Friday, January 31, 2014

11728: NFL Supports Redskins.

From The Huffington Post…

Roger Goodell: Redskins Name Honors Native Americans

By The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell says the Washington Redskins nickname has been “presented in a way that honors Native Americans.”

Goodell said Friday at his annual pre-Super Bowl news conference that he’s been talking to Native American leaders in the past year. But he says the vast majority of Americans in general and Native Americans in particular support the franchise keeping the nickname.

Asked if the term was appropriate to refer to a Native American, Goodell said, “This is the name of a football team.”

Thursday, January 30, 2014

11727: MSNBCheerios Mess.

From The New York Daily News…

MSNBC apologizes for tweet taunting conservatives over Cheerios Super Bowl ad starring biracial child

The tweet was sent from the network’s official account and was aimed at conservatives, assuming they would be offended by the upcoming Super Bowl spot that revisits an interracial family featured in a 2013 ad. MSNBC later apologized and removed the tweet.

By Leslie Larson / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

MSNBC is backtracking after it used its Twitter account to taunt conservatives over the Cheerios ad starring an interracial family that will air during the Super Bowl.

“Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family,” read a tweet posted late Wednesday on the MSNBC account, providing a link to a short article on the news website about the ad.

MSNBC apologized for the “offensive live tweet” and then deleted the message.

“The Cheerios tweet from @msnbc was dumb, offensive and we’ve taken it down. That’s not who we are at msnbc,” Executive Editor Richard Wolffe tweeted.

Ironically, it was just weeks ago that the network’s own host, Melissa Harris-Perry, had to apologize to Mitt Romney for mocking his adopted black grandson on her show.

Conservative pundit Michelle Malkin sounded off against the cable network, encouraging Republicans from mixed race families to share photos with the hashtag #MyRightWingBiracialFamily.

The social media effort was soon top trending on Wednesday night.

“You’ve been served, @msnbc. Take notice all the rest of you left-wing race card players. Your smears WILL be crushed,” Malkin tweeted to the cable network.

The 30-second ad in question is a follow-up spot to the Cheerios promo featuring actress Grace “Gracie” Colbert as the daughter of an interracial couple.

Gracie first appeared in a spot for the cereal company in May 2013. It was posted on YouTube and received so many racist comments that the company had to shut down the comments section.

“The comments that were made in our view were not family-friendly, and that was really the trigger for us, you know, to pull them off,” Camille Gibson, vice president of marketing for General Mills, told the “Today” show in June.

The racist reaction sparked an outrage and even caught the attention of then-New York City mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio and his wife Chirlane McCray, who is African American.

During the campaign, the interracial couple and their son, Dante, posed for a photo sitting around their kitchen table, with a Cheerios box prominently featured at the center.

“Nineteen years of marriage and two children later, this is the first TV commercial I have ever seen with a family that looks a little bit like ours,” McCray wrote in the email to supporters about the ad.

“Cheerios is recognizing the changing face of America,” she added in praise of the company.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

11726: Latest Shit From JCPenney.

Following a shitty performance in the marketplace and a shitty decision to hire shitty ad agencies, JCPenney shat out Go Ligety—featuring shitty parody lyrics and shitty acting that shows even shitty White agencies love hip hop.

11725: Stereotyping Foreigners.

From Advertising Age…

Fake Noses, Blond Wigs: Are These Ads Offensive?

ANA is the Latest Japanese Company to Take Flak for Caricaturing Foreigners

By Angela Doland

Japan’s All Nippon Airways has come under fire for an ad that some found off-putting and even racist: It depicted a Japanese actor dressed up as a foreigner, wearing a big rubber nose and blond wig.

The blunder might be a lesson for Japanese companies and agencies preparing for the international spotlight of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics—especially since the ANA ad was created by Japan’s increasingly international Dentsu, and because it isn’t the only commercial to caricature foreigners that way.

ANA’s ad drew more press than most, with Time’s news website referring to it as “whiteface” in a headline. The airline quickly apologized, said it meant no offense and revamped the ad.

Foreign bloggers living in Japan have pointed out many similar ads, including a 2013 spot for a Toshiba ricemaker/breadmaker that featured an actress in a plastic nose and that later disappeared from the company’s website.

Brian Ashcraft, an Osaka-based writer who covers Japanese pop culture, flagged that ad on, a news site for gamers, along with a spot from rental car company Budget showing an Elvis impersonator wearing a pompadour and yet another prosthetic nose.

“Typically, in Japanese popular culture, whether that’s 19th century art or modern-day manga, foreigners are portrayed with large noses. This isn’t always true, and, of course, there are more nuanced portrayals,” he wrote in an email.

“If the gag is just a rubber nose, then that seems rather tired, no?” Mr. Ashcraft wrote, noting other commercials in Japan that depict people of different backgrounds in clever, non-offensive ways.

The ANA commercial was apparently trying to depict the airline as more international. It showed two Japanese airline pilots speaking English together to chat about new routes to foreign countries.

“Let’s change the image of Japanese people,” one said. “Sure,” said the other, and the camera panned to him suddenly wearing a wig and a pointy prosthetic nose. Reactions online were mixed – some didn’t understand the fuss, and others said the ad was insensitive and asked people to imagine if it had poked fun of the appearance of non-whites instead.

An airline spokeswoman said in an email Monday that the ad was not meant to offend, and that a new version had already been broadcast to get across “the message we wanted to convey in a more effective way. That is to highlight the increased number of international flights that ANA is offering from Haneda Airport.” She said the commercial came from Tokyo-based Dentsu. The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Michiko Morales, VP for public relations for the Virginia-based Gabriel Marketing Group, said the airline surely “had no clue it would offend certain people.”

“Japan is so homogenous, and people idealize blond hair and big noses,” said Ms. Morales, who was raised in Japan and recently lived there again for three years.

But with 2.5 million foreigners living in Japan and the Tokyo Olympics coming up, Ms. Morales said, Japanese companies need to remember “it’s not just Japanese people living in Japan who are watching.”

The ad featured a well-known actor and comedian, and it clearly was thought-out for months, she said. She believes the ad team probably neglected to run it by a few foreigners to see how it would play.

“They really just needed to ask someone,” she said.

Monday, January 27, 2014

11723: Free—And Expelled—At Last.

From DiversityInc…

Frat Expelled After ‘MLK Black Party’

By Chris Hoenig

Arizona State University officials have expelled a popular fraternity after a racist and offensive party held on a weekend to celebrate the nation’s most revered civil-rights leader.

The school’s Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE) chapter initially had its operations halted after pictures posted on social media showed partygoers at the frat’s “MLK Black Party” dressed in basketball jerseys, flashing gang signs and drinking from watermelon cups. School officials announced late Thursday that the fraternity had been expelled.

“I think this represents the ignorance that still exists today. This is just one example of the kind of things that occur here,” ASU senior Kaajal Koranteng told KPHO-TV in Phoenix.

“This isn’t appropriate at all and you really have no business dressing like this on a day that’s sort of revered for African-Americans,” senior Frank Hogan added after seeing some of the pictures.

The frat was already on probation after being reinstated in December from another suspension, and it was prohibited from throwing parties. “ASU has one of the most diverse student bodies of any major university in the country, and it is unfortunate that a few misguided individuals held an offensive party at a time when ASU, the state and the nation are celebrating Dr. King’s achievements and legacy. The university will not tolerate this kind of behavior,” read an official ASU statement announcing the indefinite suspension. The university added that the party was not sanctioned by the school and did not take place on school grounds.

“This incident is one of many that prove we still have a long way to go in solving problems of racism in America,” Phoenix-based civil-rights activist Reverend Jarrett Maupin said. He is demanding diversity and racial-sensitivity training at the school because of what he calls a “culture of bigotry within some white Greek organizations: at the university. “There should be a zero-tolerance policy for racism at ASU. Period,” Maupin added.

“We are aware of the situation. We have been contacted and we have been in contact with the local chapter and the university,” national TKE organization Director of Compliance & Housing Patrick Gleason said. He added that the national body had worked with the local ASU chapter to get it reinstated and back on campus last month after its suspension for inappropriate conduct, including a fight that left one student injured. Gleason said he planned to meet with school and chapter officials following this latest suspension.

The national TKE organization, based in Indianapolis, released a statement on the party and suspension:

“Tau Kappa Epsilon does not condone or support any actions by its members that would be defined as racist, discriminatory and/or offensive. Social events with ‘party themes’ that are defined as such have no place in our fraternity’s mission or purpose. It is with embarrassment and regret when a few individuals within our organization make decisions that do not align with the values and principles of Tau Kappa Epsilon.

“Since 1899, our fraternity has taken much pride in the diversity and uniqueness of our membership. Tau Kappa Epsilon has never had an exclusionary clause in our membership. Our founders believed, as we do today, in the personal worth and character of the individual, not his wealth, rank or honor. We take great pride in having members who were and are still advocates of civil-rights movements in the United States. We celebrate all men and women of all races, genders, creeds, orientations and beliefs who strive each day to make the world a better place.

“We apologize for any offensive actions that a few of our members might have participated in. We can assure all other parties that these actions do not represent Tau Kappa Epsilon and the beliefs of love, charity and esteem that we have stood by for 115 years. We will respond to these individuals while holding the utmost respect for our principles of being Better Men for a Better World.

“A member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity professional staff is currently onsite at Arizona State University to begin an investigation. We have been working with university officials since we became aware of the alleged incident.”

But the meeting between the school and the national TKE organization does not sit well with Reverend Maupin. “To try and meet on this matter without engaging Black leaders is adding insult to injury,” he said. “We must be at the table.” He is also demanding that the school expel all students involved with the party.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

11721: Retouching The Third Reich.

Did you hear the one about the Polish retoucher…?

From Ads of the World.

11720: Not A Great Day For Honda.

Automotive News reported Honda had to revise a new Civic commercial after people took offense to scenes of protesters marching in front of a federal court building in the bankrupt city of Detroit. Longtime AOR RPA is apparently responsible for the spot—and after having survived a pitch that saw the Acura business reassigned to Mullen in Boston. Gee, there used to be a time when RPA produced breakthrough and award-winning work for the automaker. Actually, the time spanned over 25 years or so.

Honda tweaks national Civic ad that spotlighted Detroit’s ‘pain’

By Sean Gagnier, Automotive News

DETROIT—Honda Motor Co. has tweaked a national commercial for the Civic compact after the original spot caused an uproar in Detroit for featuring images of protesters outside of a federal court in the bankrupt city.

The spot, created by Honda’s chief advertising agency, RPA in Santa Monica, Calif., overlaid images of the bankruptcy court and protestors outside a federal courthouse in Detroit over a blues singer before moving on to show more positive images.

The commercial, entitled “Today Is Pretty Great,” began airing Jan. 8.

While the protestors and court are unrecognizable to most viewers, some Detroiters immediately identified it as the city’s Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse.

In the updated spot, Honda removed footage of the courthouse and protesters.

The court shown in the original commercial is hearing arguments in the city of Detroit’s bankruptcy case.

The city, owing billions of dollars to creditors and faced with a slumping tax base and steady population losses, filed the nation’s largest municipal bankruptcy case in July 2013.

City employees and retirees face the prospect of wage, benefit and pension cuts as part of any bankruptcy settlement.

The Detroit News published a story on Friday about the commercial and the negative response it was receiving in Detroit. Just hours later, Honda officials told the newspaper that they would be removing the images of protestors.

“The slight change we made to the commercial simply reflects our desire to remove anything that would get in the way of our uplifting message,” Honda spokesman Steve Kinkade told Automotive News on Saturday. “The original commercial obviously was not intended to represent Detroit or the challenges experienced by the city, its people or our industry.”

The Rev. Charles Williams II, president of the National Action Network’s Michigan chapter, told the News that the original ad was a slap in Detroit’s face.

“They’re using our pain for their pleasure to promote Japanese automobiles while we are suffering in part because of the decline of American automobiles from foreign automakers,” Williams told the paper.

Kinkade said the spirit of the commercial was intended to serve as a positive expression for everyone and the “incredibly positive response” it has generated reflects these intentions.

“Honda has operations and personnel in the city of Detroit and elsewhere in the metro Detroit area and we continue to be actively engaged in a variety of community outreach activities in the city,” Kinkade said. “We’re pleased Honda is playing a role in the continued comeback of the city.”

Friday, January 24, 2014

11719: HBCU WTF.

From DiversityInc…

A ‘Giant’ Fail

By Albert Lin

Imagine the surprise of Howard University students when the circular for the local branch of Giant grocery store welcomed them back to school following the winter break with an image of a white woman.

One of the nation’s best known Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)—U.S. News ranks it the No. 3 HBCU in the country—Howard has a student body is overwhelmingly Black. Of the 1,089 graduating seniors who responded to the school’s undergraduate exit survey in 2013, 84.6 percent identified themselves as African-American and another 6.1 percent identified as African. The number of white students in the class? Four—not 4 percent, just four (0.37 percent). (Although the number of white students is increasing at HBCUs across the country.)

The circular was for the chain’s City Market at O location near the Howard campus, which is the city’s largest supermarket. A spokesperson for the chain told Washington Business Journal, “Unfortunately an incorrect stock photo was used in the ad and we apologize for this oversight. We wish all Howard University students a successful semester.”

Reaction on Twitter appeared more bemused than angry, with users pointing out the error but not leveling charges of racism.

Confusing matters is that the subsidiary that owns the D.C. Giant (Giant Food) is not on Twitter, and the complaints instead were going to a Pennsylvania unit (Giant Food Stores) that had nothing to do with the ad.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

11718: Freedom Of Stupidity.


First Amendment debate rages over Ariz. frat’s behavior

By Anne Ryman, The Arizona Republic

Both sides argue whether MLK party was covered by free speech or racist.

PHOENIX — Just as social media played a big role in spreading images of partygoers at a controversial ASU fraternity event on Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Twitter and Facebook have buzzed with debate over whether their behavior was racist and if it was free speech.

Many condemned the students’ actions at the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity party, which included partygoers wearing stereotypical hip-hop clothes and posing with hollowed-out watermelon cups, according to photos posted on the Internet.

As one person wrote Wednesday on Twitter: “ASU should revoke acceptance — expel them — for any students who thought it was ok to go to such a party.” The post ended with a hashtag that said: #sicktostomach.

Others felt Arizona State University officials would be going too far if they expelled students who went to the party, arguing that the behavior, although offensive, still fell under the umbrella of the First Amendment.

First Amendment experts have different views on whether the behavior was protected under the Constitution.”This is the United States of America, not the United States of I have a right to never be offended,” another person posted on Facebook. “The students are protected by the right of free speech.” The post went on to say the students’ behavior was “stupid,” but added, “It’s their God given right to do it.”

The Constitution prohibits government entities, including state universities such as ASU, from interfering with freedom of speech. But the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld exceptions, including speech that would incite reasonable people to immediate violence, harassment or threats or intimidation.

All the facts aren’t known, but the party incident raises questions about the intent of the speech, said Dan Pochoda, legal director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona.

“It does appear it was a conscious attempt to degrade an entire race, and anyone taking part in such action would know it increases the difficulty of students of color to participate in the educational community,” he said.

Pochoda said the ACLU has not been asked to get involved in the case.

ASU officials put the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity on interim suspension Monday after receiving reports that fraternity members hosted an unregistered party on Sunday with racial overtones and underage drinking.

Local civil-rights leaders want the university to revoke the fraternity’s recognition, which means they couldn’t recruit members or hold meetings on campus.

They also want ASU to expel students who went to the party and take steps to create a “more accepting environment” at the university.

They threatened to boycott the university’s athletics and a fundraising campaign to rebuild Sun Devil Stadium unless their demands are met.

ASU is investigating the fraternity for four possible violations of the student code of conduct:

• Engaging in discriminatory activities.

• Off-campus conduct that may present a risk or danger.

• Violation of laws governing alcohol.

• Violation of earlier disciplinary sanction.

At the time of the party, the fraternity was on university probation for a fight in November 2012, when police reports say fraternity members confronted a rival fraternity member, an African-American, and beat him. He suffered a broken jaw, a concussion and cuts.

Experts aren’t certain whether the latest incident crossed a constitutional line.

Gene Policinski, chief operating officer of the Newseum Institute in Washington, D.C., believes the Constitution protects the students’ right to dress in the manner they did as well as their offensive comments.

The Newseum is a nonprofit media education organization that includes the First Amendment Center.

But he said the students may not be in the clear if they violated other university rules such as underage consumption of alcohol.

The fraternity also may have a contract with the university that outlined expectations, which would be a separate issue from free speech.

Parties with controversial themes pop up every year, according to a national organization that tracks free-speech issues on campuses. Last year, the Kappa Sigma Fraternity at Duke University in Durham, N.C., found itself under scrutiny after hosting an Asian-themed party with conical hats and geisha clothing. The national chapter suspended the fraternity.

Robert Shibley, senior vice president for the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, said choosing a party theme is an expressive act, intended to communicate a message and is therefore protected by the Constitution.

“If they have broken other rules, students or organizations may be punished for those infractions, but their punishment cannot be based on or enhanced by the college’s desire to condemn a certain viewpoint,” he said.

The Rev. Jarrett Maupin, a local civil-rights advocate, said he is “deeply troubled” by social-media posts that say the party behavior falls into the category of free speech.

“You have a right in America to do a lot of things, but it doesn’t make it right,” he said. “Are we now legitimizing or giving permission to or endorsing racist behavior?”

The national chapter of Tau Kappa Epsilon is investigating and sent a representative to Arizona. In a statement issued Tuesday, spokesman Alex Baker apologized for “any offensive actions that a few of our members might have participated in” and added that the national fraternity does not condone any actions that would be defined as racist, discriminatory or offensive.

“Social events with ‘party themes’ that are defined as such have no place in our fraternity’s mission or purpose,” Baker said in the statement.

First Amendment experts say the party incident is another cautionary tale for using social media wisely. Young people often have a sense that posting something on Facebook or Twitter isn’t serious and doesn’t count, the Newseum’s Policinski said.

“I think we’re finding out all over the place that’s absolutely not the case,” he said. “It’s speech.”

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

11717: Wrigley Chews Off CMO.

Advertising Age reported Wrigley eliminated the Chief Marketing Officer role. So there will no longer be anyone to blame for the God-awful shit that Wrigley passes off as advertising.

Wrigley Eliminates CMO Role

Brian Hansberry Departs After Two Years

By E.J. Schultz

Wm. J. Wrigley Jr. Co is eliminating its North American chief marketing position. The gum giant, which is dealing with category-wide headwinds, confirmed that Brian Hansberry, the company’s CMO since January 2012, is leaving the company as part of the move.

“We made the difficult decision to eliminate the CMO position for our North America business to create efficiencies,” spokeswoman Caroline Sherman said in a statement to Ad Age. “It is not a decision we took lightly, and we value the contributions Brian Hansberry has made to our organization.”

She said that marketing would be overseen by Casey Keller, Wrigley North America president, “along with our category leads.” Mr. Keller joined Wrigley in 2011 after serving as president of the U.S. business of Alberto Culver. Previously, he held senior roles with Motorola, H.J. Heinz and Procter & Gamble.

Mr. Hansberry joined Wrigley after an 11-year stint at H.J. Heinz Co, where his roles included serving as CMO. His departure comes as Mars-owned Wrigley and other gum marketers deal with a multi-year slump caused by a range of factors including more competition from other snacks, such as mints, and less purchasing power from teens.

U.S. gum category sales dropped by 3% from 2012 to 2013, according to Euromonitor International. Wrigley’s U.S. gum share increased slightly from 53% in 2012 to 53.3% last year, according to Euromonitor. The share for competitor Mondelez International, which owns Trident, dropped from 30.9% to 29.4%.

One of Wrigley’s big gum bets, a caffeinated gum called Alert, was pulled from the market last year after a brief stint on store shelves. It was yanked in the face of concerns by the Food and Drug Administration.

The marketer’s lead ad agency for its gum brands is Energy BBDO, Chicago.

In its advertising, Wrigley has sought to breathe some life into the category with a combination of functional and emotional messaging. The marketer’s Extra brand has taken a softer tone with ads that put the gum at the center of emotional moments between a father and daughter. Meanwhile, Orbit, which is Wrigley’s largest gum brand by sales, has run ads plugging the gum as a way to get that “just-brushed clean feeling” after meals.

11716: Mickey D’s Diversifies.

Advertising Age reported Mickey D’s hired Deborah Wahl as its U.S. Marketing Chief. Why do clients seem to have no trouble finding qualified candidates to foster diversity—while their agency partners whine about a deficit of talent that aren’t White men?

Deborah Wahl Tapped as McDonald’s U.S. Marketing Chief

Replaces Neil Golden, Who Announced His Retirement Last Year

By Lorene Yue

McDonald’s Corp. is tapping a consumer marketing executive with a history in the homebuilding and automotive industries as its new chief marketer for the U.S.

Deborah Wahl, 51, joins McDonald’s on March 3. She replaces Neil Golden, who announced last year he would retire in early 2014. Mr. Golden was chief marketing officer of McDonald’s U.S. division since 2008.

Ms. Wahl will be responsible for developing and executing marketing strategies for the company’s more than 15,000 U.S. restaurants and will work with independent owners as well as advertising agencies. She will report to Kevin Newell, exec VP and chief brand and strategy officer at McDonald’s USA.

“This is an outstanding candidate and addition to our team,” Mr. Newell said in an interview today. “She has done a lot of great things in terms of being a change agent. I was impressed with the way she worked with people in the building industry and auto industry.”

Ms. Wahl comes to McDonald’s from Bloomfield Hills, Mich.-based homebuilder Pulte Group, where she was CMO.

In a statement she said she “couldn’t be more excited” to work with a brand as large as McDonald’s. “It’s an inspiring time for the industry and the brand and I look forward to what we will accomplish together.”

She joins McDonald’s at a challenging time, as the Oak Brook-based restaurant chain struggles to grow sales. Customers have shied away from McDonald’s menu, forcing the company to aggressively promote lower-priced items on its Dollar Menu in an attempt to drive traffic.

“I’m looking for her to get us closer to our customers,” Mr. Newell said. “We want to evolve with our consumers and we want them to help us evolve.”

The company is scheduled to report fourth-quarter and 2013 financial results tomorrow.

Ms. Wahl spent more than a decade working in the automotive industry before joining Pulte Group in 2009. She was CMO at Chrysler until her job was eliminated in a 2008 restructuring. She has also worked in marketing roles at Toyota Motor Sales USA, Mazda North America and Ford Motor Co.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in economics from Wellesley College and her MBA from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Ms. Wahl also has a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Joseph H. Lauder Institute of International Studies.

Lorene Yue is a reporter for Crain’s Chicago Business.

11715: Crestor & Cluelessness.

Saw this inane Crestor commercial and wanted to comment how the main character—aside from being a complete jackass—is actually displaying the side effects of the drug (namely, memory loss and confusion). Then noticed the spot was posted on YouTube by UptownCLTViolence, along with the following unedited commentary:

So the ad agency again feels that it’s important to cast a black man as the smart, all knowing doctor and the white man as a complete fool who acts like an immature child. Even his wife and child do not respect him. Watch how he runs off too his room and kicks his feet around like a 10 year old girl. Did you notice all the ways that ad agencies and advertisers use techniques like these to ridicule white men and especially white fathers in America? Ever wonder why? Maybe contact Paul Spittle, Marketing Head or Corporate Media Relations, Michele Meixell at 302-885-6351. Enough bashing white men and especially fathers. We can use other products AstraZeneca.

A visit to the organization’s YouTube page found a collection of commercials and the following unedited explanation:

This channel is dedicated to showing America the racial bias and effort to ridicule white men by advertising agencies. Notice how many commercials portray white men as dumb and mindless, while at the same time depicting black men as highly intelligent, better educated and capable. They are cast in roles as stable family men who are good fathers, good providers and who are leaders in business.

Sadly the truth and statistics demonstrate just the opposite. So why does Madison Avenue continue to attack white males? Isn’t the job of ad agencies to sell a product or a service? Why insult and ridicule white men? The propaganda must end and the intentional manipulation of the minds of the passive TV watchers must end too. I urge you to boycott and company listed featured on my channel. Maybe then the advertisers will demand honesty in their commercials. Stop the attempts to brainwash America!

In the event that UptownCLTViolence is honestly seeking responses to its charges and questions, MultiCultClassics will offer some insight.

It’s true that advertising agencies show racial bias when depicting White men and Black men, but not quite the way UptownCLTViolence might imagine.

Why does Madison Avenue continue to attack White males? Why insult and ridicule White men? Dunno. Maybe UptownCLTViolence should pose the queries directly to the White men running the industry. White men are definitely leading the creative departments, as women allegedly hold only 3 percent of the creative director positions—and there are even fewer minorities with the title. While “dumb White guy” depictions in advertisements are common, they hardly constitute a growing trend. Additionally, such caricatures don’t warrant being classified as racial bias. Self-deprecation might be a more accurate descriptor. Or simply viewing such concepts as being contrived clichés shat out by hackneyed assholes is probably the best explanation.

As for the depiction of Black men as “highly intelligent, better educated and capable,” well, that’s an overreaction too. Lots of advertisers prefer to play things in a politically-correct fashion; hence, they’ll portray minorities in a positive light. Hell, lots of Black agencies do likewise, albeit for different reasons. Regardless, the positive images still pale in comparison to the stereotypical and negative images. If there is indeed a concerted effort to shatter the myths and misperceptions about Black men, it’s not being orchestrated by the culturally clueless White men on Madison Avenue.

All that said, the Crestor character does succeed at making White men look buffoonish.

11714: Arby’s Sucks In New Shop.

Adweek reported Arby’s assigned its account to Fallon after a review including The Martin Agency and BBDO. Incumbent agency CP+B originally “won” the account from BBDO sans a review in 2012, likely through Corporate Cultural Collusion and cronyism, as the CMO at the time had ties to CP+B. The emergence of yet another Arby’s CMO—as well as a new CEO—prompted the latest pitch. Given the quality of the shops that have serviced Arby’s in recent years, it’s safe to say the restaurant’s problems will not be solved through advertising.

Arby’s Finds a New Lead Agency

Fallon succeeds Crispin

By Andrew McMains

Arby’s has found a new lead agency.

Fallon has landed creative responsibilities on the fast food chain after a review, Arby’s has confirmed. The other finalists were The Martin Agency and BBDO.

Annual media spending is estimated at $125 million.

The Publicis Groupe shop succeeds MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky, which split with Arby’s in November. Crispin had handled the account since early 2012.

In making the hire, Rob Lynch, Arby’s new brand president and chief marketing officer, cited the strength of the core idea that Fallon pitched and the time agency executives spent getting to know the chain’s customers. What’s more, Fallon’s pitch idea—which Lynch declined to describe—can be applied to more than just advertising.

“Fallon’s work really inspired us because it’s something that can be a rallying cry for the organization,” Lynch said.

The assignment includes traditional and digital advertising, including social and mobile marketing. The new agency’s first campaign is expected in the summer.

Media planning and buying were not in play and remain at Interpublic Group’s Initiative. Joanne Davis Consulting in New York managed the review.

11713: The Art Of Cluelessness.

Have a seat and check out the details on the picture above.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

11712: I Have A Tweet.

Advertising Age presented a collection of Tweets from brands allegedly celebrating MLK Day.

11711: Seven U.K. Diversity Similarities.

Digiday published poppycock pointing out the seven major differences between advertising agencies in the U.K. and U.S. Whatever. Here are seven major similarities between ad shops in the U.K. and U.S. in regards to diversity:

7. White women whine about being underrepresented—yet still outnumber racial and ethnic minorities by far.

6. White U.K. adpeople love hip hop too.

5. Advertisements in the U.K. feature predominately White casting—yet White U.K. adpeople think it’s a complete mystery “why ethnic minority groups aren’t wooed by brands like anyone else…”

4. Lists spotlighting the top U.K. advertising executives are devoid of minorities.

3. White U.K. adpeople believe minority youth outreach programs are the solution for diversity.

2. White U.K. advertising leaders offer patronizing pap and hypocrisy on diversity.

1. Minority U.K. adpeople are the only ones speaking out on the issue—and delegating diversity is the norm.

11710: Stutteringly Stupid.

Isn’t it a tad insensitive to promote stuttering therapy by making light of the speech disorder?

From Ads of the World.

11709: Global Ignorance.

Not sure what this campaign from Turkey is trying to communicate. Pretty sure it’s insulting, misogynistic and racist.

From Ads of the World.

Monday, January 20, 2014

11708: Sarah Palin And MLK.

MLK Day would not be complete without color commentary from Sarah Palin.

11707: Apple, Adland And MLK.

In 1997, the Apple Think Different campaign featured a commercial titled, The Crazy Ones, which included footage of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In 2014, DiversityInc reported the technologically advanced company was terribly outdated in regards to the exclusivity of its board of directors. Two major shareholders pressured Apple to update its Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Charter and include the word “actively” in the revisions. The statement now reads, “The Committee is committed to actively seeking out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which Board nominees are chosen.” Apparently, it’s taken a little extra time for Apple to think different.

While the updated mission verbiage may seem insignificant at first blush—especially to the culturally clueless—it actually underscores the true challenge of diversity. That is, shit won’t happen unless change is actively pursued. For brands like Apple, as well as the advertising agencies that conspire with them, diversity remains a passive affair.

Corporations and agencies declare they are Equal Opportunity Employers with non-discriminatory hiring practices. Okay, but that’s nothing special to brag about—it’s the law. You’re supposed to be an EOE and not discriminate. Those are the minimum requirements for running a business with employees.

Ad agencies are most guilty of engaging in passive initiatives to feign interest in inclusion, including launching diversity committees, naming Chief Diversity Officers, establishing minority internships, inventing minority youth outreach programs, building minority high schools, bankrolling minority scholarships, holding minority events and sponsoring ADCOLOR®. While these things are arguably well-intentioned maneuvers, they represent delegating diversity at best—and delaying, deferring and disabling diversity at least.

For diversity to be realized in the advertising industry, executives with hiring authority must personally and actively seek out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups. More importantly, they must actively hire such candidates. Recruiting at the high school, grade school and pre-school levels is bullshit. Believing minorities are not aware of and/or interested in the opportunities is bigger bullshit. Insisting there are no qualified candidates is total bullshit.

The truth is, Madison Avenue has a history of actively denying access to minorities. Creating change will require actively promoting inclusion and working toward progress.

Oh, and it would be nice if clients like Apple would actively demand that their ad agencies get with the program too. Otherwise, it’s all just crazy talk.


Apple’s Plan to Improve Its Diversity

By Albert Lin

Facing criticism from two major shareholders, Apple recently added language to its Nominating and Corporate Governance Committee Charter pledging to “actively” pursue women and members of underrepresented groups for its board of directors, according to a report on

The exact language reads: “The Committee is committed to actively seeking out highly qualified women and individuals from minority groups to include in the pool from which Board nominees are chosen.”

Apple’s eight-member board includes just one woman—Andrea Jung, who is Asian and the only member of the board from an underrepresented group—alongside seven white men all over the age of 50. Additionally, all of the company’s top executives are white men over age 40. (Angela Ahrendts will become Apple’s top-ranking woman when she takes over as Senior Vice President of Retail and Online Stores sometime this spring.)

The new language came about as the result of objections from shareholders Trillium Asset Management and The Sustainability Group over the lack of diversity in Apple’s leadership ranks. Executives from Trillium and Sustainability had about five meetings with Apple’s investor-relations team and had threatened to bring the issue to a vote at a Feb. 28 shareholder meeting. They dropped their objections after Apple agreed to add the language—which had been in the company’s proxy for several years—to its charter, even though the company did not make any specific promises.

“There is a general problem with diversity at the highest echelon of Apple,” Jonas Kron, Director of Shareholder Advocacy at Trillium, told Bloomberg. “It’s all white men.”

Added Larisa Ruoff, who is in charge of Shareholder Advocacy & Corporate Engagement at The Sustainability Group: “This is an issue the company is taking seriously, and is discussed at the highest levels of the company.”

Apple has never participated in the DiversityInc Top 50 survey and was one of six companies that refused to release their EEO-1 data despite a Freedom of Information request from the San Jose Mercury News, saying that the information would cause “commercial harm.” As a result, the diversity of its workforce and its management is unknown. However, Google (another of the six companies) searches for Black, Latino and Asian Apple executives turn up nothing.

11706: Royalty-Free At Last.

Commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with royalty-free stock images.

11705: Google Celebrates MLK Day.

Google has a dream.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

11704: Diapers & Diversity.

Huggies® salutes Nelson Mandela…?

11703: M&M’s & Mandela.

A 2007 M&M’s advertisement originally created by BBDO Cape Town to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s birthday has been resurrected to commemorate his passing. Can’t wait to see what the candy brand does for MLK Day or Black History Month.

11702: Civil Rights Act At 50.


Equality still elusive 50 years after Civil Rights Act

By Richard Wolf, USA TODAY

Economic, educational progress made falls short.

When President John F. Kennedy called on Congress in June 1963 to pass what would eventually become the Civil Rights Act of 1964, he rattled off a string of statistics intended to highlight the nation’s continuing racial divide a century after the Emancipation Proclamation.

African Americans born that year, Kennedy said, had “about one-half as much chance of completing high school as a white baby born in the same place on the same day, one-third as much chance of completing college, one-third as much chance of becoming a professional man, twice as much chance of becoming unemployed, about one-seventh as much chance of earning $10,000 a year, a life expectancy which is seven years shorter, and the prospects of earning only half as much.”

Fifty years later, on the eve of Monday’s observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the battle to end overt discrimination has been far more successful than the effort to attain economic, educational or social equality.

Blacks have made huge strides in high school education but still lag in college graduation rates. Their incomes have risen and poverty rates have declined, but a mammoth wealth gap remains, along with persistently high unemployment rates.

So great has been the increase in political power that the black voter turnout rate surpassed that of whites in the 2012 presidential race, and the number of black elected officials has risen sevenfold. But while school segregation and workplace discrimination have declined, too many African Americans go home to segregated, often impoverished neighborhoods.

“There has been a dramatic change in attitudes and in principles,” says Michael Wenger, a senior research fellow at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, the nation’s leading think tank on African-American socioeconomics. “Change has been much less dramatic in actual behavior.”

The Civil Rights Act championed by Kennedy and signed into law by President Lyndon Johnson after JFK’s death succeeded in opening public accommodations, such as hotels and restaurants. It took longer to reduce racial discrimination in the workplace, but that, too, counts as a success. And the law’s threat to cut off federal funding forced the desegregation of schools in the South.

“We shouldn’t underestimate the importance of that,” says Michael Klarman, a Harvard Law School professor specializing in constitutional law and civil rights. “Without that, we wouldn’t have a black middle class as successful as it is. We wouldn’t have a black president. We wouldn’t have as many blacks going to law school or medical school.”

Public attitudes have changed dramatically. In the 1960s, most whites were tolerant of job discrimination and school segregation. Today, most say they accept the racial preferences required to rectify decades of discrimination.

Read the full story here.

11701: Sprinting Away From Team Sprint.

MediaPost reported Sprint is launching a review of its entire agency roster, which likely means the official demise of Team Sprint—and thankfully, the James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell team. Wonder how the impending Publicis Omnicom Groupe merger would have affected matters, given that AT&T is firmly tied to Omnicom’s BBDO. Of course, the assholes behind the inane hook-up will probably walk away scot-free while scores of adpeople lose their jobs.

Sprint Launching Comprehensive Agency Review

By Steve McClellan

Telecom company Sprint is preparing to conduct a comprehensive review of its agency roster, according to the CEO of its parent company, Softbank. The review is expected to cover creative, media and digital.

The company spends close to $1 billion on ads annually.

The review comes about six months after Sprint was acquired by Softbank for nearly $22 billion. Shortly after that, Sprint CMO Bill Malloy indicated that he would leave the company in the spring of this year.

It was just over two years ago that Malloy — who had then recently joined the company — fired lead agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the Omnicom shop, without a review and put in place an entity called Team Sprint that was led by Publicis Groupe’s Digitas (now DigitasLBi). Sibling shop Leo Burnett was tapped for creative duties and media shifted from WPP’s Mindshare to Publicis Groupe as well.

But according to the Chairman and CEO of Sprint parent Softbank, Masayoshi Son, Team Sprint hasn’t been getting the job done. He said last week that “Sprint spends a large amount of money on advertising every year, but its effects have been almost negligible.”

Son’s comments came in a guest column for the Nikkei Asian Review. “I directed the Sprint executives to terminate all existing contracts with the company's advertising agencies. We will shortly start from scratch on advertising, with new agents also making proposals.”

The article was more broadly focused on lessons in business leadership that Son had learned over the years. He said he had erred previously in allowing the U.S. management of some acquired companies too much leeway to run companies as they saw fit.

“Just like Vodafone in Japan, Sprint has gotten used to being a loser,” Son wrote. “It is perpetually stuck in third or fourth place in the U.S. telecommunications market. Some say the poor quality of its networks explains its position. This kind of excuse keeps Sprint from breaking the vicious cycle in which it is caught. There is a need for a change in mindset.”

That point of view could also potentially affect the agency roster at competitor T-Mobile. Softbank has approached T-Mobile about a possible $20 billion acquisition. Publicis & Riney is T-Mobile’s creative agency.

A DigitasLBi rep didn’t immediately respond to a query about the review. A Sprint rep indicated that the company has not begun a review “at this time.” He declined to elaborate or comment on Son’s remarks.

This story has been updated to include input from a Sprint rep.