome talk-to-me hotline for airing grievances instead.

Additionally, pointing to allegedly content MAIP alums hardly justifies proclaiming, “People look at it as an individual that made a mistake.” Keep in mind that outgoing Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Maurice Lévy got spanked for taking such a position. Sorry, but JWT and WPP make Uber look like the ACLU.

Yarbrough also said, “This past Black History Month, so many agencies did so much more than I have ever seen. The whole office is having the conversation, not just the black affinity group.” Really? Based on MultiCultClassics’ annual review, Black History Month propaganda was at an all-time low in 2017. Plus, the overwhelming majority of advertising agencies don’t even have a “Black affinity group” because most firms don’t have enough Blacks to form a group.

Yarbrough’s quote ends by observing, “We’re seeing a shift in the way society is understanding diversity and inclusion…” Perhaps, but the societal shift is different than the adland shift—which is actually more of a shaft. In the advertising industry, diversity and inclusion has shifted into promoting White women first, followed by Old White people, LGBT White people, disabled White people, foreigners with visas and house pets. Racial and ethnic minorities have been lowered to below the lowest rung on the proverbial totem pole.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

13602: Translating Transformation.

Adweek reported Publicis Groupe announced SapientRazorfish—the mutant merging of SapientNitro and Razorfish—is designed to help “clients transform their businesses in a connected world.” SapientRazorfish CEO Alan Wexler explained, “Transformation today requires a new type of partner able to combine enterprise-wide connected digital excellence with customer journeys and experiences that drive future business strategies, culture and operating models.” Having a dictionary to interpret corporate jargon and bullshit is useful too. Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Maurice Lévy added, “Today’s business leaders are realizing that a bifurcated approach of leaning on agencies to transform experiences and on consulting partners to transform business processes no longer works—it’s too slow, too fractured, organizationally unsustainable and most importantly, the focus on the customer gets lost in the complexity.” Lévy’s gobbledygook undoubtedly sounds more impressive when delivered with a French accent. However, today’s business leaders should think twice before partnering with SapientRazorfish, as the enterprise has not yet solved its own slow, fractured and organizationally unsustainable issues.

Publicis Groupe Reveals What Its Newly Formed Agency SapientRazorfish Will Do

6 key offerings to transform businesses

By Katie Richards

Late last year, Publicis Groupe merged two of its digital agencies, SapientNitro and Razorfish, into one. Today, the network announced some of the core offerings that the newly-formed agency, called SapientRazorfish, will have for clients. The goal, according to the agency, is for SapientRazorfish to help “clients transform their businesses in a connected world.”

“Transformation today requires a new type of partner able to combine enterprise-wide connected digital excellence with customer journeys and experiences that drive future business strategies, culture and operating models,” Alan Wexler, SapientRazorfish CEO, said.

In order to make that transformation tangible for clients, the agency announced six key offerings including digital business strategy and innovation, customer experience, data and artificial intelligence, marketing modernization, IT modernization and commerce.

Publicis Groupe chairman and CEO Maurice Lévy said in a statement that the market is in need of a “partner that drives real and sustainable business transformation for the connected age through an obsessive focus on the customer.”

SapientRazorfish is part of the network’s digital offerings, Publicis.Sapient. Moving forward the agency will work closely with other brands under the Publicis.Sapient name, including DigitasLBi and Sapient Consulting to fully deliver clients the promised “customer-centric digital transformation.”

Added Lévy: “Today’s business leaders are realizing that a bifurcated approach of leaning on agencies to transform experiences and on consulting partners to transform business processes no longer works—it’s too slow, too fractured, organizationally unsustainable and most importantly, the focus on the customer gets lost in the complexity.”

Saturday, March 18, 2017

13601: Bobbing For Applebee’s.

Adweek reported Applebee’s named its third White advertising agency in two years, handing the business to Grey, following a shootout involving other White advertising agencies. Interim Applebee’s SVP of Marketing and Culinary Jeannine D’Addario gushed, “In addition to their deep experience, capability and creativity, the team at Grey has a solid understanding of Applebee’s evolving consumer, the brand’s legacy and our goals to ignite change and deliver original and compelling work.” Wow, that’s about as standard as corporate jargon gets, served up with all the blandness of, well, any meal at Applebee’s. Grey New York CEO Debby Reiner vomited more jargon by stating, “We will be responsible for creative development, market strategy and brand positioning, crafting engaging campaigns that resonate with their customers nationally.” Imagine that. Grey will craft campaigns to engage and resonate with an audience. Has Applebee’s ever produced anything that would qualify as engaging or resonating—or even edible?

Applebee’s Picks Grey as Its Third Agency of Record in Less Than 2 Years

Chain named a new president earlier this month

By Patrick Coffee

Grey has become Applebee’s third creative agency of record in less than two years.

The chain, which identifies itself as “America’s largest casual dining brand,” picked Grey after a review that began last December, with a whopping 26 agencies responding to the initial RFP. Subsequent rounds cut the number of competing shops to six, with Grey beating BBDO San Francisco and Argonaut to win the business. The WPP network’s New York and Los Angeles offices will manage the account.

According to the latest numbers from Kantar Media, Applebee’s spent approximately $150 million on paid media in the U.S. last year.

“We couldn’t be more excited to begin working with Grey,” said Jeannine D’Addario, interim svp of marketing and culinary at Applebee’s who joined the company last summer after leading marketing and communications for Whole Foods. “In addition to their deep experience, capability and creativity, the team at Grey has a solid understanding of Applebee’s evolving consumer, the brand’s legacy and our goals to ignite change and deliver original and compelling work.”

Applebee’s and parent company DineEquity have been toying with the chain’s advertising efforts for some time. The client split with former AOR Crispin Porter + Bogusky in November 2015, citing a desire to “transform the marketing and advertising direction of the brand” and picking Kansas City’s Barkley to handle those efforts. One year and one wood-fired steak relaunch later, the business went through another review with the press release again stating that “Applebee’s felt the time was right to make a creative shift given the evolving restaurant landscape.”

DineEquity also named longtime restaurant industry veteran John Cywinski as Applebee’s new president earlier this month. The news marked a return for Cywinski, who previously served as Applebee’s CMO from 2001 to 2006 and led the “Eatin’ Good in the Neighborhood” campaign created by FCB Chicago before leaving to hold similar positions at KFC and Chili’s parent company Brinker International Inc.

The parent company’s stock took a hit last December around the very time news of this latest review broke. At the time, analysts questioned DineEquity’s ability to counter “sluggish traffic and menu misfires at Applebee’s” caused, in part, by over-saturation as fewer guests visit each franchise location.

“We will be responsible for creative development, market strategy and brand positioning, crafting engaging campaigns that resonate with their customers nationally. Our integrated communications effort will launch in July,” wrote Grey New York CEO Debby Reiner in an internal memo sent to the whole staff this morning. She then congratulated, “all who worked so tirelessly on this,” citing today’s news and Grey’s role in a new $600 million global contract between WPP and Walgreen’s Boots Alliance as “proof we are at the top of our game.”

The chief executive concluded, “We’ll celebrate after the blizzard.”

Friday, March 17, 2017

13600: Chipping In Ignorance.

Stacy’s Pita Chips celebrates Women’s History Month with limited-edition bags, a donation drive and more. Goodby Silverstein & Partners created the campaign, which makes at least one bag’s proclamation—“Men Of Quality Do Not Fear Equality”—particularly pathetic and hypocritical. After all, GS&P originally and continues to ask, “Where Are All The Black People?” Plus, the 30-year-old White advertising agency only named its first female partner less than five years ago. For GS&P, cultural cluelessness is in the bag.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

13599: Annie’s Jumbo Shrimp Bullshit.

If you were hoping to give up Annie the Chicken Queen for Lent, forget about it. She’s hawking her Butterfly Shrimp Tackle Box right now, honey!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

13598: MC Hammer’s Command Performance.

Didn’t realize the terrible in-store display was part of a campaign including terrible TV commercials. Pray there are no plans for a pool-out.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

13597: Bitching About Bullshit.

Campaign published a diverted diversity diatribe from an anonymous working mom, spanking adland for discriminating against women who seek to return to the field after spending time away raising a family. Responding to returnship programs, Ms. Anon declared, “This is bullshit.” Okay, White women having to jump through extra hoops in order to regain their exclusive positions in White advertising agencies qualifies as bullshit. But racial and ethnic minorities having to face flaming, barbwire-lined hoops and impossible obstacle courses—often co-created by White women—just to get into the field at all deserves to be designated as the deepest dookie dreadfulness.

‘This is bullshit’: An open letter to adland from a working mom

An open letter about the recent focus on working mothers in advertising and what this really means

Dear adland,

I read an article in Campaign the other day that has made me really angry.

Recently, loads of attention has been given to moms returning to work in advertising and articles such as “I’m back, pitches” (Campaign, Jan. 20) are lauded and held up as if they should be celebrated.

Can we just look a little bit closer, though? This particular mom had been “out of the industry” for 11 years. She has been raising her family (which is a bloody hard job in itself—much harder than is ever given credit for) but she was also running her own copywriting business.

She has since returned to work on a returnship scheme. This scheme is a step in the right direction and is, at the very least, shining a light on moms returning to work, but should we really celebrate the fact that these creative moms effectively have to return to work as an intern?

She has had a baby, not a lobotomy. Do her previous years of hard graft and experience in the industry count for nothing? Why hasn’t she been brought back in at the level she was at previously? Surely some training could bring her up to speed pretty quickly?

Being a stay-at-home mom is demanding: 14-hour days, without a break. You can’t just book a day off when you need some downtime. Most of the time, there’s not even time for a cup of tea and a biscuit, let alone an intelligent conversation with another adult—both of which you have plenty of time for in the office.

But it also comes with heaps of transferable skills all particularly beneficial for the advertising industry: next-level multitasking, unrealistic deadlines, managing unreasonable demands often with no budget, placating tantrums etc.—as well as a new viewpoint on the world only gained when you become a mom, which changes everything.

Moms are so important in this industry. So many brands want to talk to moms yet have people working on them—client-side and in agencies—with no idea what it’s actually like to be a mom! Because working moms in this industry are scarce. Because the reality is it’s so rigidly inflexible. Or you can have an internship.

I think it’s time for honesty and calling it how it is. This is bullshit.

Moms are the best. Because when we come back to work, we have to work harder than we did pre-children. Because we have to prove ourselves. ALL. OVER. AGAIN. Because we have to show that we can, in fact, do it all. All with a hard stop looming at 5:30 p.m. when we have to race home, collect our children, feed them something moderately healthy, try to ensure some precious time reconnecting and then get them to sleep so we can (usually) go back online and finish the work we didn’t manage to finish in the office.

It’s brilliant for the confidence! And for the “guilt fairy” that pops up several times a day when it feels like neither job is being done to the best of our ability.

We don’t swan off home to put our feet up (which is what everyone thinks when we leave the office “early”).

I am a senior suit working in a top 10 agency. I currently work four days a week in the agency and have one day a week at home with my baby. But, for various reasons, I’m looking for a new challenge.

Several headhunters I’ve spoken to have advised me that I’ll never get a “part-time” role in a new place and I should “go back to work full-time” if I want to change agencies. Some of these headhunters are men, some are women and most of them have families.

How disappointing. I could’ve fallen at the first hurdle.

However, persistence and tenacity have generated the support of some amazing people who have decided that trying to find me a four-day position is not too much hassle, and I am finally getting briefs for great roles in other top-tier agencies. These people are the true beacons really affecting change.

Often in the advertising industry, we look at what we’re doing through rose-tinted Ray-Bans. We are making teeny, tiny, baby steps toward breaking the mold. But we are certainly not smashing it. Yet.

We all need to do more to nurture working moms (and flexible working in general). We live in an “always-on” world, where we shouldn’t feel we’re not present and able to contribute just because we’re not physically in the office. It’s 2017, and Donald Trump is president. Come on—anything is possible.

Love, Anon

13596: Advertising For Change…Or Crumbs?

Adweek reported four White advertising agencies in Atlanta—JWT Atlanta, 22squared, Fitzgerald & Co. and Moxie—joined together to launch the Advertising for Change coalition to promote diversity in the area. Not sure if “Change” refers to revolution or the amount of money behind the initiative. The first concept being executed by the coalition is—you guessed it—a minority internship program. What’s more, the shops turned to the 4As MAIP for direction and guidance; that is, they likely delegated diversity to the trade organization.

“We have as much responsibility to reflect our community as we do our clients’ brands and our own bottom lines,” stated JWT Atlanta CEO Spence Kramer. “Atlanta is one of the most diverse cities in the world, so it’s incumbent on us to attract and retain the best talent for the city. This isn’t about ‘making a number’ or reaching a goal. It’s about doing what’s best for our business.” Um, most sources show Blacks account for up to 54 percent of Atlanta’s population. So the Advertising for Change coalition has a looooooong way to go before their name has legitimate meaning—unless “Change” refers to the amount of money behind the initiative.

Oh, and the illustration accompanying the story (shown above) seems to indicate this is another diverted diversity deal, as the majority of depicted minorities are women.

These 4 Atlanta Agencies United to Promote Diversity and Inclusion in Their Hometown

Advertising for Change coalition wants to help the city stand out

By Erik Oster

Four Atlanta agencies have united to form the Advertising for Change coalition to promote diversity in their hometown.

JWT Atlanta, 22squared, Fitzgerald & Co. and Moxie make up the coalition, which launched today and promotes inclusion both as a better business practice and a way to help Atlanta stand apart as a destination for advertising talent.

“We have as much responsibility to reflect our community as we do our clients’ brands and our own bottom lines,” JWT Atlanta CEO Spence Kramer said in a statement. “Atlanta is one of the most diverse cities in the world, so it’s incumbent on us to attract and retain the best talent for the city. This isn’t about ‘making a number or reaching a goal. It’s about doing what’s best for our business.”

For its first initiative, Advertising for Change collaborated with the 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Intern Program, or MAIP, to promote the Atlanta advertising community to young talent. Each of 10 interns will be assigned to one of the four agencies and then rotate weekly meetings with the other three agencies, exposing them to several different agency cultures instead of just one.

“Advertising for Change worked with [MAIP] to select talented interns from across the country interested in seeing what Atlanta has to offer,” said Moxie president Solange Claudio.

In addition to daily responsibilities at their respective agencies, interns will split into two teams to craft a pitch for the Atlanta-based nonprofit of their choice. At the end of the summer, the two teams will face off and pitch against each other. At the conclusion of the program, one intern will receive competing job offers from all four AFC agencies.

“It’s a unique opportunity,” Fitzgerald & Co. chief talent officer Liza Ramos said. “Each agency will agree on the recipient and extend the intern the same offer. This empowers the AFC Scholar to pick the agency he or she wants to work with, and it upholds our goal of attracting and retaining the best diverse talent in the city of Atlanta—even if the choice is a friendly competitor.”

Planned initiatives from the Advertising for Change coalition include something it calls “portfolio boot camps” and affordable advertising courses designed to help creative professionals transition into advertising careers.

“The state of diversity in advertising has been less than satisfactory for a very, very long time,” said Singleton Beato, 4A’s executive vice president, diversity and inclusion strategy and talent development. “The AFC coalition is an outstanding example of how, by working together, our agencies can help drive the entire industry toward the type of change that can break down the systemic challenges of our past.”

Monday, March 13, 2017

13595: #BringBackTheBlacks With Cheerios.

Advertising Age reported General Mills produced a stunt “to highlight the dwindling number of bees” by removing the Honey Nut Cheerios BuzzBee character from cereal boxes. If only General Mills had put as much effort into its stunt to highlight the dwindling number of Blacks in advertising agencies.

Honey Nut Cheerios Mascot BuzzBee Disappears From Box to Highlight Endangered Pollinators

General Mills Brand Is Encouraging Consumers to Plant Wildflowers

By Alexandra Jardine

Honey Nut Cheerios has removed its bee mascot BuzzBee from cereal boxes in the U.S. and Canada, in order to highlight the dwindling numbers of bees.

The General Mills-owned brand is using the blank space where the bee should be to encourage consumers to plant over 100 million wildflowers this year, in order to ensure a more bee-friendly world. The campaign, #BringBackTheBees, invites families to order and plant free seeds from Vesey’s Seeds by visiting the campaign website.

The brand points out that bees have experienced an unprecedented scale of habitat loss, with more than nine million acres of grass and prairie land converted to crop land since 2008. Approximately 30 percent of all ingredients in General Mills’ products rely on pollination.

Susanne Prucha, director of marketing for Cheerios, said in a statement: “As a General Mills cereal built around nutrition, helping pollinators get the key nutrition they need through fun, family-friendly activities like planting wildflowers is a natural fit.”

Sunday, March 12, 2017

13594: Chilliguard Ad Is Weak.

Given how women in India face so much domestic violence and sexual assault, is ChilliGuard offering enough protection? Shouldn’t the spray figure be packing a bazooka and driving a tank?

Saturday, March 11, 2017

13593: Commercials For Crumbs.

AgencySpy’s Patrick Coffee presented another belated BHM perspective, examining the ghettoized minority production community. Playing off the diverted diversity directorial drive dubbed #FreeTheBid, the culturally-clueless Coffee delivered a meandering mess that ultimately revealed nothing new. Additionally, the post inspired the standard comments from idiots displaying unconscious bias and conscious racism, as well as visitors criticizing Coffee’s journalistic skills. Um, looking for competent reporting from AgencySpy is like searching for diversity beyond the mailroom from a typical advertising agency. While #FreeTheBid received coverage in all the major trade journals, the minority production community settled for post at AgencySpy—which is probably the best one can expect for companies creating commercials for crumbs.

Production Companies Claim Major Agencies ‘Filter Out’ Minority Directors

By Patrick Coffee

Most commercial directors, like most creative chiefs and CEOs, are white dudes.

That’s not a judgment, just an objective observation. And some people are trying to actively change things. We all remember #FreeTheBid, the effort by Israeli-American director Alma Har’el to get more women helming ads with the help of Pereira & O’Dell and a whole shitload of agencies/clients ranging from 180LA to Coca-Cola. (Here’s the list.)

But it’s not just women who have trouble scoring directing gigs.

According to some members of the multicultural production world (which, as you probably know, is a parallel market just like African-American creative agencies), lots of shops talk the talk on diversity and even build up their own Hispanic teams. But they almost always go back to their friends when it comes time to assign work.

Agencies are able to keep their hands clean by farming out the work of managing bids to freelance producers or sales reps who don’t even have agency email addresses. They often use so-called weasel words that don’t explicitly forbid certain bidders but get the message across clearly.

For example, “submit General Market directors reels ONLY” is barely-disguised code for “no Hispanic, African-American or Asian directors.” We also hear that the inclusion of any non-English work on their reels can immediately end consideration for big agency campaigns.

There’s also purportedly a resistance to “ethnic-sounding” names. That means obviously Hispanic American or African-American directors/producers—because anyone who’s made a Spanish language ad obviously can’t handle campaigns targeted to white people, right? But if they’re French or Italian or German or Swedish, then there doesn’t seem to be as much of a problem. And you know how American agencies feel about Brazil.

Another key phrase is “A-list directors,” which means “don’t bother submitting anyone with ethnic market experience.” Agencies often go for affordability in the end, but this is a way of thinning the herd, so to speak. We also hear that even multicultural or Hispanic agencies tend to do this after being acquired by major holding companies, presumably due to either budgetary concerns or a desire to keep all the gigs within the existing network. Why bother putting your names on the #FreeTheBid list if you keep steering work to the usual suspects?

You’re probably aware that “general market” agencies are moving to keep as much of the multicultural work as possible. A recent job listing for “Senior Hispanic Copywriter” at mcgarrybowen New York requires 3-plus years of agency experience, fluency in both English and Spanish, and “Experience in General Market and Hispanic Market Advertising.”

One can see why the directors and producers who aren’t getting these jobs don’t see it as a stylistic issue or a matter of who’s “a better fit” for the client. And just like the “bid ridding” phenomenon, the brands being advertised are usually unaware of the practice anyway.

Makes us wonder whether independent, multicultural or Hispanic agencies/production shops can survive on their own.

Friday, March 10, 2017

13592: More Diverted Diversity Bullshit.

Adfreak reported on “The Fearless Girl” statue erected by McCann New York as part of a diverted diversity demonstration for State Street Global Advisors. While discussing the sculptor who created the statue, McCann Senior Art Director Lizzie Wilson said, “It was very important to us to work with a female team. We really wanted a female artist to be part of this. We wanted a female photographer. We wanted as much female leadership represented as possible, and as many female hands on the project as possible.” Okay, well that explains why White advertising agencies like McCann didn’t produce similarly elaborate work for Black History Month in February. Identifying and assembling a Black team would have been nearly impossible.

13591: Delayed WTF 34—O&M D&I B&S.

MultiCultClassics is often occupied with real work. As a result, a handful of events occur without the expected blog commentary. This limited series—Delayed WTF—seeks to make belated amends for the absence of malice.

Adweek reported Ogilvy shat out a planet-wide restructuring that O&M Global CEO John Seifert dubbed the White advertising agency’s “next chapter”—and the paragraphs on diversity make for some decent toilet reading. Adweek wrote:

New Roles for Diversity, Growth and Communications

Worldwide Chief Talent Officer Scott Murphy will lead the Talent division, managing human resources, diversity & inclusion, learning & development and talent acquisition. As part of this move, Seifert also promoted senior partner, executive director of L&D Diane Fakhouri and senior partner, chief diversity officer Lauren Pedro to lead the global learning and diversity divisions.

In a memo to staffers, Seifert elaborated on the moves:

Our biggest asset as a company is the rich diversity of Ogilvy talent. My confidence in our future is boundless. Our next chapter mission is clear: we are a founder-branded, pervasively creative, modern marketing organization that makes brands matter. We are one Ogilvy. I get more excited about the opportunity in front of us with every interaction I have with the amazing people in this company. I am so grateful to you all for sharing the belief that so many of our leaders around the world and I share: the Ogilvy brand matters more now than ever before.

Donna has been partnering with me on all of our diversity and inclusion initiatives for the past eight years in my previous role as Chairman of North America. She is one of my most trusted and valued partners (and my favorite companion for monthly pizza night!). Given our commitment to expand our diversity agenda in all its forms—and raise performance standards for our industry overall—I’m now counting on Donna to inspire, share, and expand all of our D&I efforts globally.

Wow, that’s elevating delegating diversity to a worldwide level. Missing from the memo is a specific action plan for achieving D&I at O&M.

It seems Ogilvy was inspired by IPG, as the company website currently features a robust Diversity & Inclusion section presenting a potpourri of propaganda.

For example, Ogilvy boasts having 10 professional networks whose objectives include attracting and retaining talent. Not sure how segregated divisions foster D&I. Additionally, the Administrative Professional Network, Young Professional Network and Working Parents Network are among the silos. In other words, admins, millennials and workers with kids receive as much D&I TLC as racial and ethnic minorities—and it wouldn’t be surprising to learn that the groups receive more attention than racial and ethnic minorities.

The Diversity & Inclusion section also lists awards the company has collected for combatting exclusivity, employee recognition for honors like winning ADCOLOR® trophies and supplier diversity mumbo jumbo. Why, the only thing left out is EEO-1 data to confirm the O&M D&I initiatives are igniting progress.

In regards to diversity and inclusion, the White advertising agency’s “next chapter” appears to be a reprint of every previous chapter.

Thursday, March 09, 2017

13590: International Diverted Diversity Day.

International Women’s Day allowed White advertising agencies and advertisers to celebrate diverted diversity with happiness and hypocrisy. Black History Month primarily presented a handful of segregated print ads featuring royalty-free photography and concept-free executions. On the flipside, International Women’s Day inspired original art events, multi-channel campaigns, digital innovations, blah, blah, blah. DDB changed its name for a day, while Goodby Silverstein & Partners wondered what the world would be like without women—despite only naming its first female partner less than five years ago. Yes, the White women’s bandwagon ran over racial and ethnic minorities and just kept driving.

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

13589: Most-Liked Are Most Alike.

Business Insider fabricated a list titled, “The 10 most-liked advertising CEOs”—which turned out to be a ranking of predominately Old White Guys (the lone exception being Teads CEO Bertrand Quesada, who appears to be a relatively Young White Guy).

There’s actually a lot to dislike about the most-liked crew. For starters, the ten men were identified using data from Glassdoor. Sorry, but AgencySpy would be a more accurate and credible source for finding likeable candidates—and to be clear, AgencySpy would be a completely shitty choice for such an endeavor. Of course, there are no holding company honchos in the group. Imagine that. Does the lack of women and minorities indicate that White men are best suited to lead advertising agencies? Or is it just that the industry’s White male dominance leaves Glassdoor respondents with no other option but to salute the existing exclusive leadership?

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

13588: Happy Belated 12th Birthday.

On March 6, MultiCultClassics marked 12 years of publishing. Not sure why y’all continue to visit, but thanks for your support, opposition or indifference.