Advertising Age Reporter Megan Graham presented, “Agency Brief: 10 resolutions for 2019”—and two of the commitments were particularly pathetic:
8. Be nice
“We choose to work only with people and clients we respect as professionals and as humans. There is no place in our business for abuse or lack of civility from colleagues or from clients—no matter their excuses or their budgets.”—Tom Sullivan, CEO, Vitro
10. Work on diversity and inclusion efforts that are higher up the rungs
My colleague I-Hsien Sherwood wrote earlier this year about how there isn’t a pipeline problem in the marketing world, there’s a retention problem. Agencies often concentrate diversity and inclusion efforts at the entry level—they need to also provide support and programs to get their people into more senior levels (and to keep them there).
Okay, number 8 isn’t a resolution. To resolve to be nice doesn’t require a public pledge—unless you’ve historically been a mean-spirited asshole. Plus, it’s a job requirement, at least in regards to internal personalities. That is, no professional enterprise should get away with abuse like discrimination, sexual harassment and bad boy behavior. Regarding clients, the same holds true—although advertising agencies will continue to choose toxic patrons if the money is good.
As for number 10, that’s been an annual resolution for decades. But like most resolutions, it gets abandoned around mid-January. For a trade journal scribe to offer such a statement is pointless, as the commitment really needs to be made and executed by the White people with hiring authority.