Friday, March 30, 2018

14086: Heineken Hooey.

Advertising Age wondered, “How did this happen? Behind Heineken Light’s ‘lighter is better’ ad mistake.” Does anyone really need to ask the question? As MultiCultClassics noted, Heineken has executed questionable moves in the past, involving the actual work and the ways the work has been assigned. And its White advertising agencies have even worse records of cultural cluelessness. When ignorant brands partner with ignorant agencies, the ignorance is magnified. Of course, idiots like Brad Jakeman will blame “vocal minorities” such as Chance the Rapper. Meanwhile, the responsible advertising agency is the “non-vocal majority” that dodges accountability. Advertising Age opined the scenario showed “the inherent danger when brands try to import work into the U.S. from abroad.” Okay, but it appears that the responsible advertising agency is part of a global network—and these holding companies sell themselves to clients as being most qualified to handle global messages. Chance the Rapper originally stated, “I think some companies are purposely putting out [noticeably] racist ads so they can get more views.” Sadly, some companies are putting out racist ads because they—and their “global” advertising agencies—have limited views of the world.

14085: Stormy Nights.

The World Famous Admiral Theatre welcomes Stormy Daniels in June. After the show, theatre visitors can stay in a luxurious Trump Chicago suite—and it won’t cost $130,000 per night.

Thursday, March 29, 2018

14084: Culturally Clueless Consultant.

Adweek reported on Brad Jakeman, who is now sporting the title of senior advisor and consultant for PepsiCo. Sorry, but the man puts the con in consultant. At the annual conference of the Advertising Research Foundation, Jakeman essentially regurgitated bullshit excuses for the infamous Pepsi-Kendall Jenner video, claiming that marketers face a conundrum (another con word!) because “the vocal minority” has a lot of influence in society.

First of all, Jakeman should not use the word “minority” when discussing work that showed complete disrespect to, well, minorities. Refusing to admit to cultural cluelessness—and blaming the problem on the offended minorities—displays ignorance of the highest order. It must also be noted that, in the case of Jakeman’s Pepsi-Kendall Jenner debacle, the majority of citizens recognized the brand’s fumble. So the man is ignorant and arrogant—a potent mix that’s too common in the marketing and advertising world.

Jakeman should do everyone a favor and simply move on from his mistakes. Poorly pontificating on corporate fails doesn’t position Jakeman as a thought leader, but rather, as a thoughtless loser.

Former PepsiCo Exec Brad Jakeman on What’s Driving So Many Kendall Jenner-like Brand Faux Pas

A divided society, social media and inadequate tools

By Lisa Lacy

Brad Jakeman, senior advisor and consultant for PepsiCo and the former president of PepsiCo’s Global Beverage Group, is no stranger to controversy as the head of the in-house creative group responsible for one of the biggest brand fails of 2017.

At the Advertising Research Foundation’s annual conference on Tuesday, Jakeman sat down with ARF president Scott McDonald to talk about brand crises like Pepsi’s maligned Kendall Jenner spot, as well as other recent brand faux pas, which he attributed in part to a divided society, the mainstream media, vocal minorities, social media and inadequate tools.

Jakeman said it sucks to be a marketer today—probably more so to work in consumer insights—because of what he called “the marketer’s conundrum.”

“I call it a conundrum because particularly with younger consumers, they are expecting the brands they do business with to stand for something, whereas maybe 10 years ago, it would have been enough to feel comfortable that brands weren’t doing harm,” he said. “Now they expect not just [that brands] won’t do harm, but they’ll take a point of view and make society better.”

This in turn lets brands engage more deeply with consumers by discussing meaningful topics.

“Generally, it’s an exciting time—brands are expected to attach themselves to issues that make society in some way better,” Jakeman said.

At the same time, there are two sides to most issues, and brands must understand opposing views as well, and most tools for marketers don’t provide insights on what Jakeman called “the vocal minority.”

“Most cases of the brand faux pas, where brands have been misinterpreted in social statements or facts … came from a vocal minority empowered by broad-reaching social platforms that then feed into the mainstream media,” Jakeman said. “That’s the world we live in right now.”

Most analytics tools are focused on a target audience and how it will respond, but just because someone is not likely to buy a product doesn’t mean they won’t comment on the message.

“We are trained as insights people and marketers to look for gross positives and negatives,” Jakeman said. “We’re looking for ‘Do X percent of people like [or] dislike it; are they moved by it or not?’ when in actual fact you can find yourself in hot water as a consequence of one to two people who happen to have a Twitter following of hundreds of thousands who are a smaller group in society that has a particular issue to move forward and don’t respond positively to your work.”

And when brands don’t have the tools to see outliers and understand where the brand risks are, missteps happen.

“In the last 12 months, whether it was the H&M issue, the Dove issue, whether it was the Pepsi issue, … we have lived through big brands wandering into places they did not intend to wander into,” Jakeman said. “What amuses me is when you look and everyone jumps and calls them idiots and says they didn’t research or it was made by a rogue group … no, none of that is true. It’s just that the work that big brands publish today is under much more scrutiny by many more people in a much more divided society than it has ever been ever before.”

Jakeman’s hypothesis: The tools the industry has traditionally relied on to make sure the work is having the desired effect are not as relevant in the world in which content is now published.

“At a minimum, the tools we have today have to be augmented,” Jakeman said. “I think tools today have to be profoundly changed.”

Jakeman also advised brands to replicate the context in which consumers see creative as closely as possible because the media is in a rush to put out clickbait headlines sourced from Reddit and Twitter trends, and consumers are rushing to judge brands on that basis.

“The example I give is the Dove issue—somebody extracted three seconds of footage out of something much larger, and despite years of work, Dove has done for African-Americans and women, everyone was quick to rush to, ‘Aha!’—that is the real … darker, more devious insight, and that’s terrible that we live in that society,” he said. “There are the keyboard warriors, and all of a sudden, Unilever is dealing with a brand issue. I lived through a similar story on Pepsi, and it was very unfortunate.”

But Jakeman said caution isn’t the answer.

“Brands are now in this state of kind of paralysis—a state of, ‘Oh, my god, the worst thing that can happen is if a group rises against us,’” he said. “Get over it. It will happen at some point if you want to be a relevant brand.”

To protect a brand from long-term damage, Jakeman said, first consider whether the issue is something the brand can credibly contribute to or whether it will be accused of jumping on the bandwagon. Then, make sure the space aligns with the brand’s values and, finally, assume there will be an issue.

“And when you have the issue, don’t let the perceived wisdom of old-school thinking take over—which is, ‘Let’s hunker down and apologize and wait for the story to go away,’” Jakeman said. “If you just hunker down and apologize and say nothing, you leave the last chapter to be written by pundits.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

14082: Sometimes Whiter Is Not Better.

Advertising Age reported Chance the Rapper labeled the new Heineken Light campaign as racist. Heineken responded by stating, “For decades, Heineken has developed diverse marketing that shows there’s more that unites us than divides us. While we feel the ad is referencing our Heineken Light beer—we missed the mark, are taking the feedback to heart and will use this to influence future campaigns.” Okay, but Heineken does have a history of questionable treatment of minorities, exclusive account reviews, patronizing pontificating and culturally clueless lust. And White advertising agencies have an even longer history of excreting biased bullshit. So it’s hard to believe the latest fuck-up happened by chance.

Chance the Rapper calls Heineken Light’s ‘sometimes lighter is better’ ads racist

By E.J. Schultz

Heineken Light is on the defensive over new ads that use the tagline “sometimes lighter is better,” after they were deemed racist by Chance the Rapper.

In a message on Twitter, where he has more than 7 million followers, the artist held up one of the ads as an example of how, in his view, marketers sometimes don’t mind getting called racist:

The provocative accusation drew a range of responses, with some people siding with him and others calling it a reach. But Heineken quickly realized that it was in some trouble, and sought to get ahead of any backlash with a statement.

“For decades, Heineken has developed diverse marketing that shows there’s more that unites us than divides us,” Heineken USA stated. “While we feel the ad is referencing our Heineken Light beer—we missed the mark, are taking the feedback to heart and will use this to influence future campaigns.”

Heineken USA did not immediately respond to a question asking whether the ads would be pulled.

One of the ads, which has been airing on TV for several days, shows a bartender sliding a Heineken Light down a bar to a woman who appears dissatisfied with her glass of wine. The beer passes several dark-skinned bargoers before reaching the woman, who has lighter skin than some of the other patrons. Despite Heineken’s best intentions, the juxtaposition of the tagline and casting choices are perplexing, especially in an environment in which other brands have been called out for lacking cultural sensitivity.

Chance the Rapper later clarified that he was not calling for a boycott and that he simply wanted to bring attention to the issue.

Heineken Light posted three versions of the ads to its YouTube page two days ago. All of them seek to position Heineken Light against competing cocktails and wines. The broader strategy follows other beer brands that have gotten more aggressive targeting wine and spirits, which have eaten into beer’s market share.

Monday, March 26, 2018

14081: Five Stages Of Bullshit.

Adweek published another self-promotional perspective from The 3% Movement Founder Kat Gordon, who appears to be hijacking the Time’s Up Advertising endeavor. Is Gordon suddenly leading the initiative? Is her editorial approved and endorsed by Time’s Up? Regardless, the pep-rally pontification warrants dissection.

First, Gordon opened by expressing delight that there are 180 women in advertising with C-level titles. Actually, there are many more than 180, as most small and medium-sized agencies were not included on the sign-up list. On the flipside, there are less than 100 Black women executives (many of whom do not have C-level titles) in the U.S. advertising industry. Additionally, Gordon acknowledges “menacing behavior that disproportionately targets women of color.” Of course, Gordon ignores how women of color are second-class citizens and not equally benefiting from the divertsity movement.

Second, Gordon wrote, “The women who signed the letter of solidarity are justifiably mad and that rage will only deepen as the movement progresses and the myriad ways our industry is broken are revealed.” Really? Words such as “mad” and “rage” sound like Diet Madison Avenue ravings and exaggerations on Gordon’s part. It’s also odd that JWT Worldwide Chairman and CEO Tamara Ingram is among the mad and raging crusaders, while Erin Johnson is not (surely Johnson’s original title of “Chief Communications Officer” qualifies her for the exclusive Time’s Up Advertising list). You’d think Gordon and Ingram would publicly pledge support to Johnson.

Related to the previous point, were the 180 female leaders oblivious to the allegedly rampant sexual harassment happening in their offices? If not, why didn’t more of them take action sooner? Before 2017, Divertsity Divas like Gordon and Cindy Gallop never made sexual harassment the key contributor to gender inequality.

Next, Gordon suggested, “Widen your definition of harassment.” Um, how many advertising executives—male or female—can accurately define sexual harassment right now? The JWT legal fiasco demonstrates quite clearly that sexual harassment can be difficult to prove in a court of law. And it’s no secret that the average advertising agency leader is clueless on HR issues. Sorry, in this scenario, asking people to widen their definition of sexual harassment is ignorant and reckless advice. Better to start by making certain everyone is familiar with the existing definition.

What’s truly disturbing about Gordon’s garbage dump is her prediction that the upcoming battle will be a long road and long game. In other words, the bigger problem of real diversity will be further delayed and denied while White women ride the sexual harassment bandwagon. Somebody tell the NO.2.66 crew at Leo Burnett to reset the deadline.

5 Stages in Addressing #TimesUp Advertising

The next steps won’t be easy

By Kat Gordon

First of all, a moment of pause that there are 180 women with C-level titles in advertising. Praise be.

Then another nod of affirmation that they joined forces to declare #TimesUp for harassment and inequality in advertising. Those who speak truth to power and attempt to fix things from inside the machine are unspeakably brave.

But what’s next? How do these female leaders eradicate harassment in an industry that’s been mythologized for its misogyny?

For starters, you don’t put an expiration date on this or force people to sit through mandatory training. You don’t silver-bullet the crusade or assume that linked elbows will protect you from bruised ribs.

In fact, you don’t do anything yet.

Listen

You get very quiet and invite others to tell you what’s going on.

I love that #TimesUp advertising is prioritizing this with its first action: a nationwide listening tour on May 14.

My team and I have pledged to participate in various cities and to share truth bombs we’ve collected on our seven-year crusade.

Let yourself feel pain

The things you hear will sting. No matter how far your agency is on the harassment-free journey, you’re a long way from the finish line. Everyone is. The stories from the ad community—especially from people of color, older creatives and eyes-still-open juniors—will make your heart sink into your stomach.

Get mad

The women who signed the letter of solidarity are justifiably mad and that rage will only deepen as the movement progresses and the myriad ways our industry is broken are revealed. This kind of anger is good, because it mobilizes. It can penetrate the forcefield of male privilege and pierce the cloak of denial.

Keep your mind open

Admit to what you don’t know yet. Widen your definition of harassment. Be open to the many ways that harassment materializes, like a satellite of misbehavior radiating out from a “sleep with me or you’re fired” center. Discover “lookism” (aka the top five email scandal in the U.K.), client abuse and menacing behavior that disproportionately targets women of color.

Do a silent inventory of how your agency or holding company (and quite possibly, you yourself) may operate with blind spots that have unwittingly perpetuated inequity. This one is a doozy. I know because I’ve had my own personal reckoning with it.

Accept that this is the beginning of a long road

Truly shifting cultures is a long game. It takes sustained conversation in a world that favors fast fixes. It’s a one-step-forward, two-steps-back routine. It’s messy and human and imperfect. You can’t compliance your way out of it.

Dozens of women uniting and using their collective power to demand change—that’s a (huge) first step. How that looks in action will differ inside every agency based on many factors, including holding company involvement, client support, average age of employees, geography, agency legacy and more. It will take years to undo what’s been done, unlearn what’s been taught and reimagine a way forward to get everyone on board.

While there’s no one way to quickly turn the tide, the important thing is that these leaders have said the two magic words: Time’s up.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

14080: Conscious Or Clueless?

Acknowledging Black Consciousness Day in Brazil seems a little questionable coming from an advertising agency that appears to be unconsciously biased in its work casting and its own hiring.

Saturday, March 24, 2018

14079: Losers’ Lament.

AgencySpy posted on the BMW account review, stating that some of the losing agencies were upset because they learned of their failure via the search consultancy, trade press or social media. Hmmm. Wonder if the crybabies provide direct communications to all rejected job applicants. Do the leaders at the defeated shops speak one-to-one with every employee who gets laid off? Oh, and the winning White advertising agency—Goodby Silverstein & Partners—has displayed sore loser tendencies in the past too.

14078: Unbeatable Mother’s Day…?

SO&U from Nigeria created this Mother’s Day campaign—and the responsible creative team should receive a beating from their mothers.

Friday, March 23, 2018

14077: David & Gallopith.

Divertsity Diva Cindy Gallop continues to expose her cultural cluelessness by attacking David Miami for gender inequality in the shop’s recent reorganization. Forget the fact that the agency promoted from within—and ultimately elevated more minorities than the standard White advertising agency ever would or could. (Then again, maybe Gallop should have directed her ire towards Ogilvy Worldwide CEO John Seifert and Ogilvy USA Chief Talent Officer JR Zetrenne—as the two have also pledged to embrace divertsity.) Sorry, Cindy, but Latino agencies simply can’t find enough qualified White women to assume leadership roles. Perhaps they should offer White-women internships or scour Miami shopping malls for potential candidates. More likely, David Miami will recruit from Brazil.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

14076: Publicis PR BS.

Advertising Age reported Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun declared, “We believe that we are the only ones who have the right assets to succeed. We have a positioning that we think is the right one: be the market leader in marketing and business transformation.” No, the statement was not part of an annual comical video message to the troops. Maybe Sadoun’s French accent led to being misquoted, and he actually said asses versus assets. Regardless, the claim is essentially the equivalent of bragging about being the smartest Stooge among the iconic trio.

CEO Sadoun boast: Publicis is only holding company ‘with the right assets to succeed’

Publicis Groupe, the world’s third-largest advertising company, lifted its outlook for growth on the conviction that it’s the best placed to triumph over structural changes in the industry.

“We believe that we are the only ones who have the right assets to succeed,” Publicis Chief Executive Officer Arthur Sadoun said in an interview ahead of an investor presentation Tuesday in London. “We have a positioning that we think is the right one: be the market leader in marketing and business transformation.”

Agencies are battling cutbacks by major advertisers like Unilever and the rise of consultants like Accenture and Deloitte, which are becoming experts in shifting businesses online. Investor concerns about the trends were fueled this month when WPP Plc, the largest ad group, lowered its long-term profit outlook, triggering sell-offs for peers including Publicis, Omnicom Group and Interpublic Group of Cos.

Paris-based Publicis said it’s aiming to achieve organic revenue growth of 4 percent by 2020, driven partly by acquisitions, and plans to cut out 450 million euros ($555 million) of costs to boost profit margins. That compares with the company’s 2017 rate of 0.8 percent for organic growth, which strips out effects from acquisitions and currency swings.

Part of the cost-saving plan includes an investment of 300 million euros in talent, Sadoun told Ad Age, adding that Publicis wants to optimize the people it has and attract new talent.

The stock initially jumped 3.2 percent on an outlook seen as unexpectedly bullish by analysts including at Barclays. The shares fell 0.7 percent to 58.70 euros at 11:15 a.m. in Paris.

“The key question is whether investors will believe these targets, especially as they are largely based on M&A,” Barclays analysts led by Julien Roch wrote in research note. The guidance translates into annual earnings per share growth of 7 percent to 9 percent after mergers and acquisitions, according to Barclays estimates. WPP has an EPS growth target of 5 percent to 10 percent annually, though investors don’t believe WPP’s targets, the analysts wrote.

Publicis, home to agencies such as Leo Burnett and Saatchi & Saatchi, is in a good position to respond to the threat of Accenture and help customers transform their businesses digitally because it has been investing in its own consultant offering, Sapient, Sadoun said. Publicis agreed to buy Sapient for $3.7 billion in 2014.

“The question is: who has been transforming fast enough to still be relevant today?” Sadoun said. “While some are losing revenue because of the difficulties of some clients or some transformation, we are actually increasing this.”

The investor day will seek to “regain the trust in the name of the industry,” Sadoun said in an interview with Ad Age. “It’s about showing the world there is a way for a group like Publicis to be an indispensable partner.”

To bolster his point, Sadoun pointed to a video that the agency played during the event in which Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard said: “What’s impressive is how quickly Publicis and its management team came together to change.”

Pritchard added in the video: “The reality is that we’ve been reducing the number of agencies we work with for the past three years. We started with 6,000 and we went down to 2,500. But Publicis maintained a similar agency count, so they actually got a bigger share of our agency.”

Last month, Pritchard announced P&G’s plan to cut $400 million from agency and production fees in the next few years after already slashing $750 million previously.

Publicis shares had declined 6.2 percent over the last year before Tuesday, compared with a 32 percent drop for WPP.

Bloomberg News and Lindsay Stein

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

14074: Defensive Is Offensive.

Campaign published a perspective titled, “We need to call out adland’s defensiveness about diversity.” Actually, it would be better to call out how adland delegates, diverts and denies diversity. The advertising industry is currently calling out sexual harassment and expelling the alleged violators. Yet the White men and White women who have consciously and unconsciously dismissed diversity dance away scot-free. Damn.

Oh, and Campaign is hardly in a position to pontificate on diversity.

We need to call out adland’s defensiveness about diversity

By Nicola Kemp

Justin Tindall was bored with diversity, Paul Burke is bored with the backlash, and all the while nothing really changes.

Have you heard the one about the creative director who lost his job because of sexual harassment allegations only to spring up at another agency to work on a gender equality campaign? Or the female leader publicly extolling the virtues of part-time and flexible working, while berating staff for wanting to get home a few times a week in time to see their children? Hypocrisy has long been at the heart of the criticism of adland’s long-running, but ineffective, diversity debate.

The gap between public show and private behaviour is one that fuels the defensiveness that surrounds the advertising industry’s approach to diversity. It is in the ecosystem that fuels the kind of “whataboutery” (when someone responds to a difficult issue or question with a counter issue or question that completely derails the question) evident in Paul Burke’s latest column.

The equality myth

The notion that the advertising industry is in the midst of W1A-levels of political correctness, which have effectively called a halt to decades of diversity, is without basis in statistical fact.

As Ali Hanan, the chief executive and founder of Creative Equals, explains eloquently: “Without a seat at the table and facing huge barriers to entry, diverse voices haven’t been heard or equally represented. Media, shaped by a community who are 88% white men, has — at best — type-cast and stereotyped and — at worst — neglected whole sections of society and objectified women.”

Despite Burke’s argument, the advertising industry has never had a “random selection process, which always seemed to throw up a varied cast of unusual and original thinkers, who were then allowed the freedom to express their thoughts without fear of reprisals.”

Cindy Gallop, the founder and chief executive of MakeLoveNotPorn, explains: “Our industry has had a gated selection process filtered through the approval lens of white men, who have historically been the only non-varied cast perceived to be ‘unusual and original thinkers’ and the only ones ‘allowed the freedom to express their thoughts without fear of reprisals’. Ask any woman, person of colour, disabled person, anyone considered ‘other’ in our industry.”

Therefore in place of this “Whataboutery”, she says the gatekeepers of our industry need to actively welcome in not “other” opinions in general, but “other” ideas, input and creativity where it really matters — in the actual work. And to do that, they need not to concern themselves with political or life views, but with consciously admitting to themselves that “other” people are just as talented if not more so than I am. She explains: “They’ve got what it takes to do far better, more innovative and creative work than we’re doing at the moment, and so I need to hire, promote and give as many of them as possible the opportunity to do the work and to shine doing it.”

The paradox of tolerance

The notion that there is a “wrong” side of a political and cultural paradigm which effectively silences diversity of thought is also inherently problematic. Ete Davies, the managing director of AnalogFolk, says that while “diversity of thought” is vital to creativity, as an industry we should be creating environments whereby we’re able to debate and interrogate differing views or opinions.

He adds: “I completely agree with Paul, that a more diverse workforce leads to greater creativity and more divergent thinking, through the mix of different life experiences, backgrounds, and personalities that diversity provides.”

However, he argues, there must be a “’Paradox of tolerance’ to managing ‘diversity of thought’, which is how it’s balanced against views or behaviours that are genuinely socially unacceptable, demeaning or derogatory to others. Which is, of course, not an easy task; but a necessary one.

“Values do have an important role to play because it’s through these values that we create inclusive environments that support and encourage ‘diversity of thought’ towards a shared end goal – better, more interesting ideas,” Davies continues.

The defensiveness penalty

Defensiveness is the enemy of change, the very antithesis of progress. A stance evident when Burke states: “How will you defend that much-lauded new Nike ad to an Asian kid from Tower Hamlets who sees his own community seemingly airbrushed out of it?” Now, I can’t speak for Wieden & Kennedy, but why assume the agency’s knee-jerk response would be simply to default to defensiveness? All of us benefit from having our world view challenged, to reconsider our own output and be aware of our own privilege. When you start from a position of openness it is much harder to suffer from the affliction of believing you have nothing left to learn.

The fact is defensiveness is part of being blind to, or at worst upholding, systems which have effectively excluded diverse talent from both the work itself and the industry at large.

Diversity of thought doesn’t work when you aren’t really listening. If one foot always remains in the past, defending the status quo, then moving forwards is impossible.

Monday, March 19, 2018

14073: The Biggest Business Bullshit.

Campaign reported on the latest grandstanding goofiness from pseudo-provocateur Cindy Gallop, whose proclamation depicted above proves she’s an out-of-touch idiot. Gallop has made the statement before, although it looks like she’s refined it via collaboration with a culturally-clueless committee. Her updated upchuck deserves dissection.

The opening line—“The single biggest business issue facing our industry is not diversity.”—is actually true. In fact, diversity has never been “the single biggest business issue facing our industry.” Hell, it probably hasn’t cracked the average CEO’s top ten list, as evidenced by the perpetual exclusivity in the field. The attempts to position diversity as a business imperative have failed in adland, probably because there’s no way to verify the advantages of inclusion in a consistently pro-White environment.

To follow through by declaring sexual harassment is “the single biggest business issue facing our industry” displays stupidity too. Again, while sexual harassment has gained notoriety in recent months, does the average CEO honestly view it as the numero uno business issue? Doubt it. JWT Worldwide CEO Tamara Ingram, for example, appears more concerned about tampons. Why, diversity and inclusiveness are Ingram’s top agenda items, not sexual harassment.

Gallop’s rationale that sexual harassment “prevents gender equality, diversity and inclusion from ever happening” because it blocks women from gaining the leadership and power to push for progress is patently pathetic—and just plain offensive. Sorry, but White women have been co-conspirators, actively working alongside White men to thwart diversity in the advertising industry. Just as the 1913 Women’s Suffrage Parade saw White women insisting that Black women march at the back of the gathering, White adwomen haven’t exactly been equality advocates supporting Black adwomen—or anyone else besides themselves. And a Cannes study confirmed divertsity has not benefited women of color.

To believe White women would effectively lead the charge for true gender equality, diversity and inclusion is the equivalent of thinking President Donald Trump will help the underrepresented. And to consider Gallop as a guru on the general topic is simply insane. Sorry, the woman’s perspectives don’t make her a thought leader, but rather, a thoughtless leader.

Cindy Gallop turns fire on WPP over gender equality

By Emily Tan

Cindy Gallop, the champion of gender equality in the ad industry, has criticised WPP as part of a speech on the way the industry treats women.

Speaking at The Guardian Changing Media Summit on Thursday, Gallop picked up on the holding group’s gender pay gap report, published last week, and particularly on what it revealed at JWT.

J Walter Thompson UK Group had the biggest median pay gap out of all of WPP’s agencies [though only those that employ 250 or more people are covered], which was 45% in favour of men.

Gallop joined this detail with criticism of WPP’s continuing employment of Gustavo Martinez, the former JWT global chief executive who is fighting a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit brought by a senior JWT staffer.

The fact that WPP continues to pay Martinez “a large amount of money to hold a public leadership role” [he is currently WPP’s country representative for Spain] despite the unresolved lawsuit, shows “this is not an industry that says we welcome and we respect women”.

“It’s the complete opposite,” Gallop said.

Her comments had added bite for being delivered just a couple of hours before WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell took the same stage to be interviewed by journalist Jane Martinson.

Pressed on the WPP pay gap, Sorrell acknowledged that “we all know the reasons behind [it] … [it’s] wrong and has to be fixed”.

WPP employs a smaller proportion of women in its best-paid quartile than in the other quartiles, where the male-female ratio is roughly equal, according to Sorrell.

“Our top quartile is one-third women. The answer therefore is to promote more women. And this will be achieved by encouraging people through qualitative means, quantitative means, quotas, training programmes and bias training — we’re doing all these things,” he added.

When asked if he thought sexism was a problem for the industry, Sorrell sidestepped the question by responding that he has always believed women to be more effective than men.

“They have better EQ, organise their time better… women take on more responsibility than men and have more to do than men so they spend less time on watercooler talk,” Sorrell said.

“Then why haven’t you promoted more?” Martinson interjected.

“I have been promoting more,” Sorrell said.

“Not effectively enough then,” Martinson argued.

“It’s not satisfactory,” he acknowledged.

Beyond her criticism of WPP, the whole industry is very much “not satisfactory”, Gallop had argued earlier.

She again talked about the response she has had after she reacted to the Harvey Weinstein scandal by inviting from women in advertising to write to her if they had suffered sexual harassment.

“I am shocked, horrified, appalled and disgusted by what I’ve seen in my inbox. I knew it was bad, I never knew it was this bad,” Gallop said.

“Historically, I’ve said that diversity was the biggest issue facing our industry. It’s not. It’s sexual harassment.”

She said the women told her about incidents ranging from inappropriate comments to outright violent rape, and the common refrain was “I left the industry because this happened”.

“Our industry harbours many rapists who have never faced their crimes. They are protected by their companies and by the NDAs we sign,” Gallop said.

Supporting women and gender equality is not just morally right, she suggested, but is good business.

“Women challenge the status quo because we are never it. We would bring different thinking to how the industry can reinvent itself for the future, but we have never had the opportunity to do so,” Gallop said.

She also believes that in its current shape, the industry is doing a poor job of marketing products to a consumer base whose purchasing power is dominated by women.

“I’m tired of that hoary old term that sex sells. Well, we have not even begun to explore what can be achieved if we used sex through the female lens to sell,” the founder of IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn said.

“If we were marketing in a world where sex was for everyone and it was healthy and normal, then why are cars — so frequently the resort of people without private spaces – still not designed for having sex?

“Why are mattress manufacturers focusing all their research on sleep? And how about kitchen counters? What’s the optimal height for sex? There’s a lot of potential to make money that we’re ignoring.”

Gallop also called for the industry to abandon the shorthand stereotypes that don’t reflect humanity or reality anymore.

“We rely so much on the stereotype where the man is the big strong breadwinner and the women is the warm nurturing homemaker. We have to change this. Today both halves of the partnership work. There are not enough aspirational relationships role models represented in popular culture of today’s relationships,” Gallop said.

She called for the industry to change rather than talk about change. “Don’t create campaigns or stunts about diversity. Don’t make compelling content about diversity. Be diverse,” she said.

Finally, she related how at the Oscars ceremony earlier this week, Best Actress winner Frances McDormand introduced the term “inclusion rider”, inviting actors and actresses to make inclusivity a part of their contracts.

“I want everyone to include an inclusion rider. Put that clause in your brains,” Gallop said. “You will make an absolute goddamn fucking shit-tonne of money and do a lot of social good if you do all this.”

Sunday, March 18, 2018

14072: Time’s Upchuck.

Adweek reported 180 female agency honchos launched “Time’s Up Advertising,” described by the trade journal as “an official ‘vertical’ aimed at discussing and addressing the industry’s pervasive problems with sexual harassment and gender inequality.” Okay, but does the Time’s Up organization realize the advertising industry has bigger pervasive problems with general inequality? Time’s Up Advertising vowed to “drive new policies, practices, decisions and tangible actions that result in more balanced, diverse and accountable leadership; address workplace discrimination, harassment and abuse; and create equitable and safe cultures within the advertising industry.” Look for a steep increase of White women promotions and whistleblower hotlines. But don’t expect to see a significant rise in racial and ethnic diversity—that would require too much time.

180 Female Agency Leaders Launch ‘Time’s Up Advertising’ to Address the Industry’s #MeToo Problem

Top execs are working to end harassment and discrimination

By Lindsay Rittenhouse

Today, a group of 180 female CEOs, chief creative officers, chief strategy officers and other top agency executives announced the launch of Time’s Up Advertising, an official “vertical” aimed at discussing and addressing the industry’s pervasive problems with sexual harassment and gender inequality.

Time’s Up Advertising said in a statement it will “drive new policies, practices, decisions and tangible actions that result in more balanced, diverse and accountable leadership; address workplace discrimination, harassment and abuse; and create equitable and safe cultures within the advertising industry.”

Specifically, the group said it is committed to fixing policies “that have failed us,” leveraging the experiences of industry leaders with diverse backgrounds and adopting employee training to make the ad industry more inclusive and safe.

The initiative began at the end of January with a group of just 14 C-suite women, Time’s Up Advertising explained in a letter today that began with the phrase, “Hey, sisters, we know.” The letter states that one night of open discussion turned into “more meet-ups and phone calls, and hundreds of emails. Many hundreds of emails.”

According to the letter, the group quickly grew from just 14 executives to 180.

Those leaders include Alyson Warshaw, chief creative officer of Laundry Service; Debby Reiner, CEO of Grey New York; Andrea Cook, president of FCB/Six; Andrea Diquez, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi New York; Kirsten Flanik, president and CEO of BBDO New York; Kate Weiss, executive vice president of human resources and partner at Universal McCann; Sarah Thompson, global and New York CEO of Droga5; Wendy Clark, global CEO of DDB Worldwide; Carla Serrano, chief strategy officer of Publicis Groupe and CEO of Publicis New York; and Kristen Cavallo, the CEO of The Martin Agency who was appointed in December after the agency’s former chief creative officer Joe Alexander departed amid a wave of sexual harassment allegations.

“We don’t for a minute believe we found all the answers,” Time’s Up Advertising wrote. “As women in senior leadership positions in advertising, we’ve agreed that we have the power to change this business we love until it looks more like the industry we want to lead.”

The group is calling on every agency, women-run or not, to join the effort by keeping up with the goals listed on its website. Time’s Up Advertising will also raise funds for the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which provides subsidized representation to individuals bringing up a sexual harassment or abuse case.

According to the announcement, the group will host its first community meeting on May 14 in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Representatives for both Time’s Up Advertising and the larger Time’s Up organization declined to comment for this story.

The organization’s launch comes less than a week after the industry’s latest controversy came to light. Last Thursday, Adweek broke the news that Hyundai’s Innocean Worldwide and its chief creative officer Eric Springer had been sued for sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination by Victoria Guenier, a former executive who claims she was forced out of her job last year.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

14071: More JWT BS.

JWT Worldwide CEO Tamara Ingram went from tampons to douchebags, announcing the elimination of the Worldwide Chief Creative Officer role, effectively sending Matt Eastwood to enjoy “continued success in his future endeavors.” It doesn’t look like Eastwood will land a sweet gig in WPP like former JWT Worldwide CEO Gustavo Martinez. Eastwood once cautioned Martinez about using the word “rape” during agency meetings, but it looks like Eastwood is the only guy who got screwed.

JWT Eliminates the Worldwide Chief Creative Officer Role

Matt Eastwood is leaving the company after holding the position since 2014

By Lindsay Rittenhouse

J. Walter Thompson Co. today announced that it is eliminating the position of worldwide chief creative officer. Matt Eastwood, who has held that position since July 2014, will leave to “pursue other interests,” according to the agency’s statement.

“We are reimagining the future of the agency,” Tamara Ingram, JWT Worldwide CEO, said in a statement. “This was a structural decision that will allow us to be more agile, leverage our collective global bench strength and encourage the burgeoning diverse ‘maker culture’ growing within J. Walter Thompson. We would like to thank Matt Eastwood for his contributions and wish him continued success in his future endeavors.”

In an internal memo to employees and obtained by Adweek, Ingram expanded: “Creativity remains at the very core of our business, but today it is an even more collaborative process. It is borderless. It is broadly focused. We are increasingly relying on the people who are closest to making and creating the work.”

Ingram said in the memo that JWT’s Worldwide Creative Council “will evolve to better reflect the needs of the agency,” incorporating “a fluid roster of talented individuals with myriad skill sets.”

“I am committed to protecting, supporting and developing the creative community and culture within JWT,” Ingram concluded in the memo. “I am looking forward to sharing more specific information soon. For now, it’s business as usual and we will keep the trains running as we head into Cannes.”

This isn’t the first time JWT has gone without a global CCO.

The position had been vacant from 2009 to 2014. The last global creative chief, Craig Davis, left the agency in 2009.

Prior to joining JWT, Eastwood served as chief creative officer of the New York office of DDB, working on campaigns such as “Yeah, that kind of rich” for the New York Lottery and “Hashtag Killer” for Water is Life.

Friday, March 16, 2018

14070: Taxing Divertsity Campaign.

No, it’s not an early April Fools’ Day joke. Campaign published a period piece—literally—by JWT Worldwide CEO Tamara Ingram, calling for people to rally against the “Tampon Tax” that financially penalizes women. Sorry, but this is a peculiar cause coming from an advertising leader who declared, “Top of my agenda is diversity and inclusiveness. Not only is it going to be top of my agenda, it’s going to be top of all my executives’ agendas and top of every country manager’s agenda.” Indeed, it feels like a pretty unique divertsity directive. And the move is awkward and hypocritical, considering that JWT is promoting itself as an advocate for womankind while embroiled in the most notorious sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit currently out there. Also, if a major advertising agency is allegedly embracing diversity and inclusiveness, is it proper to take a public stance with strong political components? Hey, there might be conservative staffers who support taxing tampons.

Why women shouldn’t be taxed on feminine products

By Tamara Ingram

Periods are not a luxury period, says J. Walter Thompson’s worldwide CEO.

As we welcome March, the month to celebrate women’s history and international women’s day on the 8th, it is important to recognize and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

We must remain vigilant. As it has been said, “never confuse movement with action.”

As the head of a global communications company, I know there are immediate issues we can address just by signing a single petition. Our collective action can create change.

We need to reimagine the future. A future where women aren’t financially penalized with added government taxes. A future that doesn’t consider tampons a “luxury” item. Let’s harness our collective passion by abolishing sales tax for feminine items.

Many U.S. states tax tampons and other menstrual supplies as “luxury items,” as if access to these supplies were an indulgence rather than a necessity. Fortunately, governments are beginning to be held accountable.

As of Nov. 2017, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania abolished sales tax on things like tampons and pads (non-taxed menstrual items vary from state to state).

You can add Oregon, Montana, Delaware, Alaska and New Hampshire to the list, but only because they did not have sales tax to begin with. For the remaining states, pads and tampons are still regarded as “luxury” items, which means all the tax money associated with their cost goes back to the state. In 2016, California estimated it would lose $20 million in local and state revenue if it lifted the tax on menstrual products.

Men’s products such as Viagra, an erectile dysfunction medicine which is a prescription drug, isn’t taxed in any state except Illinois. Rogaine, a product for male hair loss, is exempt from taxes in eight states because it is an over-the-counter treatment and doesn’t require a prescription. (Four states have qualified exemptions for nonprescription medications that Rogaine does not appear to qualify for.)

This is just the start of a conversation about the unfair “pink taxes” women face as they buy products priced higher than similar ones marketed to men or, in this case, as they must spend on products that men do not.

To shed light on this unfair and discriminatory practice, we partnered up PeriodEquity.org, an established law and policy activist group. The nonprofit is dedicated to advancing menstrual access, affordability and safety. Together, we launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign last year that lampoons the tax by featuring diamond-encrusted jewelry pieces that are actual tampon holders.

The tampon tax is just one of many ways in which women are financially penalized. On top of that, women’s versions of gendered products tend to be more expensive, and women pay more for healthcare, largely due to the high cost of birth control and pregnancy. Women in the U.S. generally end up facing more financial burdens than men.

To put this into context, some non-taxed “necessities” include: donuts, cowboy boots, marshmallows and tattoos. Things that US states have considered “non-necessities” include: cigarettes, alcohol, diamond jewelry, luxury clothing and…tampons!

It begs the questions, why on earth are we taxing women for being women?

Visit www.periodequity.org and find out how you can abolish the tampon tax in your state.

Tamara Ingram is the Worldwide CEO of J. Walter Thompson.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

14069: John Winsor’s Still Irrelevant.

Adweek published a too-painfully-long-to-repost perspective titled, “5 Ways to Save Agency Holding Companies From Becoming Irrelevant.” The author is John Winsor, a bona fide expert on becoming irrelevant. ‘Nuff said.

14068: Hip Hop? Please Stop.

Adweek spotlighted Chase Zreet, a copywriter from Dallas who landed a job with Wieden + Kennedy by communicating his obsession to write for Sprite via a homemade rap video. Sprite has a long history tied to hip hop, ignited by campaigns birthed at Burrell. The work from the Black advertising agency was authentic and original. In contrast, Zreet’s brainchild is a contrived piece of shit. But it was good enough to earn him a position at the White advertising agency. Now that’s fucked up.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

14067: Depicting Divertsity.

Here’s another International Women’s Day campaign, this one from a Grey affiliate in Finland. While the original Mad Men graphics utilized silhouette figures, the Finnish folks depicted lily-white females. Perfect.

14066: Divertsity Wants You.

Campaign published an impotent imperative from Ogilvy USA Chief Talent Officer JR Zetrenne, who implored everyone in adland to rally behind the divertsity movement.

Sorry, but it’s difficult to determine how Chief Talent Officers and Chief Diversity Officers actually influence company culture. Their success appears highly limited, based on the continued dearth of diversity displayed at White advertising agencies. And it might explain why executives like Zetrenne would jump on the White women’s bandwagon, as it seems to be the only pseudo-equality effort making progress.

Zetrenne’s call to action is rife with rhetoric and clich√©s. His rally-the-troops pep talk is reminiscent of the battle cry delivered by former 4As President and CEO Nancy Hill and ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice. Back in 2009. Nearly a decade later, the real war remains on hold, while White women pull a Pearl Harbor move to gain control of the conversation—and the diversity budgets.

Is Zetrenne aware that women of color have not benefited from the gender equality crusade? Does he know that there are less than 100 Black women holding executive roles in the U.S. advertising industry? Has he been informed that Black representation is declining in the field?

The 20-year HR veteran closed by declaring, “As Ogilvy USA’s chief talent officer, I’m making three commitments today: 1) to speak up when I see or hear someone marginalize women, 2) to ensure that as many people hear the messages delivered at the Makers Conference and 3) to actively participate in meeting our aggressive organizational goals of diversifying our talent mix.” Zetrenne is making three commitments today? With all due respect, what the hell has he been committed to doing for the past 20 years?

What the women’s movement now needs most is...you

By JR Zetrenne

There are too many of us who are cheering from the bleachers but are not out in the world helping to make a palpable difference, says Ogilvy USA’s chief talent officer.

I was lucky enough to score a highly coveted man pass last week to attend the ever-inspiring 2018 Makers conference in Los Angeles.

Anyone who attended must have been in awe at the impressive lineup of speakers, panelists and attendees. By design or not, the event was a roller coaster of emotions as we were confronted with the facts, trends, wins, losses and stories surrounding women in the world and the workplace.

It was thrilling to watch speakers from every industry share triumphant stories of women achieving in the workplace—Sheryl Sandberg, Gloria Steinem, Ava DuVernay and the Time’s Up panel to name a few. We heard about ceilings and barriers being broken in politics, entertainment, third-world countries, sports and many more. I was also impressed by the conversations surrounding black women and their challenges in the workplace, their successes despite the insurmountable obstacles and their contributions that have been all too often overlooked or overshadowed.

It was disheartening to see data presented that confirms that many of our success measures are not improving or are losing steam. Too many women are still living in poverty. Women still make 20 percent less money than men. There are fewer female CEOs this year than last year. Sixty percent of women have been sexually assaulted. Women only hold 20 percent of the seats in congress. And all of these statistics are far worse for women in minority communities.

And it was maddening to hear about the lack of engagement and action by so many. This movement is powerful. But its army of soldiers is not growing fast enough to fight these battles and win the war.

If you are a human who believes in equality for all, the movement needs you. There are too many of us who are cheering from the bleachers but are not out in the world helping to make a palpable difference. If you have a Diversity & Inclusion leader in your company, ask what you can do and be accountable. If you employ women, ensure they are paid equally and given what they need to be successful. If you witness something unjust in your work environment, speak up and demand change.

Yes, your voices and support matter. But what we need more to fuel meaningful and sustainable change is action—from us and from everyone. It is only through active participation that we will reach our goals of an equitable, fair and just workplace. As a senior executive, if I’m unable to influence these topics with meaningful actions, then I shouldn’t be in my role.

As Ogilvy USA’s chief talent officer, I’m making three commitments today: 1) to speak up when I see or hear someone marginalize women, 2) to ensure that as many people hear the messages delivered at the Makers Conference and 3) to actively participate in meeting our aggressive organizational goals of diversifying our talent mix.

What do you commit to?

JR Zetrenne is Chief Talent Officer at Ogilvy USA.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

14065: AOTW IWD BS.

Ads Of The World posted a “Top International Women’s Day Ads” collection, featuring a lot of patronizing bullshit—and wildly hypocritical, given that many of the responsible advertising agencies are allegedly female-unfriendly workplaces.

Monday, March 12, 2018

14064: Omnibullshit From Omnicom.

Campaign chatted with Omnicom SVP Chief Diversity Officer Tiffany R. Warren at the Omniwomen UK Leadership Summit, a divertsity day where gender equality trumped general equality—as shown by the photo above. The White holding company revealed women comprise 48% of its UK senior management teams and boards, which is a whopping 60% higher than the industry average. Why is Omnicom willing to share its gender figures, but not its EEO-1 data? Event attendees received a card presenting the company’s “global workplace harassment policies” and a 24-hour hotline number to anonymously lodge grievances. “I support those who have been impacted by those incidents [of sexual harassment]. Everyone should have a voice,” declared Warren. “Everyone has a different #MeToo story, and we have to have room for all of those… People are taking notice [at Omnicom] at all levels.” Especially people who are White male perpetrators and/or predators. Warren said her CDO focus for 2018 is “intersectionality”—as opposed to integration or inclusion…? “Gender equality is having a moment, but not all people understand that there are still many marginalised groups that are underrepresented,” explained Warren. “It’s not enough to have diversity of thought, you must have diversity of people.” Um, if not all people realize the dearth of diversity at this point, what does that say about the effectiveness of Chief Diversity Officers? Does the Ebony Power 100 honoree even realize she’s among the less than 100 Black female executives in the industry?

Omnicom diversity chief: ‘This time is different’ in dealing with inequality

Tiffany Warren, the chief diversity officer for Omnicom Group, said she believes “this time is different” for dealing with sexual harassment and inequality within the advertising industry and pledged to support victims of harassment.

Warren spoke to Campaign at the fourth annual Omniwomen UK Leadership Summit, Omnicom’s conference and training day aimed at increasing the influence and number of female leaders across the network.

The holding company, which owns agencies such as Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO and TBWA, announced at the summit that its UK senior management teams and boards comprise an average of 48% women, which it says is 60% higher than the industry average of 30.2%. Omnicom’s figure has not changed since last year, but the 48% statistic represents a 20% rise at the company within the last three years.

Omnicom addressed the issue of sexual harassment by giving Omniwomen attendees a card that outlines the company’s global workplace harassment policies. The card lists the number for a 24-hour hotline that employees can use to make anonymous complaints.

“I support those who have been impacted by those incidents. Everyone should have a voice,” Warren told Campaign. “Everyone has a different #MeToo story, and we have to have room for all of those… People are taking notice [at Omnicom] at all levels.”

Asked whether women at Omnicom would be legally protected if they spoke up about incidents of harassment despite having signed NDAs, Warren said it was not her place to answer that. Reports of harassment go through the HR and legal departments, she explained.

Omnicom said at the summit that its gender pay gap report would be revealed within the next few weeks. WPP released its report last week.

Warren could not say what employees could expect from Omnicom’s figures. However she said the ad industry needs to recognise that the systems it has in place “aren’t working anymore.”

Her focus as chief diversity officer this year will be on intersectionality, she said.

“Gender equality is having a moment, but not all people understand that there are still many marginalised groups that are underrepresented,” she said. “It’s not enough to have diversity of thought, you must have diversity of people.”

Sunday, March 11, 2018

14063: Who’s The Boss Lady?

Adweek reported on Mara Lecocq, a freelance creative director currently in New York City, who is creating an interactive divertsity database called “Where Are The Boss Ladies?”—an attempt to list every ad woman in a top role. The title is reminiscent of “Where Are All The Black People?”-turned-“Here Are All The Black People.” So it’s only a matter of time before “Where Are The Boss Ladies?” becomes a gala event or award show. Lecocq claimed, “I’ve always been super passionate about bringing diversity to male-dominated industries…” Okey-doke. Wonder how she’ll react if her list confirms the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s findings that there are less than 100 Black women in leadership roles in the entire U.S. advertising industry. The image from the Adweek article (depicted below) shows “Boss Women of Color”—which is bound to be a short list. Will that galvanize Lecocq and her sisters into revolutionary advocacy and action for women of color? Don’t bet on it.

This Creative Director Intends to Find Out ‘Where Are the Boss Ladies?’

Mara Lecocq’s database aims to compile a full list of current ad women

By Lindsay Rittenhouse

Where are the boss ladies?

Mara Lecocq, a freelance creative director and self-described “detective,” isn’t just posing that question to the advertising industry—she’s setting out to answer it herself.

“I’ve always been super passionate about bringing diversity to male-dominated industries, but I’m also a practical person,” Lecocq explained. “So when I heard things over and over again like ‘we can’t find any women,’ I decided to find a solution.”

About two weeks ago, Lecocq created a simple spreadsheet listing 15 ad women she knew in top roles, calling on others in the industry to contribute more names. The sheet has since evolved into an interactive database called “Where Are The Boss Ladies?” that receives an average of 15 submissions per day. As of today, the site showcases about 500 female leaders in the industry and six categories that allow recruiters to search for “bosses by role,” “boss women of color,” “bosses by city” and “bosses by agency,” while professionals seeking jobs can discover agencies and organizations championing diversity.

Under the “diversity agenda” category, people will find the agencies with the most-balanced leadership, those that offer parental leave, and those that don’t promote the workaholic culture many have come to associate with the ad industry.

Lecocq—who has held stints at agencies including DDB Canada and AKQA in her 13-year career and most recently worked as a freelancer at 72andSunny’s creative offshoot Sundae—said she’s never had a female boss. The excuse she hears most often is that agency leaders can’t find them, but with “Where Are All The Boss Ladies?” she hopes no one will be able to use that line anymore.

According to a 2017 LinkedIn study, only 33 percent of chief creative officers are women.

While she described her past male bosses as “awesome,” Lecocq said she longed to see women—including older women—in the same top roles.

“A woman with gray hair is fucking awesome,” she added. “I can’t stand ageism. It’s so unfair that women are dropping out of their careers in their early 40s just because they don’t feel supported.”

Lecocq said she has often questioned the obsessive work ethic most of her male bosses have possessed. She never envisioned herself becoming a CCO or ECD, she said, adding that she hasn’t worked in advertising since parting with Sundae last month. Instead, she kept busy managing “Where Are All The Boss Ladies?” as well as writing a series of children’s books called Secret Code, which empower girls of every race and background to pursue their dreams.

Luckily, Lecocq has some help. After she launched the initial spreadsheet, Christina Jones, a freelance creative manager, expressed her interest in the project and went on to transform the sheet into an interactive database.

Since Jones joined, French artist Malika Favre and Irish creative director and designer Lucia Orlandi have also come aboard.

Lecocq has since received several inquiries from other professionals, including CEOs, in other industries who want to build similar websites for spaces including finance, tech and social services.

Along with creating separate pages on “Where Are All The Boss Ladies?” for those industries, Lecocq is planning to experiment with her campaign; several video series are in the works, including one called “Feminist Dude Boss” that features “guys who are doing cool stuff for the cause.”

Lecocq is not the first ad woman to push this initiative. Last year, Lina Franzon, a copywriter at TBWA Stockholm, and Johanna Johansson, art director at Volt in Stockholm, launched a similar database in Sweden entitled Kreatörskvinnor, with plans to take their efforts globally by 2018. The two raised funds from multiple agencies including 72andSunny Amsterdam, but the worldwide site does not yet appear to have made its debut.

Franzon and Johansson did not return a request for comment for this story. 72andSunny did not know the status of the site but confirmed that the agency had donated to the project.

Saturday, March 10, 2018

14062: Adland, U Are Screwed.

Adweek reported Unilever cut marketing expenses by roughly 30 percent through increased in-house production, which also cut the marketer’s need for outhouse advertising agencies. A report claimed, “In marketing, we are creating more of our own content in house while making existing assets go further. Our 17 U-Studios in 12 countries are creating content for brand teams faster and around 30 percent cheaper than external agencies.” Bet the quality is not significantly worse than the dookie shat out by White advertising agencies too. Adweek closed by warning, “Still, brands should be cautious about taking creative work away from trained advertising professionals. Pepsi and Dove learned this lesson the hard way, releasing respectively the now-infamous tone-deaf Kendall Jenner ad and a Dove soap spot that was deemed racially insensitive from their in-house studios.” Sorry, but White advertising agencies generate way more culturally-clueless crap than in-house enterprises.

Unilever Claims to Cut Marketing Spend by 30% After Taking Production Work In-House

Continues trend among America’s biggest spenders

By Lindsay Rittenhouse

Unilever, which has taken repeated steps to combat increasing pressure on the consumer-products space, announced in its 2017 annual report last month that it had cut marketing expenses by about 30 percent after taking more of its ad work in-house and reducing the roles of its external agencies.

“In marketing, we are creating more of our own content in house while making existing assets go further,” the report read. “Our 17 U-Studios in 12 countries are creating content for brand teams faster and around 30 percent cheaper than external agencies.”

Unilever unveiled its in-house content unit, U-Studios, in 2016, saying at the time it would use it to find new ways to engage with digitally focused consumers while simultaneously countering the rise of ad-blocking software.

It is not clear what duties U-Studios took from Unilever’s external agencies or how the company is going about managing them. The company did not return a request for comment.

However, Unilever’s revelation plays into a larger trend of budget-cutting among America’s biggest spenders—a trend agencies have been increasingly wary of. Procter & Gamble, another CPG giant, said on its fourth-quarter earnings call in July that it had cut approximately $100 million to $140 million in digital advertising spend due to brand-safety concerns and also reduced its agency and production spend by an unspecified amount.

Apple’s Beats Electronics, the brand formerly known as Beats by Dre, also has been making moves to take its creative account in-house, sources told Adweek in January. Carl Johnson, CEO of the brand’s lead global creative agency, Anomaly, confirmed that his agency no longer handled as many creative duties as it once did, saying it “decided to take a breather from executing work with Beats.”

In October, international consultancy R3 released a report showing that the size of the average U.S. creative account win shrunk 38 percent last year compared with 2016 due to in-house studios taking on more work. Following that report, Pivotal Research senior analyst Brian Wieser told Adweek that he does not expect brands to stop shifting marketing efforts in-house anytime soon.

Unilever itself revealed last year it would put a cost-cutting plan in place, removing half of the creative agencies and 40 percent of the consultancies from its roster. After the announcement, WPP, the largest global advertising holding company and a major Unilever partner, saw its stock plummet.

A week ago, WPP suffered its steepest stock drop in nearly two decades (14 percent) after reporting weaker-than-expected 2017 financial results. On an earnings call, WPP CEO Martin Sorrell admitted 2017 was “not a pretty year” and attributed his company’s woes to cuts by historically big spenders like P&G and Unilever.

WPP did not return a request for comment on how Unilever’s most recent cost cuts have affected it.

Still, brands should be cautious about taking creative work away from trained advertising professionals. Pepsi and Dove learned this lesson the hard way, releasing respectively the now-infamous tone-deaf Kendall Jenner ad and a Dove soap spot that was deemed racially insensitive from their in-house studios.

Friday, March 09, 2018

14061: Secret Crusading Is A Bitch.

Fast Company, Adweek and Advertising Age reported Diet Madison Avenue was temporarily shut down, but quickly reappeared—probably because it would have been too sad for the divertsity-driven Instagram account to be eliminated during Women’s History Month. However, the anonymous whistleblowers are facing opponents, including a group of female advertising executives publicly stating concerns and critiques. What’s most disturbing is Diet Madison Avenue’s response to anyone questioning the secret crusaders. That is, challengers to the cause are blasted as badly as the alleged sexual harassers. The DMA crew makes Mean Girls look like Mother Teresa. On the one hand, Erin Johnson’s trials and tribulations probably deter most legitimate victims from filing official accusations. At the same time, agencies are increasingly offering anonymous hotlines for employees, which diminishes the need for DMA. So in many respects, Diet Madison Avenue should die. Then again, if the DMA crew is comprised of actual advertising executives, the oh-so-provocative creators are undoubtedly reluctant to miss out on their shot at a Glass Lion.