Saturday, February 28, 2015

12551: Cadillac Fails Greatly.

The new Cadillac commercial featuring Njeri Rionge—including a Behind the Scenes video—sure feels awfully forced and patronizing. Dare greatly? More like fail greatly.

12550: Mad Men Poster Post.

Vulture talked with Mad Men Creator Matthew Weiner and AMC Marketing Chief Linda Schupack about the poster for the final episodes of the TV series. The two provided a 5-point analysis, examining the visual and conceptual imagery comprising the piece. The poster does underscore one sure thing: non-White people will be invisible in the closing installments.

Exclusive: Matthew Weiner Analyzes the Final, Official Mad Men Poster

By Josef Adalian

The final seven episodes of Mad Men begin airing in just six weeks, which means the AMC buzz machine surrounding the show has kicked into gear. Last week brought the first teaser pictures and video trailer for season seven’s conclusion, along with the news that Don Draper’s hat and suit are headed to the Smithsonian. And today, before it begins popping up on billboards and in magazine ads, Vulture has the exclusive unveiling of the last official poster for Mad Men — the emblematic image that will forever stand as the graphical representation of season seven’s second half. Series creator Matthew Weiner and AMC marketing chief Linda Schupack agreed to talk to us about the poster. Since the season hasn’t started and Weiner notoriously guards against spoilers, they didn’t reveal anything concrete about what’s to come on the show. But they did discuss five elements of the image and offer hints — teeny, tiny hints — as to what they might mean.

Don is in a car.

This is not an accident. “It’s designed to tell you that Don is going somewhere,” Weiner says. “He could be going to work, he could be going away from work. But there is a feeling of, I hope, a little bit of a desperate drive. We see him in his car, and we see that he’s alone, and I think you just have to basically feel that there’s going to be a sense of motion.” By the way, Don is driving his familiar Cadillac Coup de Ville, Weiner confirms. “That’s Don’s car — the late model Cadillac with the silver and red interior … he was driving at the end of season six.”

The sun is setting behind him.

Weiner won’t reveal too much about what, if any, meaning the sun’s positioning here has: “Is he driving off into the sunset because the show is? It’s the end of a workday, clearly.”

The collar.

Don’s tie is perfectly tied in all previous Mad Men posters in which we can see him from the front. Not this time. “His collar is loosened; his tie is loosened,” Schupack points out, without explaining what, if any, significance that has. But here’s a hit from Weiner: “He looks a little unwound.”

The rearview mirror.

Don’s glancing at his rearview mirror. Is it an introspective look at himself? Or is someone — or something — behind him? Perhaps it’s symbolic of the show’s end? “I don’t know if you could say he’s looking at the end of the show in his rearview mirror,” Weiner says. “But he’s being pursued, and he’s on his way. He’s in the city — and he’s on his way.”

The image is a composite.

“It’s a period photo in the background, but we shot Jon in his car on the stage,” Weiner explains. “It’s an abstract image, but it is not an abstract photo, if that makes sense.”

12549: BHM 2015—Mickey D’s.

Mickey D’s shows love to Al Sharpton…?

Friday, February 27, 2015

12548: Advertising Brand New Race.

Artist/Writer/Recovering Adman Lowell Thompson appears to be applying all three adjectives with his latest effort: Brand New Race. Check it out here.

12547: BHM 2015—Savannah.

People of all cultures are invited to discover the Black culture of Savannah.

12546: UK Bitch Session.

At Campaign, Portraits of a lady presents more White women whining. Now the UK Mad Women are arguing that they’re not just underrepresented, but unfairly represented too—despite enjoying roughly 50 percent representation in the field. The clueless complainers include Lindsey Clay, and the 3 percenters are joining the revolution too. It’s only a matter of time before somebody invites Patricia Arquette to the bitch session. Of course, no one is mentioning that while White women are allegedly underrepresented and unfairly represented, minorities aren’t represented at all.

Portraits of a lady

As Kate Magee heard at last week’s Wacl event, advertising continues to represent women unfairly.

I want you to get it out. I want to see it. I want to feel it, hold it, put it in my mouth,” the young woman says in a close-up to camera.

No, this isn’t a scene from 50 Shades Of Grey but from an ad shown on daytime TV last year for the e-cigarette brand VIP.

It was an example highlighted at last week’s Wacl event in the House of Commons, where the audience agreed conclusively – after fierce debate – that the depiction of women in advertising today still lags behind the reality.

Yes, there has been huge progress over the past 25 years – just look at the brilliant Sport England campaign “this girl can” by FCB Inferno – but there is still much more to be done.

The lazy use of outdated stereotypes and unnecessary sexualisation aside, what’s often most damaging is unconscious bias.

The chair of the Account Planning Group, Tracey Follows, highlighted a recent Apple ad for Siri in which men asked work-related questions while women requested a reminder about grocery shopping.

It’s this type of bias that is powerfully exposed in the “#LikeAGirl” ad for Always by Leo Burnett. And also why the Thinkbox chair, Tess Alps, argued that Mother’s “epic strut” ad for is a feminist statement. The spot shows a man flouncing down the street in hotpants and high heels.

“By making a man behave like women are expected to behave all the time, it shows how ridiculous it is,” Alps said. “We might not always be able to change the culture, but we don’t have to adopt the worst aspects of it.”

Partly, the bias is a result of the “male gaze”. If the majority of creative directors in charge of depicting a woman are men, can they – however well-intentioned – ever truly reflect a woman’s experience?

The problem is not usually an individual ad but the accumulative effect of what advertising says about the role of women in society.

One of the most interesting ways to redress the balance came from Thinkbox’s chief executive, Lindsey Clay, who suggested the creation of a Bechdel test for advertising.

The Bechdel test, originally used on movies, asks whether a work of fiction features at least two women who talk to each other about something other than a man. Sounds simple, but you’d be surprised how many films fail the test.

Clay suggested judging whether an ad showed a woman who was not in a domestic setting, not playing a nurturing role and not defined through a sexual relationship with a man.

It’s a thought-provoking concept but, as the debate showed, things are not always clear-cut. Procter & Gamble’s brand director of northern Europe, Roisin Donnelly, said that businesses cannot afford to offend women in their ads because they won’t be effective if they don’t engage with the consumer. She then cited research revealing that UK women still handle 75 per cent of the housework and 88 per cent of the childcare.

Frightening statistics, but if 70 per cent of females say they feel alienated by most ads (research pointed out by Follows), then perhaps women don’t recognise, or want to recognise, the reality.

Advertising is aspirational and has the power to change behaviour. So it is also within the industry’s power to show a more equal society in ads.

As the equalities minister Jo Swinson put it: “Does advertising want to reflect what reality is, or lead us to a new reality?”

Wacl’s House of Commons debate: Why now, what next?

Lindsay Pattison, president, Wacl; worldwide chief executive, Maxus

I’m loving the current zeitgeist for more empowered, diverse images of women in ads. Always’ “#LikeAGirl” and Sport England’s “this girl can” both sassily and really effectively invert damaging stereotypes. Meanwhile, L’Oréal (a client) recently appointed Helen Mirren as a UK ambassador.

Our debate highlighted that, while we’ve come far, it is, as Tess Alps summed up so eloquently, “not job done”.

Examining our own business is a helpful lens and one that shows the need for Wacl, aged 92, to still exist. As our vice-president, Lindsey Clay, pointed out: while we start out in advertising with a 50/50 gender split, as we “progress” only 25 per cent of senior management roles are held by women. Not a great start.

And it’s far, far worse when we delve into disciplines; the lack of senior female creatives is a massive issue worldwide. On 12 June, the 3% Club (reflecting the percentage of executive creative directors stateside who are female) will come here to help raise awareness and inspire more creative talent, so that the people conceiving ads bring a realistic, empathetic view and also reflect the market.

We’re making a big effort to attract and support female chief strategy officers too; as an organisation, we will try to encourage more super senior female planners to help us deliver true insights and thus effective comms. Misunderstanding female consumers from a business perspective is lunacy; two-thirds of the world’s purchase power is wielded by females – that’s $12 trillion!

What else can we do? We can call out any lazy, unhelpful hangovers of casual sexism and gender stereotyping as a priority – we can all raise our hands and our voices. It’s our industry and we should all take responsibility.

Wacl’s goal isn’t to create an undue advantage, but we do want a level playing field. Let’s reflect reality – or, better yet, an achievable improvement on a society where only 23 per cent of our MPs and five of our FTSE 100 chief executives are women.

12545: BHM 2015—Regions.

Regions covers multiple regions—Black, Asian and White—for Black History Month.

12544: Leonard Nimoy (1931-2015).

From The New York Times…

Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83

By Virginia Heffernan

Leonard Nimoy, the sonorous, gaunt-faced actor who won a worshipful global following as Mr. Spock, the resolutely logical human-alien first officer of the Starship Enterprise in the television and movie juggernaut “Star Trek,” died on Friday morning at his home in the Bel Air section of Los Angeles. He was 83.

His wife, Susan Bay Nimoy, confirmed his death, saying the cause was end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Mr. Nimoy announced that he had the disease last year, attributing it to years of smoking, a habit he had given up three decades earlier. He had been hospitalized earlier in the week.

His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing: “Live long and prosper” (from the Vulcan “Dif-tor heh smusma”).

Mr. Nimoy, who was teaching Method acting at his own studio when he was cast in the original “Star Trek” television series in the mid-1960s, relished playing outsiders, and he developed what he later admitted was a mystical identification with Spock, the lone alien on the starship’s bridge.

Yet he also acknowledged ambivalence about being tethered to the character, expressing it most plainly in the titles of two autobiographies: “I Am Not Spock,” published in 1977, and “I Am Spock,” published in 1995.

In the first, he wrote, “In Spock, I finally found the best of both worlds: to be widely accepted in public approval and yet be able to continue to play the insulated alien through the Vulcan character.”

“Star Trek,” which had its premiere on NBC on Sept. 8, 1966, made Mr. Nimoy a star. Gene Roddenberry, the creator of the franchise, called him “the conscience of ‘Star Trek’” — an often earnest, sometimes campy show that employed the distant future (as well as some primitive special effects by today’s standards) to take on social issues of the 1960s.

His stardom would endure. Though the series was canceled after three seasons because of low ratings, a cultlike following — the conference-holding, costume-wearing Trekkies, or Trekkers (the designation Mr. Nimoy preferred) — coalesced soon after “Star Trek” went into syndication.

The fans’ devotion only deepened when “Star Trek” was spun off into an animated show, various new series and an uneven parade of movies starring much of the original television cast, including — besides Mr. Nimoy — William Shatner (as Capt. James T. Kirk), DeForest Kelley (Dr. McCoy), George Takei (the helmsman, Sulu), James Doohan (the chief engineer, Scott), Nichelle Nichols (the chief communications officer, Uhura) and Walter Koenig (the navigator, Chekov).

When the director J. J. Abrams revived the “Star Trek” film franchise in 2009, with an all-new cast — including Zachary Quinto as Spock — he included a cameo part for Mr. Nimoy, as an older version of the same character. Mr. Nimoy also appeared in the 2013 follow-up, “Star Trek Into Darkness.”

His zeal to entertain and enlighten reached beyond “Star Trek” and crossed genres. He had a starring role in the dramatic television series “Mission: Impossible” and frequently performed onstage, notably as Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof.” His poetry was voluminous, and he published books of his photography.

He also directed movies, including two from the “Star Trek” franchise, and television shows. And he made records, singing pop songs as well as original songs about “Star Trek,” and gave spoken-word performances — to the delight of his fans and the bewilderment of critics.

But all that was subsidiary to Mr. Spock, the most complex member of the Enterprise crew, who was both one of the gang and a creature apart engaged at times in a lonely struggle with his warring racial halves.

In one of his most memorable “Star Trek” performances, Mr. Nimoy tried to follow in the tradition of two actors he admired, Charles Laughton and Boris Karloff, who each played a monstrous character — Quasimodo and the Frankenstein monster — who is transformed by love.

In Episode 24, which was first shown on March 2, 1967, Mr. Spock is indeed transformed. Under the influence of aphrodisiacal spores he discovers on the planet Omicron Ceti III, he lets free his human side and announces his love for Leila Kalomi (Jill Ireland), a woman he had once known on Earth. In this episode, Mr. Nimoy brought to Spock’s metamorphosis not only warmth, compassion and playfulness, but also a rarefied concept of alienation.

“I am what I am, Leila,” Mr. Spock declares after the spores’ effect has worn off and his emotions are again in check. “And if there are self-made purgatories, then we all have to live in them. Mine can be no worse than someone else’s.”

Born in Boston on March 26, 1931, Leonard Simon Nimoy was the second son of Max and Dora Nimoy, Ukrainian immigrants and Orthodox Jews. His father worked as a barber.

From the age of 8, Leonard acted in local productions, winning parts at a community college, where he performed through his high school years. In 1949, after taking a summer course at Boston College, he traveled to Hollywood, though it wasn’t until 1951 that he landed small parts in two movies, “Queen for a Day” and “Rhubarb.”

He continued to be cast in little-known movies, although he did presciently play an alien invader in a cult serial called “Zombies of the Stratosphere,” and in 1961 he had a minor role on an episode of “The Twilight Zone.” His first starring movie role came in 1952 with “Kid Monk Baroni,” in which he played a disfigured Italian street-gang leader who becomes a boxer.

Mr. Nimoy served in the Army for two years, rising to sergeant and spending 18 months at Fort McPherson in Georgia, where he presided over shows for the Army’s Special Services branch. He also directed and starred as Stanley in the Atlanta Theater Guild’s production of “A Streetcar Named Desire” before receiving his final discharge in November 1955.

He then returned to California, where he worked as a soda jerk, movie usher and cabdriver while studying acting at the Pasadena Playhouse. He achieved wide visibility in the late 1950s and early 1960s on television shows like “Wagon Train,” “Rawhide” and “Perry Mason.” Then came “Star Trek.”

Mr. Nimoy returned to college in his 40s and earned a master’s degree in Spanish from Antioch University Austin, an affiliate of Antioch College in Ohio, in 1978. Antioch University later awarded Mr. Nimoy an honorary doctorate.

Mr. Nimoy directed two of the Star Trek movies, “Star Trek III: The Search for Spock” (1984) and “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” (1986), which he helped write. In 1991, the same year that he resurrected Mr. Spock on two episodes of “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” Mr. Nimoy was also the executive producer and a writer of the movie “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.”

He then directed the hugely successful comedy “Three Men and a Baby” (1987), a far cry from his science-fiction work, and appeared in made-for-television movies. He received an Emmy nomination for the 1982 movie “A Woman Called Golda,” in which he portrayed the husband of Golda Meir, the prime minister of Israel, who was played by Ingrid Bergman. It was the fourth Emmy nomination of his career — the other three were for his “Star Trek” work — although he never won.

Mr. Nimoy’s marriage to the actress Sandi Zober ended in divorce. Besides his wife, he is survived by his children, Adam and Julie Nimoy; a stepson, Aaron Bay Schuck; and six grandchildren; one great-grandchild, and an older brother, Melvin.

Though his speaking voice was among his chief assets as an actor, the critical consensus was that his music was mortifying. Mr. Nimoy, however, was undaunted, and his fans seemed to enjoy the camp of his covers of songs like “If I Had a Hammer.” (His first album was called “Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space.”)

From 1977 to 1982, Mr. Nimoy hosted the syndicated series “In Search Of...,” which explored mysteries like the Loch Ness Monster and UFOs. He also narrated “Ancient Mysteries” on the History Channel from 1995 to 2003 and appeared in commercials, including two with Mr. Shatner for He provided the voice for animated characters in “Transformers: The Movie,” in 1986, and “The Pagemaster,” in 1994.

In 2001 he voiced the king of Atlantis in the Disney animated movie “Atlantis: The Lost Empire,” and in 2005 he furnished voice-overs for the computer game Civilization IV. More recently, he had a recurring role on the science-fiction series “Fringe” and was heard, as the voice of Spock, in an episode of the hit sitcom “The Big Bang Theory.”

Mr. Nimoy was an active supporter of the arts as well. The Thalia, a venerable movie theater on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, now a multi-use hall that is part of Symphony Space, was renamed the Leonard Nimoy Thalia in 2002.

He also found his voice as a writer. Besides his autobiographies, he published “A Lifetime of Love: Poems on the Passages of Life” in 2002. Typical of Mr. Nimoy’s simple free verse are these lines: “In my heart/Is the seed of the tree/Which will be me.”

In later years, he rediscovered his Jewish heritage, and in 1991 he produced and starred in “Never Forget,” a television movie based on the story of a Holocaust survivor who sued a neo-Nazi organization of Holocaust deniers.

In 2002, having illustrated his books of poetry with his photographs, Mr. Nimoy published “Shekhina,” a book devoted to photography with a Jewish theme, that of the feminine aspect of God. His black-and-white photographs of nude and seminude women struck some Orthodox Jewish leaders as heretical, but Mr. Nimoy asserted that his work was consistent with the teaching of the kabbalah.

His religious upbringing also influenced the characterization of Spock. The character’s split-fingered salute, he often explained, had been his idea: He based it on the kohanic blessing, a manual approximation of the Hebrew letter shin, which is the first letter in Shaddai, one of the Hebrew names for God.

“To this day, I sense Vulcan speech patterns, Vulcan social attitudes and even Vulcan patterns of logic and emotional suppression in my behavior,” Mr. Nimoy wrote years after the original series ended.

But that wasn’t such a bad thing, he discovered. “Given the choice,” he wrote, “if I had to be someone else, I would be Spock.”

12543: BHM 2015—USPS.

United States Postal Service mails it in for Black History Month with a commemorative stamp.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

12542: BHM 2015—Disney.

Okay, this is probably not a BHM ad—but the concept incorporates celebration and Princess Tiana.

12541: Lupita’s Oscar Loss.

From The Los Angeles Times…

Lupita Nyong’o’s $150,000 Oscar dress stolen; detectives investigating

By Joseph Serna

Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives are investigating the theft of what is believed to be the $150,000 pearl-adorned dress worn by actress Lupita Nyong’o to the Academy Awards on Sunday.

Sheriff’s officials received a call about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday that a dress estimated to be worth $150,000 was stolen from a room at the London West Hollywood hotel, said Lt. William Nash of the sheriff’s West Hollywood station.

TMZ reported the victim of the theft was Nyong’o and the dress was the one she wore to the Oscars. The dress was a white Francisco Costa for Calvin Klein gown decorated with 6,000 pearls.

Detectives were at the hotel Thursday morning investigating the theft, Nash said. He said the value of the dress is part of the investigation and no arrests have been made.

A call to Nyong’o’s representative was not immediately returned. The London West Hollywood hotel declined to comment. Detectives were reviewing security camera footage.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

12540: BHM 2015—Apple.

Okay, it’s technically not a BHM event, but Advertising Age reported Apple is introducing racially diverse emoji.

Apple to Feature Racially Diverse Emoji

Users Will Be Able to Choose From Six Skin Tones

Editor’s Pick

It introduced same sex couple emoticons over two years ago, but now Apple is bringing racially diverse emoji to its devices for the first time. According to reports by 9to5Mac and The Next Web, in the future all emoji faces and hands will come in six different skin complexions and users will be able to change skin tone on an emoji, whether it’s a thumbs up sign, face or other “human” symbol, with a simple command. The new emojis, which will also include new “family group” emojis and an Apple Watch emoticon, will appear in OS X 10.10.3 and the beta version of iOS 8.3.

12539: Sears Seeks New White Agency.

Advertising Age reported Sears and mcgarrybowen decided to “part ways”—which is code for agency termination, regardless of mcgarrybowen’s contention that they resigned the account. Sorry, but mcgarrybowen’s sycophantic personality makes it impossible to deliberately relinquish billings. The advertiser and White advertising agency were actually a perfect pairing of mediocrity and meh. Fortunately, there’s an endless pool of hackneyed White advertising agencies ready and willing to accommodate the retail dinosaur.

McGarryBowen and Sears Part Ways

Move Happens In Midst Of Massive Holding Company Consolidation

By Maureen Morrison

McGarryBowen and Sears Holdings are parting ways, Ad Age has learned.

The shop has been working on the Sears brand since it won the account in 2011.

The split comes as the retailer is in the midst of a massive holding-company level procurement-led consolidation that began in November. The review has been delayed, according to people familiar with it, with no requests for proposal being distributed yet. These people said that the company has been meeting with all the major ad agency holding companies and still plans to send RFPs to those it wants to go to the next step. The review is slated to be completed in May.

McGarryBowen, part of Dentsu Aegis, was in the running in the review, but chose to resign the account, according to people familiar with the matter. In an internal memo sent to the shop’s employees, co-founder Gordon Bowen said that he and the agency’s leadership had decided to part ways with Sears.

Sears has long been described as a demanding client. In 2011, when it was reviewing the Sears brand business that McGarryBowen ultimately won, it upset many agencies when it said that it would own the ideas that agencies pitched. Other people familiar with the marketer have said that the company over years has continued to cut its agency fees.

The agency confirmed that it resigned the account, but declined to elaborate. Representatives for Sears did not have immediate comment. [UPDATE: Bill Kiss, VP-chief digital marketing officer at Sears Holdings, said in a statement that the company thanked McGarryBowen for its work. “Our multifaceted process continues and we are confident we will ultimately select the right agency to support our continued transformation,” he said. “In the interim, we will work with our incumbent agencies to pick up the Sears brand work.”]

On the marketing front, several senior-level executives have left the company, according to people familiar with the business. Imran Jooma, the company’s exec VP and president of marketing, online and financial services, said in December that he was leaving the company.

Sears Holdings has been struggling lately, losing money for 10 straight quarters, closing stores and most recently, laying off about 115 people in corporate earlier this month in an effort to reduce expenses. Sears will report earnings on Thursday.

In March 2014, Havas in Chicago picked up the creative work for Craftsman, Die Hard and Kenmore. Media is handled by Havas, and Interublic’s FCB handles creative for Kmart.

Sears Holdings is the 27th largest marketer in the U.S., according to Ad Age’s DataCenter. In 2013, the Sears brand alone spent $340 million in U.S. measured media, the last full year of available data, according to Kantar Media. Sibling brand Kmart spent $209 million. Kenmore that year had about $21 million in U.S. measured media, while Craftsman has $15 million.

Contributing: Ashley Rodriguez

Monday, February 23, 2015

12537: Hollywood Feminist Exclusivity.

From Very Smart Brothas…

#OscarsSoWhite That Even Their Feminism Is Translucent

By Shamira Ibrahim

So, the Oscars were a thing that happened yesterday. I’ll be honest, I turned it off about 30 minutes after the red carpet fashion show – Neil Patrick Harris joked about how white the audience was and everyone laughed at acknowledging their privilege in a way that was too “yes I’m an asshole but at least I know it” for my taste, so I decided to read Issa Rae’s new book instead.

Not to be too out of touch with the social media zeitgeist, however, I woke up this morning and went online to scan the biggest highlights of the evening. I rolled my eyes at Wes Anderson being rewarded for his Wes Anderson-iness, found myself stirred by the performance of “Glory” while simultaneously amused by Common’s newly minted orchestra conductor rap hands (when are we going to admit that besides John Legend’s hook and bridge, this song is just mediocre? Look up the lyrics and get back to me), and started furiously moisturizing my face when pictures of Lupita came across my screen.

I also read Patricia Arquette’s contribution to social justice and groaned out loud.

Patricia Arquette won Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood – a movie which, as far as I can tell, is about that oft-untold story of growing up as a middle class White male in suburban America – and used her acceptance speech to champion equal pay for women, which elicited a church stomp from the audience. And, for the life of me, I couldn’t understand why Arquette’s statement was being viewed as so groundbreaking.

Equal pay for women is not an unacknowledged issue in America. We have a President who consistently acknowledges the wage gap and signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act as one of his first acts of his Presidency. The phrase “Lean In” has been sprayed on social media like confetti for the past two years – to the point that Jessica Williams of The Daily Show was forced to defend her statement that she wasn’t qualified to transition into hosting the show post Jon Stewart’s retirement. And frankly, the reason why the wage gap is still so wide is largely due to the disparities for women of color. Black and Hispanic women get 64 and 56 cents on the dollar respectively – but I guess Ms. Arquette didn’t have time to point that part out.

She did have time to elaborate on her statements after the awards ceremony, however, saying the following:

“It’s time for all the women in America and all the men that love women, and all the gay people, and all the people of color that we’ve all fought for to fight for us now.”

Put down your #BlackLivesMatter t-shirts everyone! The fights for both Black and LGBTQ civil rights are apparently over and it’s White women’s time to shine.

What is it that she thinks Women of Color do, exactly? I don’t assume that Patricia Arquette has read all things Audre Lorde, but she does realize that there are women who are Black and maybe even queer who fight on several of these fronts? Why does she think that Black women have been getting more and more advanced degrees at a higher rate than our male counterparts? They certainly don’t keep us warm at night.

The biggest rub of all is not just her assumption that intersectionality is a nonexistent thing and POCs don’t fight for feminist issues every day; it’s that in 2015 marginalized minority groups are in any position of power to exact change to help the prestigious Hollywood families of the world negotiate more equitable Sony contracts.

The next time someone asks me why Black Feminism and Intersectionality are distinct groups and efforts in the Women’s Rights Movement, I’m just going to refer them to Patricia Arquette’s words. I was unaware that we owed White women for Civil Rights, much less Patricia Arquette, who I’ve never seen utter the words Trayvon or Michael Brown. I understand that Ms. Arquette may identify as a woman first, but to demand that other marginalized communities stand beside you at the expense of their other struggles that pose just as much of an imposition on their day to day life and ability to progress in society is a level of conceit that is as mindboggling as…well, as making a movie a week every year for twelve years just to say you did it.

Shamira is a twentysomething New Yorker who likes all things Dipset. You can join her in waxing poetically about chicken, Cam’ron, and gentrification (gotta have some balance) under the influence of varying amounts of brown liquor at her semi-monthly blog,

12536: BHM 2015—Howard University.

The New York Times reported Howard University students and faculty are celebrating Black History Month by adding Black history content to Wikipedia. No word if the entries will include commentary showing Black advertising and Black advertising agencies are becoming history. And whatever happened to the professional development and research center that Howard University launched to help diversify the advertising industry?

Howard University Fills in Wikipedia’s Gaps in Black History

By Jada F. Smith

WASHINGTON — Wikipedia is a vast ocean of erudition, with entries on virtually every subject, obscure to earth-shattering, and, it may seem, every human being of even vague renown. It is also, its leaders concede, very white.

“The stereotype of a Wikipedia editor is a 30-year-old white man, and so most of the articles written are about stuff that interests 30-year-old white men,” said James Hare, president of Wikimedia D.C., the local branch of the foundation that runs Wikipedia. “So a lot of black history is left out.”

Students and faculty members at Howard University, one of the nation’s pre-eminent historically black higher education institutions, set out Thursday to fill in the gaps. With Black History Month upon them, they camped out at a Howard research center that houses one of the world’s largest repositories of Africana and African diaspora information and, over coffee and pizza, worked to add some tint to Wikipedia’s white.

“You’d think that, ‘Oh, Wikipedia has articles on everything,’ but for anything having to do with a marginalized community, there’s a lot of gaps,” Mr. Hare said.

Both academics and researchers working with the foundation agree that the online encyclopedia suffers from a dearth of information about black history, too often petering out when the topics extend past the well-known names and events of slavery and the civil rights movement. In the Internet age, this is no trivial matter: To many people, a topic does not exist if it does not have a Wikipedia page.

The foundation is hoping to fill in the blanks by hosting events like the one on Thursday throughout February, soliciting expertise and institutional knowledge from places like Howard; the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, in New York; and National Public Radio.

The organizing team came up with a list of entries that needed to be expanded, like those about Myra Adele Logan, the first woman to perform open-heart surgery, and Mildred Blount, a fashion designer who dressed celebrities in the 1940s and designed the hats worn in “Gone With the Wind.” They also began creating entries for topics that were completely absent from the Wikipedia database, like Beth A. Brown, a former astrophysicist at NASA, and Farish Street, a hub for black businesses in Jackson, Miss., that thrived until the 1970s.

Meta DuEwa Jones, an English professor at Howard who participated in the editing event, often teaches the poems of the Dark Room Collective, a group of poets that scholars have called as significant to the writing world as the New York School and the Black Arts Movement. There are pages on Wikipedia for more than 50 artist collectives, including lengthy entries for the New York School and the Black Arts Movement. The Dark Room Collective is not there, “even though they specifically changed the face of African-American literature and contemporary literature in the ’80s and ’90s,” Ms. Jones said.

“It’s not just a problem that it’s not on Wikipedia — it’s also a possibility,” she added hopefully as the team set out to craft an entry.

She and students from disciplines ranging from fine arts to biology expanded pages about authors, scholars and even the research center they were working in, called Moorland-Spingarn.

Of course, Wikipedia is not always a welcomed presence in a scholarly community tired of research papers crafted more by Google searches than by hard slogs through primary sources. Some professors remain skeptical about the site’s community editing process and criteria for sourcing.

Still, some of those professors, like Joshua Myers, acknowledge that Wikipedia has become an almost inevitable research tool for undergraduate students. He said he had come on Thursday to help make it a good starting point, at least, for more in-depth research.

“They’re using these articles as the beginning and the end,” Mr. Myers said, shaking his head. “If it can be a point of departure, then it can become useful.”

12535: Atlanta Hawks Prediction.

As the NBA season recently marked its All-Star break, the Atlanta Hawks hold a commanding lead in the Southeast Division. Alas, it’s almost guaranteed that the team will not hoist a championship trophy this year—thanks to the Offensive Karma sparked by Bruce Levenson and Danny Ferry. The only way the Hawks could upset the prediction for failure would require other contending teams to outdo the cultural cluelessness—or if the Atlanta franchise hired a Black advertising agency to woo its predominately Black audience. Hey, it makes sense given the fact that Blacks comprise 54 percent of Atlanta’s population.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

12534: BHM 2015—Motown.

Motown The Musical capitalizes on Black History Month to boost ticket sales.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

12533: Havas Not The Smartest.

Campaign reported on the latest attempts to resuscitate Havas, with the White advertising agency’s leaders declaring, “We want to have the best margin, the best people, the best creative.” Wow, that’s an original goal. But wishing to go from worst to best doesn’t make it so.

“If you have the smartest people in your business, then you win. It’s really not that complicated. Pretty much every company in our market has the same game plan, the same strategy; but whoever does it fastest, with the best people, wins,” explained Havas Worldwide Global CEO Andrew Benett. “The way we encourage talent, the degree of latitude we give people, the ideas we want from people—that is what makes Havas different from other companies in our space. Our culture is now rooted in entrepreneurialism, collaboration, open-mindedness.”

Benett seems oblivious to making the classic mistake of announcing revolutionary change without first demonstrating clear and measurable progress. Indeed, that Havas lacks “the smartest people” in the industry only confirms Benett’s babbling bullshit. Havas talent—which continues to be an oxymoron—is mostly rooted in cronyism, nepotism and other assorted isms that perpetuate exclusivity versus excellence. Plus, the smartest people must also have a smart environment and structure to succeed—and Havas is hardly renowned for its internal IQ.

It’s really not that complicated: Walk the walk before you talk the talk. Otherwise, you won’t look too smart.

‘We want to have the best margin, the best people, the best creative’

By Claire Beale

Havas is making waves with a series of radical structural changes, from the establishment of a creative council to the appointment of Chris Hirst. Claire Beale weighs up the group’s new ambitions.

When Havas gathered its worldwide management at the BFI Imax in London late last month for a three-day programme of seminars and pep talks, behind the scenes the company was also laying final plans for a radical shake-up of its key brands.

By the end of the three days, Russ Lidstone, the chief executive of Havas’ London ad agency, had been ousted (fired by telephone by the co-global president Kate Robertson), a new creative council had been unveiled and details had been finalised for scrapping one of the oldest brands in the UK direct marketing sector, EHS, in favour of a new global CRM network, Helia. A bold restructure in the New York offices followed days later.

Then, last week, Havas pulled a coup, snaring Chris Hirst from Grey London to run Havas Creative Group in the UK and Europe. It was a stunning move. Even observers who questioned why Hirst would jump the ship he was finally setting on an exciting course for the unknown – and, frankly, challenging – Havas vessel had to admit the appointment gave some shape to a group offering. After too many years of merely inching forward strategically, it seemed Havas is finally acting. While the jury’s obviously out on the new structures, the changes are the most ambitious moves the company had made for quite some time. So often most interesting either as a takeover target or potential acquisitor, Havas suddenly seems to have found a new operational purpose.

There are several catalysts for such decisiveness. The first can be traced back to early 2014, when Havas’ long-serving golden boy, David Jones, a Brit who’d climbed to the top of this most French of companies, quit his chief executive post. Jones, a consummate account man who’d latterly seemed consumed by his role as the co-founder of the One Young World alliance, was replaced by Yannick Bolloré.

The charismatic – though relatively inexperienced – son of Havas’ now majority shareholder, Vincent Bolloré, Yannick was joined by Andrew Benett, the former chief of Arnold Worldwide, who was given reign over the agency network as the global chief executive of Havas Creative Group and Havas Worldwide.

At the London conference, they made an interesting pair: Bolloré appears to have all the charm and stage presence while Benett, not an obvious grandstanding leader or instinctive creative arbiter, is said to have a keen intelligence and strategic thoughtfulness. With this new leadership in place for a year now, it was time for some action and, with a second catalyst for change coming last month when the Bolloré group raised its stake in Havas to a majority 73 per cent, a clear strategic plan was vital.

Benett certainly has some ground to make up: international wins have been thin on the ground and losses in recent years have included ExxonMobil, Jaguar, Heineken and three of RB’s largest brands. Observers say he’s no David Jones when it comes to glad-handing clients, but his consultancy credentials (after years at the Added Value group) bring a strategic edge.

“I’m very interested in whether an agency can be different – can it play an indispensable role for clients, can it act more like a consultancy, where you’re paid to do something bespoke and distinct and add tremendous value?” Benett explains. If he has a schtick, it’s talent. He says: “If you have the smartest people in your business, then you win. It’s really not that complicated. Pretty much every company in our market has the same game plan, the same strategy; but whoever does it fastest, with the best people, wins.” Giving that talent some entrepreneurial headspace is key, though, Benett insists: “The way we encourage talent, the degree of latitude we give people, the ideas we want from people – that is what makes Havas different from other companies in our space. Our culture is now rooted in entrepreneurialism, collaboration, open-mindedness.”

That cultural ambition appears to be matched with a structural one – most interestingly, perhaps, in relation to further collaboration between Havas and the French media group Vivendi, a former owner of Havas at the turn of the century. Vincent Bolloré is now Vivendi’s chairman and, with a 5 per cent stake, its biggest shareholder.

“We’re working a lot on cross-initiatives with Vivendi, like the data alliance, looking for ways to collaborate better,” Benett explains. “We want to sit at the cross-section of content, entertainment and technology, and that’s where Havas and Vivendi come together philosophically and enable one another.” A full-blown merger has been mooted. Acquisitions are also high on the to-do list, Benett admits: “We’re highly acquisitive now. We have a very good pipeline of things we’re looking at right now or deals we’re finalising. But we’re not going to buy revenue for the sake of being bigger. Yannick talks about us being the fittest, not the biggest; we want to have the best margin, the best people, the best creative, be the best place to work.” And therein lies the clear, and very tough, brief for Hirst.


Martin Brooks, Daniel Floyed

When Havas acquired Work Club in 2014, it was only a matter of time before the hotshop was harnessed to support the plodding Havas Worldwide London. However, working out how to do that – meeting the ambitions of the Work Club founders while retaining a separately managed (and incentivised) main agency – has proved a challenge.

With Russ Lidstone’s departure came a new management iteration that hopes to bridge the two brands and strengthen collaboration. Martin Brooks, the former joint chief executive of Work Club, and Daniel Floyed, the global brand director at Havas Worldwide London and now in charge of the shop, are the new co-managing partners at Club Havas, and they put on a good show of camaraderie. Having previously worked together on Pernod Ricard, Iglo and RB when they were at separate agencies, Brooks says the pair always gravitated towards each other. “This is just very much a people industry,” he says. “You just end up, despite what you are being told by your bosses, working with the people you like working with. We have worked together before but it has snowballed in the past year or so.”

It may only be a year, but Floyed is already finishing Brooks’ sentences, and it’s clear that the pair are genuinely looking forward to learning more about each other’s disciplines. “I think if you’ve got a partner where you walk into a room, you know you’re going to have fun and you’re going to come up with new stuff together, and there’s a light sense of competition that one of you is going to come up with a better idea, it’s good fun,” Brooks says. “I’ve spent most of my career in direct digital; Dan seems to completely understand the global market and what they want to buy and how to get the best out of the networks. I think Dan’s very good at understanding how the network ticks. I’m more of a single-office entrepreneur who builds things, so I think the combination goes really well together.”

Floyed adds that, with the collaboration, “we are stronger, we are better, and it makes both sides of the equation”.

By Gurjit Degun

12532: White Females Fail…?

Campaign reported Lowe Profero ECD Eloise Smith supplemented Lindsey Clay’s advice to “Lean In” with “Learn to Fail.” Honestly, how are White women failing in the UK advertising industry? Their numbers continue to grow with little evidence of struggle. If anything, White women in adland are failing to garner sympathy for their fabricated cause—mostly because they really don’t have a problem to overcome. Of course, the whining does succeed at creating a smokescreen for the absolute failure to truly address the dearth of diversity in UK White advertising agencies.

‘Learn to fail’, says Lowe Profero’s ECD to young female creative

By Kate Magee

Eloise Smith, Lowe Profero’s executive creative director, has advised young creatives they should learn how to fail because that will prepare them for life as a creative director.

Smith was speaking at last night’s SheSays event held at the D&AD studio and sponsored by Red Sofa. The audience was made up of young female creatives.

She spoke about how she got used to failure when she was fencing at a high competitive level.

She said: “When you’re involved in competitive sport you are often losing. This teaches you how to deal with it. Sport is a brilliant way to learn to embrace failure.”

She added that as a creative, you were offering up ideas every day that people would “rip up”, but argued that the sooner you get used to failing and being okay with it, the better a creative you will be.

Three other senior creative directors also spoke at the event: Bartle Bogle Hegarty’s deputy executive creative director Caroline Pay; Grey London’s deputy executive creative director Vicki Maguire, and Mother London’s creative director Chaka Sobhani.

The creatives discussed their rise to the top including stories of their own – and their bosses’ – failures.

Maguire said that one of her former bosses sold her script to a client, but changed her name to “Micky” because the client did not want a female working on the account. She lost respect for him then and left the agency.

The lesson from all four speakers was not to continue to work at an agency if the environment was not offering you support, great experience or helping you develop.

12531: Total Toyota Trash.

Is this another sad example of Total Toyota at work? It appears that the White advertising agency produces TV commercials showing Black characters meeting B.B. King, while the Black shop is relegated to creating a print ad showing a sistah rolling through the hood.

12530: Lynching Latinos.

From The New York Times…

When Americans Lynched Mexicans

By William D. Carrigan and Clive Webb

THE recent release of a landmark report landmark report on the history of lynching in the United States is a welcome contribution to the struggle over American collective memory. Few groups have suffered more systematic mistreatment, abuse and murder than African-Americans, the focus of the report.

One dimension of mob violence that is often overlooked, however, is that lynchers targeted many other racial and ethnic minorities in the United States, including Native Americans, Italians, Chinese and, especially, Mexicans.

Americans are largely unaware that Mexicans were frequently the targets of lynch mobs, from the mid-19th century until well into the 20th century, second only to African-Americans in the scale and scope of the crimes. One case, largely overlooked or ignored by American journalists but not by the Mexican government, was that of seven Mexican shepherds hanged by white vigilantes near Corpus Christi, Tex., in late November 1873. The mob was probably trying to intimidate the shepherds’ employer into selling his land. None of the killers were arrested.

From 1848 to 1928, mobs murdered thousands of Mexicans, though surviving records allowed us to clearly document only about 547 cases. These lynchings occurred not only in the southwestern states of Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas, but also in states far from the border, like Nebraska and Wyoming.

Some of these cases did appear in press accounts, when reporters depicted them as violent public spectacles, as they did with many lynchings of African-Americans in the South. For example, on July 5, 1851, a mob of 2,000 in Downieville, Calif., watched the extralegal hanging of a Mexican woman named Juana Loaiza, who had been accused of having murdered a white man named Frank Cannon.

Such episodes were not isolated to the turbulent gold rush period. More than a half-century later, on Nov. 3, 1910, a mob snatched a 20-year-old Mexican laborer, Antonio Rodríguez, from a jail in Rock Springs, Tex. The authorities had arrested him on charges that he had killed a rancher’s wife. Mob leaders bound him to a mesquite tree, doused him with kerosene and burned him alive. The El Paso Herald reported that thousands turned out to witness the event; we found no evidence that anyone was ever arrested.

While there were similarities between the lynchings of blacks and Mexicans, there were also clear differences. One was that local authorities and deputized citizens played particularly conspicuous roles in mob violence against Mexicans.

On Jan. 28, 1918, a band of Texas Rangers and ranchers arrived in the village of Porvenir in Presidio County, Tex. Mexican outlaws had recently attacked a nearby ranch, and the posse presumed that the locals were acting as spies and informants for Mexican raiders on the other side of the border. The group rounded up nearly two dozen men, searched their houses, and marched 15 of them to a rock bluff near the village and executed them. The Porvenir massacre, as it has become known, was the climactic event in what Mexican-Americans remember as the Hora de Sangre (Hour of Blood). It led, the following year, to an investigation by the Texas Legislature and reform of the Rangers.

Between 1915 and 1918, vigilantes, local law officers and Texas Rangers executed, without due process, unknown thousands of Mexicans for their alleged role in a revolutionary uprising known as the Plan de San Diego. White fears of Mexican revolutionary violence exploded in July and August 1915, after Mexican raiders committed a series of assaults on the economic infrastructure of the Lower Rio Grande Valley in resistance to white dominance. The raids unleashed a bloody wave of retaliatory action amid a climate of intense paranoia.

While there are certainly instances in the history of the American South where law officers colluded in mob action, the level of engagement by local and state authorities in the reaction to the Plan de San Diego was remarkable. The lynchings persisted into the 1920s, eventually declining largely because of pressure from the Mexican government.

Historians have often ascribed to the South a distinctiveness that has set it apart from the rest of the United States. In so doing, they have created the impression of a peculiarly benighted region plagued by unparalleled levels of racial violence. The story of mob violence against Mexicans in the Southwest compels us to rethink the history of lynching.

Southern blacks were the group most often targeted, but comparing the histories of the South and the West strengthens our understanding of mob violence in both. In today’s charged debate over immigration policy and the growth of the Latino population, the history of anti-Mexican violence reminds us of the costs and consequences of hate.

William D. Carrigan, a professor of history at Rowan University, and Clive Webb, professor of modern American history at the University of Sussex, are the authors of “Forgotten Dead: Mob Violence Against Mexicans in the United States, 1848-1928.”

12529: IPG CEO BS.

Adweek reported IPG CEO Michael Roth gushed about the holding company’s financial performance in 2014. If things are so awesome, why did the Board of Directors pick up three new members, two of whom are considered turnaround artists? Roth is developing into quite the huckster.

Interpublic’s Net Income Rose 84% in 2014

Q4, full year see strong revenue growth

By Kristina Monllos

Interpublic Group today reported gains for the fourth quarter and the full year, with profits growing 84 percent in 2014.

The holding company ended the year with $7.54 billion in revenue, up 5.89 percent from $7.12 billion in 2013, and with net income of $477 million, up 84 percent from $259 million. On an organic basis, revenue rose almost 5.5 percent for the year.

In the fourth quarter, IPG’s revenue reached $2.21 billion, up 4 percent from $2.12 billion. Net income grew to $308.9 million, up 60 percent from $193.1 million. And organic revenue rose nearly 4.8 percent for the quarter.

IPG CEO Michael Roth cited the competitiveness of the holding company’s agencies as well as new business momentum as reasons for the growth. Clients in the healthcare, food and beverage, and retail sectors were the top-performing clients of the year.

Roth said wins like Sprint, Grupo Bimbo, Sherwin-Williams and Reckitt Benckiser boosted the business.

“It’s clear from these very positive results that our people outperformed the financial targets we set for 2014,” said Roth. “I believe it’s fair to say that the quality of our offerings is at its highest level in at least a decade.”

The CEO also noted principal financial goals for 2015: 3 percent to 4 percent organic growth and an operating margin expansion of between 11.3 percent and 11.5 percent. Ultimately, the company’s long-term margin target is 13 percent. At the end of 2014, IPG’s margin was 10.5 percent.

Analysts on the hour-long conference call this morning asked about media consolidation and programmatic buying. And one questioned the holding company’s recent deal with activist investor Elliott Management—one of IPG’s largest shareholders—to appoint three new board members.

“As a governance matter, we’ve always looked at the board,” said Roth. “And frankly, we had a process going all along to replace board members.”

Roth also noted confidence in the new board members. He said the new finance committee’s focus on IPG’s profit margins will be “welcome,” and that he expects the entire board will attend the committee’s meetings.

12528: BHM 2015—Malcolm X.

The New York Daily News remembers Malcolm X 50 years after his assassination.

Remembering civil rights giant Malcolm X 50 years after his assassination

The controversial activist, who inspired many and infuriated others, was gunned down Feb. 21, 1965, at the Audubon Ballroom in Washington Heights

By Rich Schapiro | NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Harlem was ready to explode.

It was just before midnight on April 26, 1957, and at least 4,000 protesters were massed outside the 28th Precinct stationhouse on Eighth Ave.

Hours earlier, 32-year-old Johnson Hinton and two friends had been walking along W. 125th St. when they spotted two cops beating another black man with nightsticks.

“You’re not in Alabama!” yelled Hinton and his pals. “This is New York!”

The officers turned their nightsticks on Hinton, a member of the Nation of Islam, delivering several crushing blows to his head and face.

Hinton, despite suffering lacerations on his scalp and bleeding on the brain, was now being held inside the four-story, red-brick 28th Precinct police station.

The crowd was growing impatient. A race riot seemed imminent.

A ripple of excitement swept through the crush of people when a 6-foot-3 man in a black suit and spectacles showed up and strode inside the stationhouse. The demonstrators, many of whom were Nation of Islam members, knew exactly who he was.

Malcolm X.

The fiery head of the Nation’s new Harlem mosque, Malcolm was allowed to see Hinton. But the cops refused to return the battered man to the hospital.

Malcolm, sensing an impasse, stepped outside the stationhouse and flashed a hand signal to his Nation of Islam followers. They immediately started marching off — silent and stern — like an Army battalion having just received orders from their general.

The rest of the crowd followed.

A group of NYPD cops watched the scene in awe.

“No one man should have that much power,” one officer told Amsterdam News editor James Hicks.

Hinton was released in the morning — after the Nation paid his $2,500 bail — and taken to Harlem Hospital.

The striking show of force introduced the nation to Malcolm X.

Incendiary, influential and often polarizing, Malcolm led the black nationalist movement with a clenched fist and biting tongue.

His rejection of integration and insistence on black liberation “by any means necessary” made him a hero to large swaths of black people.

To many others, he was seen as a villain and a menace. The militant, anti-establishment rhetoric Malcolm preached sent shivers of fear down the spines of many whites and alarmed some African-Americans.

“Other black leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King included, all engaged in tailoring their language to minimize negative reactions from white America,” said Russell Adams, professor emeritus of African-American studies at Howard University. “Malcolm said in his fashion what many blacks thought and said among themselves.”

Fifty years after his assassination, Malcolm X remains one of the most controversial figures of the 20th century.

Read the full story.

Friday, February 20, 2015

12527: Award-Winning Exclusivity.

Leave it to Grey London to produce an advert for The Sunday Times on the 100 Greatest Oscar Winners that perpetuates the culturally clueless exclusivity of the Academy Awards and the UK advertising industry.

12526: Dunkin’ Donuts Chef…?

The Los Angeles Times spotlighted Dunkin’ Donuts Chef Heidi Curry, prompting the question: Dunkin’ Donuts employs a chef? Always thought the culinary delights were created by Fred, the old dude who chanted, “Time to make the donuts.

Chef Heidi Curry comes full circle with Dunkin’ Donuts

By Jenn Harris

Chef Heidi Curry, the senior manager of bakery research and development at Dunkin’ Brands, may have one of the most enviable jobs in the culinary world. She spends her days testing and tasting doughnuts and other Dunkin’ products. She was also part of the innovation team that developed the brand’s chocolate croissant. And, yes, the Dunkin’ croissant doughnut. But before signing on with one of the largest doughnut producers in the country, Curry was a biology major who had already started a career in pharmaceuticals. She’d always loved food, so she decided to go to culinary school and try to make a career out of it. She applied for the job with Dunkin’ Brands after seeing a posting on an alumni website from her culinary school, Johnson & Wales University in Rhode Island. Having been a lifelong Dunkin’ Donuts fan, Curry says, she and her entire family were thrilled when they heard the news. We caught up with the corporate chef during a recent stop at the new Dunkin’ Donuts shop in Santa Monica, the first to open in Southern California after the company’s long hiatus.

Your first doughnut, and where was it from? It was probably a Dunkin’ Donut. They were a staple at grandma’s house growing up. We always had a couple boxes. We’re a big family. Every time we went on family vacation or to the beach, we’d always stop and get Dunkin’ Donuts before we headed out.

What’s it like being a head chef there now? It’s the perfect mix of my science background, my love of food and my creative side. I’ve worked with the beverage R&D (research and development) team, the savory R&D that works on sandwiches and stuff like that, and now the Dunkin’ Donuts culinary team. I work on a team with other chefs, pastry chefs, food scientists, coffee excellence managers. The R&D lab in Massachusetts is nuts. Everyone has key cards to allow access because we have so many proprietary products.

The most doughnuts you’ve eaten in one day? Maybe 20. I work with a team, and we’re constantly looking at different ingredients, tasting different products, trying to create new items and brainstorming ideas. We have meetings to taste all the different products we’ve made.

What are some doughnuts you’ve worked on that have made it to production? Both the Croissant Donut and Dunkin’ Go Bar are products that had stemmed from innovation and a team effort to bring products from ideation to market. And a lot of items don’t make it. A recent one was a fruitcake doughnut that didn’t quite turn out as well as we hoped it would.

Favorite late-night snack? I’m always going for something sweet and salty. My most indulgent snack is the salted caramels I make at home.

12525: 35 Years Of Exclusivity.

A campaign for the 2015 AICP Awards shows that the advertising industry will still be predominately White 35 years from now—which might require Leo Burnett to extend its NO.2.66 figure.

12524: BHM 2015—Toyota.

Well, at least Toyota didn’t salute Black History Month with B.B. King on a slave plantation.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

12523: Royally Exclusive Caribbean.

Adweek reported Royal Caribbean is sailing into a global creative review, and incumbent JWT will be defending. Count on seeing no one of Caribbean descent among the competitors.

A search of “diversity” at the Royal Caribbean website displayed results spotlighting the diversity of locales and even passengers, but nothing regarding Royal Caribbean’s perspective on inclusivity. However, the Corporate Governance Principles described the company’s Board of Directors with the following:

The Board recognizes the value of diversity and endeavors to have a Board comprised of individuals with varying backgrounds (including diversity of race, gender and ethnicity) and experience in business and in other areas that may be relevant to the Company’s activities.

There doesn’t appear to be any recognition of applying the principles to advertising agency partners. After all, the lily-White Commodore has been running the advertising ship since 2007.

Royal Caribbean Launches Global Creative Review

Incumbent JWT expected to defend

By Noreen O’Leary

Royal Caribbean International is reviewing its global creative agency business, with a decision expected by May.

Incumbent J. Walter Thompson is expected to defend, sources said. Media, handled by the agency’s WPP corporate sibling, Mindshare, is not part of the current search process. The review is said to be in its early stages.

In the first nine months of 2014, Royal Caribbean spent $58 million in measured media, according to Kantar. For all of 2013, the brand invested $81 million.

The world’s biggest cruise line has recently undergone major management changes that may have impacted its working relationship with JWT. In December, Michael Bayley, chief of sister company Celebrity Cruises, took over Royal Caribbean as CEO. The company also parted ways with marketing svp Carol Schuster, who took on that role in June 2013. That job remains open.

JWT declined to comment. It has been lead creative agency on the business since 2007, when it won the account after prevailing in a review that included shops like Saatchi & Saatchi, TBWA\Chiat\Day and what was then Draftfcb. Arnold was the incumbent, and sister Havas shop MPG handled Royal Caribbean media, which also shifted at that time.

The cruise industry still suffers from negative perceptions after disasters like Carnival’s Costa Concordia crash in 2012, and Carnival Triumph’s debacle a year later, when an onboard fire crippled the ship, leaving it without electricity and working toilets. While Royal Caribbean has not been as dramatically hit by misfortune, in early 2013, more than 100 passengers and crew on one of its ships reportedly fell ill from the norovirus.

12522: BHM 2015—Publix.

During BHM, Publix runs with Black Girls RUN!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

12521: Krispy Kreme KKK.

FOX News reported on a culturally clueless promotion cancelled by Krispy Kreme in the UK. It wouldn’t be surprising to learn that a UK advertising agency was involved too.

Krispy Kreme cancels ‘KKK Wednesday’ promotion

By Fox News

A UK Krispy Kreme branch apologized for a promotion created to draw more kids into its store during Britain’s half-term, a short holiday for students in the middle of each the three periods into which the school year is divided.

The branch created a series of promotional events that included “KKK Wednesday,” which was planned to run at the Hull branch in Britain from noon to 5 p.m. However, the branch apparently did not realize what the acronym is synonymous with.

Facebook followers quickly pointed out that KKK stands for the Ku Klux Klan, a racially charged American hate group that has committed unspeakable crimes against African-Americans, among others.

The company originally planned to use KKK as the “Krispy Kreme Klub.” Other activities during the county’s half-term, which runs from Feb. 16 to 22, included Funday Monday, Coloring Tuesday, Face Painting Thursday, Balloon Madness and Board Games Galore.

A company spokeswoman told The Daily Mirror the company apologizes “unreservedly for the inappropriate name of a customer promotion at one of our stores.”

The spokeswoman also said the material for the promotion was withdrawn and “an internal investigation is currently under way.”

12520: See Lowell Thompson In July.

Mark your calendars. You’re cordially to meet Artist/Writer/Recovering Adman Lowell Thompson at the Uptown Arts Center in July 2015.

12519: BHM 2015—AARP.

AARP celebrates BHM with royalty-free stock photography.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

12518: ThermaCare® Porn…?

Did this ThermaCare® commercial pull inspiration from PornHub?

12517: BHM 2015—Bahamas.

The Bahamas combines BHM and MLK.

12516: Havas Talent Is Oxymoron.

Advertising Age reported on Havas’ statements on profits and growth. These financial disclosures might constitute the most creative acts that holding companies annually present, in terms of being rose-colored-glasses-half-full-putting-lipstick-on-a-pig scenarios. For Havas—aka the Bolloré Family Business—things are hunky-dory. “Europe is almost 50% of our revenue … Chris Hirst is a star. It’s great proof that great talent wants to join us. Our people will feel even prouder to be part of this journey when they see such senior talent that will come and lead us in the future,” gushed Havas Chairman and CEO Yannick Bolloré. “When I first started at Havas five years ago it was not that easy to attract talent. I have seen a turnaround in the last couple of years and now a lot of very senior talent wants to be part of Havas… When you are living in very disruptive times you need to be able to adapt.” Um, it’s more like a White People Shuffle, where the same White men and White women are rotating between the holding companies. It’s not progress—it’s perpetuating privilege.

Havas Grows 5.1% in 2014 Despite Q4 Slowdown to 3.5%

CEO Bolloré Says Attracting Senior Talent is Much Easier Than it Used To Be

By Emma Hall

French communications group Havas reported organic growth (excluding acquisitions) of 5.1% for 2014, with revenue of $2.1 billion and net new business of $2.5 billion for the year.

But organic growth slowed in the fourth quarter to 3.5%. Revenue was $627 million and new business totaled $626 million.

Growth in Europe reached 4.4% for the full year, but was flat in the fourth quarter of 2014. This morning, Havas announced a major hire with the appointment of Chris Hirst, the highly-regarded CEO of WPP’s Grey London office, for the new position of CEO of the Havas Creative Group in the U.K. and Europe.

Yannick Bolloré, chairman and CEO of Havas, said on a call with analysts, “Europe is almost 50% of our revenue … Chris Hirst is a star. It’s great proof that great talent wants to join us. Our people will feel even prouder to be part of this journey when they see such senior talent that will come and lead us in the future.”

Mr. Hirst has overseen a transformation at Grey London, which has reinvented itself as a creative agency and won some major accounts under his stewardship. New business wins include Vodafone’s $80 million business just last week, after picking up the global lead on Volvo from Havas’ Arnold Worldwide in December 2013.

Havas poached another senior WPP figure in January, hiring Y&R New York’s chief creative officer, Jim Elliott, to the newly-created role of global chief creative officer at Arnold Worldwide.

Mr. Bolloré said, “When I first started at Havas five years ago it was not that easy to attract talent. I have seen a turnaround in the last couple of years and now a lot of very senior talent wants to be part of Havas… When you are living in very disruptive times you need to be able to adapt.”

North America saw organic growth of 5.4% for the year and 7.3% in the fourth quarter, boosted by a number of big account wins including Dish Network, Dove Mencare, NetJets, LVMH, Emirates, Paypal, and Liberty Mutual. Havas Worldwide in New York and Chicago, and Havas Media North America were singled out as particularly strong performers in the region.

In Asia Pacific and Africa, growth reached 10.8% for the year, driven mostly by Australia and the Middle East, while Latin America’s 5.2% growth was described in a Havas statement as “satisfactory… mainly thanks to a strong performance from Brazil.”

Havas reported 1.1% growth for its home market France, despite a “slackening” in the fourth quarter. In the U.K., organic growth reached 9% thanks to a strong first half of the year, driven by media, data and healthcare communications. The rest of Europe grew 3.9% in 2014, up from a 2.7% decline during the same period the previous year, despite a slower fourth quarter.

Havas made six acquisitions last year, including Work Club in London. “We are very satisfied with the way they have been integrated,” Mr. Bolloré said, “And we will continue on this path. We have nothing in the pipeline that is transformational but we will still look at companies with great talent that can add value to our existing network. We are less cautious and more optimistic than we used to be.”

Asked about prospects for France in 2015, Mr. Bolloré said that he thought French international companies would do well because of the weaker dollar and lower oil prices, and referenced the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris when he said, “The year has started with mixed feelings. After the terrorist attacks, we had some men with guns guarding our buildings. We can see that there is more confidence now, but a lot of it is relief.”

In an indication of the influence of Havas’ majority shareholder Bollore Groupe, which is involved in the electric car business, Havas noted that the company has a fleet of electric cars for business travel and recently introduced electric shuttle buses between the Havas office and public transit stations.