Tuesday, March 31, 2015

12605: Dr. King’s Dream Deferred.

From The Chicago Sun-Times…

King’s vision waits to be fulfilled

By Jesse Jackson

This week, on April 4, we will mark the 47th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee. He was 39 at the time of his death.

Dr. King was in Memphis to lend support to striking African-American sanitation workers, who were protesting unequal wages and conditions and seeking to form a union. From Memphis, he was headed to Washington, D.C. where he was making arrangements for a Poor People’s Campaign, a march on Washington of impoverished workers of every race, religion and region.

Dr. King’s concerns at that time are with us still. Today, like the sanitation workers, unions of public employees — from teachers to sanitation workers — are under siege by conservative governors. And as unions decline, inequality rises, and wages stagnate. Today, profits capture record proportions of the national income, and wages hover near record lows.

Dr. King was a troubled man in 1968. The Civil Rights Movement was divided; his leadership was under assault. He was savagely criticized for opposing the Vietnam War. Nonviolence was increasingly criticized as ineffective, despite the victories in ending segregation and gaining the right to vote. Despairing, he sometimes talked about leaving the movement, becoming the head of a university, retiring to read and write.

But he stayed in the struggle. He knew the stakes were too high to stop. Dr. King was clear. The war on poverty was being lost in the jungles of Vietnam. Our priorities were destructive: Too much money and attention went to war and weapons of war, too little to addressing poverty and providing a hand up.

Were he alive today, Dr. King surely would be organizing nonviolent civil disobedience, calling for protests. Once more, we are entangled in too many wars. Once more, a Congress slashes support for the vulnerable, while adding billions to war and weapons of war. Once more, working people lose hope, as too few have too much and too many have too little.

Dr. King organized the Poor People’s Campaign because he understood that the powerful will not rescue the oppressed. Freedom comes only when the oppressed act and demand justice. He had helped lead the first movements of the Freedom Symphony — the struggle against segregation, the battle for voting rights. But he knew that the third movement — the struggle for equal opportunity and economic rights — would be the most difficult of all.

In the last speech of his life, Dr. King referred to the threats on his life. “We’ve got some difficult days ahead,” he said. “But it doesn’t matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. … Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. … I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people will get to the promised land.”

Now, nearly 50 years later, we have come a long way, but we have far to go. Inequality is worse than it was in 1968. More are unemployed, far more are in prison. Hunger, homelessness, joblessness plague our neighborhoods. We will get to the promised land, but only if people of conscience once more heed Dr. King’s teaching, and act to create their own history.

Monday, March 30, 2015

12604: Memo On Multicultural Mess.

Business Insider presented: “Here’s the Starbucks internal memo showing the ‘Race Together’ campaign was always doomed”—detailing the obvious reasons why the effort bombed, despite the coffeemaker’s insistence that all was going as planned. What is it about race and diversity that compels typically sane people to do stupid things? It appears that Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz doesn’t even understand his own business model, believing the long lines of customers waiting for over-priced beverages could accommodate the added task of chatting about culture. Give Schultz credit for not pursuing the contrived and clichéd tactics of minority barista intern programs or tax-deductible donations to ADCOLOR®. But #RaceTogether became #RaceToFailure in record time.

Memo to Howard Schultz: There were better ways to leverage the Starbucks experience to engage audiences. Simply pushing the discussions to the areas where customers hang out versus the lines would have worked better. Or create a promotion whereby people standing in line could Tweet a diversity idea to receive a discount on their purchase. Invite local and national thought leaders to deliver speeches and hold community coffeehouse conversations. Introduce special, limited-edition coffees with inclusive theme names. The possibilities are as wide and varied as the Starbucks menu.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

12603: Ad Age Gets Real.

Advertising Age declared, “Media-Agency Kickbacks. Yes, They’re Real.” Wow, what a shocker. What’s next? Maybe the trade journal will proclaim, “Discriminatory Hiring Practices. Yes, They’re Real.” Or even, “Exclusively White Industry. Yes, It’s Real.”

Saturday, March 28, 2015

12602: Watching Color TV.

From Adweek…

Multicultural TV’s Success Isn’t About Whites Getting Less, It’s About Everyone Getting More

Advertisers applaud the increase in diverse casting

By Michelle Castillo

After the success of multicultural shows like Fox’s Empire, CW’s Jane the Virgin and ABC’s Fresh Off the Boat, Deadline reported this week that some white actors and their agents are feeling victimized by the TV industry’s growing interest in diverse casting.

But you know who doesn’t mind this trend? Advertisers.

Like most things in this world, TV exists to sell itself. And, with network shows featuring diverse casts among today’s biggest hits, it makes sense that brands are seeking to put their dollars behind multicultural shows.

“What we’re seeing is the audience is responding to the content being put forth that is inspired by a different lens, different stories and different perspectives,” said Esther “E.T.” Franklin, evp and head of Americas Experience Strategy for SMG Multicultural, part of the Starcom MediaVest Group. “It’s providing more nuanced stories, and the market is hungry.”

Deadline’s story, titled Pilots 2015: The Year Of Ethnic Castings, suggested that white actors were being discriminated against because of the upcoming 2015-16 slate, much of which will feature multicultural casts. The article sparked considerable backlash, thanks in part to the original headline asking if “ethnic casting” was “about time or too much of a good thing?” The site later cut the question from its headline and reorganized some pieces of the article.

Central to the debate raised by the article is the allegation that the TV industry is creating racial quotas for shows:

“But, as is the case with any sea change, the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction. Instead of opening the field for actors of any race to compete for any role in a color-blind manner, there has been a significant number of parts designated as ethnic this year, making them off-limits for Caucasian actors, some agents signal. Many pilot characters this year were listed as open to all ethnicities, but when reps would call to inquire about an actor submission, they frequently have been told that only non-Caucasian actors would be considered. ‘Basically 50% of the roles in a pilot have to be ethnic, and the mandate goes all the way down to guest parts,’ one talent representative said.”

For brands looking to advertise on TV, the racial makeup of a show is often less important than its overall success, and right now, many of the most successful shows on networks (Scandal and How to Get Away With Murder, for example) and even cable (The Walking Dead) are diverse.

What we should be focusing on, Franklin says, is that the mainstream audience for TV is changing—and that’s a good thing. The fact that a primetime network show featuring African-American leads or an Asian-American family can resonate with audiences regardless of race shows that America wants to see more than the typical white protagonist.

Tim Hill, svp and group partner of integrated investment at Universal McCann, said advertisers simply gravitate to successful programming. Historically, networks base their upcoming slates on what worked the season before, so it makes sense we’ll see more multicultural casts this year.

“Everything doesn’t need to be bucketed in the way it was before,” Hill said. “I think that’s a good thing. It’s not, ‘Hey, this is only for a multicultural kind of audience or segment.’ It can be a mainstream show.”

In addition, Franklin said casting more diverse actors on television allows SMG’s clients like Walmart, Honda and Kraft to reach new audiences that haven’t traditionally been watching network TV. For example, Fox’s Empire grew from 9.9 million to 17.62 million viewers in just 12 episodes. More interestingly, Franklin points out that the audience has remained 60 percent African American throughout that period, meaning more black viewers are tuning in.

“The full potential of American-American viewers hasn’t been realized,” she said. “There is an even bigger upside.”

As for the idea, much mocked since Deadline’s article debuted, that there’s not enough programming for white people, Hill couldn’t help but laugh.

“I don’t think there’s any problem in our world of finding media for that audience,” he said, “and, quite frankly, I don’t think we necessarily need to isolate a white Caucasian audience.”

Friday, March 27, 2015

12601: Cataloguing Colors.

From GOOD Magazine…

Brazilian Photographer Attempts to Catalog All Possible Human Skin Tones

By Isis Madrid

Angélica Dass is attempting to capture the full spectrum of human skin tone. Her ambitious photography project, “humanæ” features photographs shot in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Winterthur, Bergen, Daegu, Addis Ababa, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Paris and Chicago and displayed around the world.

“The ultimate goal is to provoke and bring currently using internet as a discussion platform on ethnic identity,” she writes. “…creating images that lead us to match us independent from factors such as nationality, origin, economic status, age or aesthetic standards.”

The artist periodically puts out calls for interested subjects and is always willing to photograph volunteers who reach out to her via the internet.

Using an 11x11 pixel sample from the subject’s portrait, Dass then references the Pantone guide for the corresponding color swatch and background color. The Rio de Janeiro born photographer hopes that the project shows how the gradient of human skin tone connects us all, rather than divides.

12600: Cultural Competence 101.

Artist/Writer/Recovering Adman Lowell Thompson asks, “What’s Your Racial IQ?

12599: Cannes Lionesses.

Advertising Age reported women will comprise 31.5% of Cannes Lions juries for 2015, making it the most “diverse” lineup of judges ever for the exclusive event. Not sure why adding mostly White women constitutes greater diversity. Also, given that women allegedly make up 3% of creative directors in the U.S., the 31.5% figure at Cannes shows gross overrepresentation. Of course, there’s no mention of minority representation being boosted in Cannes Lions juries—which warrants introducing the Ass Lyin’ Award.

Women Make Up 31.5% of Cannes Lions Juries For 2015

Festival Claims to Have its Most Diverse Lineup of Judges

By Emma Hall

At the 2015 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, 31.5% of the judges will be women, up from 28.5% last year and 20% in 2013, according to an analysis by the festival of this year’s 309 judges from 44 countries. There will also be five female jury presidents, part of the festival’s drive for diversity.

Three countries—the Czech Republic, Indonesia and Ecuador—are getting their first-ever Cannes judges after starting to win Lions. Ecuador’s judge is Eduardo Maruri, president and chief creative officer of Maruri Grey, which won nine Lions last year, more than any other office in the Grey network except Grey New York. Maruri Grey also won Ecuador’s first Cannes Lion, in 2012.

Mr. Maruri and the Czech Republic’s judge, Jaime Mandelbaum, CCO at Y&R Central & Eastern Europe, are on the Direct jury. Lucy Novita, creative director of Hakuhodo Indonesia, is representing Indonesia.

The festival is also relaxing a general rule that judges should be prior Lions winners, in order to further diversify juries. The Product Design Lions jury will include an architect, Ruth Berktold from Yes Architecture/Yes Products in Germany and a fashion designer, Priscilla Shunmugan, from Singapore.

A spokesman for the festival said in an email, “This will be the case for the newer categories where it is still the creative agencies entering and winning, and we want the real specialists on the jury. It is their expertise that is really important to us, not whether they’ve won a Lion.”

One jury, Creative Effectiveness, has three marketers as judges, including jury president Wendy Clark, president of sparkling brands and strategic marketing at Coca-Cola North America. The other clients are Lars Terling, VP marketing communications for Volvo Trucks in Sweden, and Leonid Sudakov, CMO, global petcare, at Mars in Belgium.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

12598: Pathetic Predictions.

Adweek connected with “leaders” in the advertising industry and collected their predictions on topics we’ll be talking about a year from now. Of course, no one offered diversity as a potential discussion point in the near future. Hell, Leo Burnett CCO Susan Credle wound up displaying her cluelessness about technology, unwittingly indicating it’ll be over 66 years before her shop becomes inclusive.

Agency Leaders Predict What We’ll Be Talking About a Year From Now

Keeping pace with tech and emphasizing the art of storytelling

By Andrew McMains

When asked today what the ad industry will be talking about a year from now, agency leaders were refreshingly thoughtful and hopeful.

Talking in paragraphs rather than soundbites, a panel of four leaders offered four different visions when Adweek’s Lisa Granatstein posed the question at the 4A’s Transformation Conference in Austin, Texas.

Deutsch North American CEO Mike Sheldon envisions deeper, more multidisciplined relationships between marketers and agencies, in part because he thinks it’s simply better for brands.

“We have lost a lot as an industry by clients having 15 different vendors who don’t know each other, who show up at maybe a meeting once a quarter or once every six months. And the fact that we don’t spend a lot of time sometimes with our media partners on behalf of our clients is criminal,” Sheldon said. “This era of specialization—I get that. We’re all supposed to be specialists. But I think it can all be done under one roof.”

Coupled with that splintering of work across many agencies is the rise of project-based assignments, which are labor intensive but generally don’t pay as much as retainer-based relationships. As such, these projects are difficult to staff, and to Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners’ John Butler, that will be a pressing concern next year.

“It’s going to be the AOR versus the projects and do we turn into production companies,” said Butler, the agency’s executive creative director. “What I mean by that is at a production company, there’s not a real staff, right? They kind of bring them in and then they go, bring them in and then they go.”

What’s more, projects are challenging operationally because, by definition, they don’t supply recurring revenue, Butler said. “And so, how do you staff for that?”

A big challenge that Leo Burnett’s Susan Credle foresees centers around technology and production.

“Technology is moving so quickly that I do worry about bringing all that production and making inside the agency versus go more back to the production model from film, where you understand the creative, the thinking and the idea that you want to make but you go out there and find the best idea makers,” said Credle, the shop’s chief creative officer for North America. “How much can we actually afford to build in-house and not only afford financially but afford because it changes so rapidly?”

Finally, notwithstanding the need to keep pace with tech, Sally Kennedy, CEO of Publicis Hawkeye in Dallas, is optimistic that agencies will stay focused on what they do best.

“I hope that we’re celebrating more storytelling and our craft as an industry because with marketing automation and programmatic buying, so much of the bottom of the funnel is going to be taken care of,” Kennedy said. “I think there’s going to be a renewed emphasis on brilliant storytelling by real practitioners that know what they’re doing—I hope.”

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

12597: Head Of White Talent.

Campaign reported M&C Saatchi hired a White woman to serve in the new role of head of talent. Claire Croft’s responsibilities will include recruiting and retaining more White men—while promoting diversity by hiring more White women.

M&C Saatchi hires head of talent

By Maisie McCabe

M&C Saatchi has appointed Claire Croft, the coach and leadership trainer and planning partner at Proximity London, to the new role of head of talent.

Croft will be responsible for developing the careers of staff working at the agency in a bid to make sure it attracts and retains the best people.

She will report to Camilla Kemp, the chief operating officer at M&C Saatchi. Kemp was promoted to chief operating officer last month.

After working in agencies including Craik Jones and Archibald Ingall Stretton, Croft joined Proximity in 2009. After training as an executive coach Croft took on the additional role of coach and leadership trainer in July 2013.

Tom Bazeley, the chief executive at M&C Saatchi, said: “While people may well make the world go round, they also make agencies into brilliant places to work.

“In this sense, hiring Claire will help grow our people and our agency.”

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

12596: Don Draper’s Lush Life.

The New York Daily News reported Jon Hamm checked out of a 30-day alcohol rehab program. Talk about life imitating art.

Jon Hamm completes rehab for struggle with alcohol addiction

By Elizabeth Vanmetre | NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Jon Hamm has completed a 30-day program in rehab for alcohol abuse, according to TMZ.

The “Mad Men” star voluntarily checked himself into Silver Hill Hospital in Connecticut before the premiere of the show’s last season.

“With the support of his longtime partner Jennifer Westfeldt, Jon Hamm recently completed treatment for his struggle with alcohol addiction. They have asked for privacy and sensitivity going forward,” a rep for the actor told TMZ.

The final season of “Mad Men” premieres April 5.

12595: Liquid Talent Is Fishy.

Adweek reported on the “Liquid Talent” trend, whereby advertising agencies are letting key staffers shuttle through different global offices to broaden their skills. It’s a safe bet that White adpeople are not being sent to minority shops for cultural competency training; plus, minorities are probably not being allowed and/or invited to visit the White agencies. Heaven forbid any HR Director or Chief Diversity Officer might view “Liquid Talent” as an opportunity to address the dearth of diversity in our industry. Hey, it’s a lot easier to simply make tax-deductible donations to ADCOLOR®.

Why Agencies Are Embracing the ‘Liquid Talent’ Trend

HR’s latest secret retention weapon

By David Gianatasio

A year ago, Will Flood, a London account director at M&C Saatchi, embarked on an immersive learning experience at the agency’s New York office. “The sheer dominance of the American market in the world of advertising meant that it was absolutely critical for my career to learn how clients and colleagues work together here,” said Flood. “More so than other markets, the U.S. has a tendency to be the first to set trends and drive innovation, so learning firsthand how to use new insights, new thinking and new technology to make powerful communications has been a huge boost.”

More than ever, agencies are going with the flow in an increasingly global economy, grooming key employees like Flood for bigger roles through intensive on-the-job training. The operative buzzword is “liquid talent.” That term has no precise definition but generally refers to giving staffers opportunities to broaden their skill sets and work on client business in different geographies and across various disciplines. “It’s a trend, and I think we will see more of it,” said Singleton Beato, evp, diversity and inclusion strategy and talent development at the 4A’s.

At M&C, this approach to talent has become firmly established through a “scholarship” program begun three years ago. Each of the agency’s 23 offices can nominate employees for three- to six-month work assignments at other network locations. “You get to know the office, you get to know the culture,” said Moray MacLennan, M&C’s worldwide CEO. “It’s a way of maturing people, and it builds a robust fabric of network ambassadors.” Flood, one of 30 employees who have gone through the program, performed so well during his three-month scholarship that he has moved permanently to New York as vp, director.

Such employees add value through their heightened knowledge and experience. In best-case scenarios, they grow into managers who run accounts, lead offices and fuel agency expansion. What’s more, such training helps agencies and holding companies foster loyalty among exceptional employees and guard against poaching. “You retain the best people and reward them with new opportunities around the world,” said Meagan Halpin, managing director of human resources at mcgarrybowen. “You want to be sure you keep them in the family.”

Keeping London-based managing director Ida Rezvani in the mcgarrybowen family led to a three-month training engagement at the shop’s New York headquarters in 2013. Mentored by founder Gordon Bowen and other leaders, she gained a better grasp of the agency’s machinations, its approach to brand building and “a broader global perspective on my clients’ business,” she said. That’s a good thing because one of those clients, Marriott global brand officer Brian King, said he prefers to have well-rounded “citizens of the world” working on his business, “and Ida epitomizes that persona.” Like M&C’s Flood, Rezvani chose to make the venue change permanent.

Sometimes, staffers move across disciplines, rather than geographies. For example, at TBWA healthcare shop CAHG, a group cd made a vertical switch to lead a new practice. The executive ultimately returned to a creative role with an expanded skill set. Pigeonholing staffers is a mistake, said CAHG president Robin Shapiro, because “fresh thinkers provide a great value” when given chances to excel.

What’s more, agencies risk losing face with global clients—and perhaps their business, as well—by not expanding employees’ horizons. “You’re not viewed as an expert,” said Halpin, if your specialization is too narrow or “if you only know one market.”

Monday, March 23, 2015

12594: #RaceTogether Slows Down.

#RaceTogether is becoming #PaceTogether, at least in terms of the slowing the pace of the Starbucks diversity initiative. The Associated Press reported Starbucks baristas have already stopped writing “Race Together” on customers’ cups. This is just as well, given that baristas typically have enough trouble properly spelling customers’ names on cups. Plus, do people really want to wait in line even longer for overpriced beverages because a barista is blathering about equality and social change? Watch for Starbucks to soon abandon the entire scheme in favor of making tax-deductible contributions to ADCOLOR®.

Starbucks baristas have already stopped writing ‘Race Together’ on cups

By The Associated Press

Starbucks baristas will no longer write “Race Together” on customers’ cups starting Sunday, ending as planned a visible component of the company’s diversity and racial inequality campaign, according to a memo.

The coffee chain’s initiative will continue without the handwritten messages, Starbucks spokesman Jim Olson said.

The cups were always “just the catalyst” for a broader conversation and Starbucks will still hold forum discussions, co-produce special sections in USA TODAY and put more stores in minority communities as part of the Race Together initiative, the memo from CEO Howard Schultz said.

The initiative has been criticized as opportunistic and inappropriate, coming in the wake of racially charged events such as national protests over police killings of black males. Others questioned whether Starbucks workers could spark productive conversations about race while serving drinks.

The change is not a reaction to that pushback, Olson said. “Nothing is changing. It’s all part of the cadence of the timeline we originally planned.”

He echoed the memo, saying of the “Race Together” initiative, “We’re leaning into it hard.”

The Schultz memo acknowledged the naysayers and skeptics as an anticipated part of the outreach.

“While there has been criticism of the initiative — and I know this hasn’t been easy for any of you — let me assure you that we didn’t expect universal praise,” it read.

He said the campaign at its core aims to make sure that “the promise of the American Dream should be available to every person in this country, not just a select few.”

12593: Rethinking #RaceTogether.

Artist/Writer/Recovering Adman Lowell Thompson takes a few more sips on Starbucks’ #RaceTogether here and here.

12592: PetSmart Doggie Diversity.

PetSmart presents Interracial Partners in Pethood…?

Sunday, March 22, 2015

12591: Judging D&AD.

Campaign reported D&AD will allow entrants and the general public to grill the exclusive D&AD Professional Awards judges this year. D&AD CEO Tim Lindsay declared, “At its heart, D&AD is about sharing, collaboration and inspiration—and that’s exactly what we’re looking to do by creating this Judging Week event.” Someone should drill the judges with questions like, “What specific actions have you personally executed to foster diversity in the industry?” or “When’s the last time you hired a minority?” The responses would clearly show there is no diversity in D&AD—rather, it’s about Discrimination and Anglo Dominance. From those wonderful folks who gave you White Pencils.

D&AD lifts the curtain on judging for expanded awards showcase

By James Swift

Entrants and members of the public can grill the D&AD Professional Awards judges next month for the first time as part of an expanded showcase.

Campaign is the media partner for D&AD Judging Week, which will be held at The Old Truman Brewery between 19-23 April and will culminate in a free public exhibition of the work where the awards judges will be on hand to discuss winners, losers and trends in a series of panel discussions.

This is the first time that D&AD has made the judges – which this year include Saatchi & Saatchi’s Kate Stanners and AKQA’s Rei Inamoto – of its professional awards available to be grilled by the public.

The long-running President’s Lecture series will also be held between 20-22 April and will this year include talks by the director, Dougal Wilson, and the photographer behind Benetton’s controversial ads, Oliviero Toscani.

Other events running during Judging Week include Wisdom, a three-day masterclass in managing the creative process, as well as fringe events being planned by creative agencies and companies around Brick Lane.

Tim Lindsay, the chief executive of D&AD, said: “We’ve always taken great pride in our judging events. Each year, it’s Judging Week that is the true highlight of the D&AD calendar – both for ourselves and the creatives who join us from all over the world to judge the work.

“But most importantly, we’re making this celebration of creativity available to all. Anyone can come down and explore the work.

“Anyone can come down and listen to an array of extremely talented people and hear what really goes on behind those jury doors.

“At its heart, D&AD is about sharing, collaboration and inspiration – and that’s exactly what we’re looking to do by creating this Judging Week event.”

12590: #RaceTogether Refill.

Artist/Writer/Recovering Adman Lowell Thompson goes for a refill on Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz and #RaceTogether. Read it here.

12589: Raining On 72andSunny.

Adweek reported 72andSunny is the latest hypocrite to launch a new division hyping brand citizenship. The White advertising agency’s forays into do-gooder dreck include campaigns for Truth and mentoring—which are eclipsed by do-bad bullshit for clients like Carl’s Jr. “The piece that was missing in all of this is the connection to culture, which is where 72andSunny is at,” said 72andSunny wonk Jim Moriarty. “We have ideas and the purpose of causes, the scale of business and a connection to culture.” Hard to imagine anything more ridiculous than a White advertising agency claiming to have a connection to culture.

Can 72andSunny Convince Brands That Good Works Will Drive Sales?

Nonprofit exec Jim Moriarty heads new practice

By Noreen O’Leary

72andSunny is launching a new brand citizenship practice that aims to tie good works to marketers’ bottom-line results. Nonprofit veteran Jim Moriarty is heading the effort after serving nearly 10 years as chief of the San Clemente, Calif.-based Surfrider Foundation, which he helped build into the largest nonprofit devoted to coastal protection.

Equally important to the MDC Partners agency is Moriarty’s background as a tech entrepreneur and marketer whose business experience includes a post as vp, marketing at SAP.

72andSunny’s move leans into the trend of brands (and their agencies) embracing larger causes in the name of corporate social responsibility. Some agencies do this piece meal (think Droga5 and its Tap Project for Unicef), while others have units devoted to it. And then there are entire agencies like Galewill Design and Fearless—Alex Bogusky’s latest venture—that specialize in this type of marketing.

John Boiler, 72andSunny’s CEO, underscored the need for brand citizenship practices to be hard-wired into a company’s sales goals.

“This has traditionally been embedded into CSR [corporate social responsibility] or the CEO’s pet projects,” he said. “We have this opportunity with a new audience, millennials, who have a deeper, more meaningful relationship with brands. How does this drive growth? If you don’t have it plugged into the financial engine of your company, it’s going to be the first thing that gets cut.”

Launching the practice formalizes the kind of work 72andSunny has been doing for socially-minded brands. It’s the agency behind the Legacy Foundation’s “Truth” campaign to end smoking, Benetton’s “Unhate” campaign and Google’s “Made With Code” push to get girls involved in coding.

Boiler emphasized the need for marketers to make long-term commitments to such programs after identifying sustainable products and services that fit with their brands. “Green-wash” or “pink-wash” one-offs don’t do much good and risk cynical responses from consumers, he said.

72andSunny’s new brand citizenship initiative will be embedded within each agency brand team and baked into larger marketing programs. “Jim’s not a free-standing silo. He’ll use the same agency brand people we use, bring the same brand insights they use, whether it’s [clients like] Samsung or Tillamook,” Boiler explained.

Moriarty said his decision to move out of the nonprofit space and into the agency world comes down to scale and cultural relevance with a digitally connected consumer, of any age, who has taken on the same interest in the social causes once considered to be the purview of just millennials. He said that while there are 2 million nonprofits in the U.S., they’re not building scale. Marketers, on the other hand, continually scale their business but don’t know how to implement good works.

“The piece that was missing in all of this is the connection to culture, which is where 72andSunny is at,” Moriarty said. “We have ideas and the purpose of causes, the scale of business and a connection to culture.”

Saturday, March 21, 2015

12588: Grande, Venti & Trenta Bullshit.

USA TODAY and Starbucks are teaming up to tackle race via #RaceTogether. A letter co-authored by Stabucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz declared, “Race Together is not a solution, but it is an opportunity to begin to re-examine how we can create a more empathetic and inclusive society—one conversation at a time.” Um, why not start by having a conversation about clients who express a commitment to inclusion yet conspire with White advertising agencies where diversity is a dream deferred and denied? Otherwise, #RaceTogether looks like a trenta serving or hypocrisy.

Starbucks, USA TODAY team to tackle racial issues

By Bruce Horovitz, USA TODAY

Starbucks, in partnership with USA TODAY, is about to tackle the issue of race in America.

This week, baristas at 12,000 Starbucks locations nationally will try to spark customer conversation on the topic of race by writing two words on customer cups: Race Together. Also, a special “Race Together” newspaper supplement, co-authored by Starbucks and USA TODAY, will appear in USA TODAY print editions beginning Friday, March 20. It also will be distributed at Starbucks stores.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is on a mission to encourage Starbucks customers and employees to discuss race, under the firm belief that it’s a critical first step toward confronting — and solving — racial issues as a nation. It is scheduled to be a key topic at the java giant’s annual meeting on Wednesday.

“Racial diversity is the story of America, our triumphs as well as our faults,” says the opening letter to the eight-page supplement and conversation guide, signed by Schultz and Larry Kramer, president and publisher of USA TODAY. “Yet racial inequality is not a topic we readily discuss. It’s time to start.”

The supplement includes race relations “conversation starters,” including one fill-in-the-blank question that simply asks: In the past year, I have been to the home of someone of a different race ___ times.” It also encourages readers to tweet responses to questions at #RaceTogether such as: How have your racial views evolved from those of your parents?

In a video that Schultz shared this week with Starbucks baristas, he explains what they should say to customers who ask them about the “Race Together” wording written on their cups. “If a customer asks you what this is, try to engage in a discussion that we have problems in this country in regards to race. And we believe that we are better than this, and we believe our country is better than this.”

Schultz and other senior Starbucks executives have visited with nearly 2,000 employees in forums on the topic over the past three months in Oakland, St. Louis, Los Angeles, New York City, Chicago and Seattle.

Schultz, in the video, says the outcome of each forum has been the same. “Emotional, heartbreaking ... and in many ways, inspiring.”

At the end of each forum, he says, employees have approached him and noted that the company has to do more than just host open forums. Schultz says he hopes that other companies — and other business leaders — join the cause.

The letter authored by Schultz and Kramer ends with this challenge: “Race Together is not a solution, but it is an opportunity to begin to re-examine how we can create a more empathetic and inclusive society — one conversation at a time.”

12587: Weight Watchers Sheds W+K.

Adweek reported Weight Watchers lost weight—by dumping Wieden + Kennedy after less than a year. The Portland-based shop won the account through Corporate Cultural Collusion, and it looks like W+K lost the business when the collusive client contact left Weight Watchers. As previously noted, W+K’s recent KFC win—also a result of Corporate Cultural Collusion—seemed to fly in the face of the anti-fast food messaging displayed via the Weight Watchers campaign. Then again, heaping helpings of hypocrisy are typically on the menu of nearly every White advertising agency.

Weight Watchers Seeks a New Lead Agency

Wieden + Kennedy exits after less than a year

By Kristina Monllos

That was fast. After less than a year with Wieden + Kennedy, Weight Watchers is looking for a new lead agency.

It is unclear if Weight Watchers is working with a consultant or how far along the company is in its search. A company representative declined to provide further detail.

Weight Watchers is changing its marketing execution and as part of those changes the company has split with W+K, according to a statement from Maurice Herrera, svp of marketing at Weight Watchers.

The news follows the departure of Lesya Lysyj who served as president of Weight Watchers in North America until late February.

W+K won the business without a review last spring after Lysyj took the reins at Weight Watchers. The agency had worked with Lysyj when she was chief marketing officer at Heineken USA. In January Weight Watchers ran its first Superbowl spot created by W+K.

“We are proud of the work we produced in the short time together,” said Tom Blessington, managing partner at W+K in Portland. “It was a great team and we wish them nothing but the best of luck.”

Friday, March 20, 2015

12586: BS Out Of Africa.

Advertising Age reported marketers are failing to maximize the potential of sales opportunities in Africa because of a lack of data. Right. It’s a safe bet that “lack of data” is code for surfeit of discrimination and ignorance—and there’s data to prove it.

African Countries Lose Marketing Investment Due to Lack of Data

WFA Says Fast-Growing Economies Struggle to Measure Basic ROI

By Emma Hall

Africa is home to some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, but a lack of reliable data means that marketers are failing to make the most of opportunities across the continent, according to a survey of its members by the World Federation of Advertisers.

The African economy has tripled in size since 2002, according to market research company Ipsos, and six of the world’s ten fastest-growing economies are in Africa, the International Monetary Fund reports. But 62% of WFA respondents agreed that a lack of basic market data not only hinders attempts to generate insights, but also creates a barrier to investment (for 55% of respondents) because of the difficulty of measuring ROI (for 50%).

Rob Dreblow, head of marketing capabilities at the WFA, said, “The Kenyan and Nigerian [marketer associations] are focused on media audience measurement and are making progress, but the discussions are about reliable data rather than being hugely advanced. A lot of marketers are exploring mobile as the best route to data, almost leapfrogging more traditional methods.”

The WFA, which is holding its 2015 Global Marketer Week in Marrakesh, Morocco this week, is working to establish a pan-African network of senior regional marketers – just as it has in Europe, Asia and Latin America – to come together and share experiences so that they can learn from each other.

Stephan Loerke, the WFA’s managing director, said in a statement “Africa’s main challenges lie in its enormous size and diversity; it’s imperative that companies wanting to succeed and grow here recognize that the continent isn’t one economy or homogenous population block. Africa is a conglomerate of 54 countries that, more often than not, don’t share policies and attitudes, and have evolved differently through their social and economic pasts.”

The survey was conducted with Millward Brown and national advertiser associations from six different African countries, and is based on responses from 82 marketers, split between multinationals and local or regional brands.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

12585: Black Coffee At Starbucks.

Artist/Writer/Recovering Adman Lowell Thompson takes a coffee break to address Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz.

12584: Whites Succeed At GS+P.

Adweek reported Goodby Silverstein & Partners elevated White people—including a White woman—as part of the agency’s succession plan. In 2012, Margaret Johnson became the first White woman to be named a partner at the White advertising agency. No word on any minority promotions from diversity crusader Jeff Goodby.

Goodby Silverstein Names Its Next Generation of Top Creative Leadership

First step in founders’ succession plans

By Noreen O’Leary

Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein may not be retiring just yet, but they have made their first major move toward securing a succession for the agency’s creative leadership.

Today, the Goodby Silverstein & Partners founders made Eric Kallman an executive creative director, joining ecd Margaret Johnson in running the San Francisco office’s creative department.

“This is a true reflection of how we are really working right now,” said co-chairman Goodby, 63. “Rich and I will continue in our roles as advisors and guiding hands. But Margaret and Eric are now the ones with ultimate responsibility for the work on each of our accounts. They have brought a renewed life and energy to everything we do.”

Johnson is an 18-year veteran of the agency known for award-winning work for Häagen-Dazs, HP, Nike and Logitech. She became one of the shops’s five partners in 2012.

Kallman joined GSP a year ago as creative director and associate partner, after working as an ecd and partner at Barton F. Graf 9000 in New York. Prior to that stint, Kallman worked at Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, and TBWA\Chiat\Day, New York, where he started his ad career. Over his career, Kallman has made himself a big industry name with campaigns for Old Spice (for which he created “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like”), Skittles, Career Builder, Coca-Cola, Kayak, Little Caesars and Ragú.

Paul Caiozzo, who joined GS&P’s New York office as ecd in May and helped to win one of the office’s first clients, The New York Post, will continue to run the NYC creative department. (He was also the creative lead on GSP N.Y.’s Comcast spot “Emily’s Oz” which ran during the Oscars last month.)

“Margaret, Eric and Paul are the next generation of creative leaders for the agency,” said co-chairman Silverstein, 65. “I’m not going anywhere. I love coming up with ideas and playing off the young people around here but we needed to find the right people to grow the company and keep it young in spirit. We had Margaret and we just needed to find the right yin to her yang, which we did in Eric. They couldn’t be more different but they’re the right balance.”

Johnson gets credit as a strong organizational thinker and visually-driven designer in her approach to advertising. Kallman’s award-winning humor and ability to attract young talent helped earn him the promotion.

Silverstein will continue to work on accounts like Cisco and Adobe while Goodby remains involved with Comcast and California Milk Processors Board. Another agency priority for Goodby is to more actively mentor staffers. “It’s been too much sink or swim around here, too much like the Marines.”

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

12583: Creative White Women Rule.

These are the 30 most creative women in advertising,” according to Business Insider. Aside from a couple of Latinas and an Asian woman, it reads more like the 30 most creative White women in advertising. It’s a safe bet that minorities account for less than 3% of creative females in adland.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

12582: Sir Martin’s Moolah.

Campaign reported WPP Overlord Sir Martin Sorrell is due to receive a £36 million bonus. The man whose salary is 780 times more than that of the average WPP employee is doing similarly well in the bonus department too.

Martin Sorrell in line for £36m bonus

By James Swift

Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP whose pay has caused protests among shareholders in the past, is in line to receive a £36 million bonus.

The bonus means Sorrell will keep his title as the FTSE 100’s best-paid chief executive.

The £36 million award comes from WPP’s discontinued Leap (Leadership Equity Acquisition Plan) long-term incentive plan, which is tied to the company’s performance and will pay out the full amount for 2014, meaning £79 million worth of shares will be split among WPP’s 17 top staff.

Sorrell’s total pay for 2014, including his salary, is expected to exceed £40 million, but this will not be published until April, when WPP releases its annual report.

The Leap long-term incentive plan allows executives to buy shares and then rewards them with up to five times as many back, depending on WPP’s performance over a five-year period.

The plan was approved in 2009 but revoked in 2012 after shareholders voted against it. Nonetheless, the bonus scheme will continue to run until 2016, based on already-made investments.

The Leap long-term plan is indexed against 12 other marcomms companies and this year’s award relates to the five-year period until 31 December 2014.

In that time the FTSE 100 rose by 21.3 per cent, while WPP’s share price rose 120.7 per cent, according to a spokesman at WPP.

Sorrell was awarded £29.8 million for his performance in 2013, which was a 70 per cent increase on the previous year and led to shareholders criticising the pay package at WPP’s annual general meeting.

Philip Lader, WPP chairman, said “This senior management incentive compensation plan required substantial personal, long-term investment by the participants, exceptional corporate performance over five years, and was approved by an 83% supporting vote of share owners.

“The awards were determined by the arithmetic application of this 2009 plan and are aligned with the £12.8 billion share owner value creation over this period derived from share price appreciation, dividends and share buy-backs.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

12581: Early Black Mad Men.

From The New York Times…

An Early History of Blacks on Madison Avenue

Q. I was reading about the new “Mad Men” exhibition at the Museum of the Moving Image, and I got to wondering: When did blacks manage to break down the barriers on Madison Avenue and become ad executives?

A. By the early 1950s, more than 40 black men were employed in “special markets” for American corporations, according to “Madison Avenue and the Color Line: African Americans in the Advertising Industry,” by Jason Chambers.

Some, like Moss Kendrix of Coca-Cola, helped create advertising approaches to blacks. Sometimes, their work consisted of keeping outright racism out of ads. A pioneer, David J. Sullivan, ran his own consulting firm, Negro Market Organization, on Fifth Avenue in the 1940s, and his dos-and-don’ts articles in the trade press spotlighted offensive marketing.

Mr. Chambers highlighted several black advertising men who struggled to open doors in the 1940s and 1950s. Among them:

Edward Brandford, a Cooper Union graduate and commercial artist, with two partners, Barbara Watson and Mary Louise Yabro, organized the first modeling agency for African-American women in 1946 in Manhattan; he followed it with his own ad agency. Unfortunately, companies eager to hire his models had little interest in his guidance. Most thought that all they had to do to reach black consumers was change the race of the models in their ads.

Like Mr. Sullivan, Mr. Brandford was ahead of his time.

William B. Graham had been a spectacular salesman for Pabst Beer in the early 1940s, making it the No. 1 brand in Harlem. He opened his own agency in 1944 with a fellow Pabst sales representative, Henry Parks Jr., who later became a famous sausage maker.

Clarence Holte was hired as an executive by Batten, Barton, Durstine and Osborn in the early 1950s, a move that caused considerable attention in the advertising trade press. “What BBDO executives wanted was their own version of Jackie Robinson — specifically, a man who was not only supremely qualified, but who they also believed could withstand any negativity based on his race without responding aggressively,” Mr. Chambers writes.

Mr. Holte drew on his vast collection of books on African and African-American history to create ads that brought attention to black achievements. “Ingenious Americans,” an award-winning series that he developed for Calvert Distillers, noted contributions that were ignored by textbooks at the time, including those of Harriet Tubman, Benjamin Banneker and others.

Another black executive at BBDO, Georg Olden, had been a graphic art director at CBS, helping to shape the look of early television. Joining BBDO in 1960, he was involved in all elements of commercial production. He won several Clio awards, the Oscars of the ad industry, and is said to have been the designer of the Clio statuette.

In his spare time, Mr. Olden drew several cartoons published in The New Yorker. In 1963, he joined the McCann-Erickson agency, and that year he became the first African-American to design a postage stamp, a broken chain commemorating the centennial of the Emancipation Proclamation.

In 1955, Young & Rubicam hired Roy Eaton, a Phi Beta Kappa with a master’s degree in music from Yale. Mr. Eaton, who applied to the agency virtually on a whim, talked executives into letting him write tryout ad copy, and then sample jingles.

Charles Feldman, the agency’s creative director, hired him as its first black professional. According to Mr. Chambers, Mr. Feldman told the new employee: “The reason I had you write the jingles is that, though you obviously have creative talent, if you were white you would have been hired immediately, just on the basis of the commercials you wrote. But I want a Jackie Robinson. I want someone who is not only good, but superior!”

While pressure in the late 1960s and the 1970s forced some change, blacks remain underrepresented among ad executives, according to Mr. Chambers, who writes: “Similar to blacks’ experience in other white-collar professions like accounting, evidence shows that the advertising industry has dealt proactively with issues of race only when public pressure forces it to do so.”

12580: School Daze.

From The Associated Press…

List of Fraternity and Sorority Incidents Involving Race

By The Associated Press

The University of Oklahoma recently banned the fraternity Sigma Alpha Epsilon and expelled two students after members were caught on video doing a racist chant. Some examples of fraternity and sorority chapters that have gotten into trouble because of racist-tinged events:


— A University of Maryland student resigns from Kappa Sigma fraternity after being suspended after a 2014 e-mail containing racially and sexually suggestive language about black, Indian and Asian women is made public.

December 2014

— Sigma Alpha Epsilon suspends all activity at Clemson University in December after white students dressed as gang members at a “Cripmas” party.

— Phi Delta Theta fraternity suspends chapter at the University of Pennsylvania for issuing a holiday card with members posing with what it called a Beyonce sex doll.

November 2014

— Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity suspended at the University of Connecticut after a confrontation with historically black sorority Alpha Kappa Alpha in which the sorority members were called racially- and sexually charged epitaphs.

April 2014

— Lehigh University suspends Sigma Chi fraternity because of vandalism at a student residence hall dedicated to campus diversity.

February 2014

— Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity suspends its University of Mississippi chapter after three of its members tie a noose around a statue of the school’s first black student, along with an old Georgia flag with a Confederate battle emblem in its design.

— The sorority Chi Omega closes its Penn State chapter, which had been on probation since December 2012 when a photo appearing on the Internet showed members wearing sombreros and fake mustaches and holding offensive signs.

January 2014

— Arizona State University bans Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity for an offensive party in commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day replete with racist stereotypes and offensive costumes.

October 2013

— University of Florida reprimands Alpha Tau Omega fraternity after a member jeered at a student as she walked by on the opposite side of the street.

— University of Alabama announces that more than 20 minority women have been offered membership in historically all-white sororities in response to allegations of systemic racism.

July 2013

— Alpha Delta fraternity at Dartmouth College apologizes after throwing a “Bloods and Crips”-themed party.

February 2013

— Kappa Sigma fraternity suspends its Duke University chapter over a party some claimed was racist after photos surfaced of partygoers in Asian-style clothing.

— Washington University in Saint Louis suspends Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity after pledges are accused of singing racial slurs to African-American students.

September 2012

— Alpha Tau Omega fraternity cancels its “a border to cross” party, which was supposed to have an obstacle to represent the border between the U.S. and Mexico, after complaints from students.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

12579: Dealing With Mad Men.

The New York Times reported select New York City restaurants are offering deals to commemorate the end of AMC series Mad Men, providing cocktails for $19.69 to evoke the year depicted in the final episodes. It would actually be more fitting if the establishments charged all White people $66 for drinks.

A $19.69 Liquid Lunch to Honor the End of ‘Mad Men’

By Patrick McGeehan

New York is preparing to celebrate the end of the “Mad Men” era with discounted dining at a select group of restaurants — with a twist or, perhaps, an olive or two.

Instead of choosing a two-course meal for the bargain price of $19.69, customers can opt for a liquid lunch: two cocktails for the same tab. That may not sound like much of a deal, but at some of the establishments that are participating a single martini can run as high as $17.

“It’s $19.69 for two cocktails,” said Edward A. Hogikyan, the senior vice president for marketing at NYC & Company, the city’s tourism agency.

The price was intended to evoke the year depicted in the final episodes of “Mad Men,” the cable television series about the advertising business in Manhattan in the 1960s. It will be offered from March 23 to 29 as part of a citywide promotion of the show, which begins its final season on April 5.

Mr. Hogikyan said officials at NYC & Company and AMC, the network that airs “Mad Men,” thought that a special edition of the traditional Restaurant Week would be an appropriate way to celebrate a show steeped in drinking and power lunching. The city has been staging Restaurant Week at least once a year since 1992 as a way of filling tables during slow tourism periods.

In the beginning, restaurants offered three-course lunches for $19.92. That price rose just a penny a year for several years, but eventually jumped to account for inflation. In February and March, Restaurant Week prices were $25 for a three-course lunch and $38 for a three-course dinner.

“21” Club on West 52nd Street, which opened in 1929, is another participating restaurant that Don Draper and his fellow “Mad Men” could have frequented. At “21,” the promotion does not include a meal, just a choice of two of five cocktails: a Bloody Mary, a vodka gimlet, a Tom Collins, a Manhattan or a martini.

Avery A. Fletcher, director of sales and marketing for the “21” Club, said the offer was a “substantial incentive,” given that the regular price for one of those drinks was $17.

“We thought this was a fantastic opportunity to say farewell to a fantastic TV show,” Ms. Fletcher said. “The characters would have been right at home here.” The price may be a significant discount off the standard menus at the participating restaurants but it is far from representative of what the “Mad Men” characters would have paid in their prime.

Ms. Sims said she had a sign that was found in one of many boxes stored behind a wall at P.J. Clarke’s that she believed dated to the “Mad Men” era. It advertised hamburgers for $1 each, she said.

On the New York Public Library website, a 1969 menu from the New York Athletic Club offered martinis and three other cocktails for $1. Under the heading of “fancy drinks,” a gin and tonic was $1.25. In today’s dollars, that would be less than $8.

12578: Latino Laughers.

Macy’s Mariachi Mess via Laura Martinez at Mi blog es tu blog.

Target misses the target via LatinTrends.

The Real cooks up cluelessness and quesadillas via Latino Rebels.

Sombrero tip to NYNYNYMIND for forwarding the follies.

Friday, March 13, 2015

12577: Surveying Lies & Discrimination.

The Marcus Graham Project sent an email (copied below) discussing an annual initiative from i’mPART—a diversity smokescreen program created by the Advertising Club of New York—that is tracking, measuring and reporting diversity progress in the marketing, media and advertising industries over the next 10 years. Don’t recall seeing last year’s results, but is this effort really necessary? What makes anyone think the next 10 years will be any different than the preceding 60 years? Hell, things will probably regress. More importantly, given that most agencies aren’t even complying with requests to disclose employment figures, it’s highly unlikely that i’mPART will collect meaningful or accurate data. (BTW, the survey is poorly conceived and executed.) MultiCultClassics has already commented about i’mPART, so a further critique isn’t required. Although it might be interesting to see the Advertising Club of New York reveal the inclusivity of its organization and membership versus just claiming a commitment to diversity.


As part of their commitment to track, measure and report diversity progress in the marketing, media and advertising industries over the next 10 years, The ADVERTISING Club (New York) is excited to launch their second i’mPART Diversity Diagnostics survey with their partner PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC).

The purpose of this survey is to identify opportunities and barriers to the success of our industry’s diversity efforts and allow i’mPART to provide the industry with learnings and workshops custom tailored around the results. Their goal is to complete the survey bi-annually over the next 10 years, as they work hand in hand with their diversity partners to work towards a more inclusive industry.

This survey is 100% anonymous and only takes about 10 minutes to complete. Please take it and share it with your colleagues as well!


Visit The Network—A Marcus Graham Project

Thursday, March 12, 2015

12576: Dulux Whiteness.

This Dulux commercial envisions a White world—and even when color is introduced, everyone is still White. Appropriately enough, the spot was hatched by BBH London, an advertising agency that is painfully White.

12575: More ANA BS.

Advertising Age published a story titled, “ANA ‘Regrets’ Implication All U.S. Media Agencies Get Undisclosed Rebates,” including a statement from the trade group that read, “While the ANA cannot specifically identify the breadth and scope of such practices, we regret any impression that agencies in general are engaged in questionable activities and apologize to those who were offended. It was certainly never the intent of the ANA to make any sweeping statements of widespread agency participation in any questionable practices.”

Of course, the ANA has never expressed regret over the fact that most advertisers do not engage minority audiences—and those who do grossly underfund the efforts. Plus, the ANA has shown no regret over its abandonment of fighting for diversity in the advertising industry.

But accusing the industry’s White people of corruption warrants an official apology. Brilliant.

ANA ‘Regrets’ Implication All U.S. Media Agencies Get Undisclosed Rebates

Group Says It Didn’t Mean To Tar All Shops With One Brush, But Will Not Back Down on Controversial Issue

By Jack Neff

The Association of National Advertisers issued a statement today walking back implications from a controversial presentation at its Media Leadership Conference last week regarding widespread agency rebates in the U.S.

“While the ANA cannot specifically identify the breadth and scope of such practices, we regret any impression that agencies in general are engaged in questionable activities and apologize to those who were offended,” the group said in a statement. “It was certainly never the intent of the ANA to make any sweeping statements of widespread agency participation in any questionable practices.”

Bill Duggan, ANA group exec VP, said the talk had spurred further discussions with the 4A’s, the main association of ad agencies. And while he said it wasn’t the ANA’s intention to accuse all agencies, the group also isn’t planning to back down from efforts begun in 2013 to shine more light on the rebate issue in the U.S.

“It really wasn’t until the presentation last week that we seemed to get the attention of the industry, as controversial as some thought it was,” Mr. Duggan said. “So to some extent, our mission was accomplished.”

Jon Mandel, former CEO of Mediacom and now CEO of media consulting firm Dogsled Enterprises, delivered the presentation, which included input from four other consulting firms. Within the presentation, he cited an unnamed top sales executive from “a major media company” on rebates in the U.S. as saying: “It’s pervasive. It is throughout the top six holding companies and extends far beyond them.”

On that panel, Mr. Mandel also said: “It happens in all media to varying degrees. It’s different by agency and holding company. And it’s been happening in a big, very formal way, for more than a decade. I’ve seen this movie. I lived this movie. It’s part of the reason I’m not doing it anymore. It is huge. It’s well into nine figures annually across the industry.”

Rob Norman, CEO of GroupM, which owns Mediacom, said in a response to Mr. Mandel’s presentation last week that GroupM has no rebates or other revenue it hides from clients in the U.S.

Speaking by phone on Tuesday, Mr. Mandel said he believes not every agency is guilty. “Some people came away thinking I was saying every single agency in the universe does this,” he said. “There are some agencies that do not do it.” He declined to say which, because he said the list would inevitably leave some smaller ones out.

Mr. Mandel also said he’d received around 100 emails of support, largely from media or ad-tech companies, since reports of his presentation. He cited one from an ad-tech executive he declined to name who said it was routine for his company to be blocked out of deals with media agencies because competitors were paying 10% rebates to offshore affiliates of their holding companies that wouldn’t be subject to terms of U.S. client contracts.

A 4A’s spokeswoman said the group would stand by its statement last week after the presentation from CEO Nancy Hill, who said: “We have not been shown any data or information that warrants such allegations. Our position is that the financial arrangements between agency and client are just that, between those parties and confidential.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

12574: Windell Middlebrooks (1979-2015).


Actor Windell Middlebrooks dies at 36

By Ann Oldenburg, USA TODAY

Windell Middlebrooks, who appeared on TV shows including Body of Proof and Cougar Town, along with Miller High Life beer commercials, has died. He was 36.

Middlebrooks died Monday in the Los Angeles area, his manager and friend, Steve Ivey, told AP.

No cause of death has been released. TMZ reports that he was found unconscious at home in the San Fernando Valley on Monday.

In a statement, Middlebrooks’ family members said that “with sorrowed hearts” they were announcing “the passing of a young, black star” who had exited the stage with “great joy.”

“It was Windell’s biggest wish that his final scene not be lived on social media,” his family said, asking for privacy.

The Fort Worth-born Middlebrooks has a part in the new Adam Carolla film Road Hard.

“In all my years, I’ve never known a kinder soul, and he will be dearly missed by all of us who knew him,” Ivey said.

Matthew Gross, who executive produced Body of Proof told Deadline.com that Middlebrooks was “an incredible human being. Most people know him as the “Miller Delivery Guy,” but for those who had the privilege of truly knowing him, knew Windell Middlebrooks was an inspirational humanitarian, a family man, artist, dancer, entertainer and one of the funniest people on this planet.”

He added, “Have you laughed until it hurt? That was Windell. He was kind, sweet and infectious; he lit up a room upon entering it and charmed and endeared everyone in it.”

12573: Walking With Harry Webber.

The ever-revolutionary Harry Webber presented more breakthrough thinking at LinkedIn

A Company Is An Idea That Goes For A Walk.

By Harry Webber, Creative Director at Idean Enterprises, Inc.

I have been starting business entities for almost fifty years. All of them have been profitable. All of them have been based upon a simple idea. Help other businesses gain more customers. In all, the companies my companies have helped, have enjoyed more than one trillion dollars in sales. They have become household words. They have become global brands. They have dominated their product categories. This has made my reputation on Madison Avenue.

In five decades of doing the same thing over and over again, I knew that one day, my methods of working would ultimately outlive their usefulness. I knew that one day the world of business would change. 2015 has brought that change to light. Today, the customer is now in charge. That single event has changed the ways that companies go to market. Unfortunately, 99 44/100% of American companies have no idea that this change is now in force. Unfortunately, for them. Not unfortunately for me. I saw it coming a long way off. When the change arrived, I was ready and waiting to leave Madison Avenue behind and step into the future. The Era of CX is now upon us. Customer Experience Rules!

But this time I intend to play a different game. Rather than sell what I know about this brave New World of CX to the highest bidder, I will use it to build one more company. A company that takes this idea for a walk. Companies that are based on CX are structured completely different than other firms. Their structures are far more flexible. They are built to constantly change with their targeted audiences. When the customer changes, the company changes to accommodate them. When the wants and needs of the customer changes, so do the products that the company offers those customers. The products change to meet customer desires. Flexibility is built into the business model. The company anticipates changes rather than following trends. Products are designed to be produced and delivered digitally, when possible. Digital and analog aspects of the company are designed to be integrated and in many cases interchangeable. But the greatest advantage of these CX companies is that they are massively scalable.

Where as traditional companies earn revenue through the sale of physical products or offered services, this new generation of companies earns revenue through the delivery of experiences. These experiences combine product and service components into memorable experiences. These experiences begin as an answer to an unmet want, need or desire of the selected audience. Their cost is minimal, so as to provide the least amount of risk to the customer. These experiences are interactive so that they can be altered by the audience to suit their specific needs and interests. We strive to allow the audience to see themselves and their interests in the manifestation of the experience. Each experience strives to reflect the values and lifestyles of its audience.

Every touchpoint between the customer and the company is specifically designed to be friction free. The audience is a participant in the creative process that evolves the experience as well as the personas who are enjoying the experience. And as the experience grows and evolves the personas involved have the option of sharing these experiences with like-minded participants and communities. At will, these experiences can be unique or shared, simple or complex, realistic or fantasy driven. Ultimately, these experiences evolve into a massive feedback loops that stimulate and engage the creativity of all involved. Experiences can be active or passive. Experiences can be imaginary or physical. Experiences can be ongoing or episodic. The audience is in the driver’s seat for every moment of their journey.

The company will deploy these experiences from house to house, neighbor to neighbor, block to block, zip code to zip code, city to city, state to state, nation to nation. Only one aspect of each experience will remain constant. This common ground will draw those within the experience closer and closer. This common ground will provide the singular “reality” that manifests the reality of each experience. This common ground will allow the shared experiences to grow.

Sunday, March 08, 2015

12571: Campaign Concept Not There.

Advertising Age reported on a Clinton Foundation advertising campaign with the theme “Not There,” spotlighting women’s rights on International Women’s Day. The lame concept erases women from billboards and media to emphasize a world without females. Um, this notion has been executed repeatedly by Blacks, Latinos and other minorities. Not surprisingly, the campaign was created by Droga5, a thoroughly hackneyed White advertising agency that’s definitely not there in terms of diversity.

Clinton Foundation Ad Campaign Erases Women From Billboards, Conde Nast Magazines

Marketers and Media Join ‘Not There’ Push for Women’s Rights

By Malika Toure

The Bill, Hillary & Chelsea Foundation introduced an ad campaign on Sunday with the theme “Not There,” drawing attention to women’s rights on International Women’s Day by rendering ads and magazine covers without any women. Cooperating marketers and media companies include Unilever, Under Armour, H&M, Diane von Furstenberg, Conde Nast, Refinery29, iHeartRadio and Snapchat.

A 90-second video features the voices of celebrities including Amy Poehler, Cameron Diaz, Sienna Miller and Jenny Slate while playing on the fact that they do not actually appear. The ads and video direct viewers to the Not There website, which houses the No Ceiling Full Participation report—data related to women’s rights such as compensation statistics and maternal mortality rates from the last 20 years. The site also encourages visitors to take part in some form or other, from “making a statement” by replacing social media profile photos with a blank female silhouette to supporting female comedians and film directors by attending their shows and screenings of the films.

In other executions, a Beats by Dre ad on Clear Channel Outdoor’s large digital will remove images of women and promote the website, the Clinton Foundation said, and the campaign will appear in Snapchat’s channel on Snapchat Discover, the app’s area for media brands.

“We are taking a collective stand that full participation for women and girls anywhere and everywhere remains the unfinished business of the 21st century,” Clinton Foundation Vice Chair Chelsea Clinton said in a statement. “By knowing the facts and what has worked and hasn’t worked to advance gender equality, we can accelerate the pace of change for women and girls—both at home and around the world.”

The campaign was created by Droga5.