Friday, December 30, 2016

13483: Scandal Dodger.

Campaign published a report titled, “The Year in Scandal”—including references to Gustavo Martinez and Erin Johnson, Alexei Orlov and Kevin Roberts. Somewhere, former Campbell Ewald CEO Jim Palmer is breathing a sigh of relief for having somehow managed to dodge inclusion. Or maybe he got a pass since his January 2016 firing was the result of a racist incident that occurred in October 2015. Whatever. MultiCultClassics is happy to recognize Palmer for his scandalous achievement.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

13482: CMOs Want Whiteness…?

At Advertising Age’s Small Agency Diary, PJA Advertising & Marketing Executive VP-Planning Hugh Kennedy presented “Five Things CMOs Want in 2017.” Not on the list: Diversity—despite the faux concern from brands including PepsiCo, General Mills, HP and Visa. This is good news for PJA Advertising & Marketing, especially given the racial and ethnic makeup of its predominately White executive leadership.

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

13481: Dentsu’s Killer Leadership.

Adweek reported Dentsu Global CEO Tadashi Ishii will resign after an overworked employee committed suicide in Japan. Seems as if advertising industry leaders are either creating hostile work environments or building heat shields, smokescreens and propaganda to covertly conceal ugly realities. These guys make Miles Nadal look like a choirboy.

Dentsu’s Global Chief Executive to Resign After Overworked Employee Committed Suicide

Japanese officials recommended prosecution

By Patrick Coffee

Dentsu chief executive officer Tadashi Ishii announced today that he will resign next month after leading the network for more than five years.

His press conference came less than one day after Japan Times and other local outlets reported that the country’s labor ministry had referred Ishii and the Dentsu organization to federal prosecutors. Officials reportedly recommended filing unspecified charges over the December 2015 suicide of a young Dentsu employee who attributed her own death to a culture of “overwork.”

“I feel deep responsibility as a person overseeing management of the company,” said Ishii as quoted by the Japan Times. “I will take full responsibility and will step down at a board meeting in January.”

Ishii is an industry veteran who appeared on Adweek’s Power List of the world’s 100 most influential marketers in both 2015 and 2016. Tokyo-based Dentsu, which owns the Dentsu Aegis network and once held a 15 percent stake in Publicis Groupe, is the world’s fifth largest holding company by annual revenue. Its agency roster includes such names as mcgarrybowen, Carat, Isobar, Merkle and Posterscope.

The controversy began last December when 24-year-old digital account manager Matsuri Takahashi killed herself after reportedly claiming on social media that she had worked more than 100 hours of overtime in a single month and that her bosses were abusive. Last month, the Japanese labor ministry raided several Dentsu offices as part of an ongoing investigation into the overworking phenomenon, commonly called “karoshi” in Japan. Only days before the raids, Dentsu had announced the creation of a “Working Environment Reforms Commission” to address the matter.

The alleged crimes involved the misreporting of overtime hours in violation of prior agreements between the Dentsu organization and Japanese labor unions.

This is not a new phenomenon. In 2000, the company acknowledged fault in the 1991 suicide of another 24-year-old employee and agreed to pay his family between $1 million and $2 million in a settlement.

Nor was Takahashi’s suicide the only controversy to hit Dentsu in 2016. Early this year, the PR wing of the organization acknowledged a failure to properly label paid promotions, and in September the network’s Japanese performance marketing unit DA Search and Link admitted to “inappropriate operations” related to the alleged over-billing of client Toyota for digital work.

The Dentsu organization has not yet issued a public statement regarding Ishii’s pending departure, nor has it named his replacement. Company representatives had not yet responded to Adweek’s requests for comment at the time this story was published.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

13480: Dropbox Drops Diversity.

PRWeek reported Dropbox dropped the ball by unintentionally promoting diverted diversity via a tweet that featured a predominately White group of executives. The tweet included a link to details displaying the Dropbox dedication to diversity. The company appears to be more interested in boosting White women than minorities, as the female charts precede and supersede the minority figures. Responding to online outrage and insults, Dropbox declared, “We’re committed to building an inclusive workplace at Dropbox, and we know we still have a lot to do. Today we issued our annual diversity report that included a photo of our founders with some of our senior female executives. This photo was meant to highlight the increase of women in senior leadership roles. We realize it doesn’t fully represent the diverse workforce we strive for at Dropbox. Improving our diversity continues to be one of our top priorities in 2017 and beyond.” Until the improvement of their diversity actually happens, expect Dropbox to continue checking off the inclusion box by hiring White women.

Dropbox makes big mistake with diversity tweet

The file hosting service tweeted a picture that largely featured white people as part of a diversity message.

By Diana Bradley

Dropbox just posted a picture on Twitter to showcase its diversity. Only problem: Critics said the image only features light-skinned staffers.

The image, posted alongside the text, “Diversity at Dropbox,” has Twitter users scratching their heads.

Included in the Dropbox tweet is a link to a blog post that does actually illustrate the company’s diversity efforts—in great detail.

The blog explains that, this year, the file-hosting service has continued to invest in programs that help attract and retain diverse candidates. Out of the new hires this year, 35% are women—up from 28% last year; and 45% are from minority groups—up from 41% in 2015. Dropbox also lists key programs it has created to foster a diverse workforce.

These figures and programs, however, took a backseat to the photo Dropbox included in the tweet, which was posted around 1pm ET on Wednesday. Outrage ensued.

“We’re committed to building an inclusive workplace at Dropbox, and we know we still have a lot to do. Today we issued our annual diversity report that included a photo of our founders with some of our senior female executives,” the company said in a statement late Wednesday. “This photo was meant to highlight the increase of women in senior leadership roles. We realize it doesn’t fully represent the diverse workforce we strive for at Dropbox. Improving our diversity continues to be one of our top priorities in 2017 and beyond.”

However, comment after comment on the tweet questions the company’s decision to use that particular photo. Most Twitter users are making fun, but some are calling for Dropbox to fire its marketing team. Others are deleting their Dropbox app in response.

Dropbox’s gaffe echoes Starbucks’ Race Together controversy last year. As part of that campaign, which invited customers to talk about race, the coffee chain used only white hands in related photos. This is yet another reminder that images matter—especially when communicating about a topic such as diversity.

[See some reactions here.]

Monday, December 26, 2016

13479: Erin Johnson’s Essential Bullshit.

Campaign placed JWT Chief Communications Officer and Discrimination Whistleblower Erin Johnson at the No. 1 spot on “The 10 Essential Advertising People of the Year.” Gee, Johnson has become the Rosa Parks of diverted diversity in the advertising industry. According to Campaign, “The ad industry thought it had come a long way since the days of ‘Mad Men.’ But an explosive discrimination suit filed against one agency’s global CEO blew that pretty presumption out of the water this year and dragged an ugly truth out of shadows—the agency world can still be a very unfriendly place for women and minorities.” It’s amazing that Campaign considers itself a legitimate trade journal, as the average informed person recognizes quite clearly that the ad industry has not evolved much since the “Mad Men” era—and Madison Avenue is still chronically unfriendly to minorities. Sorry, but the discrimination that White women allegedly face is a veritable country club experience compared to the bullshit that minorities have endured. Yet Campaign—mirroring the rest of adland—has been quick to jump on the White women bandwagon, pushing true diversity to the back of the bus. Which sorta makes Johnson more like James F. Blake than Parks.

Campaign also claimed Johnson’s lawsuit created “ripple effects” including the dubious demands from General Mills and HP, as well as the launch of Free The Bid and the downfalls of Kevin Roberts and Alexei Orlov. Wow, Johnson is definitely a candidate for an ADCOLOR® Award. It’s a wonder her mighty efforts weren’t enough to catapult Hillary Clinton into the White House.

Of course, diverted diversity diva Cindy Gallop threw in her two cents, for which she’ll receive no compensation: “Erin Johnson’s outstanding bravery in filing a lawsuit against JWT when every other recourse had failed, emboldened women and people of color to speak up about the ingrained sexism and racism that has been holding our industry back for far too long. Our clients miss out on our best work when they miss out on the talent and creativity of women and POC. I hope this lawsuit changes that forever.” Well, bigger legal actions than this have failed to put a dent in diversity. And to be accurate, Johnson has not “emboldened…people of color to speak up” about anything—except to complain that true diversity is being ignored in favor of promoting White women.

The 10 Essential Advertising People of the Year: No. 1 Erin Johnson

Her explosive discrimination suit against JWT and its former CEO cracked open the conversation on gender bias and harassment.

By Eleftheria Parpis

For better or worse, 2016 was a landmark year in advertising. To mark its conclusion, Campaign US is highlighting 10 people we believe are essential to understanding how it all went down. Click here to see the list.

The ad industry thought it had come a long way since the days of “Mad Men.” But an explosive discrimination suit filed against one agency’s global CEO blew that pretty presumption out of the water this year and dragged an ugly truth out of shadows—the agency world can still be a very unfriendly place for women and minorities.

In March, Erin Johnson, an 11-year veteran of J. Walter Thompson and the agency’s chief communications officer, hit Gustavo Martinez, JWT and its holding company, WPP, with a bombshell lawsuit claiming the former CEO had “subjected Johnson and other employees to an unending stream of racist and sexist comments as well as unwanted touching and other unlawful conduct.” According to the complaint, Martinez routinely made references to rape in the office, directed at Johnson and other female staffers. And a video recording of Martinez, who resigned a week after the case was filed, was submitted to the court showing the executive making a joke about being raped “not in a nice way” at a company meeting.

The suit painted a picture of an agency leader who was openly hostile toward women, alleging that during a meeting Martinez once told an employee that a female executive needed to be “hogtied” and “raped into submission.” But it wasn’t only “bossy boss” women like Johnson who were on the receiving end of Martinez’s bad behavior, charged the suit. It was “black monkeys” and “fucking Jews,” too. As head of PR, Johnson had found it impossible to do her job, argued her lawyers. His repeated jokes about rape and his racist remarks were indicative of a hostile work environment, they argued, and it was also a potential PR nightmare that Johnson had attempted to avert by alerting company management, including the agency’s head of talent. And the agency failed to respond, they said.

With a 30-page suit filed in Manhattan federal court, Johnson threw the industry’s gender and diversity issues into stark relief and kick-started an industry-wide conversation that was long overdue. The fact that there aren’t enough women in leadership positions had been safely debated in recent years, but sexual harassment and discrimination was still a subject relegated to hallway whispers and locked behind closed doors.

There wasn’t an industry event in 2016 that didn’t address the subject of women in the workplace, noted Nancy Hill, president and CEO of the 4A’s. “The level of discourse this year increased tenfold,” she said. “There were several incidents that took place. Right, wrong, or indifferent, in terms of how you feel about them, they elevated the number of people who were willing to say what is going on in the industry isn’t right.”

Hill declined to specifically discuss Johnson or JWT, but she did take one holding company executive to task about the subject at the 4A’s Transformation conference in March. When asked on stage whether he believed the JWT case had exposed a larger industry problem, Maurice Levy, the CEO of Publicis Groupe, characterized it as an isolated mistake and Hill, following his appearance, made it clear she did not agree. “It’s one of the reason’s we did the study we did,” said Hill. “So nobody can point to any one incident and say it is an isolated incident. The feeling of the women in the industry is that it happens on a pretty regular basis.”

The study to which Hill refers found that more than 50 percent of women at ad agencies reported being sexually harassed at least once in their careers, and 58 percent of female creatives reported they experience sexual harassment “often.”

The conversations sparked by the Johnson case is a “silver lining,” said JWT New York CEO Lynn Power, during an Advertising Week panel about creative diversity programs. “This conversation that needs to happen. It’s a good thing that we’re talking about it.”

The ripple effects from Johnson’s filing reverberated throughout 2016. Diversity became the year’s dominant issue, with General Mills and HP, among others, eventually demanding that their agencies make more female and diversity hires. “Free the Bid” mobilized support behind female directorial and production talent. In July, Kevin Roberts’ career ended just days after he made controversial comments about women in the press, showing just how low tolerance on the issue had become. And at least one other discrimination lawsuit was filed against one more agency leader accused of atrocious behavior: In May, Greg Anderson filed a discrimination suit against former RAPP global CEO Alexei Orlov, claiming he was fired after he complained about the CEO’s racist and sexist conduct.

Nine months after Johnson filed her suit, her case is making its way through the federal legal system. Martinez, who denies the allegations, has moved back to Europe and continues to be employed by WPP. And Johnson, back at work at the agency after a leave of absence, has filed a motion for a temporary injunction, claiming she is suffering “highly visible punishment” in the office. While the judge, J. Paul Oetken, has yet to make a ruling as to whether to issue the order, he has denied WPP’s motion to dismiss and has moved the case on to the discovery phase in preparation for a trial.

Whichever way the case ends, one thing is clear: 2016 will be remembered as a pivotal year for women in advertising. “I have had more than one man say to me ‘I had no idea until this year how bad it was’ and ‘it’s opened my eyes,’” says Hill. “I’m hoping it’s gotten people to wake up and look around.”

Cindy Gallop, former agency executive and diversity champion, is hopeful that Johnson’s actions will have lasting impact. “Erin Johnson’s outstanding bravery in filing a lawsuit against JWT when every other recourse had failed, emboldened women and people of color to speak up about the ingrained sexism and racism that has been holding our industry back for far too long,” said Gallop, in an email. “Our clients miss out on our best work when they miss out on the talent and creativity of women and POC. I hope this lawsuit changes that forever.”

Sunday, December 25, 2016

13478: Last-Minute Xmas Shopping.

Sexy Christmas Girl vector art for as little as $6 per limited use.

Christmas card signed by Malcolm X for just $6000.

Limited edition Noelle doll and other holiday treats at All Things Golliwog.

And enjoy Christmas breakfast with holiday pancakes from Aunt Jemima!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

13477: Marian Salzman’s Prediction Pap.

Adweek published the annual trend predictions from self-proclaimed futurist and Havas PR North America CEO Marian Salzman. Gazing into her crystal ball—or Magic 8 Ball™—led Salzman to arrive at the following forecasts:

• Online retailing is getting popular on mobile devices

• Privacy is a growing concern for the public

• Gender issues will continue to be examined and debated

Um, chimpanzees with access to Google could have spotted those trends. In fact, it’s all common knowledge to average humans and simians. Here’s another sure bet for 2017 and beyond: Havas will maintain its position among the worst of the White holding companies.

Why Privacy, Gender and Simplicity Will Be on Consumers’ Minds in 2017

A look at Havas PR’s annual trend predictions

By Marian Salzman

Good riddance, 2016. For many of us, it was 12 long months full of bad news, fake news and surreal news, the most controversial election anyone can remember, plus too many other highlights and lowlights to mention.

This very December, we’ve seen the many shades of orange upstaged by Pantone’s Greenery, and we all know the color of the year is not a nod to hope about the climate or to anyone’s envy of the Western world.

Luckily, I can find solace in an area where my company definitely isn’t green: spotting trends for the year ahead. Here at Havas PR, we devote the end of each year to spotting trends on the rise, and it’s always interesting to look both ahead and back at the predictions that have proven out recently—more stringent legislation around brain damage suffered by football players (forecast in 2010); the universal brain-health movement (2009); and “Local is the new global” (2007).

Here are a few of the trends we believe will directly impact marketers and advertisers in 2017 taken from our more in-depth report, “Blowback to the Future: The Trends That Will Shape 2017”:

Unstoppable e-tail

Retailers are trying to keep up with e-tail, which doesn’t just mean buying products from home computers anymore. Knowing that consumers always have their mobiles on, retailers are engaging in an e-tail/retail mashup, increasingly using in-store beacons to deliver promotions and offers to browsing shoppers.

Despite more retailers closing their stores for Thanksgiving in 2016, a record $771 million was still spent that day from mobile devices. As tech continues to advance and brands evolve their e-tail platforms, we must market brands through handhelds rather than 64-inchers.

The (elusive) beauty of simplicity

We crave simplicity, though few can actually attain it. Think of it this way: How many people buy Dave Bruno’s The 100 Thing Challenge compared with the number who pare down to only 100 possessions? Well, today we’re seeing a nuance to the decluttering. It has become more about craving simplicity than actually attaining it. And, let’s face it, that’s good news for marketers.

Rediscovering privacy

More than ever, people recognize that everything from personal information to high-level data is an open book for hackers backed by foreign powers and bad actors. Expect the demand for greater privacy to grow, much to the benefit of brands, businesses and even politicians that get it and help facilitate it. We’re already seeing this in the EU with a recent crackdown on data sharing for the platforms we use daily—Facebook, Google and Snapchat. Expect this to impact marketers even more in 2017.

Confused men and confusing women

From man buns and beards in the world’s Williamsburgs to the retro-sexist return of traditional gender roles, the malleability of manhood is being put to the test as we find what will work when many can’t find work at all. The big trend driving all the shifts in male fashion and identity: men’s underlying anxiety about what is manly now and who the heck decides.

Many women, meanwhile, will be even quicker to call out sexist behavior like mansplaining, manspreading, groping and public sexual harassment (as we have seen resonate deeply in the ad world). But there’s also increased muttering around the world, many of the voices female, saying feminism is old-fashioned or even obsolete and that the central tenet of feminism, women’s right to self-determination, can and must include a woman’s right to return to the gender roles of an earlier time.

So what do women expect now, and what do they feel is expected of them? How they align, balance and reject those answers will form a roiling, ongoing dialogue in 2017, with millions of voices pitching in online and off.

Marian Salzman (@mariansalzman) is CEO of Havas PR North America and chairman of the Havas PR Global Collective.

Friday, December 23, 2016

13476: Hypnotic Hypocrisy.

Saatchi & Saatchi is responsible for this Walmart holiday commercial featuring hypnotist chrisjones. Gee, a Black hypnotist and lots of Black cast members makes for quite a Christmas surprise from a White advertising agency like Saatchi & Saatchi. Or maybe not, given the shop’s penchant for total market strategy—which essentially translates to stealing all the crumbs from minority shops. Maybe chrisjones can hypnotize Saatchi & Saatchi executives and compel them to hire a few minorities.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

13475: JWT BLM WTF.

Adweek proclaimed: “JWT Becomes the First Ad Agency to Collaborate Directly With Black Lives Matter.” Sounds like JWT (and WPP) are attempting to score counterpoints against the accusations in the Erin Johnson discrimination lawsuit. Sorry, but JWT partnering with Black Lives Matter is like the KKK celebrating Black History Month. Is Gustavo Martinez significantly different than a Grand Wizard? To make matters worse, the initiative involves promoting Black-owned businesses. In short, a White advertising agency with a history of discriminatory hiring practices that have denied employment opportunities to Blacks is now advocating for Black businesspeople. JWT New York CCO Brent Choi declared, “Our hope is to reduce the racial disparity that exists in economic well-being through the promotion of Black business ownership.” Um, why not just hire a few Blacks, moron?

JWT Becomes the First Ad Agency to Collaborate Directly With Black Lives Matter

Pro bono work on Backing Black Business initiative

By Erik Oster

The official Black Lives Matter organization has entered into a strategic and creative partnership with J. Walter Thompson New York, marking the first such pairing on a formal assignment. The relationship kicked off with the beta launch of Backing Black Business, a web tool that lets users discover black-owned small businesses throughout the country.

JWT New York picked up the pro bono assignment for the nonprofit advocacy group without a review after reaching out to the organization directly.

“[The partnership] started with four creatives who had a passion to support Black Lives Matter,” JWT New York CCO Brent Choi said. “They came up with an idea, and we presented it to them. Through a number of conversations, it became clear that we didn’t just want to offer ideas, but to be a partner to the organization and the movement. We believe in the power of ideas to change behavior, so this relationship became a perfect marriage.”

Choi said the plan involved a long-term partnership, adding, “As the Black Lives Matter cause is ever-changing, our scope will as well. It is open-ended, but our mandate is to create meaningful communications to support Black Lives Matter and their cause.”

Artist and advocate Patrisse Cullors, one of the co-founders of the official Black Lives Matter organization as well as the larger BLM movement, said, “We’re thrilled to partner with J. Walter Thompson and in particular this effort to uplift and sustain black businesses. Right now, we need to invest in black businesses more than ever.”

The Google Maps-based Backing Black Business effort aims to help users support entrepreneurs in their vicinity while simultaneously highlighting racial disparities in business ownership. Its beta version launched yesterday with over 300 individual businesses represented. “Our hope is to reduce the racial disparity that exists in economic well-being through the promotion of Black business ownership,” Choi said.

The announcement comes at a time when JWT looks to focus on diversity as a way to move the general conversation forward. Much of the news surrounding the agency this year concerned the ongoing discrimination lawsuit filed by global communications chief Erin Johnson against now-former CEO and chairman Gustavo Martinez. Tamara Ingram took over as global CEO after Martinez resigned and immediately promised that “diversity and inclusion will be at the top of my agenda” before laying out her plans for a Diversity and Inclusion Council in May.

JWT and Black Lives Matter plan to work together throughout 2017, and the press release calls it “[a year] about building Black power.” But Choi’s comments seem to suggest the agency sees the potential for a much longer relationship.

Asked if the outcome of the 2016 election impacted JWT’s strategy for Black Lives Matter going forward, Choi said, “Nothing has changed. Everything has changed. The team at Black Lives Matter have a lot to do regardless of who won the election. Our collaboration will focus on what we can control and the ways in which they need our support.”

Choi said the assignment is different than that of a typical nonprofit “for a number of reasons, but mainly because they are trying something new by working with us, and we have a lot of creative freedom given [their] iterative approach to communications.”

“It’s been challenging and at the same time I think this partnership has been enriching for both teams,” he added.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

13474: More Holy Shit From Brazil.

Pray for Brazil, where the creatives continue to push the boundaries of bad taste, bad execution and bad ideas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

13473: Shut Up, Kevin Roberts.

Campaign reported on a recent interview featuring former Saatchi & Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts—who puts the “man” in Chairman via his chronic verbal diarrhea over gender equality in the advertising industry. Clearly, the fucking debate is not all over regarding Roberts’ perspectives on the matter. In the interview, Roberts actually offered lame-ass excuses for his alleged miscommunication by remarking, “I was tired, fatigued, in the middle of interview number 4 and was not at my best. Fail.” Somebody once said, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Oh yeah, it was Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Roberts really should consider quietly moving into his multi-million-dollar retirement life. If he needs commiserating buddies, Neil French and Gustavo Martinez are free.

Kevin Roberts reasserts his views on gender equality in first post-resignation interview

By I-Hsien Sherwood

In a “candid” sit-down with TV New Zealand, the former Saatchi & Saatchi chairman says his statements were misunderstood and taken out of context

It’s been four months since Saatchi & Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts stepped down after making dismissive comments about gender equality in the ad industry. His position hasn’t changed much in the interim, as he demonstrated in a TV interview that aired on Sunday in New Zealand.

Roberts defended his initial comments from July, when he said “the fucking [gender] debate is all over,” claiming his words were taken out of context. “What I meant was, we should stop debating it and stop talking about numbers and start doing something about it. And I then went on to say Saatchi & Saatchi had 65 percent jobs filled by women, our worldwide creative director was a woman,” he said.

But when reporter Janet McIntyre of TVNZ asked Roberts how important it was for women to be well-represented in leadership roles, he dissembled. “I think the most important thing for society is that we have leaders in the right jobs doing the right things in the right way, whether they are men or women, right?”

Roberts became the center of controversy in July, when he told Business Insider that women are less interested in promotions than personal fulfillment. The implication was that women don’t achieve because they don’t want to. “Their ambition is not a vertical ambition, it’s this intrinsic, circular ambition to be happy,” he said at the time.

The comment ignited a storm of criticism on social media and five days later he resigned. In Sunday’s interview, he repeated the position, expanding it to include men and “millennials in particular.”

Roberts did accept the responsibility for his initial comments, calling his judgment “appalling,” but he noted several times that he wasn’t operating at full strength when he made them. “I was tired, fatigued, in the middle of interview number 4 and was not at my best. Fail.” He didn’t apologize for offending anyone, and he threw in a few digs at the reporting that led to the scandal.

“There’s no one else to blame in this area. I miscommunicated, misspoke, I didn’t mean that, I was taken out of context. Whose fault is all that? Mine,” he said. “I may want to reflect upon sometimes the things that I say are not construed in exactly the way that I mean them,” he added.

Roberts also defended his latest book, “64 Shots: Leadership in a Crazy World.” When McIntyre pointed out that only seven of the 64 inspirational people detailed in the book are women, he waved away the concern. “It never crossed my mind. I’ve never counted them. Having thought about it, I suspect it’s because at the time I grew up in, in many ways, what I was exposed to in working-class England on a popular level.”

When McIntyre suggested it might be a case of unconscious bias, he disagreed. “I don’t think it was a bias at all. I just think it was a choice, an honest choice of people I was exposed to.”

The details of the scandal that led to Roberts’ downfall aren’t mentioned until more than halfway through the 10-minute TV segment. First, viewers get a tour of Roberts’ mansion in Auckland and a peek at his art gallery and collection of sports memorabilia.

Despite recent events, Roberts is doing well for himself as a consultant, and there is little to indicate his positions have changed in any way since he stepped down.

Monday, December 19, 2016

13472: Driving Miss Annie.

How does Annie the Chicken Queen celebrate the holiday season? By driving around and hawking her boneless wings and biscuit meal promotion. She should be pulled over and charged with a DUI—Driving Under Ignorance.

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Friday, December 16, 2016

13469: Straight Outta Crapton.

The Marketing Arm is responsible for this BOD Man commercial titled, “Fresh Outta The Chair.” Given all the cultural stereotypes and clichés, “Fresh Outta The Toilet” would have been a more appropriate title.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

13468: Motion Sickness At JWT.

Advertising Age reported Erin Johnson’s discrimination lawsuit will continue after a judge denied a motion to dismiss from JWT and WPP lawyers. Gee, Johnson must be looking forward to the JWT holiday party. And will she receive an annual bonus? Then again, the holiday party will be a drag without Gustavo Martinez to liven things up.

WPP Lawsuit to Grind on as Judge Denies Motion to Dismiss

By Lindsay Stein

In the latest development in the ongoing discrimination lawsuit against JWT and parent company WPP, Judge Paul Oetken denied the agency and holding company the motion to dismiss the case.

Lawyers for JWT and WPP filed a motion to dismiss Erin Johnson’s lawsuit against them and now-former JWT Chairman-CEO Gustavo Martinez, citing in part a text message from Ms. Johnson to Mr. Martinez in May. “It is clear that Plaintiff has twisted the facts and distorted the context to contrive gender-based hostile work environment and retaliation claims,” the filing said.

However, on Tuesday, the judge denied all motions to dismiss the case. “Considering the alleged conduct in context, Johnson has pleaded enough to support a plausible inference that an objectively hostile work environment existed,” said Mr. Oetken in a 28-page ruling, according to a previous report by Campaign.

“Motions to dismiss employment cases are not often granted, particularly since the law requires that all facts be presumed for the sake of the argument in a light most favorable to the other side. We remain confident that we will prevail at trial,” said a JWT spokesperson via email.

“We are very pleased with the decision,” Ms. Johnson’s legal team at Vladeck, Raskin & Clark told Ad Age, “and we’re looking forward to finally get to the merit of the case and we’re confident that we will be able to prove Ms. Johnson’s allegations.”

In September, Mr. Oetken approved a move by Ms. Johnson’s attorneys to add Title VII discrimination and retaliation claims to the suit, filed in New York in March over alleged racist and sexist comments by Mr. Martinez. At the time, Ms. Johnson’s legal team told Ad Age that JWT had “totally not” asked for her to return to work. She went on paid leave after filing the lawsuit in March.

Last month, Ms. Johnson returned to work for the WPP shop, reporting directly to J. Walter Thompson Co. CEO Tamara Ingram.

13467: Divergent Stinking.

The Economic Times in India interviewed JWT Global CEO Tamara Ingram, touching on the touchy subjects of Gustavo Martinez-Erin Johnson and diversity. Ingram dodged with extraordinary skill—she puts the “art” in articulate—positioning the Martinez-Johnson affair as a mere event in an enduring brand’s grand history. Okay, but it’s also a recurring symptom of a chronic condition. And hucksters like Ingram evade accountability by promoting diverted diversity as the cure. It’s sad to hear idiots purporting to be industry leaders hyping “divergent thinking” with all the same clichéd and contrived lies.

The bane of social media is it makes people the judge: JWT’s Tamara Ingram

JWT’s global CEO Tamara Ingram on her first official visit to India about the local ops, the scandals at the agency and more.

By Amit Bapna & Ravi Balakrishnan

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing an agency like J Walter Thompson?

That’s a very good question for any company that’s been around more than five years - at some point, it will be more than three years. We are 152 years old: the oldest advertising agency in the world. When you are born of a certain time, you have legacy issues. Our challenge is we have to change, evolve and get ahead of the trend. J Walter Thompson in India is probably our most successful office and I have to ask myself why. I think it’s because we have very varied capability, the culture collaborates very strongly. There’s diverse talent. Even though our make-up is probably 60:40, at the leadership level here its 50:50 between men and women. That creates a more nurturing culture. We will probably grow 20% in India this year and have won 140 pitches.

Which are the new clients you’ve got?

When I heard we had 140 new clients, I didn’t believe it myself! But then we have six companies and 22 offices. If you divide 140 by that, it’s not such a big number. It includes Encompass, Geometry Global, Hungama, Contract and south Asia with Sri Lanka and Nepal. From Sri Lankan Airlines to Google that Contract won to a host of new business at Encompass to Apollo that J Walter Thompson won. We’ve won the digital mandate for Britannia. We are very strong in the South with operations in Chennai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. The average growth is 50% this year for us in the region.

Rai: Nike had badge value and we’d done fabulous work. Nobody contests that. We worked with them for a decade. With Wieden being their global agency and cricket no longer being the focus area, we parted amicably.

Ingram: The work was extraordinary, recognized around the world and yet had a very Indian flavour.

Rai: To your point, I tell my leadership team, there’s an element of luck to winning new business but its complete idiocy to lose business you already have. One thing we’ve consciously done is to make sure there are no leaks out of the system. Some years, before I joined, we were losing almost 50% of new business to leaks. Now it’s down to 5% which can happen for various reasons. To me, Nike is an exception. We can focus on new business — it’s adrenalin — but if you can’t manage the existing clients, it’s a shame. That’s why our numbers are where they are.

At a global level, did the Gustavo Martinez episode (the agency’s former CEO left amid allegations of racist remarks and sexist behaviour from its chief communication officer Erin Johnson) affect J Walter Thompson as an agency brand?

Ingram: We are an extraordinary brand and continue to do great work. At any moment in time, you have events, but this is an enduring brand. In India, as you know, it’s considered the university of advertising. People are completely proud and committed to working here.

Rai: We hear Erin Johnson is back and there are some reports in the trade press about her feeling marginalised …

Ingram: I believe all people in whatever case it is, have the right to be treated fair and properly. We are not the judge and the jury. The problem with social media is it often makes people the judge and the jury.

You have been very passionate about the diversity agenda in advertising. What is your argument to critics who imply the diversity-debate is over?

First of all, it is the right thing to do. Secondly, we are selling, driving and engaging with the whole community. If we don’t represent them, we are not going to be as effective. Though we have lots of programmes in place to employ different sorts of people and make sure we do the right things, until it happens across the whole world, it’s not passe. In a creative business, we have to come up with an idea that isn’t obvious. Only when it surprises people does it stand out. And such ideas don’t come from the same place, the same university, the same culture or same sex. That’s why divergent thinking is very important for the creative business.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

13466: Maurice Lévy Is A Funny Guy.

Publicis Groupe Chairman-CEO-Clown Maurice Lévy posted a painfully pathetic year-end address to the Publicis peons. Not sure why Lévy thinks he’s a comedian. Then again, the French do view Jerry Lewis as a comic genius. The video actually underscores the White holding company’s dismal dearth of diversity and extreme excess of exclusivity. For starters, Lévy is featured in his palatial office suite. Next, his expensive belongings are packed up by an all-male moving crew—which includes a Black man who could only appear in Lévy’s professional domain via such a subservient maintenance role. Finally, the video announces the soon-to-be-retiring asshole’s office is now available on Airbnb. Don’t be surprised if Lévy refused to sign the Community Commitment pledge.

13465: Wendy Clark’s Latest Lie.

Adweek reported DDB North America named its first Chief Creative Officer, and diversity ambitious DDB CEO Wendy Clark seized the opportunity to hire—drumroll, please—a White man! What’s more, the new CCO is a White man who’s won a ton of White awards—for White advertising agencies with dismal diversity records. Once again, like the We Are Unlimited erection, when Clark is faced with a chance to relieve her restlessness for inclusion, she perpetuates the problem and takes the road well-travelled. It all shows Clark is at least an equal with the White men leading the industry. That is, in regards to diversity, she’s a lying huckster.

DDB North America Names Its First Chief Creative Officer

Ari Weiss joins from BBH New York

By Katie Richards

DDB announced today it has hired Ari Weiss as its first chief creative officer of North America, effective Feb. 1, 2017.

Weiss joins DDB from BBH New York where he worked for six years, most recently as the agency’s chief creative officer. In his time there Weiss helped his team score 24 Cannes Lions and worked with clients including PlayStation (he came up with the “Greatness Awaits” line that won BBH the business), Seamless, Axe and Netflix.

Prior to joining DDB, Weiss built his career at agencies including BBDO, Wieden + Kennedy, 180LA, Goodby, Silverstein & Partners and Cliff Freeman & Partners. Over that time he worked on brands ranging from Guinness and Sony to FedEx and ESPN.

Wendy Clark, CEO of DDB North America, said she was looking for someone who had a body of work that was “transformative for the brands he had worked on.” Weiss was the perfect fit. “If you trace his career, everywhere he has gone, good work has followed him,” she added.

Clark joined DDB nearly one year ago and noted that if she had tried to hire someone from the newly-created role when she first started it would have been premature. “I don’t think I could have had a conversation with Ari [Weiss] a year ago and compelled him to join us. We needed to create an environment that had the momentum,” she added.

Beginning in 2017 Weiss will have the opportunity to help DDB create work for some of its newest clients, including McDonald’s, which the agency won in August after a competitive, four-month-long review. DDB took over as creative agency of record from Leo Burnett.

“We’re always looking to make better and better work. That goal never ceases no matter where you are,” Weiss said. “Chemistry is everything and when you find that chemistry you want to put it to the test.”

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

13464: Cadillac—Err Greatly.

A MultiCultClassics visitor spotted “Cadillac Cancels Neo-Nazi Ad After Online Outrage” at Gizmodo. The luxury car brand took heat over a casting call for a Cadillac commercial that sought fill a “neo-Nazi” role. Cadillac responded to the public protest as follows:

Cadillac did not authorize or approve a casting notice for an “alt-right (neo-nazi)” role in a commercial. We unequivocally condemn the notice and are seeking immediate answers from our creative agency, production company and any casting companies involved.

According to the Gizmodo report, the casting company became the initial scapegoat, immediately firing an allegedly rogue employee and also blaming an “outside third party” for further altering the specs. Really? When has a casting company ever initiated a call without direct instructions from an advertising agency? The casting company will probably declare, “Sorry, we misinterpreted what the White advertising agency—Publicis Worldwide—originally requested. They were actually seeking a neo-Yahtzee enthusiast. Our bad.”

Interestingly enough, Cadillac Chief Marketing Officer Uwe Ellinghaus is of German descent. So maybe there was some subliminal intent. Plus, according to the casting specs, Publicis Worldwide was looking for neo-Nazis of all ethnicities. This is in keeping with the White advertising agency’s faux commitment to diversity; that is, Publicis publicly professes a dedication to inclusiveness—while privately maintaining an Aryan Race-like workforce.

13463: Droga5 Diversity Diversions.

Campaign reported on a Droga5 diversity initiative—which, incidentally, is pretty much an oxymoron when considering the White advertising agency’s stereotypical exclusivity. The Campaign article also revealed Droga5 has initiated a lot of the standard clichéd concepts to address diversity: launching an inclusive internal publication, instituting a diversity taskforce and hiring a Chief Diversity Officer (under the guise of “senior programs and outreach manager”). Add the pathetically patronizing poop routinely excreted by the agency to complete the Droga5 Diversity Shield. Oh, and Adweek named the shop U.S. Agency of the Year.

Droga5 goes analog to encourage diversity conversations

By I-Hsien Sherwood

A new employee-run ‘zine offers an outlet for overlooked issues

At first glance, it looks like a simple crossword puzzle, maybe a game put together by human resources to introduce new staff. “Newly hired Prairie View A&M alumni,” reads the first clue. “Young father with a passion for style,” begins the second. But other clues seem out of place.

“Teen diagnosed with PTSD…”

“Seven-year-old who adored Disney Princesses.”

A quick glance at the answers reveals their names—familiar and haunting. Sandra, Akai, Tamir. Philando, Freddie, Alton.

Poignant references to African-Americans killed by police—names that have galvanized the Black Lives Matter movement—abound these days, but their presence in a corporate, agency setting is jarring. Yet here they are, on the back page of !Q, an old-school-style ‘zine created by members of Droga5’s diversity and inclusion taskforce, D+iQ. The first issue of the quarterly publication, which debuted the day after the presidential election, is dedicated to race.

“At the time the first issue was being developed, we were still unraveling the cultural and social implications of the Alton Sterling and Philando Castile shootings, the role and message of #BlackLivesMatter, how media creates narratives that become perceived identities of minorities and, more broadly, the role of advertising in creating and including diverse identities and narratives,” said Tulani Foy, a strategist at the agency who wrote the foreword for the debut issue.

If the vision is grand, the format is fitting. Pamphlets, tracts and ‘zines have long been effective at spreading underrepresented—or unwelcome—viewpoints. Like its predecessors, !Q’s folded newsprint leaves stains on the fingers and impressions in the mind. But while the medium worked well for Thomas Paine and “Punk,” it’s decidedly anachronistic in the new millennium—deliberately so.

“We are so inundated with digital things—emails, social media posts, podcasts, newsletters—there becomes a lot of noise that doesn’t get absorbed as much as we’d like,” said Midori McSwain, also a strategist at Droga5. “Creating a physical ‘zine in limited release allows employees to pause and look for it—an informational, visual and physical experience that’s tangible, which is rare nowadays.” McSwain’s own contribution to this issue is an essay that answers the uncomfortable question, “Is My Mom Racist?”

Issue 1 also includes an essay by Associate Account Manager Camille Cheeks-Lomax about the strain of downplaying otherness at the workplace, an illustrated history of the U.S. Census by Senior Communications Strategist Elsa Strahura, a collage by Senior Designer Toga Cox and cover art depicting common food-themed racial slurs by Associate Creative Director Jen Lu.

While the content is created and sourced entirely by employees, !Q isn’t an underground publication. Agency founder David Droga wrote a company-wide email announcing the ‘zine’s launch, and the agency is fully supportive of the initiative. “As well as we do as a creative agency, we also acknowledge that we have work to do when it comes to diversity, and we have begun a journey that is both humbling and inspiring,” said Tiffany Edwards, the agency’s senior programs and outreach manager. The ‘zine “gives Droga5 employees a safe space to express their points of view within the agency and to amplify them.”

Foy’s hope is that by talking about issues that get less attention than they should, !Q will elicit “unlikely conversations” with co-workers. “As individuals, we often find ourselves furiously Googling to better understand these cultural and social happenings,” she said. “But in reality, all we have to do is turn to the person next to us to find the answers we’re so desperately looking for.”

Monday, December 12, 2016

13462: Winning With Diverted Diversity.

Adweek named Ogilvy “Global Agency of the Year”—and the honor should have included “Diverted Diversity Dimwits of the Year” too. The Adweek article included the following:

Ogilvy also has received kudos for how it fosters diversity in the workplace—a hot topic in the industry in 2016. The agency’s goal is to make its leadership gender balanced in the next five years. Ogilvy works with EY (formerly Ernst & Young) to benchmark its gender-equality practices and with the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media on gender-equality initiatives.

“Our industry is good at talking about diversity, but not very good at doing anything about it,” Seifert says. “What will make the biggest difference are metrics: having specific goals, whether it’s ensuring equality among the top ranks, or ensuring equal pay across all salary bands. Goodwill, nice speeches and sending people to conferences is nice, but nothing matters more than setting specific goals and holding people accountable to achieving them.”
The new era at Ogilvy will borrow from its storied past and the philosophy of founder David Ogilvy, while meeting clients’ new challenges, its executives say.

Funny, ADCOLOR® Change Agent John Seifert essentially made the same self-critical comments regarding diversity seven years ago. How long can someone admit to talking the talk while not walking the walk? And why is Seifert able to put a deadline and figure on gender equality yet completely dodge racial and ethnic diversity, which has been a problem since before founder David Ogilvy ever joined the field?

Seifert and his team will win more ADCOLOR® Awards, I&C Trophies and kudos from The 3% Conference before actually addressing true diversity.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

13461: Black Mirror Reflects Bias.

From Campaign…

This black model reenacted fashion ads in a plea for diversity

By Ilyse Liffreing

Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret, Dolce & Gabbana ads are gorgeously recreated by Debbeh Howard.

Flip through any mainstream fashion magazine and you’re sure to see more white models staring back at you than black, Asian or Native American faces. In fact, a shocking 78.2 percent of models in fashion print campaigns are white.

In a photo project called “Black Mirror,” 27-year-old model Deddeh Howard, who is black, commented on the lack of diversity in advertising by painstakingly recreating the poses and outfits of white models from classic ad campaigns. The reproductions are presented side-by-side with the original Calvin Klein, Victoria’s Secret, Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Chanel, Guess, David Yurman, Vivara and Louis Vuitton ads.

“We are bombarded everyday with flashy advertisements, billboards and television ads that try to inspire us to buy the products that are hitting the market,” wrote Howard in a post on her blog Secret of dd. “Very rarely do you ever see a black woman on them.”

The photo series is a collaboration with her boyfriend Raffael Dickreuter, a photographer and visual effects designer. She said “Black Mirror” (a play on the popular Netflix series) was inspired by the discrimination she felt.

“Agencies would often tell me, ‘We like your look but there’s a black girl already.’ It shouldn’t be limited to just one black girl; there can be more than one!” Howard told BuzzFeed. “It’s as if they [agencies] are ashamed to represent diversity. It’s very painful and it made me feel insecure and bad of myself.”

Howard said society needs more representations of black people in positive scenarios, like when Jasmine Tookes, a black Victoria’s Secret Angel, was chosen to wear the $3 million Fantasy Bra at the 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. “Unfortunately we are rarely shown in a positive light in the media,” she wrote. Instead, she wrote, black people are more likely to be shown getting “shot or arrested.”

“I hope this project can help to bring awareness back to the positive side of black people,” she wrote.

Heidi Arthur, senior VP for campaigns at the Ad Council, appreciates Howard’s tenacity. “We love seeing the growing conversations around diversity happening across communities,” she wrote in an email. “The more we can talk about issues of diversity, the more personally aware we all become. This increased dialogue helps people understand and eradicate their own implicit biases.”