Adweek reported on the latest divertsity deal from HP—#MoreLikeMe—which will pluck 15 “diverse” creatives from a stable of five predominately White advertising agencies and send the group to Cannes. Gee, that’s mighty White of the technology company, although it begs the question of why the damned agencies don’t send diverse staffers to the soiree on their own dime. But wait, it gets crazier. The “winners” will ultimately be charged with creating a plan to “inspire change and champion diversity within the industry.” In other words, now clients like HP are delegating diversity to minorities. But wait, the craziness continues. The program features ambassadors—ADCOLOR® Inventor Tiffany R. Warren and Free The Bid Representative Faride Schroeder—who will also help choose the #MoreLikeMe travelers. It’s a wonder Kat Gordon and Cindy Gallop weren’t included in the patronizing promotion. If the selection process is rooted in divertsity, the fifteen participants should display representation from categories such as White women, LGBT community, elderly folks, plus-sized people and individuals with neurodivergent conditions and intellectual and developmental disabilities. Oh, and a couple of racial and ethnic minorities too. But wait, the craziest part is that a diverse crew will finally arrive at Cannes—in the year that the gala event gets downsized per the demands of White holding companies.
HP’s New Program Will Help Develop Talent and Send More Diverse Creatives to Cannes
#MoreLikeMe will send 15 creatives to the festival this summer
By Katie Richards
HP is taking 15 diverse creatives to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity this year as part of the company’s ongoing push to promote diversity in the advertising industry.
The #MoreLikeMe diversity initiative will invite 15 creatives from the U.S., U.K. and Mexico to attend the festival this summer and participate in a number of mentoring and networking events during Cannes.
Outside of simply taking these creatives to the festival and providing them with opportunities to learn and connect with others in the industry, HP is taking things a step further, developing a post-festival plan for each participant. The idea is that each person will go on to inspire change and champion diversity within the industry.
“#MoreLikeMe complements our ongoing work to drive diversity and inclusion across the industry. We’re excited to be partnering with HP to support diverse talent in three of our key markets,” Louise Benson, executive festival director of Cannes Lions, said in a statement. “I hope the inaugural #MoreLikeMe program will inspire the industry at large, as well as provide role models and inspiration for the next generation of creatives from around the world.”
HP will work closely with its roster of agencies—BBDO, Edelman, Fred & Farid, Giant Spoon and PHD—to select the 15 rising stars who will go on to participate in the program. For its pilot year the program will only be open to candidates from those five agencies, but HP plans to extend the program in future years.
“Business powered by diversity can deliver transformative results. By partnering with our agencies to identify and elevate today’s diverse rising stars, we can continue to reinvent the creative industry to better reflect the communities we serve,” Antonio Lucio, chief marketing and communications officer at HP, said in a statement. “We are on a mission to demonstrate that diversity is a business imperative—financially, creatively and culturally—and that all businesses in our industry can and must play a role in driving systemic change.”
#MoreLikeMe ties closely to an ongoing effort from HP and its CMO to ensure that each agency it works with consistently focuses on improving the number of women and people of color working on the HP business, in senior leadership and creative leadership roles.
Last year HP released diversity scorecards from each of its agencies. The scorecards laid out the percentage of women and people of color working at each agency before and after the diversity mandate was set. The goal is that each year, the agencies will improve upon those numbers.
Tiffany Warren, president and founder of ADCOLOR and chief diversity officer at Omnicom, and Faride Schroeder, writer, director and Free The Bid ambassador for Mexico, will serve as ambassadors for the #MoreLikeMe program. The duo will help HP’s five agencies select the 15 winners.
The 15 lucky members of this pilot program will be announced in late May.