Saturday, April 30, 2016

13177: BBDO Mexico Stinks.

BBDO Mexico thinks smelly feet pose sexual dangers to women and children. The responsible creatives must have foot fetishes. Idiots.

Friday, April 29, 2016

13176: Deutsch Dodges Diversity.

Campaign published an interview with Deutsch North America CCO Pete Favat and Deutsch Chairman Linda Sawyer, probing the two on recent senior-level hires that were predominately White and male. Appropriately enough, the accompanying colorless photo of the two executives showed them not staring directly at the camera; that is, Favat and Sawyer can’t look you straight in the eye and deliver a legitimate response regarding their agency’s exclusivity. The answers provided by the diversity-diverting duo were dodgy, as well as culturally clueless clichés and contrived cover-ups. Net comment: Two industry leaders are making zero deliberate efforts to address discriminatory hiring practices. Worse yet, Deutsch is part of the IPG network, self-recognized for leadership in diversity and inclusion.

Why Deutsch hired two white, male CCOs

By Douglas Quenqua

“A different point of view doesn’t mean a different gender or a different race,” says NA CCO Pete Favat

The news yesterday that Deutsch had simultaneously hired two new chief creative officers — Jason Bagley in Los Angeles and Dan Kelleher in New York — didn’t come as much of a surprise. It had been eight months since NY CCO Kerry Keenan left the agency, and more than a year since former LA CCO Pete Favat was elevated to North American CCO, leaving the LA role empty. Someone needed to fill those jobs, and Bagley and Kelleher seem like a natural fit.

The surprising part was that Deutsch, an agency long associated with female leaders, had become the latest shop to present a photo of its senior leadership that featured nothing but white men. And it wasn’t just yesterday: Out of five senior hires the Interpublic Group agency has made in 2016, every one has been male and white. And three of those hires — chief technology officer Trevor O’Brien, chief strategy officer Andrew Dawson and Kelleher — will now form what Deutsch calls its “three-pronged leadership” team in New York, meaning the office’s go-to-market strategy will be dominated by white men.

Fifteen years ago, no one may have noticed. But in 2016, issues of diversity in advertising have taken on a new urgency. The JWT discrimination lawsuit, the Campbell Ewald “ghetto day” email, the Bloomingdale’s ad about “spiking her eggnog.” There’s a reason that Nancy Hill, CEO of the Association of American Advertising Agencies, opened the group’s annual gathering in March with an emotional speech admonishing agency leaders, “If you’re the CEO, you are the chief diversity officer.”

On Wednesday, Deutsch Chairman Linda Sawyer and Favat answered questions about the job search, Deutsch’s record of diversity and the struggle to find good talent.

You are fresh off the process of hiring two new CCOs, both of whom ended up being white men. Any thoughts on why this process so often ends up arriving at the same conclusion?

Pete Favat: It’s a long process, with a lot going on. A large portion of the work we do for clients is tech and digital, so if there is one major filter that we are looking for with candidates, it’s someone who has a balance between understanding the digital and being well-versed in more — I hate to say traditional — but storytelling type of work. We talked to a lot of people, and there are people who are very strong digitally but don’t have a very strong sense of TV or traditional mediums, or vice versa. We go into it looking for someone who is a bridge builder between technology and traditional mediums. That’s the first filter.

The second filter is simple: Are they nice people? Do they respect people? They’re not going to come in and be a complete jerk. It’s a simple process, but finding the right people was extremely difficult.

Linda Sawyer: We have always had a lot of women in management and in our organization. If you look at our senior leadership, we’re at like 58% women, and if you look at our organization overall, we’re over 50% women, as well as around 50% in our creative department.

When you talk about the notion of talent having no gender, that cuts both ways — this was about finding the right people, and it happened that the two people we landed on with the right skill set and chemistry happened to, in this case, be men.

How many candidates did you speak to overall?

Favat: We spoke to about 20 people. It is interesting, because we’re fully aware of the importance of all this, but never does it run through our mind that we need to hire a woman, or we need to hire an African American, or we need to hire a man. That’s never part of the process. We keep an eye on the overall picture of the company. But we never go into it saying we need to fill this position with a specific gender, nor would our clients ask us to do that. It’s more important to get the right talent and the right person in the job.

But diversity among senior creative leadership is such a specific issue. So doesn’t it sometimes make sense to say, ‘These are CCO positions. We really do need to look for someone with a different point of view”?

Favat: A different point of view doesn’t mean a different gender or a different race. A different point of view can be anybody. So yeah, we definitely look for different points of view and people who have skill sets that are more modern than anybody else. But I don’t know if I’d say if a woman would have a different point of view than a man would, so I don’t know if that’s ever a part of it.

Deutsch has made five senior hires this year, all of whom have been white men. That is something of a trend, no?

Favat: I don’t know if it’s a trend. We’ve hired new people but we’ve also promoted females into senior positions. We’ve promoted people like Kim Getty in LA to president [Jan 2015] and Pam Scheideler is now chief digital officer of LA [Feb 2016]. I’ll also say that In LA, from a CD standpoint, we have promoted six women up to senior level roles as creative directors.

I think what happens is, the photo dictates so much these days. We even wrestle with that — do we include a photo or not? It’s that one photograph in that one moment that makes it look that way. But when we promote someone to a CD, there’s no photo, there’s no story. So in some ways maybe we should start writing stories that these people are getting promoted.

So beyond the picture, there was no discussion about the need to find something other than two white men to fill these roles?

Favat: No, because, I don’t think any of us look at somebody as a white person or a black person or a woman or an African American. We look at people as, Do they have the talent and the skill set to take on this role? And also a person who clients just adore. We look at that and say, “Who would fit that role?”

Sawyer: I think your question is very apropos for an organization where you look across the board at senior leadership and it’s predominantly white men. That is a seriously missed opportunity. We’re very fortunate that because we do have such a well-balanced organization from top to bottom, we can just focus on bringing in the right talent. Yet we do believe in the whole notion of diversity of thought, and I think it’s paid off very well.

But in New York, the three prongs of your go-to-market strategy are all represented by white men. No concern that a client will see that and question how you will reach different groups of people with three guys who look the same? Favat: Actually they don’t look the same at all. Dan is completely bald, Trevor is like a 7’ tall Irishman, and Andrew is like a 5’6” guy from Brooklyn. [Laughter] They don’t look anything alike actually.

They also report to Val Difebo and Linda Sawyer. I don’t know, I don’t walk around saying all white men look alike. We just look at people as individuals.

Your head of diversity in New York, Felicia Geiger, was recently let go. Are you eliminating the position?

Vonda LePage, EVP, director of communications: We’re eliminating the position. One of the philosophies we lean into is that everybody at Deutsch, from the CEO to the receptionist, owns diversity. And we wanted to really make sure that everybody was stepping up and owning it. And by having one person who owned it, which is what that role was, kind of took the responsibility off everybody else. And so now our diversity efforts are spread much more through, not just HR departments, but other departments.

13175: Unilever’s Universal Lies.

Adweek reported Unilever is using its Dove brand to address beauty ideals for women in India. Um, Unilever is behind the Fair and Lovely skin-lightening product, which makes the Dove effort a fairly lovely act of hypocrisy.

Dove’s Latest Mission? Revamping Beauty Ideals in India

Brand hopes to spark change with new short film

By Kristina Monllos

Dove’s got a new short film, Let’s Break the Rules of Beauty, which champions a more inclusive approach to beauty for Indian women.

The 50-second short, from Indian film director, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker, Pan Nalin, showcases a variety of women whose look and style doesn’t necessarily fit the Indian beauty ideal of “youthful looks, fair skin, long black flowing hair and a trim figure.”

“[This] is the first Dove Masterbrand campaign created specifically for India,” said Victoria Sjardin, senior global brand director, Dove Masterbrand. “India is a country growing and evolving at a rapid pace and yet the traditional beauty ideal remains narrow and restrictive. In fact, our new research suggests 76 percent of Indian women believe that in today’s society, it is critical to meet certain beauty standards.”

According to the brand’s research, the pressure to comply with Indian beauty ideals comes from external, traditional and societal factors and 80 percent of India’s 631 million women believe that they need to look a certain way to do well in life.

“This campaign is designed to encourage India to embrace its diversity in beauty, and spark change against the variety of pressures and influences that are keeping a narrow beauty ideal alive,” said Sjardin. “Our hope is to genuinely start a conversation about expanding the beauty ideal and embracing the varieties of beauty that come from a country with 631 million women, 29 states and 22 languages.”

The digital campaign isn’t the brand’s first effort in India. Hoping to raise the self-esteem of young women in India the brand launched the Dove Self-Esteem Project in 2014. It has already educated 300,000 young people to date and, according to Sjardin, the brand aspires to reach 2.65 million young people by 2020.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

13174: Y&R&Hypocrisy.

This National Geographic campaign celebrating cultural differences from Y&R in Brazil is especially heinous and hypocritical when considering the agency’s notoriety for dousing diversity.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

13173: Adweek’s Diverted Diversity Issue.

Adweek presented its “Women’s Issue”—filled with plenty of diverted diversity. Funny how the trade publications annually salute White admen, adwomen, media people, young adpeople, etc. Why no “Minority Issue”—besides the fact that it would be damned difficult finding enough adpeople of color to fill an entire issue?

Monday, April 25, 2016

13172: Nutty Professing.

Campaign published a perspective on mental health from Oystercatchers CEO and Founder Suki Thompson. According to Thompson, “While we’ve come a long way in tackling sexism and racism, we’re still burying our heads in the sand when it comes to mental health and mental wellness.” Um, is Thompson crazy? To think adland has “come a long way in tackling sexism and racism” demonstrates a serious lack of mental awareness. Thompson wrote, “Prioritising mental well-being should be just as vital as tackling sexism and racism…” Okay, but let’s hope mental well-being doesn’t receive the same amount of apathy, inaction and indifference as racism—although it will probably join sexism as another diverted diversity smokescreen.

We need to change the conversation about mental health

By Suki Thompson

Prioritising mental well-being should be just as vital as tackling sexism and racism, says Oystercatchers’ chief executive.

At this week’s Advertising Week Europe we came together to talk about stress — possibly the last taboo topic in our industry. While we’ve come a long way in tackling sexism and racism, we’re still burying our heads in the sand when it comes to mental health and mental wellness. In the UK, 70 million days are lost from work each year due to mental ill health.

Matt Atkinson, the group chief marketing officer of Saga; Nabs’ chief executive Diana Tickell; John Neal, performance coach and sports psychologist; Mark Rowland, director of fundraising and communication at the Mental Health Foundation; and Jonathan Harman of the Royal Mail joined me on stage and pulled no punches.

Nabs reported an upsurge of 67 per cent in people calling for emotional support in the last 12 months, with 65 per cent saying at some point in their career they felt unable to cope.

Mark Rowland shared his own story. His brother struggled for years with depression, a significant trigger being a sense of his own perceived failure: that he hadn’t achieved whatever his younger self had defined as a worthwhile life. It owned him and slowly suffocated him. Two years ago, his brother went out for a bike ride and never came back.

I can’t begin to imagine the devastation.

I believe that we’re at a point in time when the cultural wave is crashing. I can openly talk about cancer, and no one doubts I can do my job, yet mention a mental health problem [and that can range from depression to autism] and employers are less likely to offer up employment. That has to stop.

Lessons I learnt

As leaders, do we create or remove stress? Are we doing enough to bring the challenges of stress to the table? Matt Atkinson made a strong point when it comes to agency and client relationships. His view is that clients hold a great responsibility in setting the tone to ensure teams do great things together. “Work out whether you bring support and challenge into the room or just leave behind chaos,” he urged. The tone of conversations, meetings and even emails need to carefully be considered.

John Neal, currently prepping British athletes for the Rio Olympics, uses a brilliant visual device to communicate individual well-being, smartly avoiding what most see as an awkward conversation. His team fill up small bottles of water to illustrate how much space [i.e. capacity] they each have left for training.

And our industry is helping too. Nabs’ Advice Line provides confidential and practical advice on how to handle stress, and master classes give people confidence to talk and understand that it’s perfectly normal to feel that you can’t cope all the time.

Some practical tips

Fitness: Without exception exercise came top of the list.

Know yourself: realising that she is a born organiser, Diana spends time tidying up each evening and prioritising work load to reduce that last minute feeling of stress.

Sleep well: Matt turns off the family Wi-Fi at 9pm, without fail. Data shows that blue and white light late at night [that means TV too] guarantees restless sleep.

Pace yourself and support others: my PA will stop me from filling my diary — “too much Suki — time to breathe.”

Relationships: Mark told us that there is evidence that both home and work relationships can have a dramatic impact on our mental wellness, so don’t be afraid to change and speak up.

And finally, John’s advice: make love, and buy a mattress topper!

We’re at the beginning of a long journey and we need to get our business in shape. Employee health needs to be owned and supported by everyone. “Mental first aid” training should be included in leadership programs and executive coaching. Environments, schedules and cultural norms will need to reflect compassion and kindness.

Our call of action is clear: achieve parity between physical and mental health. We are organising a roundtable bringing together people who want to help lead change in our industry, marketing and agency heads, and experts to develop an agenda.

Please let me know if you want to take part at, or for support contact Nabs on 0800 707 6607 or FREEPOST NABS.

In the meantime, I’m off to buy a mattress topper and several small bottles of mineral water.

Suki Thompson is the chief executive and co-founder of Oystercatchers

Sunday, April 24, 2016

13171: Belated 11th Anniversary.

On March 6th, MultiCultClassics celebrated 11 years of confronting common cultural cluelessness.

13170: Russell Simmons Has ADHD.

Adweek reported Russell Simmons is launching a new creative agency to connect brands with hip-hop fans. Are White advertising agencies no longer qualified to handle hip-hop campaigns? But they love hip-hop artists and music!

Russell Simmons’ New Agency Will Help Brands Connect With Hip-Hop Fans

He’s targeting an ‘overlooked and underserved’ audience

By Christine Birkner

This week, hip-hop impresario and Adweek Brand Visionary Russell Simmons launched an in-house creative agency to help brands appeal to young audiences in a new way. The new agency, ADHD, will serve as an in-house creative unit of All Def Digital (ADD), Simmons’ web video platform and media company which manages a unit of social video stars, writers, actors and hip hop artists and has 1.4 million subscribers on YouTube.

Both entities’ acronyms are a nod to younger generations’ shorter attention spans, Simmons told Adweek. “The idea was, if you don’t have ADD, you’re not paying attention,” he said.

The goal of ADHD is to appeal to the increasingly diverse hip-hop audience, which so far has been misunderstood by brands and by Hollywood, Simmons said.

“No one really understands this audience. It’s multiracial, but singularly cultural. It started out 95 percent black, and now it’s 45 percent non-black, and that’s going to keep growing,” he said. “The audience we speak to is overlooked and underserved. A lot of the content Hollywood creates doesn’t serve this audience. We want to help brands frame their messaging in an honest way.”

Hip-hop is increasingly visible in mainstream culture, and brands need to recognize that, said ADD CEO Sanjay Sharma. “Last year, the three biggest media properties in America were Straight Outta Compton in movies, Empire on TV, and Hamilton on Broadway. We know that hip-hop is permeating American and global pop culture, through music, fashion and art, and language,” he said. “We’re connecting brands through authentic, immersive content experiences and helping them reach this audience in a way that a lot of traditional media outlets don’t do.”

ADD works with Samsung, Chevrolet and Nissan, as well as movie studios, and through ADHD, it plans to broaden its scope and offer brands work that’s similar to its YouTube campaigns for the releases of The Boss, Krampus and Barbershop 3, and Vine campaigns for Jurassic World and The Martian.

ADHD will be led by R/GA managing director Josh Mandel, who joined R/GA in 2013 after working at 72andSunny. “We feel like brands haven’t yet recognized the reality of hip-hop as the thread that unites this younger, multicultural audience,” Mandel said. “So many fans of hip-hop are white. Urban isn’t just a racial identity, it’s a cultural identity, and it’s three trillion dollars of buying power, and nobody’s thinking of the market in this way.”

The new agency will help advertisers crack the code in appealing to this audience through genuine content, Simmons said. “There’s a psychology associated with hip-hop culture that’s very brand-friendly. They’re the best brand building community in the world, and they’re also the hardest to reach. They have the best bullshit meter. You can’t patronize them. If brands don’t look honest to them, they’ll tear them down.”

Saturday, April 23, 2016

13169: Gustavo Martinez Unplugged.

Advertising Age, Adweek and AgencySpy presented access to the infamous redacted video of former JWT Worldwide Chairman and CEO Gustavo Martinez joking about rape during an agency meeting. Of course, comments at the sites included the obligatory perspectives from idiots whining about political correctness taking the fun out of everything—as well as the morons expressing outrage that Martinez’s monologue led to his job loss. First of all, keep in mind that Martinez was not terminated; rather, he resigned. Second, the video is not the sole evidence representing the charges against him. In fact, his filmed attempt at comedy might be the least nasty act he’s accused of executing. Third, if a politician made similar remarks, he’d face resignation. If the CEO of an advertiser made similar remarks, he’d face resignation. Hell, if a JWT mailroom attendant made similar remarks, he’d be fired. Or at least sent to sensitivity training courses. Was Martinez displaying unconscious bias or conscious racism with his jokes—or cultural cluelessness and stupidity at least? Yes to cultural cluelessness and stupidity. Plus, he displayed ignorance about the concept of comedy killers. As for unconscious bias or conscious racism, well, the jury has not yet been selected to rule on that.

Friday, April 22, 2016

13168: Miller Lite Stays White.

Adweek reported Miller Lite picked its fourth White advertising agency in four years—sans a review. And why would a competitive pitch be necessary anyway? Just roll in a fresh batch of White people to create advertising as bland and stale as, well, Miller Lite.

180LA Wins Miller Lite Creative Account Without a Review

Win marks brand’s fourth agency switch in 4 years

By Patrick Coffee

Less than two years after choosing TBWA\Chiat\Day, Los Angeles, as lead creative agency for the best-selling Miller Lite brand, parent company MillerCoors has tapped the agency’s sister shop 180LA for lead creative duties without a review.

A TBWA spokesperson tells Adweek its Los Angeles office will remain a roster agency for MillerCoors, but 180LA will create the next Miller Lite campaign. Representatives for 180LA have not responded to requests for comment.

“Miller Lite is the original light beer, and we are tremendously proud of this unique beer and brand,” a MillerCoors representative told Adweek. “As we continue to share that pride with beer drinkers, we need partners that will evolve and contribute to that journey with us.”

Both agencies are Omnicom properties operating within the larger TBWA network, and this news follows February reports that the brand had begun “looking for ideas” from other shops in that circle.

“The network of TBWA resources has been invaluable thus far and we look forward to continuing our relationship with TBWA to drive further growth, momentum and excitement for our iconic brand moving forward,” said the MillerCoors spokesperson.

The past few years have marked a somewhat turbulent period for Miller beer marketing.

In September 2014, TBWA\Chiat\Day beat out Publicis’ Leo Burnett to become the Miller Lite brand’s third lead creative agency in just over two years. The company parted ways with FCB and Saatchi & Saatchi before launching the review, and it had been working with Ogilvy & Mather and Johannes Leonardo on project-based work in the interim.

Last summer, MillerCoors also reshuffled its agency lineup for the Coors Light, Leinenkugel’s and Blue Moon brands. The former went to 72andSunny after Coors dropped its former dedicated unit Cavalry—which was founded in 2012 specifically to handle that account—while the latter two brands went to San Francisco’s Venables Bell & Partners. That agency later saw its first campaign for Leinenkugel’s canceled for “straying too far from the brand.”

These account moves preceded the October 2015 news that AB InBev and MillerCoors’ parent company SABMiller had agreed to merge in a deal valued at $104 billion. The terms of that deal required SABMiller to sell its stake in MillerCoors, which later parted ways with head of brand marketing Gannon Jones.

Jones had played a key role in facilitating the TBWA\Chiat\Day win. Several years before joining MillerCoors, he served as director of consumer relationship marketing at Kraft Foods Group when that company was working with the TBWA network.

According to Kantar Media, MillerCoors spent $158 million on paid media to promote the Miller Lite brand in 2015.

Several prominent employees will leave TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles along with lead status on Miller Lite. Last week, Adweek’s AgencySpy blog reported that president Luis DeAnda would be departing after 14 years with the TBWA organization and that he would be accompanied by what a spokesperson called “a very small” number of additional staffers across departments.

Announcements regarding new leadership at TBWA L.A. are expected in the coming weeks. It’s not clear at this time whether the Miller shift precipitated the restructuring.

13167: There’s No Diversity In D&AD.

Campaign reported D&AD created a Foundation Council to address diversity. Look forward to the idiots appropriately awarding themselves a White Pencil. “Diversity and equal opportunities are a hot topic within the creative industries, but despite all the talk there hasn’t been enough action,” explained D&AD Foundation Director Paul Drake. “This is something that we want to change.” By crapping out a culturally clueless, clichéd concept? In the advertising industry, even the organizations that allegedly boast high standards of excellence and breakthrough thinking still settle for the lamest ideas imaginable to solve diversity dilemmas.

D&AD launches Foundation Council to boost talent and diversity

By Omar Oakes

D&AD has launched its first Foundation Council, with a mission to boost its New Blood talent programme and promote diversity.

Havas Worldwide, WPP, Leo Burnett, Wieden & Kennedy and Bartle Bogle Hegarty have signed up to support the initiative.

The Foundation Council is aiming to use the knowledge and experience from 35 years of student awards, as well as running learning programmes such as the WPP New Blood Academy, to deliver industry-led projects that ensure anyone with talent can succeed.

The first council will work on three projects in the first year, such as co-creating the D&AD curriculum based on the themes of the year’s awards. Over the next three years the curriculum will develop into a series of free courses, available globally to help people further their professional skills.

Another project, called Investing in Talent, will comprise a fund to support people who come through New Blood and lack the finance to realise their ideas.

And a new programme, New Blood Shift, will aim to find creative excellence through a free 12-week night school for young people who have not been through the traditional university route. Participants will also be provided with mentoring and the opportunity to work on paid placements.

Paul Drake, the D&AD Foundation director, said: “As a non-profit, D&AD already invests in programmes like New Blood that inspire the next generation of creative talent and encourage the creative industry to work towards a fairer, more sustainable future.

“But we want to do more. Diversity and equal opportunities are a hot topic within the creative industries, but despite all the talk there hasn’t been enough action. This is something that we want to change.”

Thursday, April 21, 2016

13166: Prince (1958-2016).

R.I.P. Prince Rogers Nelson.

13165: News From The Ghetto.

Adweek reported Campbell Ewald officially named a new CEO and selected a White woman to serve as new CCO—effectively moving from discrimination to diverted diversity. Oh Ghetto Happy Day!

Campbell Ewald Names New CEO and CCO as Agency Rebuilds After Controversy

Jo Shoesmith will lead creative, Kevin Wertz becomes top exec

By Noreen O’Leary

Campbell Ewald executive creative director Jo Shoesmith will become the agency’s chief creative officer following the departure of her predecessor, Mark Simon, who is retiring after 16 years at the agency.

Her promotion comes amid word that President Kevin Wertz, who has been running the agency since January following the dismissal of its former chief, Jim Palmer, has now officially been named CEO of the IPG agency. Palmer was ousted after being at the helm when agency ecd Jim Houck sent an email in October 2015 inviting staffers to take part in the San Antonio office’s “Ghetto Day” event. That email was leaked to Adweek’s AgencySpy blog earlier this year, and Houck was also later fired.

A Campbell Ewald rep said Simon’s departure on April 30 is not related to the “Ghetto Day” incident. Houck, who reported directly to Simon, was hired last year by Campbell Ewald, San Antonio, to work on the USAA account after the copywriter spent time as a creative director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Saatchi & Saatchi and SapientNitro, among others.

USAA fired the agency after Houck’s memo surfaced, and the account has since moved to Campbell Ewald’s corporate sibling MullenLowe. Last month, Adweek learned that clients Edward Jones and Henry Ford Health Centers would also leave Campbell Ewald; the latter cited Houck’s email in explaining why it dropped the agency.

Shoesmith, joined the agency last year as ecd from Leo Burnett Chicago where she was svp, creative director, working on brands like Allstate and Hallmark. She will remain based in Los Angeles. She is the first female CCO in Campbell Ewald’s 105-year history and is also the first one to be located outside of the agency’s Detroit headquarters.

In an internal memo, Wertz said of Shoesmith: “In an effort to fully embrace the agency’s open architecture, Jo will continue to be based in Los Angeles and report directly to me. This will be an agency first and I have every confidence in Jo to effectively lead the cross-collaboration across all offices. She will be making her rounds and visiting each of our offices in coming weeks. If you haven’t already had the chance to work with her or meet her, please make sure to introduce yourself and support her in her new role.”

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

13164: Pioneer Of Diverted Diversity.

AgencySpy reported Omnicom President-CEO-Pioneer of Diversity John Wren vowed to double the number of female creative leaders at BBDO over the next year—which technically makes him a Pioneer of Diverted Diversity. Not sure why Wren only mentioned BBDO, but he also declared, “A critical aspect of achieving our talent development goals is creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. That means diversity in backgrounds, race, gender, age and experience. Quite frankly, we need to look more like the businesses, people and consumers we do business with. Omnicom’s commitment to diversity starts from the top.” However, the corporate commitment does not include sharing EEO-1 data to prove the achievement of talent development goals—which, incidentally, aren’t publicly defined either.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

13163: Sir Moron On Money.

Campaign reported on WPP Overlord Sir Martin Sorrell defending his £63 million pay package during an interview at Advertising Week Europe. Sorrell’s self-defense included pointing out that the “market capitalisation of the company has grown from £8 billion to £31 billion.” Okey-doke. At the same time, the latest WPP financial report boasted about the company’s inclusiveness, declaring its workers “represent perhaps the most diverse example of diversity of any single organization.” Yet a few weeks later, Sorrell responded to the Gustavo Martinez debacle by admitting there is a problem with diversity, recognizing the representation of Blacks, Latinos and the LGBT community is “unacceptably low.” Rival holding company IPG claims that its executives with hiring power have their compensation tied to meeting diversity goals. Shouldn’t leaders like Sorrell be held to similar standards of performance? Imagine how his £63 million paycheck would shrink if Sir Moron were held accountable for the exclusivity at WPP.

Sorrell on his pay packet: ‘this is the way to do it’

By James Swift

Sir Martin Sorrell, the chief executive of WPP, has defended his £63 million share-linked remuneration package, saying: “I passionately believe this is the way to do it”.

Sorrell spoke about his pay during an interview with journalist Ian King at Advertising Week Europe in London today.

Answering the question — prompted by last week’s news that 60 per cent of BP’s shareholders voted against the chief executive’s £14 million pay — about whether he was paid too much, Sorrell said: “it’s philosophical.”

“I was 40-years-old and was chief financial officer of Saatchi & Saatchi, where the Saatchi brothers were letting me do pretty much whatever I wanted to do.

“But my dad had always said to me “find an industry you like, go into a company and build a reputation…where people respect what you do and then, if you feel like doing something on your own, start a company.”

“So I borrowed some money against my Saatchi & Saatchi stock invested [in 1985] in a company called Wire & Plastic Products… which was capitalised at £1 million.

“[…]Maybe because I’d gone to HBS [Harvard Business School] and spent two years looking through case studies of what the chairman or chief executives should do and why, I’ve always tried to do things on scale.

“I’ve not been interested in starting something and then flogging it. I’ve been interested in starting something small and then building it in to something big. I’ve always been interested in opportunities and problems in scale.

“…I invested what was a lot of money for me and bought 16 per cent (my partner got 13-14 per cent) and the rest is history. Today the company is worth £21 billion […] But I have taken a significant degree of risk over those 30 years. I have built up a substantial stake in the company […] it’s 2 per cent and its worth — if you do the maths — a considerable amount of money and its where most my wealth is. This is an entrepreneurial endeavour.

“This in my view […] is different and I passionately believe that this is the way to do it. I’m not a Johnny-come-lately picking a company up and turning it around. It’s been 31 years and it has offended all the investment wisdom.

“…I can’t comment on other situations… In the last five-year iteration, our share price has gone from 665p to 1,645p. If there’s a problem then it’s a problem that market capitalisation of the company has grown from £8 billion to £31 billion.”

Monday, April 18, 2016

13162: ABC’s Of Diversity.

Adweek reported ABC President Ben Sherwood declared his network created “all-inclusive” programming to reflect its diverse audience; plus, ABC has worked to bring diversity to its leadership. Does the network’s commitment to inclusiveness extend to its advertising agencies?

ABC’s Ben Sherwood Says Network’s ‘All-Inclusive’ Programming Reflects Its Diverse Audience

Calls Shonda Rhimes ‘Our Elvis’ at Vegas conference

By Chris Ariens

Ben Sherwood says ABC’s programming reflects diversity not simply because it’s good business to do so but “because it’s right.”

Sherwood, the president of the Disney-ABC TV group, was the keynote speaker today at the opening of the 2016 NAB Show in Las Vegas and then took part in a Q&A with Gordon Smith, the president of NAB and a former Oregon Senator. ABC’s new entertainment president, Channing Dungey, was in the front row, seated next to Rebecca Campbell, the head of the ABC owned TV stations group.

“My predecessor, Anne Sweeney, and [former ABC entertainment president] Paul Lee set in motion choices that were based upon decisions that reflect our audience,” said Sherwood, who himself is considered a potential successor to Bob Iger as CEO of Disney. “And now with Channing Dungey, you’ll see that commitment is even greater.”

ABC dominates Thursday nights with dramas produced by Shonda Rhimes (whom Sherwood called “our Elvis” in a nod to Vegas) and has a string of family comedies featuring African-Americans, Asian-Americans and even one starring a gay teenager.

“We are all-inclusive,” Sherwood said. “In a divided nation, we speak to everyone, and our content needs to reflect that.”

Smith asked Sherwood if he bought the notion that this is still a golden age of television.

“Every era wants to have its golden age, and I think we’re in a golden moment for TV,” Sherwood said. “What is unusual about this moment is not about the talent that is making it but the technology that is used to tell a story and distribute it widely. As a democrat with a small d, I’m a big fan of that.”

When Smith asked Sherwood if he had any advice for the ABC affiliates in the room, Sherwood said, “That feels like a trick question. As a recovering journalist [Sherwood is the former president of ABC News], I would never be so presumptuous to wear the hat of our affiliate leaders.”

“The one thing I worry about the most is we should never take for granted that the viewer or consumer or customer of today is the viewer or consumer or customer of tomorrow,” Sherwood said, “and I would exhort our affiliate friends to do that as well. We’re very much aligned here.”

Sherwood is meeting behind closed doors with ABC affiliates this afternoon in Las Vegas.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

13161: IAB On Diversity.

A MultiCultClassics visitor pointed to IAB President and CEO Randall Rothenberg’s opening keynote delivered at the 2016 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, wherein Rothenberg declared, “[A]d-blocking is a war against diversity and freedom of expression.” The following excerpt from Rothenberg’s speech is particularly noteworthy—and cringe-worthy:

One of the most transcendent values to which you can devote yourself is diversity.

We are living in a period of racial, ethnic, and religious vilification unlike anything I have experienced in my adult life. Presidential candidates from a major party actually are calling for people to be segregated and penalized on the basis of their religion. Whole ethnic groups, particularly Latinos and everyone practicing Islam, are being demonized. Rules and laws are being proposed that would prevent these people from entering the United States, or staying here, based solely on their backgrounds, divorced entirely from their productivity or family ties here.

When you get back to your office, look around you at work, and pay attention. For these are your friends and colleagues who are under attack. Their skin is black, and brown, and ochre, as well as white. They speak Mandarin, and Spanish, and Hindu, and Farsi, as well as English. They celebrate Diwali, and Kwanzaa, and Ramadan, as well as Christmas and Chanukkah. And they are under assault.

And when they are under attack, you are under attack. For they are the future of the American economy. They are the future of consumption. They are the future of advertising and media. They are your childrens’ classmates, your in-laws, the parents of your future grandchildren.

Um, has Rothenberg visited a typical advertising agency in the past, say, 50 years? If he were to accompany any of the attendees back to their offices, and looked around, and paid attention, he’d see the friends and colleagues do not have black, brown and ochre skin tones. They do not speak Mandarin, and Spanish, and Hindu, and Farsi, as well as “urban” or Spanglish. They do not celebrate Diwali, and Kwanzaa and Ramadan—or even Black History Month.

Regardless, Rothenberg’s solution is to have the industry invest in iDiverse, the IAB’s culturally-clichéd smokescreen. Because, by golly, colored candidates require special training and tutoring in order to succeed in predominately White advertising agencies—where the majority of staffers were hired via nepotism, cronyism and other assorted isms. Sorry, but ad-blocking is not nearly as big a threat to diversity as adpeople.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

13160: Diverted Diversity Discourse.

Adweek published the latest diverted diversity dreck from 4As President and CEO Nancy Hill, who insists the “discourse about gender and diversity in advertising is reaching a crescendo.” Not sure if Hill actually wrote the line or if it’s the work of an Adweek editor, but the words are only valid if the writer means a gradual, steady increase in loudness or force as applied to a fart. That “gender” precedes “diversity” in the dreary discourse says it all. According to Hill, people have approached her to gush, “This is what I am going to do to make a change.” Of course, Hill offered no clues regarding exactly what anyone is going to do to make any changes. And the 4As leader ultimately presented the same old smokescreen solutions and crescendo of culturally clueless clichés. Hill closed by declaring, “It’s why I am confident that this time is different.” Yes, this time White women are dominating the diversity drivel. (Not surprisingly, the illustration for the Adweek article—depicted above—exclusively features White women.)

Discourse About Gender and Diversity in Advertising Is Reaching a Crescendo

But real change starts at the top

By Nancy Hill

It’s been nearly a month since the 4A’s Transformation conference, where, as many of you heard, read or experienced firsthand, the discourse about gender and diversity in the advertising industry was raised to a new level. We have now reached an inflection point in the conversation: More people than ever are engaged, which is exactly what it’s going to take to make significant and meaningful change.

This time, I am confident agencies and their leaders—men and women alike—are going to take action to ensure that our industry better reflects the population.

The comments I received at Transformation and after the event have been moving, to say the least. One reason I know this time is different is that people have been taking it upon themselves to come directly to me and say, “This is what I am going to do to make a change.”

We at the 4A’s are engaged in numerous initiatives to support gender equality and diversity—from the Glass Ladder series, designed to empower and educate female leaders, to our MAIP multicultural mentorship program.

And we’re going to be doing more. This month, we’re launching a yearlong, multiplatform initiative involving 4A’s events, webinars, salons, content development and enterprising research.

The objective is threefold: to keep the conversation front and center, to hold a mirror up to agencies regarding female and diverse experiences and to offer programs that advance the careers of female and diverse agency professionals.

As part of the initiative, we will be commissioning comprehensive research to provide insight into how women are treated and rewarded at agencies and portrayed in advertising. The first part of the two-part survey will examine female experiences in the industry as they relate to equal pay, equal opportunities for advancement and sexual harassment, among other topics. The second part will look at how women are portrayed in ads and the impact on current and future generations of women.

We expect the findings to be comprehensive and informative with the goal shaping how the conversation about gender and diversity in the advertising industry progresses.

But real change needs to take place within agencies, and it has to start at the top.

As I mentioned at the conference, if you are a CEO, you are also the chief diversity officer. And you need to look at every hire as an opportunity to change the playing field at your own company.

Here are a few places to start to take action:

Revisit your hiring process. Following Transformation, one CEO at a large, independent agency approached me and said, “From now on, I’m not looking at any resume that has a name on it.” Blind applications are one way to help erase unconscious biases when it comes to hiring (or not hiring) female or diverse candidates. Another option is to institute the Rooney Rule and mandate that whenever you’re hiring for an open position, the slate of candidates must be diverse.

Close the wage gap. Look at your staff’s salaries. Is there a gap between what men are making and what women are making? If so, I urge you to fix it if you want to retain and nurture some of your agency’s best talent.

Open the discussion. Make sure your HR department is receptive and reactive to employees’ feedback. “If you see something, say something” shouldn’t just be a slogan on the New York City subway. If you see colleagues, friends, bosses or junior staffers being treated unfairly because of their gender, race, ethnicity, physical ability or any other reason, raise a flag. This is unacceptable behavior, and each agency should have a process in place to address it without making employees fear for their jobs.

I’m encouraged by the progress we’ve made in just the few short weeks since this discussion came to a head. Nancy Reyes became the new managing director at TBWA\Chiat\Day’s New York office, and less than a week into her job as JWT’s new CEO, Tamara Ingram declared her intentions to make diversity a top priority.

This is an industry I fell in love with more than 30 years ago. There is so much good, so much creativity and so much innovation that flows through its veins. I know you all have a passion for this industry as well, and that’s why I’m confident that we’ll do the right things together and move this industry forward.

It’s why I am confident that this time is different.

Nancy Hill (@nhhill) is president and CEO of the 4A’s.

Friday, April 15, 2016

13159: Sprint Is So Ghetto.

Advertising Age reported Sprint CEO Marcelo Claure pulled a video from his real people “listening tour” featuring a White woman calling competitor T-Mobile “ghetto.” First of all, when will Claure realize his brand has a history of bad advertising starring a CEO? Just stay in your C-suite and figure out how to actually turn around your lame company. Native Bolivian Claure must be taking cultural competency courses with former JWT Worldwide Chairman and CEO (and native Argentinian) Gustavo Martinez. In the meantime, expect to see Campbell Ewald make a pitch for the T-Mobile account.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

13158: WPPathetic.

Advertising Age reported WPP lawyers flip-flopped on their position regarding a video depicting former JWT Worldwide Chairman and CEO Gustavo Martinez allegedly making inappropriate comments during a company meeting. The WPP legal team wrote, “In light of the Declarations from women, minorities and others in the room that show that the comments on the Video were, in context, not offensive, the Video actually demonstrates the misleading nature of the allegations in the Amended Complaint.” Sorry, but affidavits from culturally clueless White advertising executives and one minority do not make Martinez’s monologue acceptable. Hell, why not ask the Ku Klux Klan to weigh in too? There’s really not much difference between the average Klansman and the average Mad Man.

WPP Drops Opposition to Entering Video Into Evidence in JWT Suit

Says Recording Reveals ‘Misleading Nature’ of Allegations Against Agency and Gustavo Martinez

By Maureen Morrison

For all the arguing that WPP has done over the last few weeks to keep an allegedly damning video under wraps, it’s now changing its mind.

In a filing Monday morning, WPP lawyers said they’re happy to see the video in evidence in Erin Johnson’s lawsuit against J. Walter Thompson and former agency chairman-CEO Gustavo Martinez, as long as other employees’ faces are obscured.

Ms. Johnson, chief communications officer at JWT, said in her original March 10 lawsuit that Mr. Martinez made multiple racist and sexist comments during his tenure, some of which were captured on video. Her lawyers sought to submit the video, of a company meeting in a Miami hotel, via an amended lawsuit on March 14.

After a judge ordered Ms. Johnson’s camp to send the video to the court and to JWT for review, lawyers for JWT and WPP filed a motion for a protective order to seal the video. They also filed a joint affidavit from several JWT employees, including New York President Lynn Power and Chief Creative Officer Matt Eastwood, saying Mr. Martinez’s comments at the meeting were not offensive.

Today WPP’s attorneys said Ms. Johnson had addressed their initial concern, that the recording contained proprietary information about the agency’s internal work processes, by agreeing to exclude that part of the meeting. Their later effort to seal the video reflected only the desire to protect employees’ privacy, they said.

“In light of the Declarations from women, minorities and others in the room that show that the comments on the Video were, in context, not offensive, the Video actually demonstrates the misleading nature of the allegations in the Amended Complaint,” the WPP team wrote. “Accordingly, if the Court orders that Plaintiff edit out the faces of the people in the Video (other than Martinez), Defendants have no objection to the filing of the Video since they have argued from the outset that the words Martinez spoke on the Video are already in the Amended Complaint and they did not create a hostile work environment.”

Attorneys for Ms. Johnson did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

In their affidavit, the JWT employees said Mr. Martinez had made remarks that they would not have, but was only trying to lighten the mood on the morning after an allegedly rowdy party. “Given the content of the highly unusual events occurring at the hotel in the night before the meetings, combined with Gustavo’s lack of command of the English language and the fact that he was making a joke about himself, we did not find the comments he made offensive,” they said.

According to the original lawsuit, “The previous night, there had been a large party at the hotel’s night club attended by mostly African-American guests. At the start of his presentation, Martinez described the hotel as ‘tricky.’ He explained that he ‘found … different and strange characters in the elevator.’ He further explained, ‘I was thinking I was going to be raped at the elevator,’ but ‘not in a nice way.’”

Mr. Martinez resigned on March 17.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

13157: White Pride.

Campaign reported on promotions at Ogilvy Pride, the LGBT shop in the Ogilvy family. Ogilvy and WPP likely use the enterprise to boost the holding company’s global diversity figures—establishing WPP as perhaps the most diverse example of diversity of any single organisation. Yet based on the photo above, is there any racial and ethnic diversity at Ogilvy Pride?

Ogilvy Pride hires Pierce to head senior team

by Gurjit Degun

Ogilvy Pride, the LGBT agency in the Ogilvy Group, has unveiled its senior team after hiring a new head and two deputies.

Sam Pierce, the global business partner for Ogilvy & Mather Advertising, joins as the head of Ogilvy Pride. He has been tasked with the overall leadership and to drive commercial opportunities.

Having joined Ogilvy & Mather in 2008 as management supervisor, Pierce became the worldwide account director in 2011.

Pierce replaces Andrew Barratt, an account executive at Ogilvy PR who founded the agency last year.

Ogilvy Pride was launched to help clients aim their ads at LBGT consumers and help brands reach a wider audience worth £1.9 trillion globally, the agency said.

Michael Breen, the digital account director at Geometry Global, and Alex Canthal, a business director at O&M, have joined as joint deputy heads of Ogilvy Pride.

Breen has been asked to focus on “external promotion and networking” while Canthal will work on thought leadership, including setting up a Pride think tank.

Annette King, the chief executive at Ogilvy & Mather Group UK, said: “We’re committed to Pride’s continued growth and development, both as a community across Ogilvy & Mather Group UK and as a commercial proposition for our clients.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

13156: Judging Smokescreens.

Adweek published the latest example of diverted diversity from The Advertising Club of New York President and CEO Gina Grillo. Although Grillo opened by stressing the need for inclusive juries for advertising award shows, she ultimately focused on ADC’s 50/50 Initiative, an effort to promote White women in the field. Pointing to advertisers making gradual product changes to demonstrate social responsibility, Grillo declared, “Diversity initiatives must be tackled in a similar fashion—bravely and incrementally.” Sorry, but “bravely and incrementally” sounds like an oxymoron. There’s nothing brave about jumping on the White women bandwagon and proclaiming the act symbolizes progress. And it’s pathetic to view such faux victories as incremental when minority representation in the industry is actually declining. Grillo insists that juries must become more diverse in order to make awards legitimate. Agreed—but simply increasing the number of White women judges is not a legitimate solution; rather, it’s just another smokescreen.

Why Juries Must Become More Diverse for Industry Awards to Be Truly Legitimate

Small, but bold changes should reflect changing society

By Gina Grillo

Is it a coincidence that both the entertainment and advertising industries are facing a diversity crisis on their awards juries? Probably not. Both of these industries, which champion and celebrate creative work, share a history of not having many shifts in power.

But as culture and the demographic makeup of this country continue to evolve, so too must the driving forces of creative industries if we’re going to remain relevant. To truly recognize creative achievement without bias, we must take a hard look at the construction of our juries and implement systemic changes to ensure all creatives are given opportunity and credit.

When the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences took quick, decisive steps to respond to the criticism of #OscarsSoWhite earlier this year, it showed the world that change can’t always happen all at once, but it won’t happen at all without action. By thinking in incremental, strategic terms about what we can do to affect change on our juries and awards shows in advertising right now, we can start creating bigger, lasting long term results.

As I’ve spent the past few weeks gearing up for our 52nd annual International ANDY Awards Show & Party tonight, I couldn’t help but reflect on how the validity and relevance of creative awards shows have come front-and-center into our industry’s consciousness.

For starters, we must hold ourselves accountable and admit that there is legwork to be done when it comes to diverse jury members. Specific industry organizations have recently come under fire for all-male juries. There’s room for improvement all over the industry, but there are also plenty of signs that our leaders are motivated to change—case in point, the Art Director’s Club’s 50/50 Initiative. The ANDYs have pledged a similar effort towards a jury that is 100 percent inclusive with an emphasis on women and cultural diversity.

Of course, there is also work to be done beyond the issue of gender diversity, and we must look to lead the industry by building a truly inclusive jury that represents people from varied backgrounds, races and sexual orientations. The excuse that it is hard to find people that represent these groups is hard to believe. This only halts progress by keeping the status quo in place. To address this head on means we need to be brave enough to sponsor and promote talented up-and-comers from the middle and give them a chance to progress through the ranks.

We can also learn from other industries. For example, many companies in the food business are moving towards a healthier norm—a movement that was led by a few conscientious brands who successfully created a cultural shift.

Last year, General Mills made a pledge to remove 90 percent of artificial flavors from its cereals by the end of 2016, including iconic lines like Reese’s Puffs and Trix. It knew it would take small steps over two years to enact this kind of change and that it was important to take the time to ensure the cereals tasted and looked great. The company also pushed a broad-reaching campaign on the issue—a bold act of bravery, indeed.

Meanwhile, in hopes of reducing its carbon footprint, HP made a commitment to reduce its greenhouse emissions by 20 percent by 2020. Since creating the initiative in 2005, it has created short and long-term initiatives that it has implemented internally and with outside partners, ultimately helping the company reach its goal two years ahead of schedule.

Diversity initiatives must be tackled in a similar fashion—bravely and incrementally. But in the long run, we cannot simply enforce diversity—it needs to happen organically, at the place where the talent pool is created and nurtured. Those involved in the hiring process must shift their focus toward bringing in diverse talent, and new processes will need to be created in order to ensure that we’re not just attracting the right people, but retaining them by creating a culture that openly embraces and champions diversity. By evolving our culture in this way, we can create the conditions for lasting change.

For real change to take hold, this talent will need support, such as competitive compensation, mentorship programs, awards and recognition, and career development opportunities that will help them climb the leadership ranks. For our part, the AD Club is pledging $100,000 to provide diverse female professionals access to key industry conferences that they would otherwise not have access to and that will support their careers.

As daunting as this all seems, it is a lot more daunting to do nothing. The next time you are in a position to hire, promote or train someone, make a concerted effort to be inclusive. It is the one investment that will provide relevancy for decades to come.

The vitality of our industry can only happen in earnest when we are brave enough to invest in the talent that represents the cultural shifts of our society.

Gina Grillo (@gina_grillo) is president and CEO of The Advertising Club of New York and the International ANDY Awards

13155: You Go, Aunt Flo.

Kotex introduced a new character—Aunt Flo—who appears to be a cross between Aunt Jemima and the Talking Vagina from Summer’s Eve. Whoever made the decision to cast Aunt Flo as a full-figured Black woman should be fired. Period.

13154: We Don’t Need Another Hero.

This campaign featuring Super Pedophiles—created by Grey in Costa Rica—is super awful.

Monday, April 11, 2016

13153: WTF AAF.

The AAF boasts a commitment to diversity via smokescreens like The Mosaic Awards, the Most Promising Multicultural Students Program and clichéd stock photography on its website. Yet the organization shows its true colors by honoring All-White inductees for the 2016 Advertising Hall of Fame. And now comes a press release announcing four new members to the AAF’s Board of Directors—and the quartet appears to be another All-White extravaganza. Brilliant.

Leaders from PepsiCo, Quantcast, The New York Times, ICM Partners Join the AAF’s Board of Directors

Seth Kaufman, Jonathan Perelman, Marcus Harper and Lisa Ryan Howard join the National AAF’s leadership.

NEW YORK, NY, Apr. 11, 2016—The American Advertising Federation (AAF) announced the election of four new members to its Board of Directors earlier today. The announcement was made in conjunction with one of the industry’s most prestigious events, the Advertising Hall of Fame induction ceremonies and gala dinner, which is being held at the Waldorf Astoria New York.

The AAF elected four new leaders to its Board of Directors. Marcus Harper, Head of Global Partnerships, Quantcast; Lisa Ryan Howard, Senior Vice President, Advertising, The New York Times; Seth Kaufman, Chief Marketing Officer, PepsiCo North America Beverages; and Jonathan Perelman, Head of Digital Ventures, ICM Partners join the AAF’s National Board.

The AAF’s Board of Directors guides and oversees the Federation’s signature events and initiatives, including the Advertising Hall of Fame, Advertising Hall of Achievement, Mosaic Center for Multiculturalism, National Student Advertising Competition, ADMERICA and the Institute for Advertising Ethics—all serving the Federation’s 40,000 professional members nationwide, 5,000 student members and more than 100 corporate members spanning media, clients and agencies.

“This is an amazing slate of industry leaders joining our Board, representing all parts of the advertising ecosystem and from different facets of our Membership,” said AAF President & CEO, James Edmund Datri. “I look forward to working with them and the entire AAF Board to continue to grow and innovate the Federation in the years ahead in exciting new ways.”

The AAF’s Board of Directors includes leaders from the most well-known and well-respected brands, media companies and agencies spearheading the advertising industry. These members support the AAF’s initiatives through partnerships, speaking engagements and thought leadership. The four new members join a Board led by Chairman Jim Norton, Global Head of Media Sales, AOL; Vice Chairman David Messinger, Co-Head, CAA Marketing, Creative Artists Agency; and Immediate Past Chairman Rich Stoddart, CEO, Leo Burnett Worldwide. During their tenure with the AAF, these leaders shape the AAF’s daily business, expansion efforts and innovation.

For more information about the AAF’s Board of Directors and partnership opportunities, please visit or contact Linda Moore via email or by phone at (202) 898-0089.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

13152: Major League Bullshit.

This Checkers & Rally’s commercial is aptly titled “Minor League.” The extraordinarily large team of hacks taking credit for the shit deserves to be tagged as minor league too.

Saturday, April 09, 2016

13151: Advertising Hall Of Same.

Oops. Missed the deadline to join the AAF in congratulating the all-White honorees being inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame. Will Chris Rock serve as emcee for the gala ceremony? Oh, and check out the stock photography displaying clichéd diversity on the AAF website.

13150: Mein Krap.

Adweek reported on a campaign by Ogilvy Berlin that countered the republishing of Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf with the publication of “Mein Kampf gegen Rechts”—which translates to “My Struggle Against Racism.” Um, White advertising agencies should contemplate their own struggle with racism by looking in the mirror. Or looking in their hallways. Then again, Ogilvy Berlin is part of the WPP network, perhaps the most diverse example of diversity of any single organisation.

Ad of the Day: How Ogilvy Berlin Fought Back After the Republishing of Hitler’s Mein Kampf

Agency makes a competing book to combat resurgent racism amid refugee crisis

By David Gianatasio

Adolf Hitler’s notorious autobiography/fascist screed Mein Kampf (translation, My Struggle) was published in Germany this year for this first time since 1945—after the Bavarian government’s copyright expired.

Predictably, its appearance caused much Sturm und Drang. It also generated a powerful response from the Berlin office of Ogilvy & Mather, which produced a competing book, Mein Kampf gegen Rechts (My Struggle Against Racism), in an effort to combat right-wing extremism and intolerance.

Ogilvy’s effort spotlights 11 diverse individuals who have fought against xenophobia and injustice. They include concentration camp survivor Mosche Dagan, former Afghan refugee Wana Limar (now a host at MTV) and Irmela Mensah-Schramm, who has dedicated her life to removing Nazi graffiti wherever she finds it.

The latter, a white-haired granny, cuts an especially memorable figure in the project video below, proclaiming “I want to destroy hate” while brandishing a spray-paint can in one hand and a brush in the other.

It’s sobering to consider that Mensah-Schramm has removed more than 100,000 images of Nazi slogans and hate propaganda in the past 30 years, a fact that underscores the need for more ammunition in the struggle against bigotry and ignorance.

“Due to the immigration of refugees, we are facing in Germany a growing right-wing extremism and an open everyday racism,” Tim Stuebane, executive creative director at Ogilvy Berlin and leader of the book project, tells Adweek. “In the last election, a new right-wing party shot from 0 to 24 percent. All this is very painful to see. We had to do something against it, but what? Then we learned that Hitler’s Mein Kampf would be republished. We thought—absolutely the wrong signal at this point of time.”

The project seeks to “reclaim the conception of the words Mein Kampf from the Nazis [and] create a spectacular trigger for PR and social media to talk about the current situation of society in Germany” and elsewhere, Stuebane says.

Those missions have been largely accomplished. Clearly, Ogilvy’s book touched a nerve in Germany. The first printing of 11,000 volumes nearly sold out, with 1 euro from every sale supporting Gesicht Zeigen, a nonprofit group that fights for social justice. Copious media coverage has spurred a broader conversation, which Ogilvy hopes will turn Mein Kampf gegen Rechts into Unser Kampf gegen Rechts (Our Struggle Against Racism).

Stuebane calls on people working in media to join the cause. Their power to inform and shape public opinion, he says, could prove invaluable. “Imagine doctors watching an accident, doing nothing,” he says. “That’s [the same thing as] communication professionals [silently] watching the rise of right-wing populism. It’s our duty to do something against it.”

Indeed, there’s an urgent need for more voices of sanity to rise up and drown out the din of fearmongering that rings louder than ever these days.

Seven decades after Hitler’s demise and the defeat of the Nazis, the struggle continues.

13149: Loud & Lousy.

Not sure what the hell inspired the current Popeyes commercial starring Annie the Chicken Queen and a loud White guy. Wish they’d both shut up.

Friday, April 08, 2016

13148: Daze Of Future Past.

In 2013, former JWT Worldwide Chairman and CEO Bob Jeffrey said of former JWT Worldwide Chairman and CEO Gustavo Martinez, “Over the past few years Gustavo and I have cultivated a relationship of mutual admiration and respect. He is passionate about the business, devoted to clients and understands that the key asset of the business is the caring, nurturing and understanding of its people. Gustavo Martinez is the future of JWT.” Gee, Jeffrey must have tapped the JWT Trendspotting Team to make such a bold prediction of the future.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

13147: IPG And USAA Are So Ghetto.

Adweek reported USAA dumped its racist White advertising agency—Campbell Ewald—and replaced it with another White advertising agency. The switch happened without a review. And the new White agency is in the same IPG network as the old White agency. Plus, the shop was created exclusively for USAA. Only in America.

USAA Hires MullenLowe After Dropping Campbell Ewald Over ‘Ghetto Day’ Controversy

New San Antonio office will handle account

By Patrick Coffee

Financial client USAA has chosen IPG’s MullenLowe as its new agency of record just over two months after ending its relationship with Campbell Ewald over a controversy sparked by an agency employee’s racist email.

After Adweek’s AgencySpy published an email from October 2015 in which a creative leader invited San Antonio employees to a “Ghetto Day”-themed event, USAA decided to terminate the agency’s contract and told Adweek, “We will be searching for a new agency that aligns with USAA’s culture and core values.” IPG fired Campbell Ewald CEO Jim Palmer before news of the loss went public.

The client has found its new agency in MullenLowe. “USAA is in the process of transitioning its advertising business to MullenLowe U.S., a unit of the Interpublic Group,” said the company’s public affairs director Roger Wildermuth. “Following the transition, MullenLowe will be responsible for strategic and creative leadership on USAA brand and product advertising across the company’s multiple business lines. MullenLowe will service the USAA business from an office in San Antonio, Texas, with additional support provided from the agency’s offices in Boston, Massachusetts and Winston-Salem, North Carolina.”

When news broke about USAA’s split with Campbell Ewald, an IPG representative told Adweek the holding company planned to “transition our USAA team into a stand-alone, purpose-built entity over the next few months.”

IPG and USAA declined to provide additional details regarding MullenLowe’s win, but sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Adweek the transition occurred without a review. They added that the new MullenLowe team does not include any leaders who handled the account at Campbell Ewald.

Precise dates for completion of the transition remain unclear, as do timelines for future USAA campaigns.

According to Kantar Media, USAA spent approximately $146 million on paid media in the U.S. in 2015.

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

13146: TTFN TMCF.

Advertising Age published a perspective titled, “Let’s Stop Talking About Diversity—Let’s Start Taking Action: The Ad Industry Needs to Invest in Diversity Programs—Like Apple and TMCF.” The column was co-written by Johnny C. Taylor, Jr. and Steven Wolfe Pereira, who believe the solution is to offer financial support to the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, an initiative that will accomplish the following:

TMCF can guarantee it will marshal the collective resources of the country’s HBCUs to deliver a comprehensive solution that will include a highly selective talent acquisition strategy to ensure these same conversations [about the dearth of diversity in the advertising industry] are not occurring at next year’s 4A’s conference.

Um, do these gentlemen have any familiarity with Madison Avenue, where such endeavors are executed on a regular basis—with minimal results? Has Howard University succeeded in similar efforts at all? Minority scholarships and internships are the contrived clichés that have served as smokescreens for decades.

The duo closed their proposal by declaring, “Let’s make 2016 the year that we stop treating ‘the diversity issue’ like a hot potato. Let’s stop talking about the issues. Let’s take action to fix them.” Okay, but let’s start with an original idea versus regurgitating the failures of the past.

It would be more effective to wish Thurgood Marshall would rise from the dead and take on Madison Avenue before the Supreme Court.