Sunday, June 23, 2019

14669: Cannes Goes Back To Cultural Cluelessness.

Advertising Age reported the asinine Black & Abroad campaign—with its “Go Back to Africa” stunt copy—nabbed the Creative Data Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity for FCB. The White advertising agency—as well as the Cannes judges—can go to hell.

Black & Abroad, Volvo grab Grand Prix glory at Cannes

FCB/Six Toronto and Forsman & Bodenfors each used data responsibly and creatively to make a global impact on behalf of their clients

By George P. Slefo

FCB/Six Toronto’s “Go Back to Africa” initiative for Black & Abroad won the Creative Data Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, while Sweden-based Forsman & Bodenfors took home the Creative Strategy Grand Prix for Volvo’s “The E.V.A. Initiative.”

Both campaigns shared a common theme in that they used data responsibly while also creating a global impact from combining tech and creative to share their respective messages.

FCB/Six’s “Go Back to Africa” for Black & Abroad, a company that specializes in travel experiences for black people, found that once every minute, someone posts “go back to Africa” on social media. The agency was tasked with reframing the way people think about Africa and created a platform that displaces the hate surrounding the racial slur.

Each time someone posted “go back to Africa” on social media, FCB/Six redacted any context and responded with gorgeous images from all 54 countries within the continent, while also using the hashtag “#GoBackToAfrica.” The agency also found that stock-image searches all-too-often returned stock pictures of white travelers, and so it instead posted pictures on Black & Abroad’s website featuring people from countries such as Egypt, Senegal and Kenya.

“It hijacks real hate as it happens in real time and then hyper-targets it with art from African countries,” Yasuharu Sasaki, jury president and head of digital creative, executive creative director at Dentsu, says. “In this digital age we see a lot of negative fake news, but the Grand Prix tackled this issue in a bold, impactful way and changed the message.”

Saturday, June 22, 2019

14668: Popeyes Big Idea—A Big Box Of Fried Chicken For Big Black People.

Adweek reported Popeyes created a 7-foot-long box of fried chicken—priced at $74.69—to salute new NBA star Zion Williamson. Gee, Annie the Chicken Queen must have went all-out to accomplish such a feat.

Popeyes Made a Near 7-Foot Box of Chicken to Honor NBA Draft Top Pick Zion Williamson’s Wingspan

77 wings, 11 biscuits, 11 servings of fries

By Gabriel Beltrone

Rising basketball star Zion Williamson has a modest wingspan of 6 feet, 10 inches.

So what better way for Popeyes to celebrate him on draft day than an equally-wide box of chicken wings?

On Thursday, for one day at a single location—Canal Street in New Orleans—the Louisiana-founded fast-food chain offered “The Wingspan Box,” packed with 77 boneless wings, 11 biscuits and 11 servings of french fries (in other words, way too much food for a single human to eat at once, no matter how long-armed).

Priced at just $74.69, the box—created by GSD&M—is now, for countless stoned teenagers across the country, the one that got away.

Williamson, for his part, landed that night with the Pelicans—netting the first pick of the draft, as was expected, and confirming that he’s headed for the Big Easy.

So maybe Popeyes will rustle up one more box for the welcome party.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

14664: Advertising Age Covers Cultural Cluelessness At Cannes.

The cover of The Cannes Issue of Advertising Age allegedly sought to demonstrate “the power of truthful representation in advertising” by featuring the Venus of Willendorf. Really? Hey, it would have been more appropriate to spotlight the Hottentot Venus—at least she has ties to France.

Monday, June 17, 2019

14663: Unilever Conducts Crazy Experiment On Culturally Clueless.

Campaign reported Unilever conducted an experiment on its executives and executives at its White advertising agencies that allegedly resulted in a 35% reduction in unconscious stereotyping—all tied to the advertiser’s Unstereotype propaganda. A Unilever spokesperson claimed the project should yield “a richer and more inclusive understanding of our audiences to show up in our creative briefs, which we then expect to translate into the work.” If Unilever were really serious about this bullshit, better results could be delivered by simply demanding its White advertising agencies transition to a staff featuring 35% minority representation—versus the current <3.5% ratio.

Unilever experiment delivers 35% reduction in unconscious stereotyping

By Kim Benjamin

Findings will be used to help shape the FMCG giant’s creative briefs.

Unilever has carried out a DNA analysis experiment around its Unstereotype initiative that has delivered a 35% reduction in unconscious stereotyping and a 27% increase in original thinking.

The brand’s Unstereotype commitment, launched in 2016, aims to eliminate harmful and diminishing portrayals of people across advertising.

This latest insight aims to show how DNA analysis can disrupt the way people approach diversity.

A study, carried out by academic researchers from University College London, combined DNA analysis from 63 advertising and marketing professionals from across Unilever and its agency partners, which work across 12 of Unilever’s global brands. This was then combined with the results from a workshop on behavioural change, attended by participants.

The experiment was based on the assumption that DNA testing would challenge those involved in the experiment to explore their own sense of identity and broaden the way they see themselves, prior to the workshop.

Aline Santos, executive vice-president for global marketing and chief D&I officer at Unilever, said: “Becoming conscious of our blind spots and the biases that are holding us back is fundamental, but unconscious bias training has its limitations.

“We’ve piloted this experimental approach in partnership with University College London — coupling DNA analysis with an immersive workshop to support a deeper understanding of how and when the brain stereotypes — and measured its impact.”

UCL professors used the workshop to focus on a deeper understanding of how and when stereotypes are learned and the brain mechanisms that govern them, with the aim of helping participants to shift to more unstereotypical and creative thinking.

Those who took part were drawn from across the US, the UK and The Netherlands; they opted in to provide a DNA sample and each took part in pre-assessment to measure the extent of their stereotypical thinking prior to receiving their DNA results.

Santos added that Unilever anticipated “a richer and more inclusive understanding of our audiences to show up in our creative briefs, which we then expect to translate into the work”.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

14662: WTF LG BS.

WTF is this LG campaign from India trying to communicate—that the XBOOM Handy will help you completely ignore nature? Forget simply being a nuisance on public transportation. Now you can pollute the entire environment with your tunes.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

14661: Wunderman Thompson Presents New Leadership For Sinking Ship.

Adweek reported on the latest lunacy at Wunderman Thompson, where new leadershit—oops, leadership—was assembled for the New York headquarters. And what a photo-op picture of divertsity the unveiling ceremony delivered. Adweek stated many of the executives were pulled from Wunderman and POSSIBLE, further diminishing the original JWT persona. For an industry allegedly dedicated to building brands, this scenario underscores the true hypocrisy and lack of credibility at White advertising agencies.

WPP’s Wunderman Thompson Unveils New Leadership Team in New York Headquarters

8 executives report to CEO Joe Crump

By Patrick Coffee

Just over six months after the merger of agency networks Wunderman and J. Walter Thompson, WPP’s Wunderman Thompson has made several executive-level hires and promotions as its New York-based C-suite takes shape.

The team leans toward alumni of Wunderman and Possible, which have become the dominant forces in this coalition.

These eight newly named executives will all report to Joe Crump, who became CEO of Wunderman Thompson’s New York nerve center in March when Possible New York, where he had been managing director, folded into the new organization. Crump, respectively, reports to former Possible CEO Shane Atchison, who rejoined the agency world after a brief hiatus last December as Wunderman Thompson North America CEO.

The leaders include chief experience officer Sherine Kazim, who brings 20-plus years of experience to bear in designing digital experiences and physical spaces. Previous clients and employers include Huge, AKQA, Google, EA Arts and the Obama Presidential Center.

Helder Santo, who became president of Wunderman New York last May, has been promoted to chief client officer. Before joining the agency, he held managerial and account roles at R/GA, mcgarrybowen and Razorfish.

Former Possible New York svp of operations Michael Asaro will be chief operations officer, overseeing all New York-area clients. Former Wunderman director of talent management Monique Sample holds the same title at the new organization; she previously ran HR operations for Geometry Global, which included G2 USA, OgilvyAction and JWTAction.

Ingrid Bernstein, who spent 10 years at JWT New York, most recently as executive strategy director, will be chief planning officer. She was a pioneer in the field of digital content at that agency as well as Deutsch and Arnold, and she will use her expertise to help lead client campaigns.

Former JWT head of data and analytics Will Sandwick and Wunderman New York svp of analytics Arun Kumar will share the role of chief data officer, leading the team that draws upon Wunderman Thompson’s existing data assets.

Finally, former Wunderman North America chief technology officer Andy Jacobs will hold the same title at Wunderman Thompson New York. He joined the WPP network in 2017 after working at PwC, Razorfish and MRM//McCann.

“This is a team of industry stars,” said Crump in a statement. “Each person has a reputation and a track record for helping big, ambitious brands seize opportunities for growth. I am thrilled to introduce such a strong leadership team to the New York market.”

The news follows organizational shifts as Wunderman and then Possible moved into J. Walter Thompson’s headquarters in New York after the merger became official in January. Two rounds of layoffs occurred earlier this year, and some prominent executives have departed including Wunderman global CMO Jamie Gutfreund and North American CEO Seth Solomons, JWT North America CEO Simon Pearce, and JWT New York chief creative officer Ben James.

Friday, June 14, 2019

14660: Les Lionnes Stages More Drama Than Les Misérables.

Adweek reported on Les Lionnes, a French women’s rights group holding its own event during Cannes to protest gender inequality in adland. Yawn. Hey, they should change their name to the Neil French women’s rights group.

A French Women’s Rights Group Is Holding a Cannes of Their Own to Rally Against Industry Sexism

Les Lionnes rewards campaigns created by agencies that treat women fairly

By Minda Smiley

As thousands of agency folk descend on Cannes for the International Festival of Creativity, a French nonprofit called Les Lionnes will hold a separate event to draw attention to the rampant sexism and harassment that continues to plague the industry.

According to the group, it will set up an “off” festival called The Cannes Lions, where members will hand out awards to campaigns not based on their creative merit, but to those that were “designed by agencies that treat women fairly of more … in their top management, creation or production departments.”

To garner buzz and awareness, Les Lionnes recently took to the streets of Paris on the night of June 5 to plaster the walls of the city’s agencies with posters that highlight the kinds of things perpetrators of sexual harassment and unfair treatment have said to their victims. Their “nocturnal operation” was documented and subsequently turned into a short film.

On its website, both victims and witnesses can anonymously share their experiences. Les Lionnes said the effort shines a light on “the violent and iniquitous and unequal truth of an industry that makes women its main casualties over and over.”

Les Lionnes was formed in April by Christelle Delarue, who was on Adweek’s 2019 Women Trailblazers list this year. Delarue is CEO of Mad&Women, a self-described “feminist agency” she founded in Paris in 2012. The agency recently forged a partnership with Unesco to heighten visibility of initiatives aimed at promoting gender equality.

Delarue started Les Lionnes following the exposure of the “LOL League,” a secret Facebook group that French journalists—mainly men—were using to encourage the online harassment of women.

Thursday, June 13, 2019

14659: I Can’t Believe It’s Not Bullshit.

Campaign reported on the Conscious Advertising Network, allegedly committed to “empowering advertisers to make choices that will take a stand against unethical practices in advertising.” Of course, the agenda does not include taking a stand against the unethical hiring practices of the White advertising agencies employed by advertisers.

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

14657: Marketing To Latinos? Turn Up The Music.

Adweek published a bunch of song and dance from Music Audience Exchange Co-Founder and EVP Carlos Diaz, who declared the best way to reach Latino audiences is through music. And if you can sign up a hip-hop artist, muy bueno!

Capturing the Hearts and Ears of Hispanic Consumers With Music

Reaching them with artists they like and how they like to listen

By Carlos Diaz

Hispanic consumers know when brands and agencies are checking the multicultural box. Authentic connections happen when marketers begin by asking how they can better understand their audiences.

A recent meeting with a brand marketer drove this question home for me. What began as a conversation about multicultural marketing became an opportunity to discuss the critical role music plays in understanding Hispanic consumers. As a Nielsen report made clear, music is a passion point for Hispanic audiences.

Here’s how marketers can ensure that they’re speaking the same language as the audiences they’re trying to reach.

Understand how Hispanics consume music

How consumers access music is just as important as the kind of music they listen to. According to Nielsen, Hispanics spend 32 hours a week with music overall. Just under half of that time is spent streaming, while 14% of listening happens via digital libraries. Furthermore, Hispanics are likely listening on mobile. A recent eMarketer report found that Hispanics average three hours per day on smartphones, which is an hour more, on average, than non-Hispanic audiences.

For marketers, understanding the mobile music context is key because mobile overlaps with social. According to the 2018 Multicultural Digital Report,70% of Hispanics in the $75,000-plus income bracket are on social nightly, compared to just 55% of non-Hispanics in the same earnings segment. At the same time, Nielsen found that one-quarter of Hispanics share music video links with family and friends. Meanwhile, a Viant study found that Hispanics are three times more likely to consider a brand after seeing a video, and half of Hispanic shoppers reported discussing a brand online or using a brand’s hashtag.

Add this all up, and you can see why it’s so important for marketers to incorporate music when they engage Hispanics on mobile/social.

Understand the consumer/community you want to reach

Music says something very specific about who we are and how we identify. For brands, music can alienate audiences if done poorly, and it can be incredibly powerful if done well. The key is that marketers have to go beyond the broad category of Hispanics to understand their audiences.

By working with specialists, marketers can take a deep dive into data sets around age, country of origin and acculturation. Those insights will help marketers zero in on appropriate musical genres and identify partnerships with artists who already speak to the community that the brand wants to reach. After all, artists like Luis Fonsi’s Despacito, Karol G and Beatriz Luengo all fall under the “Latin” music label, but each speaks to a different audience.

Commit to consistency

Hispanic audiences appreciate Hispanic heritage campaigns, but if it’s the only time you’re reaching out, then the message won’t get through. Of course, that’s true of any audience, regardless of heritage.

Brands and agencies can demonstrate that they value a community by engaging in an ongoing dialogue rather than only doing one-off campaigns. Consumers, especially Hispanics, will support a brand that they truly connect with and that shares their values.

Work with artists that love your brand

One powerful way to reach consumers is to work with an artist they love. The challenge is that working with an artist is about aligning values between the brand, the artist and the audience. It’s a three-way value exchange where artists gain exposure, consumers engage with compelling content (like new music) and brands benefit by facilitating a powerful cultural connection.

Marketers can make that connection happen with any audience, but the choices are incredibly rich when it comes to Hispanics. That’s because 70% of Hispanics follow musicians they love, according to one study, and 78% of Hispanics take a more favorable view of a brand that sponsors music.

But the connection has to be real. By working with an artist that has a genuine love for your brand and its values, marketers ensure that their connection to Hispanic audiences is as authentic as the bond between artist and fan. Because if a brand licenses my favorite song, they might get my attention. But if that same brand helps me discover my favorite artist, they’ll have my heart.

Carlos Diaz is co-founder and evp of Music Audience Exchange (MAX).

Monday, June 10, 2019

14656: Procter & Gamble Redefines Patronizing With Its Latest Diversity Stunt.

CNBC reported on the latest diversity/divertsity desideratum from Procter & Gamble, whereby the White advertiser is asking dictionaries to revise the definition of the word “Black” as part of its My Black is Beautiful campaign. No word if P&G needed to hire consultants of color to hatch the concept. Although dictionaries should also consider redefining “PR” as patronizing ruse when associated with corporations like P&G, as the monolithic marketer and manufacturer will undoubtedly leverage the scheme to collect ADCOLOR® trophies and Cannes Lions. Meanwhile, P&G will continue to minimize the use of “Black” as a qualifier for the advertising agencies it employs.

Procter and Gamble wants to redefine the word ‘black’

By Megan Graham

Procter & Gamble’s “My Black is Beautiful” campaign is asking dictionaries to rethink their definitions of the word “black.”

“My Black is Beautiful,” a campaign for black women the consumer goods giant formed over a decade ago, says dictionaries too often prioritize terms such as “evil” or “dirty” over those that describe the word as it relates to identity and skin color. The push is called #RedefineBlack and has a petition on

P&G’s latest effort joins other recent campaigns in which brands are taking stands on cultural and political issues. Last year, Nike ran a campaign featuring Colin Kaepernick that stirred controversy, and P&G has run campaigns of its own that have sparked conversation, including a Gillette ad that weighed in on the #MeToo movement. And this might be why: Nearly two in three people say they choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on its stand on social issues, according to a 2018 Edelman Earned Brand report.

Lela Coffey, brand director of multicultural beauty at P&G, said “My Black is Beautiful” has always been focused on promoting a more positive perception of blackness and spotlighting bias. When the group started to think about the dictionary definitions, she said they discussed how associating darkness with badness can lead to racial prejudice.

“We talked with some professors about the issue and the effect that words have on people,” Coffey said. “We started to wonder if this was something we could change.”

In the section for “black” on Merriam-Webster’s website, for instance, an example of word usage that reads “his face was black with rage” is placed higher on the definition page than any mention of “black” as it pertains to identity or skin color. is already planning to update its definition because of the campaign. The website posted a blog Wednesday explaining that it would be making updates and revisions that will roll out on the website later this year.

“If you look on today, the adjectival sense of ‘Black’ that refers to people is the third sense on the page, ” it says. “Currently this definition sits right above a definition that reads ‘soiled or stained with dirt.’ While there are no semantic links between these two senses, their proximity on the page can be harmful. It can lead to unconscious associations between this word of identity and a negative term. These are not associations we want anyone to get from, and so we will be swapping our second and third senses on the page.” will also capitalize “Black” in the entry when it’s used in reference to people, which it says is considered a “mark of respect, recognition and pride.” That’s one point Coffey said the organization is asking dictionaries to make, along with updating the entries with references or usage of the word “black” to phrases black people actually use to identify themselves. She gave the example of “Black is beautiful” as one she hopes will be included.

Sparking a conversation

P&G campaigns in recent years have touched on subjects such as celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and discussing racial bias. “My Black is Beautiful” was also behind development of “The Talk,” a video that depicts conversations black parents have with their children to prepare them for racial bias they may face.

“Consumer expectations are changing,” said Damon Jones, P&G’s vice president of global communications and advocacy. “Consumers are actively looking for companies to take a role. The majority of consumers expect the brands they choose to take a stand on social and environmental issues. When we look at forming genuine and authentic relationships with our consumers, this is what [they] expect.”

Some of those campaigns have sparked controversy. But even when people disagree, that’s still beneficial, Coffey said.

“You’re not going to please everybody,” she said. “But what I really want to do is drive awareness and drive conversation. ... If we can drive conversations with some of these issues with people who may not have the same point of view or who disagree ... I can drive some action, I can drive some change.”

Jones added that some of these campaigns have subject matter pertaining to one group but in practice have a wider reach than that.

“A number of the campaigns may resonate with one consumer group,” he said. “But really, all consumers want everyone else to be treated fairly.”

Sunday, June 09, 2019

14655: KFC WTF BS.

Adweek reported KFC made a Spotify playlist of hip-hop tracks with references to the fried chicken brand. Somewhere, Mary J. Blige is demanding an apology. Oh, and below is the leadership of the White advertising agency behind the initiative—which is not surprising, as White advertising agencies love hip hop.

KFC Made a Spotify Playlist of ‘Bucket Bangers,’ 46 Hip-Hop Tracks That Referenced the Brand

The chain’s French operation will be promoting it through ads

By Erik Oster

Name-dropping of brands in hip-hop is nothing new. For years, the likes of fashion and alcohol have received their fair share of attention (“Pass the Courvoisier” by Busta Rhymes or “Air Force Ones” by Nelly, anyone?).

Food has an illustrious history in the genre as well if this playlist is any indication. But did you know that KFC has been explicitly been mentioned a whopping 46 times in hip-hop songs over the past 30 years? From Run DMC and the Beastie Boys to Kanye West, MIA and Kendrick Lamar, the chain is clearly a big part of hip-hop’s history.

Now, KFC is returning the favor by paying tribute to hip-hop with a “Bucket Bangers” Spotify playlist devoted to the songs referencing the brand.

KFC’s French agency Sid Lee Paris created a campaign to promote the playlist via Spotify banners and a series of OOH ads around Paris with lyrics from the songs. But it’s not just American artists featured. “Bucket Bangers” includes a host of French acts like Maître Gims and Orelsan in addition to the familiar names already mentioned, as well as hip-hop stars from Germany, Russia and Brazil.

It’s a unique way to flex KFC’s pop culture prowess, as we’re pretty sure there aren’t many brands who could pull off such a lengthy playlist.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

14654: Digiday Deserves An Award For Desperation And Dumbness.

Just noticed that Digiday, which has historically displayed a disdain for traditional advertising agencies, fully embraces at least one element of adland. That is, Digiday recognizes the lure—and revenue-generating power—of awards. The online trade publication actually has an “Awards” link in its menu bar. Plus, Digiday will kindly help you choose the right award—presumably showing you which trophy you have the best chance of winning. Why anyone would even want an award from an irrelevant entity like Digiday says a lot about the self-absorbed nature of typical people in the field. Perhaps a Digiday staffer will eventually submit a “Confessions Of An Awards Whore” entry.

Friday, June 07, 2019

14653: TIME’S UP/Advertising Delegates Divertsity To An Executive Director.

Adweek reported TIME’S UP/Advertising named its first Executive Director, tapping ADCOLOR® and Omnicom alumnus Christena J. Pyle for the position. Wieden + Kennedy Co-President Colleen DeCourcy, not surprisingly, made a few stupid comments including claiming Pyle is independent and “won’t be tethered by agency politics or exceptions to the rule”—presumably meaning she’ll be able to operate outside the “power matrices.” DeCourcy also contended, “The check is not paid by any of our companies, and that’s what it will take to do anything that’s truly disruptive.” Um, can an ADCOLOR® and Omnicom offspring ever be considered truly independent? The White advertising agencies, incidentally, are absolutely signing checks and signing up members for organizations like TIME’S UP/Advertising. Is DeCourcy saying agency politics and power matrices are to blame for the sexual harassment in adland? Hey, her White advertising agency is hardly free of fuck-ups. Ditto her clients. At least DeCourcy’s ignorance gives Pyle a clear sense for the culturally-clueless clowns that come with the circus.

Time’s Up Advertising Names First Executive Director

Adcolor, Omnicom veteran Christena J. Pyle starts in new role June 10

By T.L. Stanley

Just past its one-year mark, Time’s Up Advertising has named its first executive director, Christena J. Pyle, a veteran of Adcolor and Omnicom who says she feels like she’s been prepping for the newly created role for more than a dozen years.

Pyle, who recently served as director of Adcolor and director of diversity and inclusion at Omnicom, starts at the organization on June 10 as “a natural next step that makes so much sense” in her career, she said, taking up the mantle of pushing for safe, fair and dignified workplaces in the ad business.

The group, part of the umbrella Time’s Up movement that started in Hollywood, addresses workplace discrimination, harassment, abuse and entrenched male-dominated culture with the backing of 200 agencies. Its first formal hire is intended to capitalize on the current climate where pay equity and female representation are top-of-mind issues.

“Ramping up right now is critical,” Pyle said. “We have this window, especially coming to an election year, to inspire as much change as possible.”

Colleen DeCourcy, Wieden + Kennedy’s co-president and Time’s Up Advertising steering committee member, said Pyle’s independent status means she “won’t be tethered by agency politics or exceptions to the rule” and can work outside the existing “power matrices.”

“The check is not paid by any of our companies,” DeCourcy said, “and that’s what it will take to do anything that’s truly disruptive.”

Time’s Up Advertising, for its next chapter, needed “a designated staff to make sure we’re holding ourselves accountable, tracking impact and maintaining the focus on our north star,” said Rebecca Goldman, interim CEO, Time’s Up. “We don’t want small change; we want big bold change. And we’re willing to invest in great people.”

Building infrastructure is happening across the organization, Goldman said. Time’s Up launched a healthcare-centric group this spring to tackle inequities and misconduct in the country’s largest employment sector.

And the group is inching closer to naming a permanent CEO, though Goldman said she won’t be taking the role and couldn’t speculate on when that appointment will be made. She did say the movement overall will have “meaningful, innovative news” within the next several months.

Pyle, who was part of Adweek’s 2018 Young Influentials list, was Adcolor’s first intern. There, she honed skills that will translate directly to her new gig, according to Tiffany R. Warren, Adcolor founder-president, Omnicom’s svp-chief diversity officer and Time’s Up Advertising steering committee member.

“The key was finding someone who could move from building interest and building a coalition to making it actionable,” Warren said. “We need to have an individual with the strength of character and the physical strength to fight these systemic issues. She’s the right person.”

DeCourcy said having a formal full-time leader makes for a “sharper spear” and a “Trojan horse” for the movement.

It matters that Pyle is a woman of color, DeCourcy said, “who understands all the complications of what it means to be underrepresented.” She also noted Pyle’s intimate knowledge of the ad industry and her “relentless, optimistic, positive, unyielding point of view on how the business can get better.”

Pyle, having done the arduous and sometimes lonely work of diversity and inclusions, said she’s spending time fortifying herself before she starts, “sleeping longer, working out, drinking green tea.”

She’s heading into a group that has hit some bumps along the way in the early going. DDB Worldwide CEO Wendy Clark stepped down from the steering committee after admitting that her agency had tapped former Droga5 CCO Ted Royer to help on its Volkswagen pitch after he’d been terminated from his agency amid an investigation into undisclosed accusations.

Women of color also said they didn’t feel heard during last year’s series of public meetings, which initially excluded freelancers and former ad execs who may’ve been forced out of their jobs because of harassment or discrimination. Time’s Up Advertising’s leaders apologized for the missteps and opened the forums to more women.

“This moment is too important to lose,” Goldman said, acknowledging past mistakes. “We’re coming together to fight for all women.”

Thursday, June 06, 2019

14652: Cindy Gallop Is Beyond Getting Old.

Advertising Age published a doddering rant on ageism from bitching bomber Cindy Gallop. Guess Gallop has set aside her sexual-harrassment-is-the-biggest-business-issue-in-the-U.S.-and-India soapbox in favor of promoting senior-level seniors. Sadly—but not surprisingly—her pontifications are filled with tired clichés and contrived solutions. In Gallop’s case, #sayyourage reads as #Say You Rage. Sorry, but she comes off like an Ornery Old Lady.

Opinion: Eight ways to turn ageism on its head

If we want to change how aging is depicted in advertising, we need to eradicate ageism from the ad industry itself

By Cindy Gallop

As a proud 59-year-old, I’ve been championing the power of age in the advertising industry for years. We are a powerful force in popular culture with the ability to shape what people think, believe and do. We can change the way aging is depicted in advertising by changing ageism within the ad industry itself. If we do that, we can change the way society views aging. So I’m asking all of you to help eradicate the one ‘ism’ that affects every single one of us—because we all age.

Here are some powerful actions you can take to end ageism, whatever level of the business you’re at and whatever job you do.

It’s time to do what we’re great at: reshaping culture.

For too long we’ve been part of perpetuating a culture that celebrates youth. Evian’s long-running tagline presumes that everyone wants to #liveyoung. But there’s so much we’re not leveraging, strategically and creatively, around the idea of #liveolder.

Tap into the aspiration of age. We’re very happy with who we are. We don’t aspire to be young. But young people aspire to be us. Here’s why:

We don’t give a shit.

We have self-confidence that comes with age.

We know what really matters.

We’re free to express our individuality.

We’ve developed our own sense of personal style.

We’ve developed our own sense of home style.

We have better relationships because we know what really matters.

We’re experienced—at everything.

We’re well-traveled.

We’re starting businesses at the highest rate of any entrepreneur group.

We have money to spend.

Lead with what’s aspirational about being older, and the young will follow—not the other way round.

Show us as we really are.

We don’t look, dress or act like those old-people ad clichés. But we do flirt, date, fall in love and have sex. You can tell great brand stories with us at their center, behaving as we do in real life.

So next time you cast an ad, cast older.

Stop, catch yourself and actively brief your casting agent/director/photographer to cast talent 10 years or more older than the age you were about to go with.

There’s a huge amount of money to be made by taking older people seriously.

The Fed’s Nov 2018 study found that millennials compared to previous generations have “lower earnings, fewer assets and less wealth.” We’re the ones with the disposable income and we’re looking to spend it.

Conduct the thought exercise of “If we were to target people 40 and over with this brand, what would that look like?”

Whatever brand you work on and whoever your target is, try this exercise (maybe as part of a brand away-day or pitch brainstorm). Research older consumers’ attitudes and behavior towards your brand; quantify the opportunity with them; identify the trends that would make your brand especially compelling to them. At the very least, it’ll make you think differently; at best, you might find you have a huge money-making opportunity on your hands.

The data is out there. Use it, or pioneer it.

In the first instance, AARP has a wealth of data, insights and trends—everything you need to do all of this research.

But, you can add older respondents into any research you’re doing.

Broaden the age range of who you’re talking to, and see what they have to say.

Pioneer a thoughtful, insightful, newsworthy research study into over-40s as the marketing target of today—and new, creative terminology.

There’s a new study into the habits of millennials released pretty much every week. Be the first to do a study on over-40s, over-50s, over-60s. We hear that millennials are ‘killing’ this thing and that thing… Why not identify instead what older people are “birthing?” And while we’re at it, let’s have some new names. It’s time we retired “Boomer.”

When you’re told the target is youth and millennials, ask “Why?”

Seriously. Ask why. Have the discussion, with client or agency.

The future of work is hybrid.

That means we have a future that’s comprised of the fresh perspectives of youth plus the experience and expertise of age.

Create cross-generational work interactions at every opportunity. Keep hierarchical structures flat. Put the youngest person on the team in charge of leading the team. Bring in older/more experienced people to be “part of”, not “in charge of” a team.

Introduce a “menternship” scheme. The new world order of internships: “menternships” recruit older people to provide mentorship and experience in return for opportunity and skill-building.

Leaders: hire the biggest growth driver for our industry—expertise.

Think how much easier your life would be and how much smoother your business would run if your employees knew exactly what to do in a crisis because they’d seen it all before? If they were able to analyze any business situation to get to a solution quickly; stayed calm under pressure; were great people managers; had excellent craft skills and technical capabilities; and, because of all that, were extremely time- and cost-efficient?

Guess what? There’s a ton of us out there who deliver on all of that, available for immediate hire! That’s why I don’t call people like me “older”—I call us “experts.”

Test-drive us. Identify upcoming employee “gaps” (parental leave; sabbaticals; vacations; sick leave) or short-term opportunities (pitches, projects, experiments) and actively look to fill them with us: older, expert candidates. Brief HR, your recruiters, your employees to search out candidates and make recommendations for short-term positions. You may find we turn into great longer-term hires.

Experts are not “too expensive.”

Actively seek older candidates for open positions and be straightforward that salary trade-offs are balanced by opportunity and new experience. Many older candidates are open to taking a reduction in historical pay levels when balanced with opportunity and the chance to gain new experience/training and to build up their resume. Identify the benefits for us and welcome a transparent, open conversation about the value for both sides.

Ad industry media: you have a role to play.

Celebrate older talent with 40 Over 40/50 Over 50/60 Over 60 lists. We have a plethora of 30 Under 30 lists—and we absolutely want to celebrate and highlight the younger talent in our industry. But now it’s time to celebrate the expert talent. And when you do, please celebrate the experts who are working, and those who aren’t working. So that right-minded agencies can snap them up.

Lastly, one small action everyone can take: #sayyourage.

Say your age and own your age. Age isn’t just a number, it’s a very special number. You are the sum total of all your learnings and life experiences to date and that’s what makes you valuable. The older you get, the more valuable you get. Your age represents your value. It’s what makes you as special and unique as you are. Always #sayyourage no matter what age you are because ageism exists at every point along the age spectrum. You can be dismissed for being too young as well as for being too old. Be proud to #sayyourage all the way through your career and life, because that’s another small way we can change ageism for all of us.

This is just the start. This call to action is a living, breathing manifesto. I welcome your own ideas. As an industry, we need to measure and evaluate the results of taking these actions—so I want to hear about everything you put into practice and what happens as a result.

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

14651: Cluelessly Celebrating Cultural Con Artists.

Advertising Age published a peculiar perspective from Emily Viola, Managing Director, Cultural Insights and Brand Strategy, at SS+K. Praising brands for being cultural leaders versus cultural followers, Viola gushed:

Gillette’s ad with a dad teaching his transgender son how to shave has infiltrated mainstream news and social media. It’s a great example of a brand riding a cultural wave. In this case, Gillette is leaning into a new consumer value, ‘inclusive is the new exclusive’, a cultural shift that describes the phenomenon of companies gaining social cred for going beyond being welcoming and diverse and embracing a level of inclusivity that was once only the terrain of groups like the ACLU.

Wow, that’s a stretch—with a touch of delusional ignorance. Gillette, Procter & Gamble and White advertising agency Grey should not be compared with the ACLU, especially when their exclusive hiring practices alone warrant criticism and condemnation from the American Civil Liberties Union.

What’s more, Gillette, P&G and Grey are not close to being cultural leaders; rather, they are jumping on the bandwagons of existing cultural movements. It’s hypocrisy and political patronization of the highest order. Indeed, for these entities to embrace inclusivity is no different than their eagerness to create tie-ins with the latest Hollywood blockbuster or celebrity-of-the-hour. And given their historical and perpetual exclusivity, the communications they create are patently offensive—beyond the offense such work typically generates.

Oh, and Viola is hardly in a position to pontificate on inclusion and diversity, considering that the people at her place of employment—depicted above—appear to make up a stereotypical White advertising agency.

How to be a cultural leader instead of a cultural follower

Bold brands like Gillette and H&M are trying to tap more into shared consumer values than shared consumer experiences

By Emily Viola

Gillette’s ad with a dad teaching his transgender son how to shave has infiltrated mainstream news and social media. It’s a great example of a brand riding a cultural wave. In this case, Gillette is leaning into a new consumer value, “inclusive is the new exclusive”, a cultural shift that describes the phenomenon of companies gaining social cred for going beyond being welcoming and diverse and embracing a level of inclusivity that was once only the terrain of groups like the ACLU.

Gillette is still catering to the masses—or at least the younger generations who are aging into shaving. But they are doing it in a way that taps more into shared consumer values than shared consumer experiences. It’s a tricky line to navigate, but when done well, can yield huge payoffs. However, it requires a different kind of insight: cultural insight.

Consumer culture as a leading indicator

Cultural insight relies not on what a single consumer sees, feels or experiences, but upon examining the various ways that entire groups of people are changing, thinking, moving, voting, dreaming and even praying. We call these shifts “social forces” and they can be tracked, monitored and tapped into to create deeper connections with consumers.

Indicators of these Social Forces are everywhere, if you know what to look for. Changing consumption patterns show us whether luxury cars are giving way to adventure vacations. Spiritual shifts are apparent when we see the rise of fundamentalism or the founding of new religions like the International Church of Cannabis. Professional energies are funneled into new careers like A.I. ethicist or synthetic biologist. Even something as seemingly staid as the dictionary illustrates how our language is shifting as words take on new meanings—like “basic” transforming into a snarky dig, and new words like “Latinx” and “pansexual” being added to our lexicon.

Gillette isn’t the only brand winning with younger consumers by leaning into inclusivity. The face of H&M’s 2018 pride campaign was Aaron Philip, the Black, trans and differently abled teen model who now has more than 54,000 followers. Tess Holliday, a size 22 body positivity crusader, shares unabashedly bold photos on social media as well as on the covers of both Self and Cosmopolitan. And then there is the meteoric success of Rihanna’s more inclusive makeup line, Fenty, which earned more than half a billion dollars in its first year.

The power these brands have is that they are bold, brave and at-the-ready. They have to be. By the time a new idea or value shows up in a mass consumer survey, it has already moved through culture widely enough to be voiced and shared by the masses. When we see the recent Pew data that 62% of Generation Z sees the societal value of diversity, we might nod but we could just as likely yawn. That doesn’t mean we don’t value broad consumer surveys like Pew; we use these numbers to validate and recalibrate what we’re tracking. However, if we had waited for these statistics, we would already be a step behind.

We must track and identify these leading cultural indicators so that can we help brands lead through change, not lag behind it, and to live their values in the most timely and relevant ways. Catch-up is too hard a game to play.

Emily Viola is managing director, cultural insights and brand strategy at SS+K

Tuesday, June 04, 2019

14650: Don’t Get Mad. Get Glad—And Bad Ideas.

At least this plastic-kills-wildlife campaign resisted using straws as weapons, opting for suffocation by sandwich bags. It’s amazing some wannabe creative genius hasn’t introduced sea turtles choking on condoms.

14649: Ad-Libbing On Ad Lib Podcast With Ogilvy Chairman Emeritus Shelly Lazarus.

A recent Advertising Age Ad Lib podcast featured Ogilvy Chairman Emeritus Shelly Lazarus, who spoke about her experience as a woman in the advertising industry. “The advertising business was fabulous…fun…glamorous…heady,” gushed Lazarus, noting that she became the “first woman in account management” at Ogilvy. While she was often the “only woman in the room” at meetings, she felt a certain sense of power. Lazarus recognized, “I was answering on behalf of all women in the world.” In regards to gender inequality, however, Lazarus remarked, “I never felt discriminated against.” Okay, but it’s a safe bet that when Lazarus was the only woman in the room, she still outnumbered the people of color in attendance. Plus, Lazarus was likely not actively representing “all women in the world,” as women of color—especially Black women—remain woefully underrepresented in the business and its campaigns. Finally, the percentage of White women who’ve felt discriminated against in adland will never come close to matching the percentage of women of color who’ve faced discrimination.

Monday, June 03, 2019

14648: Things Are Getting Messy At The Martin Agency.

AgencySpy posted on the latest diversity dealings at The Martin Agency, which recently added Talent Engagement and Inclusion Specialist Abu Ngauja to the fold. Looks like CEO Kristen Cavallo’s declaration, “We’re on it,” is translating to “We’re putting a minority on it”—i.e., the White advertising agency appears to be delegating diversity.

“For Martin to really be a cultural impact maker, we have to be acutely aware of the part identity plays within the individual,” stated Ngauja. “We have to be aware of who we are as unique people, and then as an agency; where our blind spots are and when we assume; and how we can bring more grace and empathy toward how we approach our work and clients and each other—my job is fueling our people with new purpose and intention. … We’re at step one. It’s okay to not have all the answers and have a messy start; most organizations stall because they allow internal fears to derail meaningful change. That won’t be us.”

Wow, that sort of kumbaya gobbledygook will nab Ngauja an ADCOLOR® trophy for sure. Didn’t realize The Martin Agency had aspirations of becoming a “cultural impact maker,” as the place is currently a cultural impact faker. As for being “at step one” and insisting, “It’s okay … to have a messy start,” well, no, it’s not okay. A White advertising agency founded in 1965 should not be “at step one” in regards to diversity—especially when the shop is headquartered in a city with a large-albeit-shrinking Black population. And honestly, can The Martin Agency afford to experience more messiness at this point?

The Martin Agency Expands Culture Department With First-Ever Talent Engagement and Inclusion Specialist

By Erik Oster

The Martin Agency added to its year-old talent and culture department with the hire of Abu Ngauja as talent engagement and inclusion specialist.

In the role, which Ngauja shaped and titled, he will focus on diversity and inclusion, leading new change programs at The Martin Agency, and has already begun growing existing efforts around internal communications and mental health awareness.

“Abu’s role is our voice, and we take that quite seriously,” chief culture officer Carmina Drummond said in a statement. “Everything he does is to make sure our people are seen and heard. He’s challenging us as an organization to be bolder and better from the inside out.”

The agency promoted 20-year-veteran Drummond last March and then named Kelsey Larus, who formerly worked for both President Barack Obama and the Democratic National Convention, to launch and the new department three months later. At the time, they positioned it as a way to drive “change and progress” as the agency looked to move beyond controversies focused on the December 2017 departure of now-former CCO Joe Alexander.

Ngauja joined The Martin Agency following a sabbatical and said in a statement that it was equal parts “happy accident” and “serendipity” that he landed in this role. He was not originally looking for a job at the agency, and The Martin Agency was initially considering him for a different position.

Before his sabbatical, Ngauja spent nearly two years with VB+P in roles as diversity and inclusion manager, senior brand manager and brand supervisor, working with brands including Audi, 23andMe, PlayStation, Reebok and Vue. Prior to joining VB+P in 2016 he spent nearly two years in account executive roles at Leo Burnett Chicago, working with McDonald’s while also serving as multicultural resource employee co-chair.

“For Martin to really be a cultural impact maker, we have to be acutely aware of the part identity plays within the individual,” Ngauja explained in a statement. “We have to be aware of who we are as unique people, and then as an agency; where our blind spots are and when we assume; and how we can bring more grace and empathy toward how we approach our work and clients and each other—my job is fueling our people with new purpose and intention.”

“We’re at step one,” he added. “It’s okay to not have all the answers and have a messy start; most organizations stall because they allow internal fears to derail meaningful change. That won’t be us.”

Sunday, June 02, 2019

14647: From DDB Russia With Love—And Stereotypes.

In the U.S., using Mob and Mafioso stereotypes usually draws the ire of Italian-American groups. Yet DDB in Russia went ahead and depicted Russian gangsters shopping for a new Volkswagen—with the salesman presenting all the features for hauling dead bodies. Somebody shoulda whacked the responsible creative team.

Saturday, June 01, 2019

14646: Annie The Chicken Queen Is A Hot Honey.

This Popeyes commercial hyping Hot Honey Crunch Tenders allows Annie the Chicken Queen to stretch her thespian skills and White advertising agency GSD&M to stretch its hackneyed, culturally clueless capabilities. These folks are all hot and sweet.

Friday, May 31, 2019

14645: Unsettling Settlement For IPG And Jeremy Perrott.

Adweek reported IPG and McCann settled the defamation lawsuit filed by ex-McCann Health CCO Jeremy Perrott, fired for allegedly violating a code of conduct—which, in Perrott’s case, involved alleged instances of commenting on the “nice rack” and “nice ass” of coworkers. As the settlement details are confidential, it’s impossible to know if Perrott collected any of the $25 million in damages he was seeking. To recall, Perrott had blasted IPG Chairman and CEO Michael Roth for jumping on the #MeToo bandwagon and creating a toxic work environment for White men. The official court document—posted by Adweek—doesn’t state anything beyond the settlement agreement. Why, it’s similar to the legal disclaimers that routinely appear on the pharma advertising practitioners like Perrott create, in terms of not really presenting clear communication. Maybe Perrott should talk to his lawyer to create the right treatment plan for his career.

McCann Settles Defamation Suit With Former Global Creative Leader Jeremy Perrott

He was fired for alleged behavioral violations last July

By Erik Oster, Patrick Coffee

Earlier this month, IPG settled a wrongful termination and defamation lawsuit filed by former McCann Health global chief creative officer Jeremy Perrott last October following his termination for alleged behavioral violations.

The terms of the settlement were confidential.

“Jeremy Perrott filed his complaint in October of 2018 claiming that IPG and McCann defamed him. IPG and McCann filed an answer in Court denying the allegations in Mr. Perrott’s complaint and moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it lacked merit,” read a joint statement from agency and holding company. “The Parties have resolved the matter in a manner acceptable and confidential.”

Neither Perrott nor his legal counsel have responded to multiple requests for comment on the case. In January, McCann hired former JWT creative lead Matt Eastwood to succeed Perrott.

McCann Health fired Perrott last July, following an investigation into “a complaint about a violation of our Code of Conduct,” an agency spokesperson said at the time. Perrott claimed he was terminated unexpectedly for using “inappropriate language” and sued McCann Health and IPG for “defamation, tortious interference with contract, common law conspiracy and gross negligence,” claiming that IPG and McCann leaked news of his firing and that its statement was defamatory. The news then spread, Perrott’s lawyers argued, in a way which was damaging to his reputation, “making him an instant pariah.”

Court documents revealed that Perrott allegedly made inappropriate remarks to multiple women regarding their appearance in violation of McCann’s sexual harassment policy. Specifically, it claimed he told a woman in an elevator at the agency’s headquarters in New York that she had a “nice rack” and that he said “nice ass” to another woman. Perrott denied both claims, and the suit subsequently filed by his lawyer attributed his firing to an “unjust corporate culture of #MeToo and #TimesUp appeasement.” It also named former Martin Agency chief creative officer Joe Alexander as another victim of a “toxic policy” that “spares no male at IPG, MWG or McCann Health.”

This month’s confidential settlement now ensures the suit will not reach a discovery phase, which means the female McCann employees who accused Perrott of harassing them will not be forced to reveal their names or testify against him in court.

The settlement document itself offers little in the way of details. It renders moot previous motions from IPG and McCann to dismiss the case, along with a request for a “protective order barring certain of plaintiff’s jurisdictional discovery” and a renewed motion to stay discovery.

Below is the letter confirming the settlement as signed by Judge Robert E. Payne of the U.S. District Court of Eastern Virginia on May 15.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

14644: Dear Adland, You Are A Discriminatory Dung Heap.

Campaign reported on a divertsity digital diversion dubbed “Dear Adland”—a site where people can “share their stories of discrimination” experienced while working in the field. Not surprisingly, the story illustration (depicted above) shows a bullhorn held by a White woman’s hand. That aside, “Dear Adland” sounds like a sanitized rerun of Diet Madison Avenue. It will be interesting to see if the discriminated will name the discriminators. After all, why is it okay for sexual harassers to be expelled from the industry while the culturally clueless—namely, White advertising agency leaders leading White advertising agencies—get a pass?

Dear Adland project wants those in the industry to share their discrimination stories

By Gurjit Degun

A group of marketing and advertising bodies have backed an initiative that allows people to share their stories of discrimination while working in the industry and connect with each other to build “confidence and power”.

Dear Adland was set up by Emily de Groot and is a site for men and women to post anonymous accounts of bias, sexual or racial harassment and issues experienced as a parent.

De Groot explains on the site that the aim is to create a forum with senior industry leaders “and we want to create a ‘fishbowl’ for listening for them”.

The initiative, which is backed by Creative Equals and Bloom, will host a reading and invite managing directors and chief executives from every ad agency in London. They will also be published into a “boardroom book” that will be handed to agency leaders.

“We think they’ll hear more than enough stories to prompt them to take action,” the site says. “We’ll invite them to respond with their plans and strategies to ensure these kind of stories are no longer heard.”

It adds: “The greatest change comes from us using our voice. Our voice gives us confidence and power. It allows us to connect with others, who might be going through a similar thing. If we stay quiet it can create guilt and shame, which can linger.

“It’s through using our voice and understanding another person’s point of view that change can really happen.”

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

14643: Desperately Seeking Rock Star Willing to Work For Pebbles.

This actual job listing symbolizes the sorry state of affairs in the advertising industry. A firm is seeking a “Rockstar” Creative Director with at least 3 years of total career experience to serve as the “creative force” for the “profitable CPA (Cost per acquisition) lead generation/referral business.” The candidate “must be extremely creative” with energy—the latter quality being the “most important asset of any key player on our team.” The going rate for an energetic “rockstar” maxes at $65k per year.

Creative Director

Company X

City Y, State Z

Creative Director (Rockstar) – Wanted


Company X is a rapidly growing resource management company that services as an incubator for a number online businesses. At the core, is a profitable CPA (Cost per acquisition) lead generation/referral business, with a 100+ person sales and fulfillment center focused in the credit challenged space since 2005. We are currently looking for a Creative Director who has extensive experience working with traditional media and brand management to join our 20+ people digital Marketing team. This person’s core function would be to create, manage and oversee the productions of our print/traditional branding media campaigns, while uncovering new opportunities. (a.k.a. Marketing Rockstar)

Why this is a Dream Job:

• You will be the creative force behind all of ours print-media, TV, Video Production campaigns, ensuring brand identity and recognition is at the core of our campaigns.

• You will be creatively working with energetic entrepreneurs to grow existing business, while be working on new Branding opportunities.

• This is an opportunity for you to be a key player in a fast paced, motivated and driven marketing group. (Work hard–Play harder environment.)

• Capability to influence the creation creative ad copies including but not limited to print collateral, digital ad copies, copywriting and video.

• Providing strategic insights to help accelerate the sales growth and profitability of Facebook Ads, display ads, social, email marketing and other marketing channels.

Job Requirements:

CREATIVE—Must be extremely creative.

• 3+ years of experience in marketing

Energy (Most important asset of any key player on our team)

Experience—3+ years executing results-driven paid marketing programs and a minimum Bachelor’s degree in Marketing

Team Player—Strong analytical and communication skills with the ability to articulate performance metrics challenges and opportunities

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $58,000.00 to $65,000.00 / year

14642: When It Comes To Diversity, It’s All Greek To Havas Honcho.

Campaign published divertsity distortion from Havas Creative Group Global Chief Marketing Officer Tracey Barber. First of all, Havas Creative Group is an oxymoron. Barber, on the other hand, is a regular moron.

The title of the perspective—Adland is missing out on talent that doesn’t look like us—speaks of Barber’s grand enlightenment, inspired by a volunteer excursion to refugee camps in Greece. Seems Barber was shocked to encounter young women and men with experiences and capabilities that would qualify them to work among the elitists at White advertising agencies—plus, these refugee campers were surprisingly articulate. Barber’s amazement included:

I met young women whose ability to articulate their point of difference would rival the expertise of the most seasoned strategist building a brand’s USP. The journey from camp to asylum status can take years, and these women were honing their skills and delivering succinct rationale of what they can offer and why, articulated better than many creative briefs I have seen.

I ran sessions with young men whose life experiences and copywriting talent told stories of heart-wrenching potency equal to any D&AD entry, and 18-year-olds showing the kind of determination, drive and entrepreneurialism that has led to successful start-ups and a level of innovation to rival any of our tech labs.

Um, the typical “seasoned strategist” is barely a rung above a Walmart greeter (no offense to Walmart greeters), the standard creative brief is a rung below soiled Charmin and most D&AD entries—especially those submitted by Havas—don’t deserve a rung, let alone a pencil trophy.

At least now Barber can add refugee camps to the list of options—including inner cities, hip hop performers and Brazil—for finding minority talent.

Adland is missing out on talent that doesn't look like us

A view from Tracey Barber

After volunteering at refugee camps in Greece, the Havas Creative Group CMO reflects on her learnings.

Our recent visit to refugee camps in Greece originated out of a simple idea, and one that runs through Havas: less talk, more “do”. We decided to volunteer because we wanted to do something — anything — tangible in the face of such a devastating humanitarian crisis and we came home with a far greater understanding of the complexity of the situation. But what transpired was more challenging, inspiring and — to my surprise, or perhaps ignorance — creative than I’d anticipated.

Each camp houses more than 1,000 people in rudimentary metal containers. The majority have fled terrible circumstances; all are seeking asylum. Most are under 21. Syrians, Iraqis, Congolese and more live side by side in extremely basic conditions, coexisting through necessity despite a plethora of cultural differences and with a narrative none of us can begin to imagine.

I have no desire to write what would be a crass “five things marketers can learn from…” piece — but some of the things we realised are worth highlighting.

We went out with a specific brief: to help the refugees craft their CVs and asylum applications, and to highlight — to the women specifically — the level of opportunity available to them. What actually transpired was a series of interactive workshops where we learned as much from the attendees as we hope we were able to teach them, and sessions that became dynamic presentations, hotbeds of debate, complex and demanding Q&As and what amounted to, by any standards, show-stopping pitches.

It reminded me that pitching is not just a business (or new-business) aptitude, but a fundamental life skill — and one we should be equipping all of our people with, not just the most senior.

It also brought home that these kids (and they are kids, the same age as this “next generation of talent” we’re all looking to attract) don’t just want to be told what to do — they want to show what they have to offer. If they were able to force us to sit up and listen in this unlikeliest of environments, more fool us if we don’t do the same at home.

I met young women whose ability to articulate their point of difference would rival the expertise of the most seasoned strategist building a brand’s USP. The journey from camp to asylum status can take years, and these women were honing their skills and delivering succinct rationale of what they can offer and why, articulated better than many creative briefs I have seen.

I ran sessions with young men whose life experiences and copywriting talent told stories of heart-wrenching potency equal to any D&AD entry, and 18-year-olds showing the kind of determination, drive and entrepreneurialism that has led to successful start-ups and a level of innovation to rival any of our tech labs.

And yet what are the odds for those who end up in the UK — or, frankly, any country with an advertising industry — that any of them would ever be hired by any of us?

The difference isn’t talent or drive — it’s circumstance.

If you think this comparison is a stretch, or even flippant, try this one: what’s the difference between the predominantly white, middle-class, university-educated people we have traditionally hired and those we haven’t — those from disadvantaged or minority backgrounds or without a CV full of qualifications?


I’m not saying that we’re missing out on talent in refugee camps in Greece (although I’m not not saying that either — some of the people I met could certainly teach us a thing or two). It’s that we’re missing out on talent that doesn’t look like us. There are pools of creativity and inspiration and ideas and difference in all sorts of places, which we are failing miserably to access.

Tracey Barber is global chief marketing officer at Havas Creative Group

Monday, May 27, 2019

14641: Revisionist Memories On Memorial Day.

HISTORY noted, “One of the Earliest Memorial Day Ceremonies Was Held by Freed Slaves.”

The BBC broadcasted, “Memorial Day: America’s strained salute to its black veterans.”

History News Network wrote, “The African-American origins of Memorial Day have been suppressed.”

14640: The Last Straw Dogs (Cont’d).

More plastic-straws-kill-wildlife campaigns are washing up on shores worldwide. This one is particularly questionable given that it was hatched by the Puerto Rico office of DDB—a White advertising network tied to Mickey D’s, a junk food corporation likely responsible for a sizable amount of the plastic straws polluting the environment.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

14639: Toying Around With Wildlife And The Environment.

Oh, look! Another plastic-kills-wildlife campaign featuring a sea turtle. And what’s with the seal being attacked by Native Americans?