Monday, April 29, 2013

11109: Mad Men And MLK.

The fourth episode of AMC series Mad Men Season 6 featured the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. While the voices and televised images of 1960s newscasters occasionally drown out the main characters’ dialogue—and a few characters offered commentary on the event—the overall storyline handled matters in a clumsy and awkward style.

Peggy Olson and her secretary, Phyllis, shared a brief scene of emotional support. Pete Campbell and Harry Crane staged an argument where Campbell played the liberal and Crane was mostly concerned about how King’s death might affect media buys. Don Draper and Joan Harris had an uncomfortable exchange with Dawn Chambers. Peggy and a real estate agency discussed using the subsequent riots as leverage to reduce an offer for an apartment. A prospective client felt inspired by the memory of Dr. King to suggest an insensitive advertisement. Later, Don took his son to see Planet of the Apes (not sure about the appropriateness of presenting the movie in this context) and the two had another uncomfortable exchange with a Black theatre worker.

Can’t help but think MLK’s murder posed problems for culturally clueless creator Matthew Weiner and his writers. However, Advertising Age claimed the depictions were accurate, and Mad Men correctly recreated the details and reactions. If true, it only confirms that Madison Avenue has made little progress since 1968—and the industry’s current majority players are more pathetic than ever.

After all, the advertising business has completely failed to realize MLK’s vision for the country. Yet agencies have never hesitated to display hypocrisy by saluting and exploiting the iconic leader. And of course, most agencies annually take the day off to celebrate MLK’s birthday. But like Mad Men, it’s just a series of momentary disturbances to be instantly forgotten.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

11108: Super Bonder Is Super Dumb.

This Super Bonder campaign comes from DDB in Bogotá, Colombia. It’s not quite as awful as the 2009 bullshit from DDB Brasil, but the ads are sure to, well, bomb.

From Ads of the World.

11107: White Is Right—For Toilets.

In Australia, the top toilet cleaner is called White King—and the ad agency is Grey.

From Ads of the World.

11106: Legal Action For Action Figure.

From The New York Daily News…

Harlem church sues toymaker Emil Vicale after talking doll in leader’s likeness is not black enough

The controversial Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, branded a hate group by a civil rights organization, wants $120,000 in damages after skin tone, face don’t match leader’s.

By Barbara Ross and Corky Siemaszko / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

A controversial Harlem church ordered action figures cast in the image of their leader — and sued when the dolls they got didn’t look like him and weren’t black enough.

The Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ says the Connecticut toymaker put “pointed noses and faces” on the dolls. And half of them “were light brown” instead of “dark brown,” the court papers state.

Now the church wants its $45,000 down payment back from the Vicale Corp. and is seeking another $120,000 in damages, according to the lawsuit filed in Manhattan.

Toymaker Emil Vicale said an “obnoxious” customer named Jason Moody put in the doll order, and approved the design and the skin color. And he intends to countersue.

“I’m so angry with these people,” said Vicale. “We had just 2 1/2 weeks to put it together. … The whole job was very, very peculiar.”

Vicale said the first inkling that Moody might be representing a church came when the group sent a recording for the voice chips that bore the message, “Praise the Lord our God Jesus Christ.”

That was followed, Vicale said, with a phrase he didn’t understand. It closed with, “Say it again; say it one more time.”

Once known as the Israeli Church of Universal Practical Knowledge, the church says blacks are one of the lost tribes of Israel. They’ve been branded a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Their leader, according to the SPLC, is Jermaine Grant, who also calls himself the “Chief High Priest Tazadaqyah” and once prophesied that a vengeful black Jesus would return to Earth to kill or enslave all white people.

Grant, 37, was not at the storefront church at Madison Ave. and 125th St. and could not be reached for comment at his home in Hackensack, N.J. A Jaguar and a Mercedes-Benz SUV sat in the driveway Thursday night. The house was purchased for $700,000 in 2005.

“That’s bizarre,” a neighbor said. “To make a doll of yourself is pretty egotistical.”

According to the lawsuit, Moody contacted Vicale and put in an order for some “custom made speaking dolls” that they planned to peddle for $120 apiece at a March fund-raiser.

Based on pictures provided by the church, Vicale came up with two “doll head models.”

“Both doll head models had the same round facial structure, eyes and nose,” the papers state.

But one was “light brown” and the other was “dark brown.”

The church picked the “dark doll” and ordered 1,000 of them, at a price of $69.95 per doll.

Each was supposed to have an elaborate, sequin-studded outfit like those favored by Grant. Photos of a prototype by Vicale show an action figure dressed in a glitzy gold outfit and black shoes.

The doll company, which is based in Oxford, Conn., has made a Jesus action figure, as well as Sarah Palin and New Jersey “Tan Mom” Patricia Krentcil dolls. The company website shows Vicale is selling a “Rambama” action figure of President Obama holding a high-powered rifle that sells for $34.95.

There is also an anatomically-correct Anthony Weiner figure that goes for $49.95. It’s called the “Anthony Weiner — Weiner Action Figure.”

With Kerry Wills

11105: Jockeying For A Place In History.

From The New York Daily News…

Jockey Kevin Krigger hopes to become first African-American to win Kentucky Derby since 1902

Krigger rides Santa Anita winner Goldencents in the 139th Run of the Roses at Churchill Downs on May 4

By Jerry Bossert / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

There’s one thing Kevin Krigger doesn’t lack — confidence — when it comes to race riding or challenging history.

If you ask the 29-year-old jockey who is going to win the Kentucky Derby, he’ll gladly tell you it will be Goldencents, the horse he’ll be riding on the first Saturday in May.

Krigger rode Goldencents to victory in the April 6 Santa Anita Derby, becoming the first African-American jockey to win that race in its 76-year history. If he wins the May 4 Kentucky Derby, he would become the first black jockey to win the Derby since 1902, when Jimmy Winkfield rode the second of his back-to-back winners, His Eminence and then Alan-a-Dale.

“It’s sad,” Krigger says of the drought, especially considering that black jockeys once dominated the Derby, winning 15 of the first 28 Derby’s run from 1875-1902. “But I’m ready to be the first since then. No doubt about it, I’m going to be part of history.”

Racism and the introduction of Jim Crow laws ran black riders out of racetracks. Even Churchill Downs, where the Derby will be held for the 139th time this Saturday, was completely segregated through the 1950s.

Today, African-American jockeys are still hard to find in any riding colony throughout the country.

“Being African-American is a rarity in horse racing but I don’t feel that’s an excuse,” says Krigger, a father of four. “It’s about working harder and I’m going to work harder than anyone. If African-Americans dominated the sport, I’d be the African-American that works the hardest. I base my success on working hard. If I used that excuse, I’m limiting myself. I have no limits to reach my goals.”

“He’s got a very good work ethic and never complains about any horse,” says Krigger’s 65-year-old agent Tom Knust, who has worked for Kent Desormeaux and Pat Valenzuela. “He knows he’s a jockey and that’s what he gets paid for. Every day, six days a week he never misses a morning. Sometimes maybe he gets a Tuesday off but that’s it.”

Krigger, who stands 5-6, is just the second black jockey to compete in the Derby since 1921, and the first since Marlon St. Julien rode Curule to a seventh-place finish in the 2000 Derby.

Born in St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Krigger always dreamed of becoming a jockey. He remembers hopping on a neighbor’s horse at the age of 4 or 5 and just taking off. His great grandfather, who had spotted him, ratted him out to his parents. That’s how the family found out their little Kevin had an interest in riding. But it still took several years before they accepted his path, and for his grandmother to get him a horse of his own when he was 10.

“I grew up around horses and was on them before even going to school,” he says. Krigger would race other kids up and down the beaches of St. Croix.

“I had a pretty good win percentage,” he says.

Every year, he made sure to watch the Kentucky Derby on television, imagining himself riding in the race with his saddle swung over the arm of his mother’s couch.

“I’d ride the race with them,” he says, noting Silver Charm (1997) was his favorite Derby winner.

After winning races at tracks in the Virgin Islands, Krigger came to America in 2001, first riding as an apprentice at Thistledown in North Randall, Ohio during the days and nights at Mountaineer Park in Chester, West Virginia.

He then went west and rode at Golden Gate Fields near San Francisco, as well as Hollywood Park, Del Mar and Santa Anita until his apprenticeship ended in 2002, meaning he no longer got a weight concession and had to ride as a journeyman, on equal weights with his competitors.

On Dec. 19, 2007 Krigger went down in a spill at Turfway Park in Ohio, when his mount Polar Vixen clipped heels coming out of the starting gate of the ninth race, throwing Krigger to the ground before eventually falling on top of him.

He fractured three vertebrae in his neck that night, yet was released from the hospital, and tried to return to riding just three months later. The injury hadn’t healed correctly, and Krigger wasn’t himself. He rode in only 88 races in 2008 winning just five. In 2009, the injury limited him to just 99 mounts and six wins. That’s when he decided to have surgery, returning in the summer of 2010. Now, he says, he feels very good.

With his weight advantage gone — his ideal racing weight is 112 pounds — Krigger’s win total dropped and he bounced around the country, ending up back at Golden Gate Fields in 2011, where he finished second in the jockey standings and attracted the attention of Knust, who brought him to Santa Anita in December of 2011.

“I’ve done a lot of traveling,” says Krigger, who is now a regular on the Southern California circuit, and just finished ninth in the Santa Anita meeting that ended on April 21, with 25 winners.

In 2011, he brought home 165 winners, the most in any year of his career with purse earnings of $2,894,835. In 2012, he only won 73 races, but his purse earnings increased to $3,651,569, thanks mainly to the success he had with Goldencents, who won two of three races that year, including a victory in the $1 million Delta Downs Jackpot.

Krigger has ridden Goldencents in all six of the colt’s starts, winning four times.

“It was always a dream to go to the Kentucky Derby and it’s nice to be going with a horse like Goldencents,” he says. “I feel pretty confident that we’re going to win. I feel this is by fate not just because of the ability of a horse like Goldencents and not because I’m African-American, but I think we’re going to win the Triple Crown and make some history.”

Affirmed remains the last horse to sweep the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in 1978.

Doug O’Neill, who last year saddled I’ll Have Another to victories in the Derby and the Preakness before the colt got injured the day before the Belmont, trains Goldencents and loves the confidence Krigger brings.

“He’s wired that way,” says O’Neill. “You got to love it. He’s not cocky or arrogant. He’s just confident. He’s got ice running through his veins.”

Krigger, who is engaged to Taisha Mintas, has never even been to the Kentucky Derby.

“Even when I was riding in Kentucky, when the Derby came around I’d leave because I didn’t want to experience any of it until I got to ride in it,” he says.

“This is my first time and this is the way I want to do it. I want to experience the whole Kentucky Derby environment. I speak highly of winning the race because I know I’m going over there to win it. I have the horse and confidence to say that.

“We’re going to win it.”

Thursday, April 25, 2013

11104: Virtual Vibe…?

From The New York Times…

Vibe Magazine Is Sold and Likely to Become Online Only

By Ben Sisario

SpinMedia, a group of music and pop culture Web sites that includes Spin magazine, has bought Vibe, the 21-year-old R&B and hip-hop magazine.

SpinMedia announced the sale on Thursday, saying that it had bought the rights to Vibe’s print magazine and its related sites, and, from Vibe Media. The price was not disclosed.

The sale reunites the two publications, which more than a decade ago were part of the same company, Vibe/Spin Ventures, before each went through a series of sales.

Calling Vibe “an industry leader in the urban and hip-hop category for decades,” Steve Hansen, SpinMedia’s chief executive, added in an interview: “It’s really exciting to add this to SpinMedia’s collection of music properties and bring more digital DNA to the team and see what they can do.”

SpinMedia, until recently known as Buzz Media, owns or represents more than 40 sites, like Celebuzz, Idolator and JustJared, that cater to young pop-culture fans and compete with a range of sites like Gawker, TMZ, Pitchfork and BuzzFeed.

After it bought Spin last summer, Buzz Media promptly shut down the print magazine and laid off a third of its staff, saying that it would concentrate on the Web site, and consider eventually reviving the print version of Spin in some form.

Since then, Spin’s online traffic has doubled, but Mr. Hansen said the company was no closer to reviving the magazine, and that it planned shut down Vibe’s print magazine later this year.

“We are still trying to find a print model that makes economic sense in the digital age,” he said.

Vibe was founded in 1992 by Quincy Jones and Time Warner, with a focus on hip-hop and R&B music and the culture surrounding it, and became one of the most influential publications of its kind. It was shut down abruptly in 2009 amid a plunge in advertising revenue, but within months it was bought and revived by private equity investors.

Vibe had an average print circulation of 301,000 for the first six months of 2012, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, and SpinMedia said that each month Vibe’s sites have 1.4 million visitors and serve 1.6 million video streams.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

11103: P&G Advocates Diversity? No Way.

The New York Times printed corrections to the piece spotlighted in post 11099 about Procter & Gamble backing a Black movie as part of its My Black is Beautiful campaign. The updates involved stating the proper year for the campaign’s launch and the official date that the film will air on BET. However, no fixes were applied to the story’s title, “Celebrating Black Beauty and Advocating Diversity.”

Talk about a major misstatement. To claim that P&G advocates diversity is like saying Mickey D’s displays concern about the obesity epidemic.

After all, here is a client that could easily bring change to the industry by simply insisting all of its agencies embrace diversity. Or else. It really is that easy.

Yet clients like P&G turn a (color)blind eye to the exclusivity on Madison Avenue, opting instead to promote minority movies while cutting the crumbs doled out to minority advertising agencies.

If someone produced a documentary on the discrimination in our industry, would P&G bankroll the effort?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

11102: Bull.shit.

Adweek reported will receive the 2013 Honorary Clio Award. The special honor allegedly “recognizes exceptional creative professionals not necessarily working in the ad industry.” Um, is working in the business. Granted, he has yet to produce a spot that isn’t contrived dog shit, but the man is definitely an official member of the industry. Hey, if Dan Wieden can win an ADCOLOR® Award, is qualified to nab an outdated advertising trophy. Wins 2013 Honorary Clio

Modern Family’s Eric Stonestreet to host awards show

By Adweek Staff

The Clio Awards has named musician and entrepreneur the recipient of the 2013 Honorary Clio Award.

Since 2009, the best-of-advertising show has granted an Honorary Clio Award, which recognizes exceptional creative professionals not necessarily working in the ad industry. Last year’s recipients were photographer Annie Leibovitz and food television personality Anthony Bourdain.

The Clio Awards is owned by Guggenheim Digital Media, parent of Adweek. will accept the honor during a ceremony at the Museum of Natural History on May 15. Actor Eric Stonestreet, best known for his Emmy-winning role on Modern Family, will host the ceremony. It is the 54th annual Clio Awards show.

In addition to his career as a recording artist and performer, serves as a consultant to—and collaborator with—brands on pop culture, business and technology. Since 2011, he has counted among his salutations the title director of creative innovation for Intel, a role that the chipmaker says isn’t a traditional endorsement role and, reports Fortune, involves regular brainstorming with the company’s staffers. has also worked with Coca-Cola in recent years to invent a line of products made in part from recycled materials. He was an early investor in the now-popular Beats line of headphones, along with rapper Dr. Dre and music mogul Jimmy Iovine, and has also launched products like an iPhone camera enhancer.

“ has not only mastered music but has also transcended his art form, extending his boundless creativity into areas like politics, technology and philanthropy,” said Nicole Purcell, executive director of the Clio Awards. “He embodies all of the values the Clios represent by inspiring change and encouraging us to think differently.”

Monday, April 22, 2013

11101: Ad Age On Mad Men.

From Advertising Age…

‘Mad Men’ Recap: Invisible Woman

Is the Show Finally Taking on Race?

By Matthew Creamer

About midway through last night’s “Mad Men,” Pete Campbell issues a warning to his fellow partners at the agency: “I might remind you and everyone that the Commission on Human Rights is continuing to investigate our industry regarding the employment of Negroes.”

The partners’ regular meeting has been interrupted by a suddenly ballsy Harry Crane. The media-department head is incensed that his secretary has been summarily canned by Joan after she ditched work early and had another of the “girls” punch out her time card. The other girl is Dawn, Don’s secretary and the lone recurring black character over the past couple of seasons. Pete’s reminder frames one question—can we really afford to fire one of our few black employees when the city is demanding that we hire more?—that leads to a bigger one: Is “Mad Men” finally ready to talk about race?

In the real 1968, New York City’s Human Rights Commission would make the whiteness of Madison Avenue a story. Hearings in March would be followed by more information gathering throughout the summer, culminating in a report issued in November.

That report, which you can still read online, is a damning account of the industry’s attitude toward race at a time when the country was consumed by it. This was, after all, years since the Civil Rights movement began and the year in which Martin Luther King Jr. would be assassinated, setting off widespread riots.

Reading the report now, we see that the industry’s actual attitude toward race was pretty much in line with how it is depicted in the character of Pete: “an unacceptable pattern of exclusion—tokenism.” Between September 1967 and September 1968, the city’s largest advertising agencies, under pressure from the commission, improved the representation of “Negroes and Puerto Ricans” to about 7% from about 5%. But this came on a declining base and predominantly through the hiring of low-level employees. The biggest strides came in the category of “all others” which, according to the report, represents the “lower depths” of the industry. There was no movement in general management and little in other categories with upward mobility, like research, creative and account management.

The report claims that even as the industry was aware of the problem, it was unwilling to do anything to fix it. The commission encountered institutional defeatism, which it countered with a little snark: “If you were able to sell Volkswagens at the time you did and in this New York market, you can discover ways to hire, train and integrate into your staffs persons so long excluded from the industry.”

This is an amazing line that takes aim at the central case study of the 1960s creative revolution: DDB’s post-war turnaround of Volkswagen by eviscerating its German past. In other words, if you can do it for it our fairly recent enemies, you can do it for our own people. The commission also gives the industry a generous dollop of credit for being the kind of idea generators and problem solvers who find a way to deal with big challenges.

Could this be the moment “Mad Men” finally engages with the question of race? Dawn’s introduction last season, coming after that memorable racist water-balloon incident, felt like a head fake. We got that one strange night on Peggy’s couch and then nothing. But now with the King assassination looming, we’re getting some sense of a more developed black character. We even see Dawn outside of work twice, eating at a black coffee shop with a friend.

These scenes are bracing because we’re unaccustomed to any action that doesn’t involve at least one of the show’s (white) principal characters. It’s almost like being thrust into different show despite the fact that not all that much goes in the scenes. Dawn describes the loneliness and alienation she feels in the white-dominated world, telling of seeing another black friend downtown, near work, but not really seeing him.

“We were walking through the plaza and we passed each other and we just nodded,” she says. “He didn’t talk to me and I didn’t talk to him either.”

It might not conjure the pain of Ralph Ellison’s “Invisible Man,” but Dawn’s words suggest the alienation that comes with being part of the paltry 5%.

Read the full column here.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

11100: Mad Men Tries Integration.

Dawn Chambers had a subplot in the third episode of AMC series Mad Men Season 6. Don Draper’s secretary apparently is having trouble finding a man. Well, with Hollis the elevator attendant and Paul Kinsey the copywriter no longer around, the pickings are slim indeed.

Later, when Joan Harris fired Harry Crane’s secretary and considered dumping Dawn too, Pete Campbell noted the potential political fallout that could happen by terminating a Negro. Hey, there are only so many token roles available on the program.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

11099: P&G Backs Black Film.

From The New York Times…

Celebrating Black Beauty and Advocating Diversity

By Andrew Adam Newman

TYPICALLY, cause-marketing efforts involve profit-making companies partnering with charities to raise money. But Procter & Gamble, with its five-year-old My Black Is Beautiful initiative, is introducing a project that is surprisingly ambitious even by the consumer goods giant’s standards.

On Sunday, Procter & Gamble will present a screening of “Imagine a Future” in conjunction with the Tribeca Film Festival. The film, which aims to empower African-American women, features Janet Goldsboro, a teenager from Dover, Del.

“I didn’t look like what I saw in a magazine,” Ms. Goldsboro says about her childhood in the documentary. “I look different from all my cousins. I had dark features, dark hair, dark eyes, big nose and big lips, and I used to get made fun of because of how I looked.”

She says that she is “into boys” — and that their remarks can sting.

“Boys say, ‘I like the light-skinned girls,’ or, ‘I like white girls because I want my baby to come out pretty,’ ” Ms. Goldsboro says. “And that hurts you because it makes you feel like you’re ugly looking.”

The documentary is co-directed by Shola Lynch, whose documentary “Free Angela and All Political Prisoners” about Angela Davis is in theaters now, and by Lisa Cortes, who also produced the documentary and who was an executive producer for the Oscar-winning movie “Precious.”

The filmmakers found their subject through Black Girls Rock!, a Brooklyn nonprofit with programs including a summer leadership camp that Ms. Goldsboro attended last year. Procter & Gamble supports the organization financially through My Black Is Beautiful.

Interspersed with footage of the teenager, who visits South Africa, are interviews with women including Michaela Angela Davis, the writer and cultural critic; Gabby Douglas, the Olympic gymnast, and Melissa Harris-Perry, the MSNBC host.

Ms. Lynch, the director, was dubious when Ms. Cortes first approached her about the documentary.

“Lisa came to me and I was like, come on, Procter & Gamble is going to let us tell this story the way we want to tell it?“ Ms. Lynch said.

“It was known that this wasn’t going to be a puff piece,” Ms. Cortes added of the 30-minute documentary, which explores how media images of rail-thin white women as a standard of beauty can make black women, particularly curvy ones, feel inadequate. “P.& G. has not just been a supportive collaborator,” Ms. Cortes said, “but has really given us creative freedom.”

In the documentary, Ms. Goldsboro visits a market in Johannesburg with Lebogang Mashile, a poet, actress and activist, and says, “I heard that in South Africa that skin bleaching is a big problem here?”

Ms. Mashile replies: “It’s been a problem for a long time. It’s self-hate, it’s not having enough mirrors that affirm you.”

The documentary does not mention that Olay, a Procter & Gamble brand, markets skin-lightening products all over the world. A line called White Radiance is sold in countries including Malaysia and Singapore; another, Natural White, is sold in India, United Arab Emirates and elsewhere.

In South Africa, Olay recently introduced a skin-lightening line called Even & Smooth. A new commercial features Gail Nkoane, a singer and actress, who applies the product and is instantly bathed in light, giving the effect of her skin becoming several shades lighter.

Efforts like My Black Is Beautiful represent a “new trend among cosmetics corporations to use language that critiques the domination of white beauty standards in order to sell new products to women of color,” writes Margaret Hunter, an associate professor of sociology at Mills College in Oakland, Calif., in an article in The Journal of Pan African Studies in 2011.

The new documentary is “very engaging and very thought provoking about racism,” Professor Hunter said in an interview after viewing it. “But it’s Procter & Gamble, meaning that some of the money behind the documentary is made off products including skin-lightening products, and that completely undermines and inverts that message.”

Asked about its skin lightening lines, the company issued a response.

“These kinds of products are very popular in Asia and are designed to help women address uneven skin tone, and dullness which may be caused by acne, skin discoloration issues, or over exposure to the environment and help restore the skin’s original tone,” the statement read.

In a 2009 report about marketing to black women, market research firm Mintel noted that during the 1950s, whitening creams were marketed in the United States with “after” photographs featuring lighter skinned women, but such an approach became taboo in the 1960s, when “cosmetic companies began to emphasize the blemish-fading properties of bleaching creams and de-emphasize the ‘light skin is better’ strategy.”

Procter & Gamble in its statement stressed that it does not market White Radiance and Natural White in the United States, but those products are nonetheless available through multiple vendors that import the products on

“Imagine a Future,” which is not officially part of the Tribeca Film Festival but rather being screened to coincide with it, will appear on Black Entertainment Television on July 7, and will be posted to YouTube.

Imagine the Future also is the name of an initiative introduced in 2012 that promises to have a positive impact on one million black girls by 2015. The effort is a partnership of My Black Is Beautiful, which Procter & Gamble began in 2008, the United Negro College Fund and Black Girls Rock!

“There is a need to celebrate black beauty and support diversity, and all of our brands view the African-American consumer as a very important consumer,” said Lauren Hoenig, associate marketing director for multicultural marketing at Procter & Gamble. “We know we have to win with African-Americans in order to win.”

Monday, April 15, 2013

11097: Mad Men, Black Women.

In the second installment of AMC series Mad Men Season 6, it was revealed that Peggy Olson has a Black secretary. Phyllis is pretty bold, lecturing Peggy about treating underlings with respect. Someone should lecture creator Matthew Weiner about treating Black characters with respect too.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

11096: Indian Great Migration.

From The New York Times…

Quietly, Indians Reshape Cities and Reservations

By Timothy Williams

MINNEAPOLIS — Nothing in her upbringing on a remote Indian reservation in northern Minnesota prepared Jean Howard for her introduction to city life during a visit here eight years ago: an outbreak of gunfire, followed by the sight of people scattering.

She watched, confused, before realizing that she should run, too. “I said: ‘I’m not living here. This is crazy,’” she recalled.

But not long afterward, Ms. Howard did return, and found a home in Minneapolis. She is part of a continuing and largely unnoticed mass migration of American Indians, whose move to urban centers over the past several decades has fundamentally changed both reservations and cities.

Though they are widely associated with rural life, more than 7 of 10 Indians and Alaska Natives now live in a metropolitan area, according to Census Bureau data released this year, compared with 45 percent in 1970 and 8 percent in 1940.

The trend mirrors the pattern of millions of African-Americans who left the rural South during the Great Migration of the 20th century and moved to cities in the North and West. But while many black migrants found jobs in meatpacking plants, stockyards and automobile factories, American Indians have not had similar success finding work.

“When you look at it as a percentage, the black migration was nothing in comparison to the percentage of Native Americans who have come to urban areas,” said Dr. Philip R. Lee, an assistant secretary for health during the Clinton administration and an emeritus professor of social medicine at the University of California, San Francisco.

Recent budget figures show that federal money has not followed the migration, with only about 1 percent of spending by the Indian Health Service going to urban programs. Cities, with their own budget problems, are also failing to meet their needs.

One effect of the move toward cities has been a proliferation of Native American street gangs, which mimic and sometimes form partnerships with better-established African-American and Latino gangs, according to the F.B.I. and local law enforcement reports. Last month, a federal jury in Minneapolis convicted several members of the Native Mob, a violent gang, of racketeering and other crimes as part of one of the largest gang prosecutions ever undertaken in Indian Country.

The migration goes to the heart of the question of whether the more than 300 reservations in the United States are an imperative or a hindrance to Native Americans, a debate that dates to the 19th century, when the reservation system was created by the federal government.

Citing generational poverty and other shortcomings in reservations, a federal policy from the 1950s to the 1970s pressured Indian populations to move to cities. Though unpopular on reservations, the effort helped prompt the migration, according to those who have moved to cities in recent years and academics who have studied the trend.

Regardless of where they live, a greater proportion of Indians live in poverty than any other group, at a rate that is nearly double the national average. Census data show that 27 percent of all Native Americans live in poverty, compared with 25.8 percent of African-Americans, who are the next highest group, and 14.3 percent of Americans over all.

Moreover, data show that in a number of metropolitan areas, American Indians have levels of impoverishment that rival some of the nation’s poorest reservations. Denver, Phoenix and Tucson, for instance, have poverty rates for Indians approaching 30 percent. In Chicago, Oklahoma City, Houston and New York — where more Indians live than any other city — about 25 percent live in poverty.

Even worse off are those living in Rapid City, S.D., where the poverty level stands at more than 50 percent, and here in Minneapolis, where more than 45 percent live in poverty.

“Our population has dealt with all these problems in the past,” said Jay Bad Heart Bull, the president and chief operating officer of the Native American Community Development Institute, a social services agency in Minneapolis. “But it’s easier to get lost in the city. It’s easier to disappear.”

Despite the rampant poverty, many view Minneapolis as a symbol of progress. The city’s Indian population, about 2 percent of the total, is more integrated than in most other metropolitan areas, and there are social services and legal and job training programs specifically focused on them.

The city has a Native American City Council member, Robert Lilligren; a Native American state representative, Susan Allen; and a police chief, Janee Harteau, who is part Indian. But city life has brought with it familiar social ills like alcoholism and high unemployment, along with less familiar problems, including racism, heroin use and aggressive street gangs.

Lee Antell is the president of the American Indian Opportunities Industrialization Center, which provides job training and operates an alternative high school in Minneapolis. “You can go down the list of all the urban problems — homelessness, having no money, on probation,” he said. “We’ve dealt with all of that, and if we had a student with just one of those, we’d jump for joy.”

But Clyde Bellecourt, a co-founder of the American Indian Movement who lives in Minneapolis and continues to be involved in a number of social organizations in the southern part of the city, where most of the American Indian population lives, said that despite the poverty, cities tend to provide Native Americans with greater opportunities.

“It’s not bad here,” Mr. Bellecourt said. “They come here and they get job training and don’t want to go back to the reservation.”

At the heart of one experiment to halt the cycle of poverty here is Little Earth of United Tribes, a sprawling 212-apartment complex, the nation’s only public housing project that gives American Indians preference. It offers a wide array of social services, from empowerment counselors and bike rentals to couples’ therapy and a teen center that offers homework help, computers and board games. Houses are being built next to the complex to promote homeownership.

The typical resident is a single mother. The unemployment rate, more than 65 percent, is only marginally better than at impoverished reservations like Pine Ridge in South Dakota.

Bill Ziegler, the housing project’s president and chief executive officer, said he came to Minneapolis from the Lower Brule reservation in South Dakota in 2004 with a wife and five young children. Within the first six months in the project, he said, there were five gang homicides, and from 2005 to 2007, only three students graduated from high school, a rate of about 5 percent.

During a community forum in 2007, he asked to see the hands of parents who believed that their children would graduate from high school. He said no one raised their hand. “We expect boys to join gangs, girls to get pregnant,” he said. “I told them, ‘Our kids are doing what they’re expected to do.’ ” His solution has been to offer programs that are widely used by residents and to install nearly two dozen security cameras around the complex, hire off-duty police officers and evict individuals who have committed crimes or other offenses.

Mr. Ziegler said the board was moving toward a requirement that every resident have a job, be enrolled in school at least part time or serve as a volunteer. Though unemployment remains high, he said, the complex now has more than 120 volunteers.

“When we’re talking about change, we’re not hunting vampires — there’s no silver bullet,” Mr. Ziegler said. “It’s like the Lakota hunters bringing down a buffalo. It wasn’t one shot. It was a series of errors that led to success. And it’s going to take a series of errors to bring down the beast.”

Friday, April 12, 2013

11095: More Scamming News.

Advertising Age reported Leo Burnett in India is the latest agency to withdraw a scam ad from an awards show. When the Ford Figo scandal happened last month, a handful of agency honchos publicly pontificated on scamming—including Leo Burnett CCO Susan Credle. People in glass agencies…

After JWT’s Ford Figo Fiasco, Leo Burnett Pulls Winning Ads From India Awards Show

Questions Raised About Whether Client-Approved Radio Spots For Tata Are Fakes

By Anita Chang Beattie

Ad fakery has another global agency in the hot seat as Leo Burnett pulled two winning Tata radio spots at Goafest after a public back-and-forth between agency, client and festival.

In the latest controversy over scam ads at India’s Goafest Abby ad awards, Leo Burnett asked to withdraw two radio spots for Tata Salt Lite after they each snagged gold and silver awards in the radio and radio craft categories.

According to Goafest official Shashi Sinha, “whispers” about the eligibility of the ads began following the awards ceremony on Saturday. There had been some questions during the auditing process, in which KMPG doublechecks the eligibility of winning work after the judging but before the award show, but a letter from the client had confirmed they were genuine ads, Mr. Sinha said.

But rumors persisted about whether the spots had been been commissioned, paid for by the client and broadcast commercially—or if they were “proactive” work by Leo Burnett, said Mr. Sinha, who is CEO of IPG Mediabrands in India.

Earlier at Goafest, posters by JWT India depicting women bound and gagged in the back of a Ford Figo hatchback drew international condemnation after they were uploaded to the Ads of the World website and entered at Goafest. Consumers mistakenly thought they were real ads, causing JWT and Ford to issue apologies. JWT withdrew the three ads in the middle of the judging process and two senior creatives and a Ford India executive were fired.

In the latest controversy, a statement from Tata Chemicals, a huge multinational conglomerate that is the parent company of the low-sodium Tata Salt Lite brand and one of India’s biggest marketers, fell short of confirming the ads were genuine. In fact, Tata cast the blame entirely on the agency, and appeared to be saying it was unaware of criteria such as the requirement that ads really run in order to be festival-eligible.

“The entire award submission process is one initiated and entirely managed by the agency; our role as a client was limited to approval of the creative. As a client, we were not aware of all the other technical requirements and subsequent process of submission criteria etc,” the company said. “As soon as the inconsistencies were brought to our attention, and upon further enquiry, we concluded that it would be appropriate for the agency to return the award to the organizers.”

Arvind Sharma, Leo Burnett’s chairman and CEO-India and Subcontinent, provided Ad Age with a copy of the email he sent to Mr. Sinha on Monday asking to withdraw the entries. But he did not respond to follow-up questions asking whether he still stood by the eligibility of the ads.

“I know that there was some debate at the (Awards Governing Council) about two Tata Salt Lite radio spots submitted by us,” the message said. “We do not want any unwarranted insinuations about one of our prestigious clients and brands to continue. We request AGC to treat these two spots as withdrawn from our side.”

Awareness of the dispute over the Tata entries was fueled this week by stories posted by India’s MxMindia.

Unlike the Ford Figo poster ads, the Tata Salt radio spots were humorous and their content was never an issue, Mr. Sinha said.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

11094: Just For Annoying Men.

This Just For Men commercial does its best to channel Old Spice—but winds up coming off like, well, Just for Men.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

11093: Effie Effort F’d Up.

Is the implication here that an Effie award winner would be so lacking in creativity that he/she would need a quotations dictionary to cobble together an acceptance speech?

From Ads of the World.

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

11092: Lying LaNeve Lands Luxury Gig.

Advertising Age reported Team Detroit executive Mark LaNeve has been tapped for a second role as president of WPP sister agency Hudson Rouge. “Mark brings a tremendous amount of equity and understanding of the luxury space,” said a Ford spokesman. “When you look at Mark’s credentials, having redone Cadillac and Volvo, it makes a lot of sense.” Um, the lying bastard helped drive General Motors into bankruptcy. Makes all the sense in the world—the world of Mad Men and used car salesmen.

Mark LaNeve Called Upon to Help Stem Lincoln Sales Slide

Team Detroit Exec Named President of Hudson Rouge, Luxury Auto Brand’s Agency

By Rupal Parekh, Bradford Wernle

Team Detroit exec Mark LaNeve has been called upon to take over as president of the Lincoln brand’s ad agency, Hudson Rouge, according Automotive News. The move comes as the luxury brand is seeing a slide in sales.

The 54-year old Mr. LaNeve replaces former auto consultant Cameron McNaughton, who was named president when New York-based Hudson Rouge launched in December 2011. In a memo to dealers, Matt VanDyke, global director for the Lincoln brand, said Mr. McNaughton will be leaving the agency in May to “pursue other opportunities.”

Mr. LaNeve will be doing his new job from Detroit—visiting Hudson Rouge regularly—and will keep his other title as chief operating officer of Team Detroit, the Ford brand’s advertising agency. Both Team Detroit and Hudson Rouge are owned by WPP.

Prior to landing at WPP last year, Mr. LaNeve was a marketer at Allstate and General Motors. He’ll need to use his experience to help right the ship, as he is assuming control of the agency as the luxury Lincoln brand is going through a difficult rebirth. The 2013 MKZ sedan was heralded as the first car in that rebirth, but its launch has been hobbled by production delays and quality glitches. The brand’s U.S. sales have slipped seven consecutive months in an overall light-vehicle market that continues to expand.

The model for Hudson Rouge, a dedicated agency set up to serve the needs of just a single client, mimics the way that Team Detroit was formed. However, Team Detroit has now evolved to handle some clients outside of the auto sector.

“Mark brings a tremendous amount of equity and understanding of the luxury space,” a Ford spokesman said. “When you look at Mark’s credentials, having redone Cadillac and Volvo, it makes a lot of sense.”

Earlier this year, Lincoln launched a big advertising push for the MKZ that included two 30-second spots on the Super Bowl. That included one ad featuring late night host Jimmy Fallon and another, called “Phoenix,” which took bits and pieces from a long-running 60-second ad, with the addition of an MKZ bursting from an old Lincoln Town Car.

While the spots were intended to help elevate consideration of Lincoln cars, at the time, dealers did not have any cars to sell. Now that more cars are flowing into dealerships, Lincoln is ramping up its advertising again this month. There are now around 4,000 MKZs at dealerships, though there are some geographical areas with more cars than others.

Mr. LaNeve, who is widely regarded as a “dealer guy,” started his marketing career at GM and was credited with reviving the Cadillac brand. After rising to the post of brand manager for the Pontiac Bonneville in 1995, LaNeve left GM in 1997 to become VP-marketing and later CEO of Volvo Cars of North America, then owned by Ford.

In 2001 he returned to GM as general manager of Cadillac. In 2004, he became GM’s North America VP-of sales, service and marketing. A few months after GM declared bankruptcy in 2009, he left to become chief marketing officer for Allstate Corp. in Northbrook, Ill. There he oversaw creation of the insurance company’s “Mayhem” advertising campaign.

Monday, April 08, 2013

11091: Mad Men Season 6 Premiere.

The first episode of AMC series Mad Men Season 6 featured a token Black housekeeper and Black caretaker at the funeral service for Roger Sterling’s mother. Plus, Don Draper’s secretary, Dawn Chambers, made a few cameo appearances. Jewish characters received more attention than Blacks. So did Native Hawaiians.

Mad Men is back—and more expected than ever.

11090: Ad Man Up.

Was this Gold Bond commercial hatched by the same creative team that lost the Miller Lite account for Draftfcb?

11089: Draftfcb In Waiting Mode.

Adweek reported Young & Rubicam refuses to release Carter Murray from his contract, delaying the executive’s official appearance as new Draftfcb global CEO. Why, it only seems like a year ago when Draftfcb accused Digitas of poaching talent. Oh, wait a minute. It was a year ago. At least the move gives Draftfcb President and CEO Laurence Boschetto a few more months to execute his vision to erase “diversity and inclusion” from the company lexicon.

Young & Rubicam Refuses to Let Carter Murray Out of His Contract

New Draftfcb CEO must wait it out

By Andrew McMains

Four weeks after Carter Murray took the Draftfcb CEO job, he’s still walking the halls of Young & Rubicam, and it could be September before he joins his new agency.

Why? Because Y&R parent company WPP Group is holding him to the six-month notice period in his contract—at least for now, according to sources.

Historically, notice periods were designed to give an agency losing an executive time to find a successor. Also, a cooling-off period between jobs, in theory, keeps an outgoing exec from using client business information in his new post. In Murray’s case, however, Y&R has already filled his North American CEO role with insider Matt Anthony, and the bigger brands that Y&R and Draftfcb handle don’t compete head-to-head. In other words, there’s little Y&R client information that Murray can exploit at Draftfcb, a unit of Interpublic Group. Yet, there he sits as a lame duck at Y&R.

Whether Murray shifts to “garden leave,” or getting paid to not even show up, is beside the point. WPP is paying someone who has resigned and wants to leave. Other holding companies block such exits as well. Publicis Groupe made Tony Granger wait six months before he could exit Saatchi & Saatchi and join Y&R in 2009, even after Saatchi had filled his chief creative officer job with Gerry Graf. It could have been longer, though, given that Granger had a one-year notice period in his Saatchi contract.

Competitive wrangling aside, some say the practice seems like a waste of time and money.

“If the employee gives notice, the company has the option to cut them loose and stop paying them or to keep them from taking the new job but have to pay them,” said attorney Rick Kurnit, a partner at Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz who represents both ad execs and agencies. “The question is, is it really in the shareholders’ interest to pay somebody just to obstruct them from moving on, or is that done out of pique?”

While he declined to talk specifically about Murray, Y&R global CEO David Sable framed the broader issue of notice periods in simple, legal terms: “People sign contracts. They have no right to sign a contract that they don’t intend to keep.”

The stakes are high in the latest episode of sabre rattling. Draftfcb, set back by major client erosion in the past two years (SC Johnson, MillerCoors, Kraft, etc.), spent six months looking for a new global leader and sees in Murray, a seasoned account handler, an opportunity to reverse the slide. For now, existing leaders like outgoing CEO Laurence Boschetto will run the 8,800-person shop. Murray, Draftfcb and WPP declined to comment, and IPG could not be reached.

Other industry leaders appreciate concerns about ex-employees exploiting marketer information, but nonetheless question the wisdom of paying money for nothing. “I’m not sure what the point is,” said TBWA worldwide CEO Tom Carroll. “You have to try to protect your clients. On the other hand, if that’s not the case, I think it’s a little overreaching” to keep someone who wants to leave.

Blocking an exit may also create ill will with the departing exec, making the person unlikely to ever return, added Mark O’Brien, North American president of DDB. And, in an industry that places a premium on talent, that’s a competitive disadvantage. As O’Brien put it, “It doesn’t pay in the long run to pay someone to do nothing for spite.”

Sunday, April 07, 2013

11088: Jackie Robinson Retrospective.

Jackie Robinson: A life in pictures may be viewed via the New York Daily News.

11087: Linsane Accusations…?

From The New York Daily News…

Houston Rockets guard Jeremy Lin says his ethnicity led colleges, NBA to snub him

Lin was a high school star but did not land a major college scholarship, and he was not drafted by an NBA club

By Ginger Adams Otis / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Former New York Knicks sensation Jeremy Lin says his ethnicity is to blame for why he was not offered scholarships to major colleges and why he was passed over during the NBA draft.

In a “60 Minutes” interview that was excerpted Friday, the Houston Rockets point guard was asked why he didn’t get a free ride to play hoops at UCLA or Stanford after he led his high school team in Palo Alto, Calif., to a state championship.

“Well, the obvious thing in my mind is that I was Asian-American … I think that was a barrier,” Lin told interviewer Charlie Rose.

CBS will air the full interview on Sunday. It explores his meteoric rise to fame after he came off the Knicks bench last spring as a relative unknown and created the phenomenon known as “Linsanity” with his remarkable play.

Ethnicity has no bearing on athletic skill, Lin says. But he acknowledges that outdated perceptions about race still exist.

“It’s just a stereotype,” he said.

Lin said he believes that if he were white or black he would have gotten a scholarship to his dream school, Stanford. He went to Harvard, where no athletic scholarships are granted.

Lin was a standout for Harvard, but the 6-foot-4 guard wasn’t selected by any of the National Basketball Association’s 32 teams in the entry draft following his senior year in 2011.

He broke into the pro league by playing in summer-league games. He then bounced around for a bit, never making a name for himself, until he joined the Knicks and injuries gave him a chance to play major minutes in February 2011. He made the most of it, engineering a Knicks winning streak with a series of stellar performances that made him a fan favorite.

Lin left New York in the offseason when the Rockets offered him a three-year contract.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

11086: First Integrated Prom.

From The New York Daily News…

Georgia high school seniors fight racial segregation with first integrated prom

Members of Wilcox County High School in Rochelle, amid some opposition, are raising funds for the integrated prom.


Students at one Georgia high school are still fighting racial segregation.

A group of black and white teens at Wilcox County High School in Rochelle have banded together to organize the school’s first-ever integrated prom almost 60 years after the landmark court case “Brown vs. Board of Education” declared separate was inherently unequal.

Even though they share the same classroom, historically, there have been two separate proms and homecoming — one for whites and one for blacks.

“We’re embarrassed, it’s embarrassing, yeah it’s kind of embarrassing,” a group of four high school seniors, who are part of the team organizing integrated prom, told WGXA-TV.

The teens, Stephanie Sinnot and Keela Bloodworth, who are white, and Mareshia Rucker and Quanesha Wallace, who are black, said they have been friends since the fourth grade and want go to prom together, a quintessential end-of-senior-year event.

“We are all friends,” said Sinnot. “That’s just kind of not right that we can’t go to prom together.”

This year, there will still be two proms - one white and one integrated.

Wilcox County High School does not actually sponsor either dance, and the event relies on private donations, fundraising efforts and organization from parents and students. Because the event is privately funded and not held in the high school, organizers can choose who enters the dance.

“I think it’s more of the personal opinions of those involved,” Rochelle City Councilman Wayne McGuinty told WGXA-TV. “I don’t think there is an effort made to keep black kids out of the white prom and to keep white kids out of the black prom.”

McGuinty said when he was a student, there were three dances, a black prom and two white proms because students could not agree if they wanted a live band or a disc jockey.

But Bloodworth said if a black person attempted to walk into the white prom, organizers “would probably have the police come out there and escort them off the premises.” Just last year, a biracial student was turned away from the white prom, according to WGXA-TV.

There are hints of change.

Last year, instead of electing two homecoming kings and queens, the school decided to elect one. But there still two separate homecoming dances.

Wallace was elected homecoming queen.

“I felt like there had to be a change,” Wallace told WGXA-TV. “For me to be a black person and the king to be a white person, I felt like why can’t we come together?”

Even though she was homecoming queen, Wallace was not invited to the white dance.

Wallace and her friends are cooking up creative ways to fundraise for their integrated prom, like selling barbecue chicken dinners for $7.

So far, the seniors, who have 400 students in their class, have sold 50 tickets and raised $1,000 for the dance since fundraising started in January. But those numbers are likely to skyrocket, as a Facebook page they set up on Wednesday, which also includes a link for donations, has already garnered more than 4,000 likes.

“I just donated!” said user Meaghan Curran on the page. “You all are so lovely and I hope that you have the best prom! Prom should be a time when everyone can come together and have fun!

The comments on the page have largely been positive, and words of encouragement have come from as far away as Australia and Japan. Their cause caught the attention of the WK Kellogg Foundation’s Racial Healing Initiative, who donated T-shirts to the students, according to WALB-TV.

It’s still an uphill fight even among the student population, as posters for the integrated prom have been torn down from walls.

“I put up posters for the integrated prom, and we’ve had people ripping them down at the school,” said Bloodworth.

But seniors supporting the integrated prom are undeterred.

Rucker told WALB-TV she would like the actions of the Class of 2013 to serve as a precedent for future graduating classes and inspire change at the school.

“Hopefully, it rubs off,” Rucker said. “I feel like they will carry it on and keep doing the same thing so that we won’t fall back in the ways we were previously.”

The News’ calls to Wilcox County High School and the integrated prom organizers had not been answered yet Thursday. But a school board member told WGXA-TV he wants the school to stay clear of prom for liability reasons.

Another report from the station stated the school offered to host an integrated prom, but would allow private segregated proms to continue.

The integrated prom will be held on April 27 at the Cordele Community Clubhouse.

For more information and to support the integrated prom, you can “like” the Facebook page, where there is also an option to donate to the cause.

Monday, April 01, 2013

11085: Mega Dumb Lottery Ad.

Not sure it’s wise to use Benjamin Franklin in a lottery ad, as his quotes on money include: “He that is of the opinion money will do everything may well be suspected of doing everything for money.”