Thursday, September 19, 2019

14761: In The Divertsity Era, All White Advertising Agencies Look Alike.

AgencySpy posted an internal email from Wieden + Kennedy leaders (depicted below) boasting about the White advertising agency’s Mickey D’s win while slamming ex-AOR We Are Unlimited. This is the equivalent of a professional athlete executing an end zone dance after posterizing a Special Olympian. The barbs included, “But in the end, WAU forgot the power of creativity (or arguably didn’t have much to offer).” Stay classy, W+K.

The truth is, W+K and WAU actually are very equal rivals in one key area. Both White advertising agencies are divertsity and divertisement deceivers. Indeed, the shitholes are run by White women—Colleen Decourcy and Wendy Clark—who talk the talk and walk away. These fools are only interested in promoting White women—especially themselves.

Decourcy and Clark are soul sisters in the Divertsity Era, perfectly representing the new racism exclusivity of the field.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

14760: We Are Unlimited Rendered Limited By Mickey D’s—And Limited Talent.

Advertising Age reported Mickey D’s selected Wieden + Kennedy New York as its new White advertising agency, essentially deep-frying We Are Unlimited—its “dedicated” White advertising agency—in the process. The news—especially the demise of We Are Unlimited—is hardly news and clearly displays McDesperation and McBullshit on numerous levels.

First, Wieden + Kennedy presumably besting We Are Unlimited is a no-brainer—and it was probably no contest. In contrast to the recent self-promotion, We Are Unlimited churned out some of the worst campaigns in the fast feeder’s history. Even Omnicom likely questioned We Are Unlimited’s capabilities, as the White holding company reportedly added two sister shops—TBWA and Adam & Eve/DDB—to the shootout. Wouldn’t be surprised if Wendy Clark freelanced Ted Royer for the McContest.

Second, Mickey D’s ignoring Wieden + Kennedy’s relationship with KFC shows conflicts of interest might be a relic of the past. After all, Mickey D’s arguably competes directly with KFC, particularly when considering the many McChicken menu items. Wieden + Kennedy using its New York office to service the Golden Arches while its Portland office covers KFC is a pretty slick move too. Hey, the independent Wieden + Kennedy doesn’t have the ability offer a portfolio of White advertising agencies.

Third, another slick move involves Mickey D’s decision to shift business to an East Coast shop. The fast feeder is headquartered in Chicago and probably receives financial perks from the city and Illinois. To effectively put hundreds of Chicagoans out of work—from We Are Unlimited staffers to local vendors—is not nice from professional and political perspectives. Maybe this is why We Are Unlimited will stay on the roster to handle “operational excellence” for Mickey D’s. Right, let the creators of the worst McCrap ever handle the excellent operations.

Fourth, We Are Unlimited joins the junk heap of dead-dicated White advertising agencies including Team One, Team Detroit, Cavalry, Enfatico, et al. That’s quite a posse of poop piles.

McDonald’s picks Wieden & Kennedy New York as lead U.S. creative agency

Golden Arches turns to independent agency for a fresh approach three years after Omnicom Group won the business

By Jessica Wohl

McDonald’s has chosen Wieden & Kennedy, New York as its lead creative agency in the U.S., delivering a blow to Omnicom Group’s DDB three years after it emerged the victor in the chain’s creative shootout.

The move toward an independent creative agency is a major shift for the country’s largest restaurant chain, which has for decades worked with shops that are part of large holding companies. It also suggests that a bespoke agency model, hailed as the wave of the future when DDB created one for McDonald’s three years ago, may not be the definitive answer for major marketers when it comes to creative partners.

In August 2016, the Golden Arches named Omnicom Group the winner in a U.S. creative contest in which it fought against Publicis Groupe. Now We Are Unlimited, the Chicago-based agency that Omnicom’s DDB created to support McDonald’s, is taking a back seat to Wieden & Kennedy, New York.

We Are Unlimited will continue to work on the brand with a focus on what McDonald’s is calling “operational excellence.” We Are Unlimited’s scope includes Happy Meals and other assignments where there’s a steady volume of work to churn out, such as digital marketing, customer relationship management and work on the mobile app.

The move is a huge win for W&K. The U.S. is the Golden Arches’ biggest market with nearly 14,000 restaurants that bring in annual system-wide sales of more than $38 billion. Notably, McDonald’s does not see a conflict with KFC, for which Wieden & Kennedy, Portland has done award-winning work including creating a rotating cast of Colonel Sanders characters.

‘Getting the best work’

In an interview, McDonald’s U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Flatley said the Chicago-based restaurant chain spent time getting comfortable with the idea of working with an agency that works with another company in the fast-food industry. “At this point, it doesn’t concern us,” she said of W&K’s relationship with KFC. “We wanted to make the decision around getting the best work that this business deserves.”

McDonald’s also noted that the brands will be worked on from different offices, with different teams and IT safeguards will be put in place.

McDonald’s says it selected Wieden & Kennedy, New York for its blend of strategic and creative work. “Creative excellence is a huge passion point of mine,” says Flatley, noting that the W&K team understood “the heart and the soul of this brand.” The fast-feeder conducted the review internally and was seeking a more creative approach to help it build stronger connections with current customers and get those who don’t visit the restaurants to come in for the first time or return.

The review began about nine months ago with three agencies under consideration: Wieden & Kennedy, New York along with two Omnicom shops: TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles and Adam & Eve/DDB, Flatley said.

McDonald’s narrowed the field in May to W&K and TBWA, and those agencies began working on “business-critical briefs for 2020,” as Flatley described the process. The decision was made this week after both agencies delivered their final presentations on Tuesday. TBWA has worked globally with McDonald’s for more than three decades and had recently expanded its relationship with the company in the U.S., including for work on its McCafé coffee.

W&K will begin work on the brand in the next month to plan for 2020.

McDonald’s will now have a tag-team approach. “The challenge is balancing both world-class creative and also how you put data, insights, and speed in the center of everything you do,” says Flatley. McDonald’s pointed to W&K’s work for brands including Nike, Bud Light, Coca-Cola’s Sprite and Vitaminwater, and Delta.

Winning streak

This appointment marks another major brand win for W&K’s New York office. Once operating in the shadow of the agency’s Portland office, New York has added multiple blue-chip clients in recent years, including Bud Light and Ford, the latter of which came aboard late last year after the automaker demoted WPP’s GTB, a bespoke agency model that was relegated to lower-profile work.

“We’re incredibly excited and honored to be part of the McDonald’s team at this critical juncture in their business transformation,” Neal Arthur, managing director of Wieden & Kennedy, New York, said in a statement provided by the client. “McDonald’s has created some of the most iconic branding, advertising and marketing initiatives the world has ever known, and we look forward to working across the company and agency network to continue this rich tradition.”

We Are Unlimited, meanwhile, pointed to its continued relationship with the brand. “We remain a proud partner with McDonalds’s and are working closely across both the McDonald’s and We Are Unlimited teams to ensure we remain focused on our shared goals and priorities,” the agency said in a statement.

“It’s been a privilege to work with McDonald’s in the U.S., and we’re proud to continue working with them in many markets around the world,” TBWA CEO Troy Ruhanen said in a statement. “We love the brand and wish them every success.”

McDonald’s has been on a roll under the leadership of CEO Steve Easterbrook, posting 10 consecutive quarters of U.S. same-store sales growth and 16 consecutive quarters of global same-store sales growth. In the recent second quarter, U.S. same-store sales shot up 5.7 percent, growing at a faster clip than rivals Burger King and Wendy’s. McDonald’s has been improving its menu with the addition of fresh beef Quarter Pounder burgers and updated McCafé coffee, is renovating thousands of restaurants and has gotten a sales boost from the addition of delivery. Still, its franchisees began organizing in a bigger way, in a group called the National Owners Association, pushing for more of a say in how the company operates.

Flatley, who worked on brands including Gatorade before joining McDonald’s in May 2017, runs McDonald’s marketing in the U.S. Colin Mitchell, who was promoted to senior VP of global marketing in July, was also deeply involved in the domestic agency review.

“Globally, we are trying to evolve our creative, like the rest of the customer experience,” Mitchell said in a statement. “This move allows us to push our vision for modern marketing in this very important market.”

Still lovin’ it

Wieden & Kennedy, New York is expected to help McDonald’s U.S. communicate more consistently the optimistic tone of togetherness and community that the company tries to project globally, Flatley said. The “I’m lovin’ it” slogan, cooked up in 2003 by DDB’s Heye & Partner, of Germany, is sticking around. “You’ll see it and my expectation is it will start to have more meaning,” Flatley said.

Other U.S. agency relationships remain intact, including a mix of multicultural agencies, co-op relationships with various creative agencies for work at the local level, and media agency OMD.

We Are Unlimited was created in 2016 following an agency review and selection process led by Deborah Wahl, who was McDonald’s U.S. CMO at the time and then left the company in 2017. Omnicom won the McDonald’s account back then in a pitch led by Wendy Clark, who at that time was CEO of DDB North America and is now CEO of DDB Worldwide. We Are Unlimited officially began working on the account at the start of 2017.

We Are Unlimited debuted years after the demise of Element 79, a Chicago-based Omnicom agency created in 2001 to focus on PepsiCo that later lost clients including PepsiCo’s Tropicana, Gatorade and Quaker, and was absorbed by DDB Chicago in 2012.

McDonald’s is also beefing up its technology investments. On Sept. 10, it announced the plan to buy Apprente, a voice-based conversational technology company. Earlier this year, it invested in mobile app company Plexure and acquired Dynamic Yield, which is helping the chain make its digital billboards more personalized and more adaptable to changes such as the weather.

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

14759: The Vagina Monochromatic Monologues In India.

This gynecological health awareness advertisement from India is disturbing not just for its conceptual awfulness—which seemingly took inspiration from Summer’s Eve—but also for the decision to depict the Whitest skin possible. Hey, racism shouldn’t be taboo either.

Monday, September 16, 2019

14758: IPG Leadership Is Sinking—And Stinking.

Advertising Age reported IPG engineered a “leadership shakeup”—with Philippe Krakowsky assuming the newly-created role of Chief Operating Officer. Hey, it’s always nice to invent a new role for a White man. It’s inappropriate, however, to use the term “leadership” when discussing anything associated with IPG. Oh, and the new “leadership” doesn’t exactly reflect an organization boasting to be recognized for leadership in diversity and inclusion—it looks like the standard White people in charge.

In IPG leadership shakeup, Philippe Krakowsky becomes new COO

Daryl Lee is named CEO of IPG Mediabrands and Eileen Kiernan, global CEO of UM

By Lindsay Rittenhouse

Interpublic Group of Cos. announced a round of leadership changes on Monday. Philippe Krakowsky has been named the chief operating officer of the holding company, a newly-created position. Daryl Lee will succeed him as chief executive of IPG Mediabrands and Eileen Kiernan will take over as global CEO of UM.

Krakowsky has been CEO and chairman of IPG Mediabrands for the past three years. He is also IPG’s chief strategy and talent officer, titles he will retain. Krakowsky will also maintain his role as chairman of IPG Mediabrands, with oversight of Acxiom, Carmichael Lynch, Deutsch, Hill Holliday, Huge and R/GA.

Interpublic Group of Cos. is the world's fourth-largest agency company based on 2018 total revenue of $9.7 billion, according to Ad Age's Datacenter. As chief operating officer, Krakowsky will work with IPG Chairman and CEO Michael Roth to oversee business operations across the holding company. “For more than a decade, Philippe has played a key part in major strategic strategic actions at Interpublic that have been integral to our long-term success, and more recently he was the driving force behind our acquisition of Acxiom,” Roth said in a statement.

Roth also credited Krakowsky with designing and executing the holding company’s “open architecture” model and “helping create IPG's distinctive culture.”

Lee has been the global CEO of UM since 2013. Kiernan was the global president of J3, the dedicated media unit for Johnson & Johnson under UM.

In an email to IPG Mediabrands staff, Krakowsky called Lee “the absolute right person to lead Mediabrands into the future.”

“He is relentlessly client-focused, and he’s brought together the great team that has shaped an offering at UM that successfully combines science and art in the service of driving improved business results,” he said. “He is also someone who inspires others and has been a true champion for diversity and inclusion.”

On Kiernan, Krakowsky wrote in the email, “Since joining Mediabrands three and a half years ago, one of the things I’ve most enjoyed is that the work we do takes us to so many places within our clients’ businesses, and that our people are so smart, and so comfortable with technology and change. Very few people embody that more than Eileen, which is why she will be a great leader for UM.”

Krakowsky pointed to a “recent string of wins and key defenses” from Initiative and UM including of Amazon, American Express, BMW, Converse, Hulu, Lego, Liberty Mutual, Quicken Loans, Revlon, Spotify, Nestle, CVS/Aetna and Levi’s.

He said one area in which IPG Mediabrands needs strengthening, being “still at the start of our journey,” is in its capabilities in data and technology.

“That’s why I’m excited to stay connected to Mediabrands as its chairman,” Krakowsky said. “Working closely with Acxiom, I believe we can create new products and services that will position us to help clients build their business in many new ways.”

Sunday, September 15, 2019

14757: An Ode To Creative Awfulness And Contrived Bullshit.

Not sure what Creative Ode in Dubai is trying to say with this campaign. Pretty sure the place is a shitty agency.

Friday, September 13, 2019

14755: The New York Times Publishes Hypocritical Bullshit Via Droga5.

Oh, look! Another divertisement saluting female athletes. This patronizing pap comes from Droga5, the White advertising agency also responsible for a sexual harassment scandal rivaling the worst in the industry. A line judge should holler, “Out!”

Thursday, September 12, 2019

14754: USTA And mcgarrybowen Serve Major Bullshit.

This USTA video—an ace divertisement—was produced by mcgarrybowen and described as follows:

The US Open has a long history supporting Women’s Equality. So, when we uncovered the shocking fact that of all sports covered in America, only 4% features female athletes—we knew the USTA would be all in on bringing awareness to this issue. We decided to launch the campaign on the opening day of the US Open, which serendipitously falls on Women’s Equality Day! The USTA also expanded their partnership with SheIS, a not-for-profit group whose goal is to “leverage the power of women in sports to create a future of, by and for strong women.” Having worked with SheIs since 2018, they were a natural partner to amplify and extend the reach of the campaign.

The campaign goal is simply to get the world to see that women are worth watching and to encourage equal media coverage of men’s and women’s sports. While USTA’s platform is tennis, the campaign challenge extends to all women’s sports. The creative is centered around a call to arms, using the hashtag: #WomenWorthWatching—which serves as an invitation to spread the word. And who better to deliver that message than Billie Jean King herself, a fearless crusader in the fight for women’s visibility and pay equity in sports. She was the perfect voice for our spots.

Um, a White advertising agency with a history of exclusivity and nepotism suddenly promoting gender equality is a tad hypocritical—and a ton hyper-White-mansplaining.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

14753: A Shitty Carlsberg Ad You Can Overlook? Probably.

Drinking and driving is okay—when your vehicle is a bike and your beer is the alcohol-free variety. However, most states have bicycle DUI laws.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

14752: Marc Pritchard & Antonio Lucio Setting New Standards For Status Quo.

Adweek presented a podcast featuring Procter & Gamble Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard and Facebook CMO Antonio Lucio, which could have been titled, “Divertsity and Divertisement Dumb and Dumber Duo.” Adweek declared the dimwits are “setting new industry standards.” Yes, new standards for hypocrisy and bullshit. The trade journal should have added Verizon CMO Diego Scotti to complete The Three Stooges of the status quo. Don’t bother listening to the gibberish and jabber. Appropriately, these guys are all talk.

P&G CBO Marc Pritchard and Facebook CMO Antonio Lucio Setting New Industry Standards

By Nadine Dietz

What happens when you bring two of the most influential marketing leaders in the world together on one podcast? I just had to find out, which is why I invited Marc Pritchard, CBO of Procter & Gamble and Antonio Lucio, CMO of Facebook to come together to interview each other in this very special CMO Moves Duos episode.

I had a front-row seat as Marc and Antonio dove deep into the topics driving the industry today, starting with an intriguing update on the challenges they face today in their respective organizations. One would think that a 182-year-old company and a 15-year-old company would be worlds apart. Also, the role of Chief Brand Officer and the Chief Marketing Officer would have fundamentally different objectives. And being “B2C” vs “B2B(&C)” would certainly be a dividing factor. Alas, the camaraderie, mutual respect, and alignment on what is most important for brands and marketing today was incredible and how both are championing their customers and consumers in new ways, as well as working well together for industry advancement.

We’ve all heard from or read about Marc and Antonio individually on the importance of transparency, trust, diversity, inclusion, credibility, reinvention and responsibility. Hearing them discuss the topics together and the rationale behind their shared perspectives only further underscores their impact in our marketing community and provides all of us a blueprint for becoming the best leaders we can be.

Monday, September 09, 2019

14751: Out Of Africa, Into Cultural Clichés and Cluelessness.

Would this Nigerian beer campaign concept fly in White countries? Um, sadly yes.

14750: We Are Unlimited Unraveling, Undone And Going Under—Call The Undertaker.

AgencySpy posted on layoffs at We Are Unlimited resulting from reassignments via Mickey D’s—coupled with corporate cultural collusion involving work being shifted to TBWA, an Omnicom sister White advertising agency. We Are Unlimited employees were also shuffled to DDB, another Omnicom sister White advertising agency. We Are Unlimited may soon change its name to We Are Unemployed.

We Are Unlimited Goes Through Round of Layoffs Amid McDonald’s Review

By Erik Oster

Omnicom’s We Are Unlimited has gone through a round of layoffs while the client it was created for decides how to handle its creative account going forward.

Sources close to the matter claim that around 10 employees were laid off and 8 transferred to DDB as a result of changes to the McDonald’s business. Another source claims the number impacted could be significantly higher, with some employees leaving at the end of the month and others at the end of the year.

McDonald’s launched a review of its U.S. agency model back in July, while also sending an unspecified project to W+K New York. Omnicom set up We Are Unlimited as a unit dedicated to the McDonald’s account after winning creative AOR duties three years ago.

We Are Unlimited’s exclusive contract with McDonald’s ended back in January, leaving We Are Unlimited free to pursue new business opportunities. Last fall, McDonald’s sent lead creative duties on its McCafe brand to TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A following a closed “jump ball” pitch which reportedly involved We Are Unlimited competing against TBWA.

A source close to the matter claimed it’s possible that more We Are Unlimited employees could be impacted as the client’s creative account continues to evolve, including possible transfers to TBWA.

Sunday, September 08, 2019

14749: Rave—As In Stark Raving Mad—Reviews For Mickey D’s.

In Germany, the debut of “The Signature Collection” at Mickey D’s is receiving more fanfare than it deserves. This performance warrants a critical panning.

Saturday, September 07, 2019

Friday, September 06, 2019

14747: Why Do CMOs Talk Like Philanthropists But Act Like White Supremacists?

Adweek asked, “Why Do CMOs Care About Diversity and Inclusion?

Um. They don’t. The typical CMO only cares about divertsity and producing divertisements.

If CMOs gave a shit about fairness and equality, they would never partner with White advertising agencies where diversity is a dream deferred, diverted and denied.

Thursday, September 05, 2019

14746: Sour Grapes Via Apple Creative Honcho From TBWA.

Adweek published a lengthy story detailing—in painful detail—the age-discrimination lawsuit filed against TBWA by former Global Chief Creative President Duncan Milner. The 30-year veteran worked on lots of iconic campaigns for Apple before allegedly getting sacked like a rotten apple. Not sure why Adweek is serving as a soapbox for White people claiming to have been wronged by White advertising agencies. Somebody should tell Milner it’s time to “Think Different”—or at least find a different job. If he’s hoping to score big bucks, well, “Here’s to the crazy ones…”

Longtime Exec on TBWA’s Apple Account Is Suing the Agency for Cutting His Job

Duncan Milner claims he was a victim of age discrimination

By Doug Zanger

Duncan Milner, the TBWA creative executive who was handpicked by Lee Clow to lead some of Apple’s most iconic ad campaigns, has been terminated from the agency after more than 30 years. And Milner has responded by filing a wrongful-termination suit against his longtime agency.

When TBWA\Media Arts Lab was founded as a bespoke agency for the Apple account in 2000, Milner was the creative lead, rising to CCO in 2009. But in 2016, Milner was replaced by current CCO Brent Anderson and moved into a vaguely defined position as global chief creative president focused on MAL\For Good, the purpose-driven arm of the agency.

This year, after Clow announced his retirement in February, Milner was informed the agency “couldn’t carry his salary anymore,” according to his lawsuit, and in June, he was terminated.

“I felt I was let go unfairly, and we couldn’t come to an agreement over what I felt was fair compensation, so I have filed a suit,” Milner told Adweek, saying he was told the agency “didn’t have a job for me” and “couldn’t cover my salary.”

TBWA Worldwide is aware of Milner’s lawsuit but declined to comment to Adweek, citing a policy against discussing pending litigation. However, the agency did acknowledge in a statement to Adweek that Milner’s position was cut when MAL\For Good was folded into another arm of the agency network.

MAL\For Good “struggled to be profitable as a stand-alone business entity,” TBWA Worldwide said in a statement. “Earlier this year, the decision was made to evolve MFG into a strategic, consultative offer within TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A. As a result, Duncan Milner’s position as the creative leader of MAL\For Good was eliminated.”

According to Milner’s complaint (which you can read in its entirety below), which he filed with the California Superior Court in Los Angeles, he is suing TBWA for alleged age discrimination and breach of oral and implied contracts. The suit also points to the alleged erosion of Milner’s compensation and influence in recent years, culminating in his replacement by Anderson as CCO of TBWA\Media Arts Lab, which the lawsuit describes as a “demotion” and an “unceremonious shift.”

Milner’s lawsuit says he was presented with two options: take a 50% pay cut and take on three additional accounts or accept a severance package and leave the company. In June, the suit alleges, Milner was called into a meeting with chief talent officer Kristen Clark and TBWA\Chiat Day L.A. managing director Michael Claypool and informed that “they had looked around” and “didn’t have anything for him, even at a reduced salary.”

At one point, according to the suit, Milner told Clark, “It’s starting to look and smell like age discrimination.”

In addition to Clark and Claypool, TBWA\Worldwide CEO Troy Ruhanen, TBWA\Worldwide CCO Chris Garbutt, TBWA\Worldwide general counsel Elaine Stein, and TBWA\Chiat\Day L.A. president Erin Riley, and executive human resources director Sheri Thorburn are named in the suit.

Milner’s time atop Apple’s advertising

In his 31 years at TBWA, Milner was part of building Apple’s prodigious and wildly successful marketing campaigns, including the lauded “Mac vs. PC,” the iconic “Silhouette” work that made the iPod one of the most popular electronic devices of its day and the ongoing “Shot on iPhone” campaign.

The lawsuit describes Milner as working closely with Apple founder Steve Jobs and often being praised for his work.

“Following the launch of the iPod in 2001, Jobs commended Milner and his team, exclaiming, ‘You guys gave me a billion-dollar idea!’” the lawsuit states. “For years thereafter, Milner received high praise from Jobs for his iconic ‘Mac vs. PC’ campaign, which was named ‘Campaign of the Decade’ by Adweek. Jobs would say to Milner, ‘You guys are the best in the business, and that’s why you’re here.’”

The suit states that Jobs continued to include Milner in his inner circle of marketing even as his health deteriorated.

“After Jobs’s health declined, Milner continued to meet with him until a week or two prior to his death,” the lawsuit states. “As his health worsened, Jobs became more selective about those he would allow to bring work to him at home, but Milner was always included in the select few who went to Jobs’s home to meet with him.”

In addition to his time in Los Angeles, Milner worked across the agency network’s offices in St. Louis, Toronto and San Francisco, where he worked on Levi’s in the late 1990s.

But his fortunes at the agency changed after the arrival of Ruhanen in 2014, according to the lawsuit. A year later, Milner emailed Ruhanen to complain about his annual bonus being surprisingly small.

“I received my yearly performance bonus a few days ago…suffice it to say, I’m beyond disappointed,” Milner wrote in the email, as quoted in the suit. “It’s hard not to look at this as at worst as an insult and at best a criticism of my performance. I had hoped that after 14+ years of working on and building Apple, and 7+ years of building MAL offices doing the majority of Apple’s 2 billion dollars of marketing … To see my base salary stay stagnant for 3 years, my bonus shrink year after year, and no new stock grants since 2012 leads me to believe that TBWA and [parent company] Omnicom don’t hold my contribution or value in very high regard.”

About a year after that conversation, while waiting to board a 2016 flight to Prague for an Apple commercial shoot, Milner said he was told he was being moved out of the CCO position at TBWA\Media Arts Lab and taken off the Apple account, with no clear plan for his next role, according to the lawsuit.

In 2017, his annual compensation at MAL\For Good “was reduced drastically, by half, the result of having his bonuses removed and Omnicom’s issuance of stock grants discontinued,” the lawsuit states. He was then informed this year that the position would be eliminated.

“I’m shocked [by the dismissal],” Milner said. “I’m proud of the work we were doing and the work I did while I was there.”

(Adweek included a full copy of Milner’s complaint.)

Wednesday, September 04, 2019

14745: Pepsi Campaign From Egypt Is Road Kill.

Why is this Pepsi campaign from Egypt positioning the soft drink as safe for driving? Has Coca-Cola led to auto fatalities in the country?

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

14744: Crybaby Copywriter Confesses Contrasting Conditions.

The latest installment of the Digiday confessions series spotlighted a crybaby copywriter whining, “I have to fight to do my job.” Boo-hoo. Actually, the alleged copywriter appears to be very senior—probably a senior citizen—as he/she makes references to the “golden era of advertising” and the “‘80s and ‘90s” with a sense of fond remembrance and longing for the past. According to the confessor, the business today is so terrible because art directors receive greater respect. In contrast, copywriters must collaborate with multiple art directors and have their work constantly scrutinized by account people and clients. Um, art directors being tasked to present endless rounds of royalty-free stock photography options shows they get greater respect…?

Oh, and copywriters and art directors at White advertising agencies still get waaaaay more respect than the token minority running the mailroom—or the typical Chief Diversity Officer.

‘I have to fight to do my job’: Confessions of a copywriter

By Kristina Monllos

Copywriters used to be central to how an agency worked, but the rise of project models is putting a strain on the copywriter-art director partnership. When the work is primarily project-based, agencies are focused on making clients happy at all costs, lessening the role of a copywriter and making the art director more important. It’s causing a strain on the partnership, according to a copywriter at a creative agency who spoke to Digiday for the latest edition of our Confession series, where we exchange anonymity for honesty.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

What’s it like to be a copywriter at an agency today?

Going back to the golden era of advertising, there was a lot more weightiness to the role of the copywriter. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, it swung to that partner model. Now, it feels like the pendulum has swung even further. Art directors outnumber copywriters. That has reduced the role of a copywriter in a lot of ways.

How outnumbered are you?

I work with four different art directors. How are we that outnumbered? That’s how little they tend to think of copy. I can write a headline in eight seconds, that’s what they think. Yes, technically, that’s how long it would take me to physically type six words. And it does take a lot longer to design an ad. But it’s putting a toll on copywriters because we’re stretched so thin between all the different art directors and projects. On paper, they don’t think we should take that much time writing.

Do you have any examples of how the role of copywriter has been reduced or devalued?

One of the most frequent ones would be the way people flippantly treat copy. The account team may tweak something before they send it to the client. Sometimes I’ll get a brief from the client and project management that is like, “They want it to say this but they thought it sounded boring so they want you to zhuzh it.” I’m not a zhuzher. I’m a writer. I get that a lot. The client doesn’t take photoshop files and change them. We don’t give them access to that. So why am I getting revisions from clients that say, “Just change it to say this.” You’re messing with my work, and it’s not treated to with the same sort of value as the art director’s [work].

Why do you think that’s happening now?

We’re straying further from the agency-of-record world. We’re getting more into projects. It’s becoming more about pleasing the client to get the paycheck instead of creating something meaningful. It becomes a “we’ll just do what they want” mentality because no one wants to fight with the client. Instead of me writing something, it becomes me copy editing or proofreading it. We’re just swapping some words, or we’re trying to make it fit within a character count. That’s not my job. My job is to write things and to think of things; it’s not to make a client’s words sound fresher.

How does that shift change the work environment?

It’s stressful because now I feel like I have to fight to do my job. I have to constantly be reminding people that they can’t change my copy because that’s my job. They don’t think about the copywriter’s presence as being a creative one. They think well, the creative directors are going to come up with all the ideas, the art director will implement the idea and the copywriter will come in, slap a headline on it and call it a day.

How does that play out when it comes to being on-set?

[If] we’re over budget or there’s going to be too many people on set, the first person who’s cut is the copywriter. They always say things like, “Well, you’ve already written the script” or “It’s a photo shoot, you’re not needed.” They don’t think a copywriter’s presence is necessary. To them, it’s the art director that picks out the props, sets up the scene, picks out the wardrobe, points out flaws. Everything is about the art director when it comes to shoots. That’s where the biggest challenge is because people don’t understand that I’m not on set to write on the fly. I’ve never written a word on a set before. That’s not why writers are there. People don’t know why writers are there.

What does a writer do on set? Why do they need to be there?

You’re not only making sure that everything is executed correctly or that the words coming out are the correct ones, but you’re also making sure the story is being told in a cohesive manner. You’re having conversations with the art director and the creative director to make sure that it’s feeling like you want it to feel. It’s not just what you’re seeing but about the mood that’s being encapsulated. The problem now is that the art director is put on a pedestal. The writer’s [role on set is] you stand there, represent and chill out. You raise a finger if you see something going awry or if the photographer is accidentally forgetting to leave room for copy. The art director leads the charge, and you’re not supposed to say anything unless it’s going off the rails.

That sounds like it would fracture the relationship between the art director and copywriter.

Correct. The biggest eye-opener for me was that someone once referred to my partner as my boss on a set. They thought my partner was the one in charge of me and the whole production. That’s my partner. We are equals.

Do you think that perception has a greater impact on the copywriters?

My role has become confused within the industry. People don’t quite understand what I’m supposed to do. Even I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do half of the time. When there’s a lack of understanding about your job role, it creates frustration and animosity. This industry has such a high turnover rate, especially for junior creatives, because they get in there and they’re like, “I’m treated like shit, so I’m not going to do this anymore,” and they leave.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

14741: For Good Times, See The Work Of Ernie Barnes.

From The Los Angeles Times…

Ernie Barnes’ ‘Sugar Shack’: Why museum-goers line up to see ex-NFL player’s painting

By Makeda Easter | Staff Writer

At the California African American Museum’s retrospective dedicated to late artist and former NFL player Ernie Barnes, “The Sugar Shack” is an undeniable star.

Visitors often form a line around the painting, said the show’s curator, Bridget R. Cooks, associate professor in the departments of African American studies and art history at UC Irvine. They all wait for their moment with Barnes’ work, a piece that entered pop-culture consciousness after appearing on the 1970s sitcom “Good Times” and as the cover art to Marvin Gaye’s 1976 album, “I Want You.”

“The Sugar Shack” transports viewers to a jubilant black club. Vibrant, dancing partygoers and musicians fill the 3-by-4-foot canvas. Most have their eyes closed, a signature in nearly all of Barnes’ paintings, referring to his oft-stated belief that “we are blind to each other’s humanity.”

As a neo-mannerist who referenced the late Renaissance period of Leonardo da Vinci and Raphael, Barnes painted the figures in “The Sugar Shack” as exaggerated and elongated forms, one man’s arms joyously nearly reaching the top of the canvas, another woman’s curvy legs stretching halfway across the dance floor. Barnes’ expressive style helps viewers identify with the rhythm and sensuality of the painting, Cooks said.

One central figure in the painting is a woman in a yellow dress and white shoes, dancing at the front of the tall stage, her back to the viewer. She’s a character who appears in artworks throughout Barnes’ career.

It’s easy to get lost in the revelers, but a closer look reveals unexpected details. Nestled in a corner between the stairs and the stage is a black man in a blue uniform, sitting with a newspaper at his feet. Unlike the rest of the figures on the canvas his expression is downcast. He seems to be an outsider.

Cooks isn’t certain if he’s working security or if he’s an off-duty policeman relaxing with the music. But she compared the figure to Jean-Michel Basquiat’s 1981 work “Irony of the Negro Policeman.” “He’s representing law and order and we don’t think about the police being, especially today, friends of the black community,” Cooks said.

Barnes was born into a working-class family in segregated Durham, N.C., in 1938. He painted “The Sugar Shack” from a childhood memory — sneaking into the Durham Armory, a venue that hosted segregated dances and that still exists today. “This was a place where you could go as a black person and see Duke Ellington and see Clyde McPhatter,” Cooks said. Barnes, who died in 2009, recalled in a 2008 interview that the experience was the “first time my innocence met with the sins of dance.” After being drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1959, Barnes played professional football for teams including the Denver Broncos and San Diego Chargers until 1965, before pursuing his passion for art.

In the early 1970s, Barnes settled in L.A.’s Fairfax district. He became interested in Jewish culture and was impressed with how much the community knew of its history, Cooks said. “And he really wished that black people had the same type of cultural education.” Inspired by the “Black Is Beautiful” movement, he premiered his exhibition “The Beauty of the Ghetto,” 35 paintings depicting everyday scenes from black life, in 1972.

His work during the time, including “The Sugar Shack,” was about “showing blackness as beautiful and even exaggerating form,” Cooks said. “It’s not about trying to hide the curves of your body or the facial features that you have. It’s about showing them, even exaggerating them and making it not even just OK but something to really be celebrated.”

“The Sugar Shack” ascended into pop culture by chance.

After Barnes played a game of basketball with Gaye, the soul singer caught a glimpse of Barnes’ painting in his car. “He went crazy and he was like I have to have this,” Cooks said.

Barnes augmented the painting to include references to Gaye’s music, and the work became the cover of his “I Want You” album in 1976. That same year, Barnes painted a “Sugar Shack” duplicate, which is on display at CAAM. According to a note written by the artist, he created the second painting because the first “moved around, uninsured” and out of his control.

In the 1970s, producer Norman Lear commissioned Barnes to create original paintings for the Jimmie Walker character J.J. in “Good Times,” the sitcom about a black family living in a Chicago housing project. In later seasons “The Sugar Shack” was the backdrop for the show’s credits.

The painting became part of American national memory, something of a mythical object, Cooks said. The curator believes Barnes would have found “The Sugar Shack” selfie lines at CAAM to be meaningful.

“It’s wonderful to see how much respect the painting commands,” she said. “People really understand this is a painting that in some ways belongs to everyone.”

Saturday, August 31, 2019

14740: Cicloferón Thinks People with Sickness Are Savages.

This Cicloferón advertisement from JWT in Mexico demonstrates that pharmaceutical advertising sucks worldwide.

Friday, August 30, 2019

14739: Papa John’s Continues To Do The Wrong Thing.

Advertising Age reported Papa John’s—allegedly in an effort to clean up its damaged image—named a former Arby’s president as the new CEO. So, to offset the troubles ignited by Papa John’s Founder John Schnatter using the N-word, they hired a guy whose last name is Lynch. Perfect.

In An Ongoing Effort To Turn Around Papa John’s Tarnished Inage, The Pizza Chain Names A New CEO

Arby’s president, Rob Lynch, will take over as Papa John’s chief executive

Struggling pizza maker Papa John’s International Inc. appointed Arby’s President Rob Lynch as chief executive officer, naming an outsider as it further breaks from its controversial founder John Schnatter.

Lynch, a fast-food industry veteran, will replace Steve Ritchie. It’s the biggest shakeup since activist shareholder Starboard Value set its sights on the pizza company. In a statement, Chairman Jeff Smith cited Lynch’s “proven record transforming organizations and realizing the growth potential of differentiated brands.”

Papa John’s, which operates about 5,300 locations globally, has been facing slowing sales, with revenue declining 12 percent in 2018. Schnatter, whose image had once been deeply ingrained with the company’s marketing, agreed earlier this year to resign from the board and dismiss a lawsuit related to his departure last year as chairman. Papa John’s woes grew last summer after the founder used a racial slur on a conference call, which he said was taken out of context.

“A new management team is usually a pretty good opportunity and you’re seeing it reflected in the stock price now,” Bloomberg Intelligence analyst Mike Halen said.

Papa John’s shares rose as much as 7.6 percent Tuesday in New York, the biggest intraday gain in six months. The stock had already climbed 10 percent this year through Monday’s close, after declining the past two years.

Starboard has invested $250 million in Papa John’s since February. Smith, Starboard’s CEO, became chairman of the pizza maker when it took the stake. The pizza maker’s shares fell 29 percent in 2018 and 34 percent in 2017.

Lynch joined Inspire Brands-owned Arby’s in 2013 as the roast-beef sandwich chain’s chief marketing officer. Before that, he worked at Procter & Gamble Co. and Yum! Brands Inc. as vice president of brand marketing for Taco Bell. He was appointed president of Arby’s in 2017 overseeing marketing, operations and development.

Pharrell’s hat

At Arby’s, Lynch led the chain’s heavy meat-focused marketing and bold ad campaigns that poked fun at vegetarians. Arby’s has more than 3,300 restaurants across the world. In 2014, Arby’s hit social-media marketing gold when it started a back-and-forth with recording artist Pharrell Williams over Twitter over his hat, which resembles the restaurant chain’s logo. “We luckily got our first big win just from being tuned in when we saw Pharrell wearing an ‘Arby’s hat’ at the Grammys! We quickly sent a tweet to Pharrell, and our conversation went viral,” Lynch said in an interview with Marketing Land.

Starboard is known for its turnaround of Olive Garden owner Darden Restaurants Inc. Smith’s proxy fight to replace Darden’s directors included a nearly 300-page Power Point presentation that called for several specific changes at the Italian-dining chain, including adding salt to the water when cooking pasta. Smith took over as chairman of Darden and the company embarked on an effort to improve its lagging performance that included spinning off its real-estate portfolio.

Ritchie, Schnatter’s one-time protege, took over the role of Papa John’s CEO in January 2018 when his boss stepped down. That came a few months after Schnatter went after the NFL for its handling of football players dropping to one knee in protest during the national anthem. Ritchie also worked as a delivery driver and store manager before becoming operating chief in 2014 and president in 2015.

Schnatter, long the largest shareholder, has been reducing his stake in Papa John’s, recently selling shares worth more than $30 million, according to a filing. Schnatter still controls almost 17 percent of the company’s shares, while Starboard holds about 15 percent.

Papa John’s, battered by steep competition from pizza competitors and the explosion of food delivery options, recently announced former NBA star Shaquille O’Neal as an investor and board member. Same-store sales fell 5.7 percent in the latest quarter in North America. To keep struggling franchisees from going out of business, the company has been offering them royalty reductions and funding for advertising.

In Tuesday’s statement, the company reiterated its full-year outlook of a decline of 1 to 4 percent for North America same-store sales. It also maintained its forecast for international comparable sales of flat to up 3 percent.

Separately Tuesday, Arby’s owner Inspire Brands named Jim Taylor president of the sandwich chain, replacing Lynch. Taylor had served as Arby’s chief marketing officer.

—Bloomberg News

Thursday, August 29, 2019

14738: Popeyes “Louisiana Fast” Tagline Is Slow In Reality.

This Popeyes Cajun Sparkle Boneless Wings & Tots commercial features Annie the Chicken Queen and two White women—which makes the spot a divertisement of sorts. It also begs the question as to why Annie is usually interacting with White people in the overall campaign. Popeyes likes to hype its home of Louisiana, a state consistently ranking among the top ten with high Black populations. So shouldn’t Annie spend more time in the ‘hood?

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

14737: Ogilvy And Cadbury Create Candy Ass Divertisement.

Ogilvy in India presented the Cadbury Unity Bar to celebrate the diversity of the country’s people—although the White chocolate appears to be on top.

For Ogilvy, there’s the White chocolate bar.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

14736: By The Light Of The Silvery—And Whitened—Moon.

This Egyptian campaign for Pure Beauty tells women they can shine like the moon—thanks to skin whitening cream. Pure Beauty is pure bullshit.