Sunday, March 31, 2013

11084: Gender Bias Is Not Rocket Science.

From The Huffington Post…

NY Times Changes Yvonne Brill Obituary After Criticism

The New York Times responded to a chorus of critics on Saturday after it published an obituary about a famed female rocket scientist that led with her accomplishments as a wife and mother.

Yvonne Brill died on Wednesday at the age of 88. President Obama awarded her with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation in 2011. Under the Times’ headline, “Yvonne Brill, Pioneering Rocket Scientist, Dies At 88,” the lede read:

She made a mean beef stroganoff, followed her husband from job to job and took eight years off from work to raise three children. ‘The world’s best mom,’ her son Matthew said.

Some readers tweeted their dissatisfaction, making fun of the Times’ inclusion of her cooking skills and wondering if an obituary for a male rocket scientist would lead with anything but his professional accomplishments. The Times’ public editor Margaret Sullivan even chimed in, saying that she agreed with the criticism and linking to a CJR article about how news coverage of women scientists often leads to gratuitous gender profiles.

Later, the Times dropped the beef stroganoff reference and changed the lede of the online obituary to:

She was a brilliant rocket scientist who followed her husband from job to job and took eight years off from work to raise three children. ‘The world’s best mom,’ her son Matthew said.

The Times did not attach a note to the online article notifying readers of the change.

11083: Ancient Chinese Stereotypes…?

Not too sure about this campaign for a Chinese restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey.

From Ads of the World.

11082: Stupid Joke Or Racist Joke?

From The Los Angeles Times…

L.A. County sheriff’s officials investigate ‘stupid joke’

A deputy from the agency’s jailhouse intelligence unit allegedly sent an email containing the words ‘Black Panther LASD’ that singled out two African American colleagues, department spokesman says.

By Robert Faturechi, Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials launched an investigation Friday into a “stupid joke” a deputy from the agency’s jailhouse intelligence unit allegedly played on two black colleagues, a department spokesman said.

The deputy sent an email to the rest of his unit — including his boss — singling out the two black deputies, the spokesman confirmed. “Due to the recent tension between the black and Hispanics, I implemented a new unit,” Deputy Mickey Manzo, who is not black, allegedly wrote. “Please give them your full support.”

Apparently attached to the email was a document depicting a Black Power fist in between the words “BLACK PANTHER LASD.” At the bottom of the document is a slogan for the fictitious new unit, “PUTTING IT DOWN AND KEEPING IT REAL,” and the names of the two black deputies.

Sheriff’s spokesman Steve Whitmore said the department received notice of the 2009 email in January. He said a departmental review panel looked at it and recommended a low-level probe. But after a call from The Times on Friday, he said it was decided the agency would conduct a formal internal affairs investigation.

“The sheriff is disturbed by this,” Whitmore said.

Whitmore said the email appeared to clash with Sheriff Lee Baca’s oft-repeated “Core Values” — a department mission statement that promotes fighting against racism, sexism and other types of bigotry.

The email was sent out within the Operation Safe Jails unit, a team of deputies who try to develop inmate informants inside the county jail system.

The unit has been under fire in recent months. Federal authorities are looking into whether its members purposely hid an inmate working for the FBI from federal agents investigating the jails.

The unit’s former boss — Lt. Gregory Thompson — was also accused of interfering with an investigation of a jailer suspected of working as an operative for drug-smuggling skinhead gangsters.

Whitmore said that everyone who received the email — nine deputies in all — had a responsibility to report it, particularly the unit’s former supervisor, Thompson.

Called by The Times, Manzo and the two black deputies named in the email all declined to comment.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

11081: Chink’s To Become Joe’s.

From The New York Daily News…

Historic Philly steak shop changes its controversial name to avoid racial slur

Chink’s Steaks restaurant was named after founder Sam “Chink” Sherman. After protests from Asian-American groups, current owner Joe Groh is changing the Philadelphia restaurant’s name to Joe’s Steaks & Soda Shop.

From The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - The owner of a historic cheesesteak shop in Philadelphia says he’s changing its controversial name.

Chink’s Steaks owner Joe Groh says he’ll change the name to Joe’s Steaks & Soda Shop on Monday. Civil rights groups have long protested the current name, citing its reference to a racial slur.

Groh tells The Associated Press it’s time to “get with the times.”

The shop opened in 1949 and was named for founder Sam “Chink” Sherman, who died in 1997. Groh says Sherman was like a father to him, and Sherman never thought of his nickname as a slur. He says neighborhood kids came up with the nickname.

Asian-American groups have long petitioned for a change, however, thousands of people signed a petition years ago in favor of keeping the original name.

11080: The Young And The Clueless.

From The Los Angeles Times…

Don Young’s racist slur not good for GOP’s minority outreach

By Robin Abcarian

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a Republican elected official who casually uses the racist term “wetbacks” during a radio interview is a dunderhead of the first magnitude.

“My father had a ranch; we used to have 50-60 wetbacks to pick tomatoes,” Alaska Republican Rep. Don Young, 79, told radio station KRBD in Ketchikan on Thursday. “It takes two people to pick the same tomatoes now. It’s all done by machine.”

Republicans, whose self-inflicted injuries in the 2012 election cycle included calls for self-deportation, screeds against the Dream Act and a suggestion for alligator-filled moats at the U.S.-Mexico border, scrambled into damage control mode.

House Speaker John A. Boehner, and just about every other sentient politician, wasted no time condemning his colleague Friday morning: “Congressman Young’s remarks were offensive and beneath the dignity of the office he holds. I don’t care why he said it – there’s no excuse and it warrants an immediate apology.”

And there it was, a short time later, in a statement from Young: “I apologize for the insensitive term I used during an interview in Ketchikan, Alaska. There was no malice in my heart or intent to offend; it was a poor choice of words. That word, and the negative attitudes that come with it, should be left in the 20th century, and I’m sorry that this has shifted our focus away from comprehensive immigration reform.”

Sure, it could have been an old, dumb Democrat or independent making a racist remark. People of all political stripe say stupid things sometimes (insert Joe Biden joke here), but this is a moment that Republicans are desperately trying to convince suspicious Latino voters that the GOP has their best interests at heart.

Less than two weeks ago, Republican National Chairman Reince Priebus announced the party would launch a $10-million minority outreach initiative. Without Latino voters, the GOP will never recapture the White House. It’s simple arithmetic.

“We have to win the math war — which we do a good job of — but we’re going to have to learn how to win the heart war,” Priebus told Roll Call, when he announced the initiative.

The whole episode is depressing to people like Daniel Garza, who once worked in the George W. Bush White House and is now executive director of the nonpartisan group the LIBRE Initiative.

“It’s flat out distasteful,” Garza said. “Using that language is insulting. It’s divisive and he should know better.”

Garza’s group works to convince Latinos that conservative policies will lead to greater economic freedom, but when Latinos hear a pejorative like “wetback” used by a Republican elder statesman, it’s a blow.

“We’re in the middle of an immigration debate and what you want to contribute is constructive dialogue,” Garza said. “You want to advance reform, improve our economy, bring families together and remove the pall of illegality.”

The pejorative used by Young has particular resonance for a native Californian like Garza. Born in Dinuba, in the Central Valley, he moved around a lot with his parents, who picked grapes in California, apples and cherries in Washington and beets in Nebraska. “I thought that word was from a bygone era, no longer used.”

So did the rest of us.

Friday, March 29, 2013

11079: Mad Ave’s Digital Divide.

The 4As will present “Building a Digital Training Program” in April. The event’s description is nothing short of hilarious:

Advertising currently faces an epidemic of digital illiteracy. Several generations of professionals have been left behind. Where do they go to learn? For the past decade, employers have underinvested in formal education for employees. Most learn on the job. But many professionals have not advanced their thinking, knowledge or skills to keep pace with technology.

What a human tragedy. The Ad Council has clearly missed another opportunity to bridge the digital divide in our society. It should be noted, however, that the true digital divide is the poverty divide. The “epidemic” on Madison Avenue is merely a mix of ignorance, arrogance and laziness. The 4As workshop is allegedly intended for participants including “change-makers and other leadership-types” in the industry. Um, why would a change-maker or leadership-type be associated with a digitally clueless agency?

Building a Digital Training Program

When: April 25, 2013 8:30 AM - 5:30 PM EST

Where: 4As

Advertising currently faces an epidemic of digital illiteracy. Several generations of professionals have been left behind. Where do they go to learn? For the past decade, employers have underinvested in formal education for employees. Most learn on the job. But many professionals have not advanced their thinking, knowledge or skills to keep pace with technology. This workshop explores ways to design educational programming to infuse digital literacy across your agency.


When it comes to ever-changing digital tools and platforms, people don’t know what they don’t know, even if they know they need to know more. Still, ignorance or fear may keep your staff from raising their hands to get the help they need, or budgets may limit the kinds of training you can make available.

This workshop helps agency leaders understand the components of building an internal training program leveraging skills and competencies they already have on staff to address gaps in learning elsewhere in their organizations.

You will learn ways to assess your staff’s digital skill levels, gather “buy-in” from the top, use data to shape programming, and gather external and internal talent to instruct and plan a comprehensive program for ongoing digital learning. Become a part of the growing agency movement in talent investment through education and cultural change.

Who Should Attend

• Learning and development staff

• HR

• Department and team leaders

• Change-makers and other leadership-types

Thursday, March 28, 2013

11078: Just Screw It.

11077: JWT & Ford Are Fucking Liars.

Advertising Age reported that—Surprise! Surprise!—the Ford Figo campaign from JWT India had been entered into an awards show. Plus, the show’s entry included a letter of approval from the Ford client. Honestly, did anyone not think JWT was scamming here? Ironically, the JWT website features a callout for the office in India—with a snapshot of its awards case. Brilliant.

JWT Entered Sexually Offensive Ford Ads in India’s Top Awards Show

Office CCO Bobby Pawar, Creative Head of Ford Account Among Those Who Have Exited the Agency

By Laurel Wentz

JWT India entered the now-infamous Ford Figo poster ads in India’s leading Goafest Abby ad awards, and tried to withdraw them last Friday in the middle of the judging after controversy erupted outside India over the sexually offensive ads.

The posters, showing women bound and gagged in the trunk of a Ford Figo hatchback, drew international condemnation when they were uploaded to the website Ads of the World, and both JWT and Ford quickly apologized. Neither mentioned that the ads, including a letter of approval from the client, had been entered at Goafest by a senior JWT India executive.

Goafest official Shashi Sinha told Ad Age in an interview that the WPP owned shop called festival officials on Friday in an effort to remove the Ford Figo ads from the judging and followed up, as required, with a request in writing from the executive who had entered the work. That person was identified to them as Bobby Pawar, the chief creative officer and managing partner of JWT India.

Mr. Pawar, a well-known creative in India, is one of two executives JWT referred to but didn’t name in an earlier statement saying “After a thorough internal review, we have taken appropriate disciplinary action with those involved, which included the exit of employees at JWT.”

Mr. Pawar’s LinkedIn profile states that he has been at JWT since January 2012, but has in the past held roles at the Indian offices of several major global agencies. He was previously chief creative officer of DDB Mudra Group, group creative director at Energy BBDO and senior partner and creative director at Ogilvy & Mather. He started his career at Ogilvy in 1995.

According to multiple executives familiar with the matter, Vijay Simha, whose LinkedIn profile describes him as “VP and senior creative director at Global Team Ford at JWT” was the other person who was fired. His resume includes stops at Grey Worldwide and Saatchi & Saatchi.

Not only has the Ford scandal been a ding to JWT India’s reputation, it’s also now leaving the agency without senior creative and account leadership, since these executives—and possibly others under the Blue Hive group at the shop that runs the carmaker’s business—must now be replaced. JWT India did not respond to a request for comment. Ford yesterday told Ad Age that despite the fake ad scandal, it will keep its relationship with JWT India intact.

Mr. Sinha went on to explain that it was because the festival received JWT’s written request for withdrawal of the work that they were permitted to pull it, since judging was still in the early stages. Mr. Sinha, who oversees Goafest as president of India’s Ad Club and chairperson of the 11-member Awards Governing Council. Mr. Sinha is also CEO of IPG Mediabrands in India.

Because the work was removed in the middle of the judging, it’s unclear whether the Ford Figo ads made the shortlist. The work appeared to be properly entered, with proof that it had run and a client approval letter from Ford’s CMO in India.

Mr. Sinha said the client approval letters for the three poster ads were very general ones, and didn’t include a description of the ads, so Ford might not have been aware of the ads’ content. “We can’t figure out if he had seen the stuff,” Mr. Sinha said. “It’s a gray area.” The print and outdoor categories are the easiest to enter fake work in, because it’s not hard for an agency to run an ad once in an obscure local publication or poster site to obtain a tearsheet or a picture that makes it festival-eligible by fulfilling the letter if not the spirit of the entry rules.

“They’re so hungry for the awards,” Mr. Sinha said of creatives’ propensity for creating fake ads.

So how did these ads get caught in the entry process? The point is that they usually don’t.

Mr. Sinha explained that the Goafest Abby awards get about 5,000 entries “and they all come at the last minute.” So accounting firm KPMG, which manages the judging process, does a more rigorous inspection of the entries that win awards. Mr. Sinha said that “back checking” involves sending the client company’s CMO a jpeg of the prize-winning work to verify its authenticity.

But JWT withdrew the Ford ads before the final judging, he said. In fact, he said, JWT withdrew all the Ford work it had entered, not just the three Ford Figo poster ads. “I said ‘these are offensive ads’,” Mr. Sinha said of the Figo posters. “That’s why they got caught. Otherwise they would have gone through the [awards] system.”

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

11076: Not Winning Fans.

From The New York Daily News…

Nike’s Tiger Woods ad ‘Winning takes care of everything’ causes firestorm on Twitter, Facebook, critics say it sends wrong message

The ad has garnered more than 8,000 likes and 2,000 shares on Facebook, as well as hundreds of comments, many congratulating Woods on the ranking, but others commenting that the ad sends the wrong message out in light of Woods’ past problems. His 5-year marriage to Elin Nordegren collapsed in 2010 after multiple affairs came to light.

The Associated Press

Maybe winning doesn’t take care of everything.

Nike is causing a social media storm with its latest online ad showing a picture of Tiger Woods overlaid with a quote from him, “Winning takes care of everything.”

The ad, posted on Facebook and Twitter, is supposed to allude to the fact that the golfer recovered from career stumbles to regain his world No. 1 ranking on Monday, which he lost in October 2010.

But some say it’s inappropriate in light of Woods’ past marital woes.

It’s the latest controversy from the athletic giant who has recently had to cut ties with biker Lance Armstrong and runner Oscar Pistorius due to separate scandals.

Woods has long used the phrase — at least since 2009 — whenever reporters ask him about his or other golfers’ rankings.

The ad has garnered more than 8,000 likes and 2,000 shares on Facebook, as well as hundreds of comments, many congratulating Woods on the ranking, but others commenting that the ad sends the wrong message out in light of Woods’ past problems. His 5-year marriage to Elin Nordegren collapsed in 2010 after multiple affairs came to light.

Others responded on Twitter. Annie Kessler, 25, in Columbus, Ohio, tweeted that the ad was a “poor choice” for Nike. She said in an interview that she felt compelled to tweet because even though she understands why Nike would want to promote Woods, the phrase itself is inappropriate because of Woods’ past infidelity.

Nike spokeswoman Beth Gast said that the ad references Wood’s refrain that he competes to win.

“When asked about his goals such as getting back to number one, he has said consistently winning is the way to get there,” she said in an email response to a query. “The statement references that sentiment and is a salute to his athletic performance.”

Allen Adamson, managing director of branding firm Landor Associates in New York, said the ad signals that Nike believes it is time Woods — who in addition to his new No. 1 ranking is now in a much-touted relationship with Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn — is back in the spotlight.

“They’re looking at this and saying, ‘Time has passed, he’s winning again, it’s time to turn up the volume on our association,’” he said. “But it’s risky when you associate with a celebrity only based on winning or losing. Consumers care about how you play the game: both the actual game and the game of life.”

Marketing consultant Laura Ries was more positive on the move.

“The reality is what he said is true,” Ries said. “Whether or not they should have said it in an ad is another story.”

The ad comes after Nike has had to sever ties with two other high-profile athletes. It dropped Armstrong in October, before Armstrong himself came clean in January, citing insurmountable evidence that he participated in doping and misled the company about those activities for more than a decade. And in February it suspended its contract with Oscar Pistorius, the double amputee runner from South Africa charged with premeditated murder in the Valentine’s Day killing of his girlfriend.

Nike never cut ties with Woods when his scandal broke in 2010, and even tried to help resuscitate his image with a black-and-white ad four months later featuring a voice-over by his late father.

11075: Bob & Barack.

From Ads of the World.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

11074: JWT India Fires Offenders.

Advertising Age reported the JWT India staffers responsible for the Ford Figo ads were terminated. Really? Imagine if the same policy applied in the U.S., whereby agency teams would be fired for producing offensive campaigns. Hell, places like Draftfcb would be wiped out.

JWT India Sacks Staffers Responsible for Sexually Offensive Ford Ads

Automaker Has No Plans to Ditch Agency Over the Mess

By Michael McCarthy

The fallout from Ford’s India ad uproar includes an apology from the automaker, the sacking of the ad agency staffers who created the offensive ad and a reassurance from Ford that it will not leave JWT or WPP over the PR crisis.

“The investigation over what happened is ongoing,” Ford spokesman Chris Preuss told Ad Age. “Obviously, appropriate actions will be taken up to and including the dismissal of individuals who were found to be culpable.”

The mess began several days ago when a series of sexually offensive ads created by JWT India showing women bound and gagged in the trunk of Ford Figo hatchback were uploaded to the website Ads of the World.

The ads were not approved by Ford but rather created by staffers at JWT India, which handles advertising for Ford in the country. Such ads, created without client approval, are often called “fake ads” or “scam ads” and are made by creatives seeking attention and looking for ways to bolster their portfolios. But the practice can spell bad news for both clients and agencies and the timing couldn’t be worse for these ads to emerge out of the Indian market.

The controversial posters were uploaded for public view at a time when India is in crisis over sexual assaults on women. The brutal gang rape of a 23-year old student in New Delhi in December drew worldwide attention. The woman died from her injuries several weeks later. India recently approved a more stringent law to punish sex criminals.

One of the ads depicted reality TV star Paris Hilton with what appears to be Kim Kardashian and her two sisters tied up in the trunk of her car. The tagline: “Leave your worries behind with Figo’s extra large boot.”

Another showed Silvio Berlusconi, former Prime Minister of Italy, who was embroiled in a sex scandal of his own. In it, he’s flashing a victory sign while three half-dressed women struggle against their bonds.

The swift dismissal of the JWT India employees responsible for the ads is a sign that the agency is trying to make good on the blunder.

When we asked if Ford will yank the business from JWT or parent company WPP or put its India ad account into review, Mr. Preuss said “no such action” has been contemplated.

He continued: “There’s a deep partnership between WPP and Ford. Obviously, the issue was located in one place. It obviously happened with individuals who were acting outside of any normal oversight we have. This is a very, very serious matter and it’s being handled as such. Right now, the actions are being dealt with at our local agency. Again, everybody is extremely unhappy and regretting this has happened.”

For years, WPP has maintained an exclusive global partnership with Ford. In the U.S. Ford has its own agency under WPP to serve its needs, Team Detroit.

JWT said the “distasteful” posters “were never intended for paid publication and should never have been created, let alone uploaded to the internet.” The disciplinary action, including dismissal of employees, were “necessary steps owing to the direct accountability of the concerned individuals as we work to ensure that both the right oversight and processes are strictly enforced so that this never happens again.”

11073: PepsiCompensation.

The Huffington Post reported PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi took a pay cut, as the company changed its compensation requirements to include criteria based on performance. Will there be any fallout with Omnicom, the network that has essentially kept the PepsiCo brands within its grasp for years, shuffling accounts between sister agencies via Corporate Cultural Collusion? If Nooyi isn’t reaching performance goals, doesn’t that mean Omnicom is failing too?

Pepsi CEO Indra Nooyi’s Pay Drops To $12.6 Million, As Company Ties Compensation To Performance

NEW YORK—PepsiCo gave CEO Indra Nooyi a pay package worth $12.6 million last year, down 11 percent from the previous year, as the soda-and-snack food giant changed the way it awards long-term incentive compensation.

The Purchase, N.Y.-based company did away with outright option awards last year and instead gave Nooyi a long-term incentive award tied to the performance of the company’s future stock price and other metrics. That figure is not included in the pay summary filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

For the year, Nooyi’s earned a base salary of $1.6 million and incentive pay of $3.3 million, as PepsiCo said it met its financial goals during a year of restructuring.

The AP’s calculation counts salary, bonuses, perks and stock and options awarded to the executive during the year.

Monday, March 25, 2013

11072: Maurice Levy Inspires Yawns.

At Campaign, Mark Nohr of Kitcatt Nohr Digitas interviewed Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy and asked what inspired the executive. Waste roughly six minutes of your life watching the video and you’ll realize why the industry has grown increasingly uninspiring.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

11071: Stinking Outside Of The Box.

This Happy Meals campaign from Leo Burnett in the U.K. is pathetic and misses a major point—that is, food for children was never supposed to come out of a box, fools.

From Ads of the World.

11070: Southwest Launches Bullshit.

This new Southwest Airlines commercial makes you hate the advertising industry—and feel a little embarrassed about being in it. The spot is likely a re-creation of the rip-o-matic TBWA\Chiat\Day cobbled together to pitch the business. It’s bad enough that the agency would present such ass-kissing bullshit; however, it’s even more shocking, pathetic and narcissistic for Southwest to approve its production and airing. It appears that the iconic Southwest brand has been ditched in favor of a stereotypical carrier mantra—right down to depicting model-quality crewmembers.

There are people who find their own path. Chart their own course. Who never stop moving forward, and never, ever back down. Entrepreneurs; journeymen; mavericks; and pioneers who believe the American Dream doesn’t just happen—it’s something you have to work for. We’re for those kinds of people, because we're that kind of airline.

Um, it’s more like there are middle-class folks with limited budgets and business people getting squeezed by accounting departments. Just pass the fucking advertising-covered bag of peanuts, you self-absorbed douchebags.

11069: Doing Pointless Things.

While checking into the previous post on Digiday and agencies, MultiCultClassics came across the kbs+ website featuring the page above. Do Things That Matter—like covering walls with your vintage lunchbox collection…?

11068: Breaking Out The Champagne.

New sources reported on an arrest warrant for rapper Gucci Mane, who allegedly smashed a champagne bottle over a fan’s head at a nightclub in Atlanta. Hey, this might inspire fresh rhymes:

Meeting Gucci Mane can be a real trip

You could get christened like a new cruise ship

Rapper Gucci Mane wanted for allegedly hitting fan in head with champagne bottle


ATLANTA — An arrest warrant has been issued for Gucci Mane after a fan accused the rapper of hitting him in the head with a champagne bottle at a downtown Atlanta nightclub.

Authorities say 32-year-old James Lettley, of Fort Hood, Texas, tried making conversation with the rapper — whose real name is Radric Davis — in the VIP section of Harlem Nights Ultra Lounge on March 16.

Police department spokesman Sgt. Greg Lyon says the rapper is accused of hitting Lettley in the head, causing a gash on the man’s head. Police say Lettley was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital.

Lyon says a warrant has been issued for aggravated assault. Calls to numbers listed for Lettley and Davis were not returned. It’s unclear if the rapper has an attorney.

11067: WPP Caught Scamming…?

Business Insider reported the Ford Figo ads from India allegedly turned out to be a scam campaign. However, there are some odd points to consider. For starters, who authorized the illustrations, which appear to be pretty professional? Plus, check out the official statement from WPP (the ads were created by a JWT shop):

“We deeply regret the publishing of posters that were distasteful and contrary to the standards of professionalism and decency within WPP Group. These were never intended for paid publication and should never have been created, let alone uploaded to the internet. This was the result of individuals acting without proper oversight and appropriate actions have been taken within the agency where they work to deal with the situation.”

So the ads “were never intended for paid publication.” But were they intended for other promotional activities? It’s not like any WWP agency is above producing scam ads for awards or other scheming purposes. Oh, and to imply that the ad network has “standards of professionalism and decency” is ridiculous too. Wonder if the creative culprits were stuffed into a car trunk and eventually dumped out onto a darkened street.

11066: Ads For The Digitally Divided.

From The New York Times…

Reaching Those on the Wrong Side of the Digital Divide

By Jane L. Levere

THE Advertising Council and Connect2Compete, a nonprofit group whose goal is to eliminate the digital divide in the United States, are introducing a public service campaign to help those who are not digitally literate find free training to obtain these skills.

In remarks prepared for a speech in Washington last month about Connect2Compete’s efforts, the Federal Communications Commission chairman, Julius Genachowski, said approximately one in three Americans, or 100 million people, still do not have broadband in their homes, with low-income Americans and minorities “disproportionately on the wrong side of the digital divide.”

This matters, he continued, because “over 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies post job openings exclusively online. Over half of today’s jobs require technology skills, and nearly 80 percent of jobs in the next decade are projected to require digital skills.”

According to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, one in five American adults — about 62 million people — do not use the Internet. The 2012 Pew Internet and American Life Project said the main reason these people “don’t go online is because they don’t think the Internet is relevant to them.”

To reach adults who share this sentiment, Connect2Compete approached the Advertising Council last year for help creating a public service campaign “with messages that get at the relevance of the Internet, how you can do something, or do something better that you may already do, by being online,” said Zach Leverenz, chief executive of Connect2Compete.

To that end, the Ad Council and the New York office of Young & Rubicam, part of the WPP Group, created a multimedia advertising campaign that begins on Thursday, a date chosen because its numbers (3-21) stand for a three-two-one countdown to get “everyone on” the Internet. The campaign’s Web site is

Advertising being distributed by the Ad Council includes a TV spot featuring Reginald, an actual truck driver from California whose instructor shows him how to use a computer, get on the Internet, and buy a plane ticket as a surprise for his wife. “She’s going to love me all over again now,” he says. The spot concludes, “But first, he’s going to surprise himself. Get online. Find a free class near you.”

Radio ads feature actors portraying individuals who do not know how to use the Internet. One is a man named Peter, whose instructor shows him how to look for electrician jobs online. The voice-over says, “This is Peter. Recently he got help going on the Internet for the first time to look for a new job. In the past, Peter’s gotten work through people he knew. But he heard there were more jobs online.”

One outdoor ad features a row of people — resembling paper doll cutouts — holding hands; the text says “1 in 5 Americans don’t use the Internet. Luckily help is all around.” These ads include the campaign’s toll-free telephone number.

Once the audience for all advertising — which is running in both English and Spanish — calls the toll-free number, they are asked for their ZIP code and given the location of free training classes nearby. Class information is also available via texting. In addition, the campaign’s Web site locates classes — which are being offered by over 21,000 libraries and other centers — by ZIP code.

The advertising being introduced on Thursday was preceded this month by related digital advertising and Facebook and Twitter outreach, directed at those who are already digitally literate and encouraging them to help those who are not.

Cheryl Chapman, a creative director at Young & Rubicam in New York, said the agency “knew we couldn’t scare people into using the Internet, so we wanted the advertising to feel disarming, to capture the real emotion of learning something new.”

According to Dzu Bui, campaign director of the Advertising Council, the campaign is directed primarily at adults who are not digitally literate, “since they are the ones who have control over accessing the Internet, they are the decision makers, they make choices for their families.”

Peggy Conlon, president and chief executive of the Ad Council, said the goal of the campaign — the group’s first to address digital literacy issues — was to “overcome the barriers people have to going online.”

She also predicted media outlets — which donate time and space to run all Ad Council advertising — might be motivated to carry this campaign, because it could “help increase their audiences. An informed citizenry is a stronger citizenry. There are many reasons this is good for everybody.”

Experts differed about the campaign and its strategy.

Erik Brynjolfsson, a professor who teaches the economics of information at the M.I.T. Sloan School of Management, called the campaign’s goals “on target,” since, he said, the median wage of Americans today is lower than it was 15 years ago, in part because they have “not kept up with digital technologies.”

Ruth Small, director of the Center for Digital Literacy at Syracuse University, commended the campaign for addressing specific subjects that interest people, like job hunting.

Although Dan Wagner, Unesco chair in learning and literacy at the graduate school of education of the University of Pennsylvania, said “anything that helps people, especially the poor, get access to technology is good,” he called creating relevant content for those who are not digitally literate just as important as showing them how to get online.

James McQuivey, who follows consumer technology adoption for Forrester Research, questioned the campaign’s prospects. “I don’t think it will have the impact they want it to have because most people who are not connected to the Internet are not there by choice. It’s not that these people are sitting and waiting for the Internet and can’t get it.”

Saturday, March 23, 2013

11065: Make The Logo Cheaper.

Logos for $5—self-respect not included.

11064: Digiday Is Challenged.

Digiday asked a bunch of agency executives, “What’s the Biggest Challenge Facing Agencies?” The responses are as questionable as the respondents. Jonah Bloom is a decent bloke, but he ultimately proves that even a trade journalist with a European accent has a better chance of landing an agency gig than a minority. Plus, Bloom’s shop—kbs+—is hardly an agency worth emulating. Much worse is John Winsor’s Victors & Spoils, which has yet to prove itself a viable business model. With 70 employees in Los Angeles, Huge doesn’t exactly live up to its name. As for Iris and Mediasmith, well, never heard of them. All of which makes the Digiday feature irrelevant and pointless.

Jonah Bloom, chief strategy officer, kbs+

If you want to be relevant as a brand today, in culture you have to be able to respond to culture, and that requires incredibly quick turnover, and I think that’s difficult for agencies and more than it’s difficult for agencies it’s difficult for brands.

Sarah Aitken, managing director, Iris

How to bring clients along with that faster pace in terms of really understanding what are the business results on the fly, being able to optimize, being able to create new and exciting content in a fast and relevant way.

John Winsor, chief innovation officer, Havas/CEO, Victor & Spoils

The digitization of the world and the fact that open systems are taking over in every creative industry. Agencies are typically closed systems that are being challenged by open systems and an open way of doing things.

Patricia Korth-McDonnel, partner and managing director, Huge Los Angeles

Finding talent is always the classic agency refrain, but right now it’s keeping it from startups and technology companies that are targeting us as a source of great designers.

David Smith, founder, Mediasmith

The new challenge is really understanding the technologies and how to integrate the technologies into client solutions. So agencies in effect are becoming systems integrators to some degree, and hiring the right people to evaluate the technologies and deploying the right technologies for your clients is a big challenge.

11063: Boyz II Admen.

Advertising Age reported on a new startup agency featuring two ex-Draftfcb executives and being backed by IPG. The third lead executive in the enterprise is the son of ad honcho and DDB Worldwide Chairman Emeritus Keith Reinhard. The smell of cronyism and nepotism is emanating from this scenario. Plus, the promo photo above looks like the reunion of a 1980’s boy band.

Chicago Agency Startup O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul Backed by Interpublic

Trio of FCB Vets Front Shop With Built-In Ties to Taco Bell

By Maureen Morrison

Backed by Interpublic Group of Cos. and opening its doors this week in Chicago’s West Loop is a rare startup in a land of agency giants: O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul.

Yes, that Reinhard. One of the partners is Matt Reinard, son of ad legend and DDB Worldwide Chairman Emeritus Keith Reinhard. He joins Interpublic’s former chief growth officer Nick Paul and ex-U.S. creative chief Tom O’Keefe, reuniting three execs who once worked together at DraftFCB.

Not only is the younger Mr. Reinhard’s new shop backed by a rival holding company to Omnicom, where he worked from 2009 to 2011 as an executive creative director, his new agency will have close connections with Taco Bell, a fast-feeder nipping at the heels of key DDB client McDonald’s. The story of how his dad successfully campaigned to return the Golden Arches to the agency’s roster after it was lost to Leo Burnett is the stuff of agency lore.

The Taco Bell tie comes with Mr. O’Keefe, a 20-plus-year DraftFCB veteran who has long played a key role in the agency’s relationship with Yum Brands, and particularly its Mexican-oriented fast-food unit. Given that cred, it’s a good bet that Taco Bell may tap him and his new partners for marketing services in the future. When contacted for comment, the chain said it is not working with the new agency at this time.

While DraftFCB—which is currently trying to right the ship after hiring a new captain in Carter Murray—remains the lead agency on Taco Bell, the chain is branching out. It recently enlisted another Interpublic agency, Deutsch, to work on the brand. “Our relationship with Yum means a lot to us, and we have loved working on Taco Bell over the past 12-plus years…we’d be thrilled to play a part in putting together work for the brand,” said Mr. Paul.

This also marks a return to Interpublic for Mr. Paul, who first joined DraftFCB (then FCB) in 2003 as VP-general manager of the agency’s 361 Sports & Events Marketing unit, and took over business development for the agency’s Chicago office in 2007. He was appointed to lead North American business development in March 2010, and quickly promoted again to global chief growth officer. He left the agency in early 2012.

“Our decision to invest behind their vision demonstrates the respect they’re held in within our agencies and by our clients,” said Interpublic Chief Strategy and Talent Officer Philippe Krakowsky in a statement. “O’Keefe, Reinhard and Paul can be a nimble and highly customizable complement to our portfolio of agency, media and specialist brands.”

The hope is the new shop can capitalize on the trend of clients moving away from a lead creative agency model to the use of several different shops that all get projects.

“Over the past 10 years, we’ve seen the shift where clients are more in charge than ever, and looking for ideas from all over not just one agency partner,” said Mr. Paul. “At the same time, they’re not looking for boutique-size ideas, they still want the business driving results they’ve always demanded. We believe we can be at the front of this movement and bring our big agency, big-brand experience to a more nimble, modern playing field.”

Discussions were held with other major holding companies backers, including Omnicom, where Keith Reinhard was an architect of the 1986 “Big Bang” merger of three agencies-Needham Harper, Doyle Dane Bernbach and BBDO-that ultimately formed the holding company. But ultimately O’Keefe Reinhard & Paul went with the company with which they are familiar.

“We know and respect the leadership team there, and especially [Interpublic CEO] Michael [Roth’s] and Philippe’s supportive approach to partnerships. IPG has a great track record with supporting independent agencies such as Huge, RGA, Martin and Mullen, and we are excited to be considered in company with them,” said Mr. Paul. “And having already worked with many of the agencies within the IPG network, we see this collaborative model as the future, and believe in its benefits for our clients.”

It’s unusual to see these days an agency launch with a name that’s not a clever or silly moniker. In this case too, there were many names up for consideration before they settled on one that’s more conventional-and probably more appealing to clients.

A really zany one that was close to making the cut? Whiskey & Bananas.

Mr. Reinhard said that when he and Mr. O’Keefe worked on the Amazon account in San Francisco, they’d spend weeks working long days, then walk home to corporate housing, where “all we had to eat was a bunch of bananas and a few glasses of whiskey.”

It’s essentially the agency’s philosophy. “Hard work, having fun doing it [and] doing work that you feel has both equal parts cool and funny to it, said Mr. Reinhard. “That’s kind of our mission and philosophy.”

Friday, March 22, 2013

11062: Imagine That.

There’s something peculiar about the Anti-Defamation League speaking out against bigotry and prejudice via a commercial produced by a New York City advertising agency whose leadership looks like most New York City advertising agencies—that is, predominately White women and White men.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

11061: Draftfcb Diversity Disasters.

AgencySpy reported Draftfcb SVP/Group Creative Director of the Multicultural Department Michel Rothschild has left the Chicago office. The agency that proclaimed it would no longer use the term “diversity and inclusion” by 2014—and hypes a cross-cultural con artistry philosophy—separated from its multicultural leader as well as its diversity champion in about 6.5 seconds that really don’t matter. Is it a sign of the Apocalypse or just business as usual?

11060: No Projects On The Runway.

BuzzFeed published, “5 Top Casting Directors Explain Why Runways Are So White.”

11059: Ford Figo Felonies.

The Ford Figo’s spacious trunk makes it the choice of kidnappers worldwide…?

From Ads of the World.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

11058: John Hegarty, Big Douchebag.

Advertising Age reported Sir John Hegarty presented a contrarian view on Big Data. Big deal. One doesn’t need Big Data to show Hegarty is a Big Douchebag—and a Big Liar—when it comes to diversity.

John Hegarty Has Contrarian View on Big Data

BBH Founder Says He Doesn’t Want Brands To Understand Him

By Emma Hall

John Hegarty was a contrarian at Advertising Week Europe, rejecting marketing’s reliance on data, and insisting that advertising needs to up its creative game before it can hope to benefit from new media platforms.

The founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty participated in a “Wired Global Conversation” panel that included John Kamen, chairman and CEO of, and Bob Greenberg, founder, chairman and CEO of R/GA.

When the conversation turned to data, Mr. Hegarty admitted, “You’d expect a creative person to pour slight scorn on data.” He explained, “It’s because I’ve spent my life dealing with people who’ve got all the data in the world and yet they can’t invent anything.”

Referring to the recent European scandal over supermarkets selling horsemeat horsemeat labeled as beef, Mr. Hegarty said, “Supermarkets have an incredible amount of data coming into them, and yet they didn’t realize they were flogging horsemeat to people…I would have thought someone along the line should have been looking at the broader picture. You look at too much data and you don’t actually see what’s going on around you.”

Mr. Greenberg jumped in to defend the potential of data. He said, “I think creative use of data is also a possibility. Data visualization has created ways in which you can take the data that’s available and tie it into a live event — like when I walk into Nike Town [wearing a Nike + band] and they’ll know who I am and they’ll be able to serve up really relevant content.”

But Mr. Hegarty was not impressed. He said, “I’m not sure I want people to know who I am. I find that slightly Orwellian and I object to it. I don’t want people to know what I drink in the morning and what I drink at night. I think there’s a great problem here — throughout history we have fought for our freedom to be an individual, and you’re taking it away from us. I think there’ll be a huge backlash to that and Nike will have to be very careful.”

Developing his theme, Mr. Hegarty added, “To those brands that say ‘I understand you’ I say ‘Fuck off, you don’t understand me. Mind your own business, I don’t want to be understood by you. I don’t understand myself sometimes… and it can be fun.’”

Regarding mobile advertising, Mr. Hegarty emphasized that advertisers must put the consumer first, not the technology. He said, “We have a major problem in that our work isn’t as good as it used to be, and consumers value it less and less - that’s the first thing we have to address.”

He continued, “Our solution to the problem is to constantly think how we can interrupt consumers more, how we can trip them up, how we can shove a message in their face that they don’t want to see. We’re becoming more aggravating, when surely we should engage consumers and give them something they want to watch and respond to…Instead we talk about what we can do on this platform or that platform…The only space I want to occupy, the only space that’s interesting to me, is the one between people’s ears. That’s where I want my message to go and how I get there is an irrelevance.”

Monday, March 18, 2013

11056: Bush And Bullshit.

Here’s a student campaign from another college that’s failing to properly prepare its students to land a job in advertising.

From Ads of the World.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

11055: Fast Food Fat Cat Speaks Out.

From The Huffington Post…

Healthy Food ‘Not Our Personality,’ Says Fast Food CEO

The Huffington Post

Fast food can have a lot of calories and one CEO isn’t afraid to keep in that way.

Andy Puzder, the CEO of CKE Restaurants which owns Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s, told The Los Angeles Times that he isn’t interested in making his menus healthier. Selling 20 times more bacon cheeseburgers with 740 calories than barbecue chicken sandwiches with 390 calories, Puzder plans to continue to provide the foods that his customers want most.

“It’s not our personality and it won’t become our personality,” Puzder told The Los Angeles Times when asked about the healthy food craze. “All of our products are indulgent, decadent.”

Despite the obesity problem plaguing the entire country, Puzder has remained firm that it is not the fast food industry’s place to tell people what they can and cannot eat.

“We’re not the food police,” he said in an interview with the New Zealand Herald.

The CEO’s stance runs contrary to the direction that a majority of the fast food industry seems to be taking. In July, McDonald’s released its “Favorites Under 400 Calories” menu and more recently the fast food chain came out with a yolk-free version of its Egg McMuffin with 50 fewer calories than the original.

Burger King has also attempted to spruce up its menu with items it claims are more healthy like salads and smoothies.

Despite these efforts, customers should remain wary. A 2012 study found that while fast food menu items have grown to include items like yogurt parfaits and salads, the average number of calories in each item hasn’t decreased significantly.

11054: Force Ethics On Food Industry.

From The New York Times…

How to Force Ethics on the Food Industry

By Michael Mudd

A COURT has struck down, at least for now, New York City’s attempt to slow the growth of obesity by limiting the portion size of sweetened beverages.

But governments should not be deterred by this and should step up their efforts to protect the public health by limiting the marketing tactics of food companies. Anyone who believes these interventions are uncalled-for doesn’t know the industry the way I do.

I was part of the packaged food and beverage business for more than 20 years. As the national waistline grew, the industry sought refuge in the fact that the obesity epidemic has many causes. It has insistently used that fact to fight off government regulators and justify why it should not have to change what it sells or how it sells it.

With tobacco, the link between product and disease is direct and singular. But it is less clear with food: the rise in obesity is the result of multiple factors. Suburban life discourages walking. Escalators have replaced stairs. Schools have eliminated gym class. Kids play video games now, not kickball. Even the vast increase in two-income households over the past 40 years has had an impact, discouraging cooking and increasing reliance on packaged foods and chain restaurants. It all adds up.

So when it’s time to pick the guilty party out of the police lineup, the food industry cries foul whenever critics point to it. “Hey,” the industry complains, “why pick on us when everybody in the lineup is guilty?”

But that’s not true. Everybody in this lineup of cumulative social and environmental changes may have played a role in the growth of obesity, but none are culpable the way the big food processors and soft drink companies are.

The industry is guilty because it knew what the consequences of its actions might be. Large food processors employed a flock of Ph.D. nutritionists and food scientists. The connection between calorie consumption and weight gain was always as plain as the number on the bathroom scale. But instead of acknowledging this and taking corrective action to sell a better product more responsibly, food processors played innocent by blending in with the crowd of causes. It’s time to end the charade and mandate the needed changes that the industry has refused to make.

For much of my time in the food business, I defended the status quo. Then, as obesity’s prevalence increased in the ’90s, I argued for change. Today, more than eight years after leaving the industry because of its failure to reform, I still struggle with the paradox that defined the business. In so many other ways, these are good people. But, little by little, they strayed from the honorable business of feeding people appropriately to the deplorable mission of “increasing shareholder value” by enticing people to consume more and more high-margin, low-nutrition branded products.

Confronted with this, the executives who run these companies like to say they don’t create demand, they try only to satisfy it. “We’re just giving people what they want. We’re not putting a gun to their heads,” the refrain goes. Nothing could be further from the truth. Over the years, relentless efforts were made to increase the number of “eating occasions” people indulged in and the amount of food they consumed at each.

Even as awareness grew of the health consequences of obesity, the industry continued to emphasize cheap and often unhealthful ingredients that maximized taste, shelf life and profits. More egregious, it aggressively promoted larger portion sizes, one of the few ways left to increase overall consumption in an otherwise slow-growth market.

All this tells us two very important things. First, the food industry knows it has a problem, potentially a very big one if the forces against it ever do coalesce effectively. So, in maneuvering for protection by managing public opinion and policy formation, the industry will always try to camouflage itself as just one of many causes in the growth of obesity. Just as the National Rifle Association points to mental illness and violent video games as a way to deflect attention from the inherent dangers of guns, food processors will wring their hands about physical activity and, yes, video games. We shouldn’t fall for it.

Next time you hear of a big food or beverage company sponsoring an after-school physical activity program in your community, you can be sure they’ll say it’s to show “our company’s concern for our kids’ health.” But the real intent is to look angelic while making consumers feel good about the brand and drawing attention away from the unhealthful nature of the company’s products. “Posing for holy cards,” as one of my colleagues used to put it.

Second, as more is revealed about their deliberate indifference, food companies must be made to change their worst practices. After years of foot dragging and hundreds of millions of dollars in lobbying fees, it’s obvious the industry won’t change on its own. Quite simply, change will have to be forced — by public pressure, media attention, regulation and litigation. Yes, companies will point to some “better-for-you” versions of their traditional products and they will trot out a few smaller-portion-size packages to show the “choices” they’ve provided. But left alone, the industry will concentrate on selling its problematic core product lines.

The needed changes could take many forms. Here are some of the most promising:

Levy federal and state excise taxes on sugared beverages and a few categories — snack foods, candy, sweet baked goods — that most undermine health. These taxes could help pay for education programs, subsidize the healthiest foods for low-income individuals and, maybe, discourage consumption.

Make mandatory the federal guidelines for marketing food to children that were proposed in 2011. These guidelines — written jointly by the Federal Trade Commission, the Food and Drug Administration, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Agriculture — were only to be voluntary, and still lobbyists for the food industry persuaded Congress to block them.

Communicate more actively with people about their food choices. Require prominent disclosure of calories for every item on the menu in chain restaurants and vending machines. And create a front-of-the-package labeling system to encourage healthier food choices. Finally, the government should back community-based campaigns to inform and inspire better eating and more exercise.

I left the industry when I finally had to acknowledge that reform would never come from within. I could no longer accept a business model that put profits over public health — and no one else should have to, either.

Michael Mudd is a former executive vice president of global corporate affairs for Kraft Foods. He retired in 2004.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

11053: Ogilvy & Martin.

Not sure if this TED ad from Ogilvy in Argentina is part of a scam campaign, but it is pretty offensive. After all, how can an advertising agency like Ogilvy—whose leadership admitted the industry is “not exactly leading the way” in regards to diversity—feel comfortable using Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to make a point about cultural harmony? The headline reads, “Ideas Change This World.” Yet for decades, the advertising business has failed to change by steadfastly rejecting MLK’s ideas.