Sunday, August 31, 2014

12029: Jesus Didn’t Walk On Water…?

Jesus Christ, NZ Boardstore, this ad should get you paddled by Catholic school nuns.

From Ads of the World.

12028: Old White Guys Endangered?

Campaign published a piece by High50 Editor-in-Chief Stefano Hatfield titled, “Talking about my generation,” which examined the growing and potentially profitable “superboomers” being ignored by most advertisers. Wondering why brands are not actively wooing an audience that controls 79 percent of U.K. disposable wealth, Hatfield speculated the following:

Can it be as simple as the fact that the average age of an employee in the UK ad industry is 33 (IPA Agency Census 2013) or that only 6 per cent of its employees are over 50?

Wow, 50-year-old employees are yet another minority in the ad game—although excluding mcgarrybowen, it’s unlikely that the elder workers control 79 percent of Madison Avenue’s disposable wealth. Then again, the holding company honchos might control over 79 percent of the wealth. Regardless, given that the U.K. advertising industry appears to mirror the U.S. advertising industry in terms of diversity, it’s safe to presume the boomer percentages hold up for American adpeople as well. In short, Old White Guys may be the industry’s new endangered species.

Sound the alarms! Order the Chief Diversity Officers and Diversity Development Advisory Committee members to start scouring inner-city assisted living facilities and nursing homes for candidates pronto. Why hasn’t the 3% Conference launched a 6% Conference spin-off (hell, Cindy Gallop could run the thing alongside her porn program)? The AAF can add grey to its Mosaic Center, while the 4As introduces GAIP—Geriatric Advertising Intern Program. ADCOLOR® should hand out a Silver Fox Award presented by AARP and Depend. And God only knows what senior citizens like Dan Wieden, Jeff Goodby and Sir John Hegarty could bring to the party. Battle stations, boomers!

12027: Black Barista Bounces Back.

From The Sydney Morning Herald in New South Wales, Australia…

Black barista Nilson Dos Santos finds work after being refused job at Darlinghurst café

By Michael Koziol

It’s an outcome that might be called karma. The cafe owner who refused to employ a black man has closed his business; the man he wouldn’t hire has found full-time work.

Nilson Dos Santos, 37, made international news last week when he was denied a job at Darlinghurst cafe Forbes & Burton because he was black.

“My customers are white and they don’t like to have black people making coffee for them,” owner Steven He told him.

Now Mr Dos Santos has found work at a less discriminatory employer, taking a barista job at Taylor Square bar and cafe Coco Cubano. Thursday was his first day and he said he was happy and excited to be back behind the machine.

“I feel comfortable and [I’m] just really looking forward to a new beginning. I’m very positive about the future,” he said.

Mr Dos Santos is Brazilian but has worked as a barista in Australia for nine years. He was out of full-time work for three months and struggling with bills when he was rejected by the Forbes & Burton cafe. When he told customers what had just happened, some walked out immediately, joined by a member of staff.

Since the news broke, Mr Dos Santos has had about 40 job offers from cafes all over the city.

“I’m really happy to have a new job. I know what it looks like when you don’t have a job,” he said.

Forbes & Burton has now apparently closed and Mr Dos Santos wants to help its former staff members find employment.

“I just felt really, really sad because I keep stopping [to] think about how many people lost their jobs,” he said. “I just broke down and cried because I was really emotional about it.”

Coco Cubano manager Steve Sosah said he was happy to have Mr Dos Santos join his team, which welcomed all-comers.

“Nilson’s got such a great and positive energy,” he said. “It’s all about bringing your own personality to the table, no matter who you are. At the end of the day, we’re all human beings.”

Mr Dos Santos is now enjoying a dose of celebrity in the Darlinghurst area. He has been recognised by many people on the street, including an Aboriginal woman who congratulated him for speaking out against discrimination and asked to take him out to lunch.

“I love you, I’m so proud of you,” she told him.

The Fair Work Ombudsman is investigating Mr He’s conduct. Meanwhile, Mr Dos Santos is looking forward to putting the unpleasantness behind him. He will soon move to Paddington to live with his best friend and is content to be back in the job he loves.

“It’s much more than just the coffee — it’s about working with people, having a friendship with them, making them happy,” he said.

12026: Whines Of A “Veteran” Writer.

Digiday published a puff piece titled, “Confessions of a journalist moonlighting as a native ad writer: ‘I’m not proud’”—an interview with an alleged “veteran freelance writer who has written for top women’s magazines and other national publications.”

Slaving on native advertising is such an angst-ridden struggle for the writer. When asked why she/he is doing it, the suffering scribe replied, “It would be called debt. I’m getting $500 a day. It was the same as a [journalism] job I had a couple years ago. And the reality is, it’s a whole lot easier. I’m doing a job, and I’m not dealing directly with the client. I feel like I’m writing in a vacuum.” Um, $500 per day sounds like a pretty sweet deal for even a “veteran”—especially when there are plenty of entry-level writers who would do the job for less. What’s more, a millennial worker would probably not do much worse than the “veteran” in terms of content quality. It is native advertising, after all, which the “veteran” called “the lowest common denominator” of assignments.

When asked why she/he doesn’t want byline credit on native advertising, the “veteran” remarked, “Because it’s not work I’m proud of. It’s not anything remotely interesting. But I was at [a major news organization] and didn’t put my name on many stories. If I were writing stories for dumb women’s magazines, I wouldn’t want my name on many stories, either.” Gee, perhaps the long-time freelancer is a tad burned out and disillusioned with her/his career. Native advertising sounds like the perfect way to slide along and pay the bills for this hack.

Another peculiar statement from the “veteran” read, “I’m getting too old to make a living from my body, so I’ve got to make a living from my pen!” Is she/he a prostitute on the side? And is she/he still actually writing with a pen?

In reference to the state of freelancing, the “veteran” whined, “I despise it. It’s not worth my energy. They’re paying much less money for stupid stories. The Daily Beast is paying $300 for an article. It’s offensive. That’s what the Internet has done.” Ah, yes, the evil World Wide Web has squashed all the opportunities for old school writers who pine for the days of print. Sounds as if the “veteran” must accelerate the efforts on her/his blockbuster screenplay or Great American Novel pronto. Do the rest of society a favor and help a 20-something escape their Starbucks barista gig to take over the terrible $500-a-day purgatory of native advertising.

12025: Construction Worse Than Adland.

The Associated Press reported on a dearth of dames in the construction field. In fact, while 7.1 million U.S. workers held construction-related jobs last year, only 2.6 percent were women. Gee, let’s hope the 3% Conference jumps on this pronto.

Few Women in Construction; Recruiting Efforts Rise

By David Crary, AP National Writer

Janice Moreno graduated from college with a degree in English literature, but never landed a job paying more than $12 an hour. Now, at 36, she’s back in the classroom — in safety glasses and a T-shirt — learning how to be a carpenter.

“I believe it’s going to pay off,” she said amid instruction in sawing techniques.

If Moreno’s six-week training program in New York City leads to a full-time job, she’ll have bucked long odds. On this Labor Day weekend, ponder the latest federal data: About 7.1 million Americans were employed in construction-related occupations last year — and only 2.6 percent were women.

That percentage has scarcely budged since the 1970s, while women have made gains since then in many other fields.

Why the low numbers, in an industry abounding with high-paying jobs that don’t require college degrees? Reasons include a dearth of recruitment efforts aimed at women and hard-to-quash stereotypes that construction work doesn’t suit them.

Another factor, according to a recent report by the National Women’s Law Center, is pervasive sexual harassment of women at work sites.

“It’s not surprising that the construction trades are sometimes called ‘the industry that time forgot,’” said Fatima Goss Graves, the center’s vice president for education and employment. “It’s time for this industry to enter the modern era — to expand apprenticeships and training opportunities for women, hire qualified female workers and enforce a zero tolerance policy against sexual harassment.”

Efforts to accomplish those goals are more advanced in New York than in many parts of the country, with pledges by unions, employers and city officials to boost women’s share of construction jobs. One key player is Nontraditional Employment for Women, or NEW, a nonprofit which offers training programs such as the one taken by Moreno.

The organization has arrangements with several unions to take women directly into their multiyear apprenticeships — at a starting wage of around $17, plus benefits — once they complete the program. After four or five years, they can attain journeyman status, with hourly pay of $40 or more.

Kathleen Culhane, NEW’s interim president, said more than 1,000 graduates have obtained apprenticeships since 2005, and 12 to 15 percent of the apprentices with some leading unions are women.

NEW covers all costs for its students, who must be able to carry 50-pound loads.

Beyond learning job skills, the students do role-playing to get ready for future challenges. Among the topics, Moreno said, is how to distinguish between flagrant sexual harassment that should be reported, as opposed to less egregious behavior.

“They want us to be prepared for the possibility we won’t be liked, or we’ll be the only woman on the job,” Moreno said.

If young women considering a construction career are in search of a role model, Holley Thomas might fit the bill.

She took up welding at a community college in Alabama, landed a job in 2009 with construction giant KBR Inc., and in 2010 became the first woman to take first place in welding at the Associated Builders and Contractors’ National Craft Championships, a competition launched in 1987.

Thomas, 29, is now supervising a 10-worker crew at a KBR project in Florida. She speaks occasionally to high school girls, who are impressed by her paycheck that averages more than $2,000 a week.

“The biggest issue is getting through to the parents of the kids, the counselors at the schools and making clear that construction is a viable career,” Thomas said.

Mary Battle also has succeeded with a construction career, although she says it required unwavering tough-mindedness.

Now 50, Battle has been working in cement masonry for 30 years and in 2012 became the first woman elected business manager of Plasterers and Cement Masons Local 891 in Washington, D.C. Under her leadership, the number of women in the local has risen from five to 12, but she says sexist attitudes persist in the industry.

“Men don’t perceive of women as someone coming to work, they perceive of women as a sex object,” Battle said.

For younger women considering a construction career, Battle tells them: “No matter how much negativity you get, keep on the job and don’t quit.”

A mother of six, Battle credits a devoted baby sitter with helping her handle long work hours. Many construction jobs start in early morning, complicating child-care arrangements for some single mothers.

Another challenge for women is to get their fair share of working hours, according to Elly Spicer, a former carpenter who is now director of training at a technical college affiliated with New York City carpenters unions.

“You’ll find, unquestionably, that women get access to less hours than men,” said Spicer. “You can’t do this working six months of the year.”

The management side of the industry insists it would welcome more women.

“Most of our members are desperate to hire people,” said Brian Turmail, public affairs director for the Associated General Contractors of America. “They’re looking for any candidate who’s qualified to come and join the team — women, minorities, veterans.”

Turmail suggested that most women aren’t tempted by construction careers, while those who are interested might be hampered by cutbacks in school-based vocational programs.

The Labor Department plans to award $100 million in grants this year for apprenticeship programs that expand opportunities for women and minorities.

“The reality is that the face of apprenticeship in the construction industry has been white male,” Labor Secretary Thomas Perez said in an interview. “We’re working to ensure the future reflects the face of America.”

A crucial step, Perez said, is to highlight the successes of women who have thrived in construction.

“Women are good at this,” he said. “They’ve punched a ticket to the middle class and speak with great pride of the barriers they’ve overcome.”

Regarding sexual harassment, the Labor Department’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs has pledged to crack down on contractors who fail to prevent serious abuses.

Earlier this year, the office determined that three female carpenters with a Puerto Rico firm were sexually harassed and denied work hours comparable to those of male workers. At times, the company failed to provide the women with a restroom, and they had to relieve themselves outdoors, the office said. Under a conciliation agreement, the company agreed to pay $40,000 to the three women.

12024: Intel Heading Out…?

Advertising Age speculated that the hiring of a new CMO prompted Intel to place its creative account into review. This is, of course, a standard gripe in the advertising industry: the short-lived tenures of CMOs lead to automatic reassignments, leaving poor, poor, pitiful incumbent agencies in losing positions. Or maybe such maneuvers are actually indicating other industry trends. Perhaps the holding companies—through corporate cultural collusion and commoditization of shops within the networks—have established a generic field that inspires CMOs to seek change. And perchance the CMOs are essentially mimicking advertising agencies; that is, when a new agency leader—say, a CCO—shows up, a general housecleaning is the norm. Hell, a major bloodbath is almost guaranteed. For an agency to cry foul over a disruptive CMO is the pot calling the kettle black. Although most agencies are far more White than Black.

In Wake Of New CMO, Intel Launches Creative Review

Venables, Bell & Partners Has Been Lead Creative Shop

By Maureen Morrison

Intel is holding a review for its creative business, Ad Age has learned.

The move comes after Intel hired Steven Fund as its new chief marketing officer in May. Prior to his appointment at Intel, he was senior VP-marketing at Staples. The review is being handled internally by Intel, and the marketer reached out to a small number of agencies, according to people familiar with the matter. Venables Bell & Partners has been handling the creative, and it’s believed that the shop is participating in the review. Venables declined to comment. An Intel spokesman said the company regularly reviews agency partners but wouldn’t comment beyond that.

Venables was named lead global agency back in 2009. The marketer switched its agency approach for a couple years after that, moving to a jumpball setup. DDB handled some big campaigns during that time, though the shop does not currently work with Intel. Last summer, however, Venables became lead agency again, starting with the launch of Intel’s “Look Inside” campaign.

Work for by Venables includes a few films for Intel’s global “Look Inside” campaign featuring blind mountaineer Erik Weihenmayer, 16-year-old medical pioneer Jack Andraka, and more recently, Mick Ebeling, founder of The Ebeling Group and Not Impossible Labs. The latter film tells how, after reading about a boy named Daniel who lost his arms during the civil war in South Sudan, Mr. Ebeling traveled to Africa with 3D printers, Intel 2-in-1s and spools of plastic and established the world’s first 3D prosthetic printing lab.

It’s not yet clear whether Intel’s other agency relationships could be affected by future reviews, but according to one executive, others may be forthcoming. In May 2013, Intel hired Leo Burnett’s Arc to handle digital and shopper marketing.

The chip maker spent $85 million on measured media in 2013, according to Kantar Media, up nearly 60% from a year earlier. In the first half of 2014, the company has spent about $44 million on U.S. measured media.

Contributing: Malika Toure

12023: Are Cops Color Blind?

From The New York Times…

Are Police Bigoted?

Race and Police Shootings: Are Blacks Targeted More?

By Michael Wines

IF anything good has come out of this month’s fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., it is that the death of the black teenager shined a spotlight on the plague of shootings of black men by white police officers. And maybe now, the nation will begin to address the racism behind it.

That is the conventional wisdom, anyway, and maybe it is true. Only a fool would deny that racial bias still pervades aspects of American society. The evidence is clear that some police law-enforcement tactics — traffic stops, to cite one example — disproportionately target African-Americans. And few doubt that blacks are more likely than whites to die in police shootings; in most cities, the percentage almost certainly exceeds the African-American share of the population.

Such arguments suggest that the use of deadly force by police officers unfairly targets blacks. All that is needed are the numbers to prove it.

But those numbers do not exist. And because of that, the current national debate over the role of race in police killings is being conducted more or less in a vacuum.

Researchers have sought reliable data on shootings by police officers for years, and Congress even ordered the Justice Department to provide it, albeit somewhat vaguely, in 1994. But two decades later, there remains no comprehensive survey of police homicides. The even greater number of police shootings that do not kill, but leave suspects injured, sometimes gravely, is another statistical mystery.

Without reliable numbers, the conventional wisdom is little more than speculation. Indeed, some recent research suggests that it may not even be correct: One study of police data in St. Louis concluded that black and white officers were equally likely to shoot African-American suspects, while another experiment found that both officers and civilians in simulated situations hesitated significantly longer before firing at black suspects than they did at whites.

“It’s shocking,” said Geoffrey P. Alpert, a professor of criminology at the University of South Carolina. “For 20 years, we’ve been trying to get the government to do something. We don’t have a clear picture of what’s going on in the use of lethal force. Are young black males being shot at a rate disproportionate to their involvement in crime? Are white officers shooting black males in areas where they’re not expected to have those sorts of interactions? Is this an aberration, a trend, routine, something going on for a long time? We don’t know.”

Not only do we not know the racial breakdown of police homicides, we don’t know with any precision how many homicides occur, period.

The F.B.I.’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program tabulates deaths at the hands of police officers. So does the National Center for Health Statistics. So does the Bureau of Justice Statistics. But the totals can vary wildly.

By the F.B.I.’s figures, there were between 378 and 414 police homicides in the five years ending in 2012, the most recent year available. Those numbers, however, include only justifiable homicides without reference to race; mistaken or unjustified killings are not reported. Years of academic research indicate that the actual total is considerably higher.

A 2012 study by David A. Klinger, a former police officer and professor of criminology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, compared 13 years of internal reports on homicides by Los Angeles police officers and sheriffs’ deputies with the figures published by the F.B.I. The result: the 184 homicides reported by the F.B.I. were 46 percent fewer than the 340 logged by the departments themselves.

The lack of reliable data has ramifications that go well beyond merely keeping tabs on one’s local police department. “There is a long list of important research questions — not arcane ones, or of mere interest to the academic research community — that we currently cannot study or systematically analyze because there is no data,” said Richard Rosenfeld, another University of Missouri-St. Louis criminology professor.

Beyond measuring racial inequities, he said, researchers could use data to ferret out differences between homicides and nonlethal shootings, the nature of communities where shootings generally occur, and the character of police departments whose officers are more likely — or less — to be involved in shootings.

Whether or not racial bias is a significant factor in police homicides is very much an open question.

Studies have long concluded that police killings are more common in cities with more violent crime and larger minority populations, yet some researchers have found no positive association between race and killings. Others, however, have concluded that fewer black suspects were killed in cities with black mayors, and, in one city, that blacks made up a greater share of police homicide victims than of arrests overall.

But all those studies used the government’s imperfect data and measured only homicides, excluding the greater number of shootings in which suspects survived. A more comprehensive analysis exists: Dr. Klinger and Dr. Rosenfeld, among others, examined all 230 instances over 10 years in which officers of the St. Louis police fired their weapons (the city’s police, in contrast to the county police involved in Ferguson).

Their conclusions, presented last November at the American Society of Criminology’s annual meeting, were striking. Officers hit their targets in about half of the 230 incidents; in about one-sixth, suspects died. Of the 360 suspects whose race could be identified — some fled before being seen clearly — more than 90 percent were African-American.

But most interesting, perhaps, was the race of the officers who fired their weapons. About two-thirds were white, and one-third black — effectively identical to the racial composition of the St. Louis Police Department as a whole. In this study, at least, firing at a black suspect was an equal-opportunity decision.

In laboratory experiments, meanwhile, subjects who see pictures or videos of threatening activity, and then punch “shoot” or “don’t shoot” buttons befitting their evaluations of the threat, consistently “shoot” black suspects more often than white ones.

But a different experiment last year at Washington State University in Spokane suggested that the opposite might be true: In realistic simulations of confrontations, subjects armed with laser-firing pistols acted in ways that left black suspects less likely to be shot at — not more.

The experiment’s 102 subjects, a mixture of police officers, combat veterans and civilians, were run through a random sample of 60 scenarios drawn from actual police encounters. The scenarios, using white, black and Hispanic actors, were projected in life-size high-definition video on laboratory screens.

Whether officers, veterans or civilians, the subjects consistently hesitated longer before firing at black suspects and were much more likely to mistakenly shoot an unarmed white suspect, the researchers found. And when they failed to fire at an armed suspect — a potentially fatal mistake — the suspect was about five times more likely to be black than white. The study’s 36 police officers were the lone exception in failing to fire: The suspect’s race wasn’t a factor in their decision not to shoot. “The findings were very unexpected given the previous experimental research,” said Lois James, an assistant professor who conducted the research.

“The notion that cops want to shoot anybody is a lot of baloney,” said Dr. Klinger, who has interviewed some 300 officers involved in shootings. “But white officers are much more reticent to shoot a black man than a white man because, all things being equal, they know the social context in which they’re operating.”

By that theory, officers are more careful when confronting black suspects because they know a fatal shooting will open them to controversy.

Which studies reflect reality? Hard to say. But perhaps the death of Michael Brown will help researchers find out.

Michael Wines is a national correspondent for The New York Times. Alain Delaquérière contributed research for this article.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

12022: Made Of Black Makes Comments.

At Ads of the World, the new Guinness Africa Made of Black campaign has drawn initial comments.

damnson: Uh…

Reality Check: What the world needs now is colour-blindness. Instead we get this colour-conscious campaign. For alcohol. Oh well.

morse: Totally agree.

kleenex: The print ads are not that good either. … A whole lot of wasted money is all I see here?

guajiro: now imagine the same spot with the word “white” instead of “black”. this is kinda racist ad, bros.

12021: The Fine Art Of Mad Men.

The New York Times advertising columnist Stuart Elliott published a report on an exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York titled, “Mac Conner: A New York Life,” featuring Conner’s illustration work from the Mad Men era of advertising. Three examples of his work appear below.

It kinda makes one wonder which artists were responsible for illustrations like the following examples below.

Friday, August 29, 2014

12020: Made Of Black By Blacks…?

Campaign spotlighted the new Guinness Africa ad created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, in conjunction with BBDO offices in Africa. The YouTube caption reads:

This new Guinness Africa ad celebrates ‘Black’. Black is not a colour. Black is an attitude. It’s a mindset, it’s a way of life. Black represents the best of Africa. It features real people with real talent from Lagos, Accra and Cape Town to Nairobi, Gaborone and Johannesburg. People who are Made of Black are people who are Made of More.

Plus, Guinness Global Brand Director Mark Sandys gushed, “Guinness is an iconic brand, famous for its extraordinary and inimitable marketing, and #madeofblack is no different. This campaign is a celebration of an attitude that epitomises individuals who aren’t afraid to truly express themselves. … Through #madeofblack we will provide a stage for those who are an inspiration to others, as they carve their own path with confidence, flair and boldness.”

Never quite sure how to respond to work like this. For starters, the concept is hardly original. It typically comes up every February in the U.S., or whenever a major advertiser seeks to woo Blacks (see My Black is Beautiful, Infiniti in Black, etc.). The recognition that Black culture influences and inspires popular culture has been around forever—even in the advertising industry—although Whites who stumble upon the obvious insight always think they’ve uncovered something unique.

It’s hard to tell who was really responsible for the work. As previously noted, the Campaign story stated, “The spot was created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, in conjunction with BBDO offices in Africa.” What does “in conjunction” mean? Were the African colleagues consulted to judge the authenticity and cultural competence? Was Made of Black made by Blacks? Sure, many may argue it doesn’t matter. But this is the root annoyance MultiCultClassics feels about these kinds of projects. That is, when are Black creatives and/or Black agencies ever permitted to develop concepts with the generous budget exhibited here? When are Black creatives and/or Black agencies trusted to handle a multimedia campaign (see the accompanying print) of this magnitude? And finally, if Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO truly believes Blacks are such a breakthrough creative force, why the hell doesn’t the agency hire a few more of them?

Guinness Africa launches ‘made of black’ campaign with Kanye West ad

By James Swift

Guinness Africa has released a commercial that builds on the brand’s “made of more” strapline, called “made of black”.

The pan-African campaign aired last night on MTV Base Africa during Guinness’ four-hour takeover of the channel.

The spot was created by Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, in conjunction with BBDO offices in Africa and is the agency’s first work for the brand since winning the business in October.

The ad, which was directed by Sam Brown through Rogue Films, features clips of black performers, as Kanye West’s ‘Black Skinhead’ plays in the background. Music artists including Fuse ODG and Phyno will continue the campaign with messages on social media, such as Twitter.

Creative director on the account at AMV BBDO was Mike Schalit, while Mike Sutherland wrote the campaign and Antony Nelson art directed it.

Mark Sandys, the global brand director at Guinness, said: “Guinness is an iconic brand, famous for its extraordinary and inimitable marketing, and #madeofblack is no different. This campaign is a celebration of an attitude that epitomises individuals who aren’t afraid to truly express themselves.

“Through #madeofblack we will provide a stage for those who are an inspiration to others, as they carve their own path with confidence, flair and boldness.”

Thursday, August 28, 2014

12019: Uncle Ben—Invisible Man.

Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO created a video to launch Ben’s Beginners for Uncle Ben’s in the U.K. Oddly enough, Uncle Ben is nowhere to be seen—and the video only features a couple of token Black kids. The YouTube cooking show is hosted by DJ BBQ. Gee, how did the iconic brand go from depicting Uncle Ben as the company CEO to presenting a dude named DJ BBQ who is Whiter than rice?

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

12018: Always Abnormal.

This Always Discreet video shows two women talking about the product “like normal”—but the end result is about as abnormal as it gets. Who the hell is responsible for this shit?

12017: Always A Chance Stereotype.

Not too sure about this campaign for Always A Chance in the U.K. For starters, the website is so predominately White. And why is Leon the Black dude the only one packing a “gun” in the scary darkness of night?

From Ads of the World.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

12016: You Da Spider-Man.


Spider-Man ‘can be anybody’ — and now he’s Donald Glover

By Brian Truitt, USA TODAY

Donald Glover grew up with Spider-Man as his No. 1 superhero, and while he doesn’t get to wear web-shooters or red and blue tights, at least he’s getting to voice a precocious version of Marvel Comics’ iconic wall-crawler.

The new season of Disney XD’s animated series Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors will take Peter Parker through various parallel worlds, including one where he meets Miles Morales, his half-Hispanic, half-black counterpart, voiced by Glover. The season premieres Sunday (9 a.m. ET/PT), and the “Spider-Verse” arc of episodes airs next year.

In 2011, Miles was introduced to comic-book readers in Marvel Comics’ Ultimate Spider-Man series by Brian Michael Bendis, after the writer saw Glover’s Twitter campaign to play Spidey in a live-action movie — and witnessed Glover dressed up in Spidey pajamas on the NBC sitcom Community.

“I don’t think it’s hit me necessarily yet how big of a deal that is,” Glover, 30, says. “I’m very grateful for that, and it’s cool to read the comic now.”

The cartoon Miles is very close to the comic-book version: The 13-year-old is still getting used to being a superhero when he meets the dimension-hopping Peter (Drake Bell), who’s trying to stop his old nemesis the Green Goblin from collecting the DNA of various Spider-Men — from Spider-Man Noir to the porcine hero Spider-Ham — for nefarious reasons.

It’s an emotional moment for Miles, though, because in his world, Peter is dead.

“He meets someone who is his hero, and that comes across completely in Donald’s performance,” says Stephen Wacker, a former Spider-Man editor at Marvel Comics who’s now vice president of Marvel Television’s animation division. “He’s got a real warmth that suits the character really, really well.

“If you’ve read Miles Morales comics, Donald’s voice nails what you’ve been reading.”

Miles is also a character cut from the exact same cloth as the original Spidey, Wacker adds. “He’s a kid you can root for, who you want good things for, who suffered some loss of his own, and we’re seeing him come to terms with his new powers and how to use them.”

Miles is a high school student who tries to balance a family life with moonlighting as Spider-Man, Glover says, “and it’s a lot of pressure for a kid to be yourself and have all this responsibility. Miles is really brave, and that’s a cool attribute to have when you’re that young.

“I admire anybody who allows themselves to be themselves. Especially a kid.”

Glover, who has a high voice, didn’t have to pitch it up too much to play a teenager with a heap of youthful optimism. Actually, there wasn’t a whole lot of pretending to be someone else needed.

“That’s the great part about the Spider-Man costume: He can be anybody,” Glover says. “Spider-Man could be a girl. Spider-Man could be an old man. You don’t know. So I just tried to be as me as possible, because you’re always just going to bring it back to yourself when you watch the show.”

Kids come up to Glover at his Childish Gambino concerts asking him to sign their Miles Morales comics. The actor can relate since he, too, was a Spider-fan from way back.

“I never liked Superman that much, because I was like, ‘Yo, this dude can’t die. It’s too easy,’” Glover says. “Batman is pretty fly. He’s a close second, just because he doesn’t really have powers. He’s just a justice-driven vigilante.

“Spider-Man is the best because you just don’t know who he is, and he’s funny and he’s poor. I understand Spider-Man a lot on that level. He’s just trying to make it.”

Glover still gets a kick out of how much has come from one comment about wanting to don tights and be Spider-Man. Voicing Miles is not exactly the same thing, he says, “but it’s pretty good. I’m still holding out, though.

“I still have hopes to do something like that one day. I don’t look at this as second place. Spider-Man, he’s such an icon — you have to do something with him.”

12015: Ban Fairness In Advertising.

Digiday reported on “The crazy skin-lightening ads that have been banned in India.” According to the article:

On Tuesday, the Advertising Standards Council of India, a self-regulated advertiser group, issued a new set of guidelines that will ban all ads that depict those with darker skin as being inferior in any way.

For years, advertisers of skin-lightening creams and other products have shown people — mostly women — with dark skin as having problems when it comes to finding jobs, getting married and generally being accepted by society. The makers of these ads include behemoths like Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and P&G. The so-called “fairness” cream industry in India was estimated at $432 million a year and growing by 18 percent annually in 2010, by AC Nielsen.

“Advertising should not communicate any discrimination as a result of skin color,” read the new ASCI guidelines, and the expression of the model in the ads should not be “negative in a way which is widely seen as unattractive, unhappy, depressed or concerned.”

Former ASCI chairman Bharat Patel told business news site Live Mint that all advertisers have to comply with the ASCI rules — both in television and print.

Digiday also posted four classic commercials for skin-lightening products.

Monday, August 25, 2014

12014: Googling Gibson.

Google saluted the 87th birthday of trailblazer Althea Gibson with an animated cartoon. Too bad Google can’t be authentically inspired by Americans who broke barriers to foster diversity.

12013: Gender Jive.

The Drum videotaped Critical Mass CEO Dianne Wilkins and WCRS CEO Matt Edwards discussing if gender makes a difference to running a creative agency. First of all, Critical Mass is not exactly a creative agency. Overall, the conversation is a self-absorbed, navel-gazing waste of time.

At roughly 2:00 into the video, Wilkins said, “Diversity of all kinds is something we’re looking for—from interests to…you know…gender to religion to…whatever…ethnicity—we want it all.”

Yeah, right. Agencies are always looking at candidates’ religious backgrounds. And hey, whatever, ethnicity too. Jesus.

12012: Black-ish History.


Being “Black-ish”: Column

A post-racial society may have benefits, but people risk losing their culture on the way.

By Richard Pierce

Do you ever feel as if you are swimming upstream in a river? How about the feeling that you are running into the wind, uphill? Perhaps you could provide some other cliché that implies that one is working harder than one might and against the prevailing opinion of the crowd.

I often feel that way. I do so because I continue to teach African American history at the university level when there are so many cultural clues that many don’t feel it is important. I was reminded of my predicament when I learned of a television show, “Black-ish” starring Anthony Anderson, which will air for the first time in Fall 2014 on ABC.

The Hollywood Reporter described the show as an “upper-middle class black man who struggles to raise his children with a sense of cultural identity despite constant contradictions and obstacles coming from his liberal wife, old-school father and his own assimilated, color-blind kids.” Anderson plays a successful executive with all the trappings; an enviable address, an expensive automobile, and, perhaps most importantly, a closet reserved solely for his shoes. Yet he wonders what elements of African-American cultural his children must give up in order to “fit in.”

Left unsaid is the dilemma in defining the difference between culture and history or, in fact, if they are one in the same. If so, how does one decide what of their historical past must be forgotten? There is a prevailing pressure to homogenize education, especially history; to round the protruding edges and smooth them into a more aesthetically pleasing whole. Periodically, I hear that there is no need to teach African American history because the teaching of United States history should suffice.

Of course, such a viewpoint brings memories of W.E.B. DuBois’ now seemingly perpetual question of twoness, “One ever feels his two-ness, — an American, a Negro; two souls, two thoughts, two unreconciled [sic] strivings; two warring ideals in one dark body.”

Teaching African American history, evidently, reminds students that the country’s history was not seamless, without conflict or differing results. But understanding that struggle would be helpful in the present day. Helping students understand the long fight for equal access to the ballot box would enable them to appreciate why African Americans are suspicious of efforts to restrict access to the polls today. How does one round that edge?

America seems to wish to rush to the status of a color-blind society. The Roberts court’s recent decision in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action is just the latest evidence that America refuses to accept policies that address historical inequalities when those remedies are based on race. So we find African American families with a 21st Century dilemma that DuBois would hardly recognize: how to preserve a distinct culture when all about you seem to urge a forgetting. The dilemma is most poignantly found when one is involved in raising children and it starts early.

What name do you provide your child when studies have found that ethnic-sounding names can doom your child to the ranks of the unemployed or under-employed. Where do you educate them? How do you explain racial difference to a kindergartner? Elder relatives encountered many of these questions, but with legal constraints removed and political remedies abandoned, what now? Do we sanction the effort of the color-blind advocates by failing to provide any cultural identifiers or historical information?

I do not know the answers to the slew of questions that abound. I do not know how I would have aided Anderson’s mythical character when his son asked for a bar mitzvah even though the family is not Jewish. But I know that I will continue to teach African American history to people of all cultures because I believe in history. I believe that history continues to instruct. I believe that history is constructed. I believe that history has meaning and that the journey of history will always have contours that befuddle and confuse, but that the lessons are no less meaningful. And I believe that whatever artifacts and accouterments adorn my children, they will not be well-dressed if I have failed to share with them their history.

Richard Pierce is the John Cardinal O’Hara Associate Professor of History in the Department of Africana Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

12011: Always Is Always Awful.

This Always Discreet commercial is anything but discreet. The announcer voiceover declares, “Never miss a chance to dance…just because you sprinkle a little tinkle”—while the talent boogies to Peaches & Herb’s Shake Your Groove Thing. The wrap-up line? “Because, hey, pee happens.” Shit does too, when a hackneyed creative team is let loose.