Adweek updated its report on Infiniti choosing Crispin Porter + Bogusky as its new global White advertising agency. The updates included elaborating on a couple of points from the original story such as:
In its final stages, the review became a battle among relatively small agencies, some of which have scant or no presence outside the U.S. For example, one contender, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, operates only in America and would have opened offices overseas to service the account.
Likewise, Crispin partnered with recently acquired sister shop The House to help meet Infiniti’s geographical needs. Crispin also plans to open a full-service office in Shanghai and an office for planners and account management staffers in Hong Kong, according to CEO Andrew Keller. The House, in turn, will offer “ground support” in other regions, Keller added.
Now, what makes these points both annoying and outrageous is the way that White agencies receive special dispensation when lacking qualifications. It’s all part of a phenomenon MultiCultClassics dubbed Corporate Cultural Collusion.
Minority agencies are routinely and systematically eliminated from competitions—global, general market, local, etc.—for lacking experience and global resources. White agencies never face similar restrictions. In fact, White agencies are allowed to simply partner with and/or buy agencies in foreign markets where they have zero expertise. Plus, holding companies will even fabricate White agencies from scratch to appease a potential client.
It must be noted, too, that Crispin Porter + Bogusky caught heat in 2012 for a Canadian Bic commercial featuring culturally clueless Asian imagery.
The inequities in the advertising industry continue to extend to Infiniti and beyond.