Monday, October 31, 2016

13413: Forcing Diversity Is Cool.

Campaign published a piece asking, “Should brands push agencies to meet diversity targets for staff?” Um, the question should be, “Why aren’t brands pushing White advertising agencies to meet diversity targets for staff?” After all, agencies have demonstrated quite clearly that they are incapable of even defining diversity targets. Hell, given the popular smokescreen of promoting White women under the guise of inclusion, it appears that agencies can’t even define diversity.

Appropriately enough, one White woman—23red CEO and Founding Partner Jane Asscher—expressed opposition to clients mandating change. Asscher opined, “In my view, brands should focus on getting their own houses in order.”

Ironically, 23red boasts being an agency for change:

23red is the creative agency that changes behaviour for the better. We know that getting people to do something (and do it now) is the most powerful way to change how they feel or think about a brand or a cause. We call it Do.Feel.Think.™

We’re experts in developing and crafting activation campaigns that start with a do and creating new brands that are action orientated.

Our Consult23 team develop new strategies that focus on an immediate action and long term change and our Content23 team produce engaging content that get things done.

Wow, Asscher and her crew appear to be the perfect people to help ignite diversity in the advertising industry. However, a peek at the agency’s leadership shows Asscher definitely needs to focus on getting her own house in order. Oh, and 23red’s work sucks too, so maybe they’re not the perfect people to tackle the global diversity dilemma.

But before telling Asscher to shut up, MultiCultClassics will offer her—and other ignorant assholes like Asscher—a few counterpoints to consider.

First, it’s true that most clients might have diversity challenges too, creating a “White people who live in glass houses…” scenario. At the same time, hypocrisy is already prevalent in the overall situation. For example, most White advertising agencies (including 23red) express a commitment to diversity while exhibiting an aversion to the cause. Hence, does it really matter who is being the bigger hypocrite?

Second, clients have public positions and identities to maintain. If a brand displays discrimination, it will result in public backlash and PR nightmares. White advertising agencies exist in relative anonymity, so they might not be as concerned with doing the right thing. However, brands must scrutinize their partners. It is in their own best interests—as well as the best interests of society—to require that partners are good citizens too.

Third, White advertising agencies have failed with self-regulation in regards to diversity. Legal, political and governmental intervention has been ignored. Ditto polite and professional requests. People like Asscher simply cannot be trusted to change on their own volition. It’s high time for clients to step in and force compliance. Indeed, it’s long overdue.

Finally, in case Asscher pulls the clichéd excuses that she doesn’t want to compromise on hiring and fears diminishing her staff by offering positions to people not based on merit, let’s recognize again the awfulness of 23red’s sucky work. Any qualified person could handle doing what Asscher does. In fact, fresh perspectives might actually improve the current shit.

Okay, now MultiCultClassics will tell Asscher to shut up.

Should brands push agencies to meet diversity targets for staff?

Clients could force well-intentioned agencies to make good on their word, Matthew Chapman writes.

By Matthew Chapman

Agencies like to talk the talk about improving diversity within the ad industry, but too many have been slow to walk the walk.

If anything, the industry’s reputation around diversity has worsened this year following the sexism row that cost Kevin Roberts his job at Saatchi & Saatchi and the resignation of J Walter Thompson’s Gustavo Martinez over allegations of racist and sexist comments.

Airbnb chief marketing officer Jonathan Mildenhall hit out at how “white” Cannes was this year, lamenting how he was the only black person at the dinners he attended. It is such clients who could force agencies’ hands when it comes to addressing a lack of diversity.

Verizon, HP and General Mills have already called for better representation, specifically of women and ethnic minorities, at their agencies.

There is a similar trend in the UK. Suki Thompson, chief executive of Oystercatchers, says her intermediary has started to include diversity information in agency profiles “so that marketers have better in-formation to inform their decisions”. She says: “It couldn’t be any clearer to our industry — it’s time to proactively find the new guard of talent from all walks of life to work within marketing.”

The IPA wants 40% of senior agency positions to be filled by women, and 15% by people from non-white backgrounds, by 2020. The body recommends members take diversity lessons from other industries.

Media owners, particularly in TV, are leading the way. Channel 4 has launched its 360° Diversity Charter, which requires 20% of staff to be from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background by 2020.

Dan Brooke, chief marketing and communications officer at Channel 4, says: “The creative and commercial benefits of a diverse workforce are indisputable and we encourage our partners to head for the promised land too.”

The BBC, ITV and Channel 4 have also drawn up the Diamond diversity reporting guidelines, which require production companies to disclose diversity information about their staff.

The challenge is to throw the recruitment net wider as people from ethnically diverse and less well-off backgrounds might not even be applying for jobs.

Lots of agencies are being proactive. Omnicom Media Group, whose clients include Channel 4, has set up OMG Ethnic, a multicultural consultancy.

Jane Asscher, chief executive of independent agency 23red, says brands should make sure they get their own house in order before criticising others.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

13412: Multicultural Marketers Driven To Drink…?

Have things in multicultural marketing gotten so bad that Burrell is selling vodka on the side? Is this part of an AIMM initiative?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

13411: Campaign For Diverted Diversity.

Campaign is currently featuring diverted diversity content including “How to stage a creative comeback” (introducing the notion of maternity discrimination), new business department roles for White women to pursue, top strategies for working mums, McCann Chairman and CCO Joyce King Thomas blathering on about leadership and an editorial on adland’s woeful treatment of mothers—written by the resident Black woman at the trade publication. Why, there might be more diverted diversity content in this single issue than true diversity content for the entire year. Now that’s the power of White privilege!

Friday, October 28, 2016

13410: General Mills’ General Market.

AgencySpy posted on the General Mills pitch that features diversity requests for the competing White advertising agencies. The blog post included:

According to our sources, the five invited to the closed review were Mother New York, McCann New York, Deutsch, 72andSunny and a Publicis conglomerate represented by Fallon, whose former CSO Michael Fanuele is now GM’s creative chief.

Okey-doke. Hopefully, General Mills has viewed the Mother wall, demanded the truth from McCann, accounted for the investments at Deutsch, checked the 72andSunny forecast and looked up the definition of cronyism. And while they’re at it, General Mills should look up the definition of hypocrisy too.

13409: Delayed WTF 33—CMO BS.

MultiCultClassics is often occupied with real work. As a result, a handful of events occur without the expected blog commentary. This limited series—Delayed WTF—seeks to make belated amends for the absence of malice.

Digiday published another culturally clueless confession from an alleged leader within a White advertising agency—a probable White woman serving as a Chief Marketing Officer—who shared her ignorant thoughts on diversity.

Reacting to the recent requests for diversity from General Mills and HP, the confessor cried that quotas lead to hiring based on motives other than merit. First of all, MultiCultClassics addressed this outdated perspective years ago. Secondly, the confessor seems oblivious to the fact that her own executive existence is undoubtedly being listed as a diversity hiring, as White advertising agencies are promoting White women with roles like Chief Marketing Officer in order to boost diverted diversity figures. Sorry, but the confessor’s cloddish comments show she obviously did not land her job via professional experience and merit.

The confessor also predicted, “There are going to be situations where agencies, under pressure and time, won’t hire on merit, but will go find 10 more women and five people of color.” Um, the recruiting ratio between White women and people of color will be far greater than 2 to 1. Hell, it will probably exceed 200 to 1.

The confessor realized recruiters contribute to the global dilemma too. Gee, what a revelation! “We’ve had books received from recruiters where it’s all men,” admitted the confessor. “And it wasn’t until we ask them, ‘How come this is all men?’ that the recruiters say, ‘Oh, wow, yeah.’ The recruiter had to be pushed to think of women that would work for the job.” Heaven forbid the recruiter might have considered finding people of color as well. And of course, the confessor doesn’t display any accountability in the scenario. That is, why weren’t objectives discussed before the recruiter identified and presented candidates?

To push the Catholic metaphors, the Digiday confessional is actually a confirmation—that the leaders in White advertising agencies are culturally clueless and covert racists.


‘It’s sad it’s come to this’: Confessions of an agency CMO on diversity quotas

By Shareen Pathak

Brands like General Mills and HP are both exhorting agencies to improve diversity numbers — by leveraging client dollars.

In the past week, General Mills told Advertising Age that it now requires agencies competing for its business to meet quotas: 50 percent of the creative department must be female, while 20 percent must be people of color. Shortly after, HP CMO Antonio Lucio called on its agencies to send the company a proposal outlining exactly how each agency will improve diversity numbers.

These are two different approaches, but potentially a harbinger of things to come: Other major clients like PepsiCo’s Brad Jakeman, an outspoken champion for agency diversity, have already lauded the move.

But while there’s no question diversity is a nagging problem in the industry and numbers need to improve, these new requirements are causing consternation among agency executives, particularly those in new business. We asked one agency CMO who is not involved in the General Mills or HP work to give us an unvarnished insider’s perspective. As always, we granted anonymity in exchange for honesty.

So brands and agency diversity quotas: Good, or bad?

It’s a weird thing, isn’t it? That it’s come to this? I think it’s really sad that it has to be this way. And the reason it’s sad is because ultimately, any decision — whether you’re hiring someone, whether it’s an agency or a law firm, this kind of thing — will make people feel like they got the job not because they are the most qualified person for the role regardless of sex, gender, race.

So you’re talking about the post-quota hires?

Yes. The trouble is, we run the risk of — as an industry and, broadly, as an economy — that we make decisions not based on merit but based on quotas.

OK, but diversity is a huge problem. If not this, how do you fix it?

Of course. It’s sad that as an industry we’re not naturally reflecting the population. But it’s so complicated. Quotas are a Band-Aid to sort out the fact that agencies are not reflecting the population the brands are selling to. But when you think about diversity inside businesses, the issues are far more fundamental.


If you think about the way people hire, it’s often about recommendations. So person A is hired, has a friend from college, recommends that person, and so on. That’s fine, but you hire people that think like you and tend to look like you too. What we need to be asking is: Are our hiring techniques allowing us to find the people who are best at their roles? And the answer is going to be no.

But wouldn’t quotas fix that?

But those are symptoms. The root cause won’t be fixed. We’ve had books received from recruiters where it’s all men. And it wasn’t until we ask them, “How come this is all men?” that the recruiters say, “Oh, wow, yeah.” The recruiter had to be pushed to think of women that would work for the job. So it’s on us. And just because you hire women or people of color, doesn’t mean you’ve fixed systemic issues.

How are agencies going to fill quotas?

There are going to be situations where agencies, under pressure and time, won’t hire on merit, but will go find 10 more women and five people of color. It can become quite frustrating. I’m a woman, and I don’t want to be hired because I’m a woman.

The interesting thing about this is that the screws are really being tightened.

They are. It’s a good thing too, at least we’re having this conversation and turning this into a hot-button issue. But I sense it’s creating some panic.


Well, I like the HP approach. Feels like a partnership. But otherwise, there’s going to be agencies under new business pressure frantically trying to meet quotas. Maybe not in this case, but in the future. The second you start having quotas without context you worry about procurement-led decisions. I do hope there are checks and balances to make sure people don’t fudge numbers. But the process can be opaque. I’m so positive about it putting pressure on the industry, but it’s worrying.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

13408: Pepsi Digitally Diverts Diversity.

Advertising Age reported Pepsi hired Firstborn to handle its digital creative business. A peek at the White digital agency’s leadership makes one wonder how PepsiCo Global Beverage Group President Brad Jakeman can continue to advocate for diversity with a straight face.

Pepsi Taps New Agency for Digital, Brings Social In-House

By E.J. Schultz, Lindsay Stein

Firstborn has picked up the digital creative business for brand Pepsi after a review that began in September, a PepsiCo spokeswoman confirmed. But Pepsi will handle social media in-house via its new content studio in Manhattan.

The incumbent on the digital business was Cheil Worldwide-owned Barbarian Group, which is trying to rebuild after a wave of personnel departures.

Recent turnover at Barbarian includes the departure of CEO Peter Kim, who left the shop on Sept. 1 after less than a year in the post. He took the helm last December, when former chief executive Sophie Kelly stepped down. His departure followed that of numerous Barbarian Group executives over the last six months. Cheil Worldwide President of International and CEO of Greater China Aaron Lau is serving as Barbarian Group’s interim CEO.

Barbarian had already lost PepsiCo’s Brisk brand to VML in June. That came after the agency’s executive creative chief, Edu Pou, left the agency.

PepsiCo’s 4,000-square-foot content creation studio is in the heart of SoHo and is overseen by Brad Jakeman, president of PepsiCo’s global beverage group. The space includes a 2,300-square-foot, multiuse recording studio, five editing and production bays, and a theater-style screening room with 10 oversize leather chairs.

Mr. Jakeman envisions the space being used not just for brand content, but for broader projects that include brand-agnostic content via distribution deals with film studios and online publishers. His goal is to sell enough unbranded content to cover the costs of creating ad content.

Firstborn, which was No. 8 on Ad Age’s Agency A-List in 2010, has worked with PepsiCo for a number of years, beating out Barbarian Group and Big Spaceship to win the pitch for the SoBe business in 2009.

Earlier this year, Firstborn was hired to lead digital efforts for Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign. The agency was also brought on by Vonage this spring to design its new website and handle digital content.

Two years ago, Firstborn was one of Ad Age’s Agencies to Watch due to its 50% growth revenue in 2013 and new retainer work for brands like L’Oreal Luxe products and Mtn Dew.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

13407: Dulling The Axe.

Adweek interviewed Unilever EVP of Global Marketing Aline Santos on the #Unstereotype initiative, which included a discussion on the ultra-lame and patronizing Axe commercial. Can’t wait to see the next Fair and Lovely message.

Q&A: Unilever’s Global Marketing Chief on Busting Gender Stereotypes in Advertising

#Unstereotype initiative aims to level playing field

By Christine Birkner

Brands are increasingly addressing the issue of gender stereotypes. In June, Unilever launched #Unstereotype, an initiative that aims to level the playing field in terms of how gender is portrayed in advertising. Unilever’s past efforts in that regard include the long-running Dove “Real Beauty” campaign and Axe’s “Find Your Magic” campaign, which helped the brand ditch its hypersexualized frat-boy persona in favor of more accurate portrayals of men.

Adweek caught up with Aline Santos, evp of global marketing for Unilever, at the ANA Masters of Marketing conference in Orlando, Fla., last week to talk about how Unilever is putting its plans into action.

Adweek: How does Unilever’s #Unstereotype initiative aim to break gender stereotypes?

Aline Santos: In the last two years, we’ve done studies on how people are portrayed in advertising and how those portrayals were connecting, or not, with our consumers. We found that across many different industries, there’s a big gap between what the industry is saying and how consumers are living. We found that 40 percent of consumers aren’t relating to advertising in the broader industry. It’s a very serious number.

One of the things we’ve found is that gender has evolved, but we still look at gender in a stereotyped way, which creates a big distance between us and consumers. We felt that it’s time for us to correct that and be much closer to the reality of gender and people today. We want to create an environment where our advertising is going to be progressive and inspiring. We want to focus on people, not just women. We believe that if we want to unstereotype people, we can’t unstereotype women by creating a stereotype for men.

What’s your advice for other marketers in “unstereotyping” their ads?

When you’re creating a new piece of content, you have to think about the role of the main character. If she’s a woman, what is she doing? Only 3 percent of ads around the world show women in leadership roles. You have to think twice about the role your main character has to play. With Dove’s “Real Beauty,” it’s about talking about how beauty becomes a source of self-expression, not a source of anxiety.

Talk about how Axe has helped bust gender stereotypes with its new positioning.

Axe is a brilliant example. It’s about understanding people in a better way. The stereotype of manhood that we had been portraying for years isn’t relevant anymore. Not only was it not relevant, but it wasn’t right. “Find Your Magic” and the way they put it together with different personalities is one of the best examples of unstereotyping. The response from consumers was great. They really identified with it.

What are the biggest challenges in breaking gender stereotypes?

The biggest challenge is that people get in automatic mode [when creating ads]. They don’t think about it—they just appeal to stereotypes. The second is if you use stereotypes, it’s going to be easier, so you have to get away from that.

Also, a diverse culture at brands and agencies is a fundamental element to win in the marketplace. It’s not a moral case, it’s a business case. You have to have a more diverse set of leaders to come up with a diverse set of ideas.

13406: (S)ADCOLOR® Tribute Advertisements.

Adweek published sponsored content for the 2016 ADCOLOR® soiree, including a Special Tribute Gallery featuring advertisements that likely ran in the event’s program guide. As always, advertisements for award shows are anything but award-winning efforts—and most of the ADCOLOR® tributes are downright lazy. Re-posting the shit would be a waste of blog space, but here are three noteworthy messages, coupled with MultiCultClassics versions of what should have been created.

Inspired by this, this, this, etc.

Inspired by this, this, this, this, this, this, etc.

Inspired by the 2006 Draftfcb Cannes Ad.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

13405: Most Creative Are Mostly White.

Business Insider presented “The 30 most creative people in advertising 2016”—which pretty much looked like the 30 most creative people in advertising 1916 and every year in between. That is, the most creative people in advertising are mostly White men and White women.

Monday, October 24, 2016

13404: Dot Does Diverted Diversity.

Adweek reported on the latest diverted diversity darling—Dot—created by Randi Zuckerberg. The cartoon character inadvertently yet ultimately combines diverted diversity with nepotism.

Randi Zuckerberg Hopes to Battle Inequality in Silicon Valley With Her New Kids Show

Dot will air on NBCU’s Sprout network

By Sami Main

“I’ve spent a decade in Silicon Valley,” said Randi Zuckerberg. “Innovation is everywhere. It’s supposed to be the center of forward thinking. [So] why can I count the number of women executives on one hand? Or people of color?”

At Thursday’s premiere event for Zuckerberg’s new television show Dot, based on her children’s book of the same name, she discussed everything from inequality in the industry to the right way for kids to use new technology.

Press were invited to bring their children to the event. As a result, there were milkshakes dripping and mini burgers in hand as Zuckerberg streamed an episode of the show. Attendees could also don wigs for a GIF photobooth, or pose for a snap on the pink carpet. Coloring books, and tablets loaded with coloring book technology, were also provided for the kids to play with.

Dot, in the book and now as a TV character, is a tech-savvy young girl. She taps and types, shares and swipes, and carries her tablet everywhere. She’s the perfect way to help parents teach their kids about the technology surrounding them today.

“Dot and her group of friends don’t look like your typical cast of characters,” Zuckerberg said. “I wanted them to reflect all levels of diversity.”

“I loved working in Silicon Valley, but at the same time I hated the fact that there were no women in the room,” she said. “We need to start challenging people on the notion of what an entrepreneur in America looks like, and it needs to happen early on.”

Kids today are starting to use technology earlier and earlier in life. And that, Zuckerberg thinks, can create some fear or anxiety for parents.

“No matter what their level of expertise in their job, every parent is an amateur at parenting when they first start,” said Zuckerberg. “Especially with this very digital group.”

Dot will air at 11 a.m. ET Saturdays on Sprout, a network just for children which launched in 2005 and is now owned by NBCUniversal. Zuckerberg considers it another type of startup.

“It felt like we came together at a really critical moment for both of us,” she said. “I needed Sprout as much as they needed me. I knew they’d give this program the love it deserved.”

Zuckerberg wants her sons, Asher and Simi, who are both under six years old, to grow up in a “different world” than what she experienced in Silicon Valley.

“Dot is about finding a balance in a high-tech world through the waters of modern childhood,” said Zuckerberg.

“Dot is inquisitive,” said Amy Friedman, Sprout’s head of development. “We want to give kids the tools and role models that will help them show up in the world.”

Sprout’s motto, after all, is ‘Free to grow.’

“When parents see the Dot logo or book or show, I want them to know that it’s safe and appropriate,” said Zuckerberg. “I’d love to see a Dot iPad, designed specifically for kids, one day. I want parents to know how technology can add to your household. It doesn’t have to detract.”

13403: WPP A-Team.

Advertising Age reported Santo—a WPP agency based in Buenos Aires—hired four Argentines from a competing Saatchi & Saatchi shop. WPP will undoubtedly count the shift as a humongous diversity hire. Or an offset for employing Argentina native Gustavo Martinez. Hey, WPP is “perhaps the most diverse example of diversity of any single organization.”

WPP’s Santo Hires Four Top Argentine Creatives From Del Campo Saatchi

By Laurel Wentz

In an exodus of creative talent from Saatchi & Saatchi, four leading Argentine creatives are moving to Santo, a fast-growing WPP agency that likes to say it works for the world from Buenos Aires, for Coca-Cola and other clients.

Maxi Itzkoff, chief creative officer of Saatchi & Saatchi Europe, is returning to Argentina as a partner and co-chief creative officer at Santo. (His creative partner of nine years, Mariano Serkin, has also left Saatchi but isn’t joining Santo).

Also moving to Santo are the three executive creative directors recruited two years ago to lead creative at Buenos Aires-based Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi after Mr. Itzkoff and Mr. Serkin moved to Europe: Ariel Serkin (Mariano Serkin’s brother), Rafael Santamarina and Juan Pablo Lufrano. They will all have ECD titles at Santo.

One of their most high-profile accounts at Del Campo Saatchi in Buenos Aires—a local brand called Andes beer that has been a big hit at international award shows for years—is moving with them to Santo.

Santo founder and CEO Maxi Anselmo said the agency has almost doubled in size to about 60 staffers in the past year. Santo has worked for Coca-Cola for years, and in 2015 was one of three WPP shops chosen for a major global campaign. The agency also won Avon’s global account last year (shared with JWT), and re-won Vodafone, an account it handled a few years ago. And this year Santo picked up Sprint social media work in the U.S., and is working with Diesel on an upcoming campaign.

In addition to the Buenos Aires base, Santo has small offices in Miami—to manage Avon, Sprint and Latin American business for Diageo and Sony, as well as some Coca-Cola projects—and in London.

“All Santo offices share all the projects,” said Mr. Anselmo, who is in Chile filming a commercial this week. “An idea can start in Buenos Aires, someone edits it in London, and it is fully complete in Miami.”

He said about 80% of Santo’s work now is international, and about 20% is for local Argentine clients.

Mr. Itzkoff said that the four Saatchi creatives had been planning to leave and open their own agency.

“This all happened at a time of huge growth for Santo, which made it necessary to have a professional team that could handle accounts of this scale and boost the quality of the work produced,” he said. “After several conversations, we decided we could build our project together within Santo, adding creative and strategic talent and becoming a dream team with [partners] Maxi Anselmo, Seba Wilhelm and Pablo Minces.”

Given the growing importance of U.S.-based clients at Santo, Mr. Wilhelm and Mr. Minces, who are head of strategy and co-chief creative officer, are living in Miami.

Mariano Serkin, Mr. Itzkoff’s longtime creative partner, is taking a break to study. He’s at MIT Sloan in Boston now, taking Advanced Certificate for Executives courses, then plans to move on to London Business School followed by some seminars in Chicago, he said. “My personal objectives are to understand the complexity of the digital economy transformation and the design of better strategies in order to guide effective change for brands in the ad industry,” he said.

The four creatives heading to Santo and Mariano Serkin were all close to Pablo Del Campo, who started the Del Campo Saatchi agency in Buenos Aires. He was named Saatchi’s worldwide creative director in 2014 and left the company abruptly in April 2016.

Kate Stanners, Saatchi’s global chief creative officer, said in an email that Ariel Serkin, Rafael Santamarina and Juan Pablo Lufrano have been replaced in the Buenos Aires office by Creative Directors Ramiro Rodriguez Gamallo and Matias Lafalla. The pair worked together previously as creative directors at WPP’s David agency, and did an earlier stint at Del Campo Saatchi as a senior copywriter and senior art director, respectively.

Both Santo and Del Campo Saatchi & Saatchi are past winners of Ad Age’s International Agency of the Year award, in 2010 and 2011 respectively, in recognition of their entrepreneurial spirit, inspired creative, and success in doing international work from Buenos Aires. Along with several other Argentine shops, they made Argentina an international creative hub.

Many of Argentina’s creative leaders started their careers at a legendary Buenos Aires shop called Agulla & Baccetti where, in fact, Messrs. Anselmo and Wilhelm both worked and hired Mr. Itzkoff for his first job, as a junior copywriter.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

13402: U.N. WTF.

Advertising Age reported U.N. staffers took offense to Wonder Woman serving as an ambassador to women, drafting a protest petition that included:

Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent ‘warrior’ woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots—the epitome of a ‘pin-up’ girl.

Yes, how could U.N. officials have selected Wonder Woman over The Pine-Sol® Lady?

U.N. Staffers Petition to Recall Wonder Woman as Ambassador to Women

By Kate Kaye

Actors Gal Gadot and Lynda Carter on Friday made appearances at the Hall of Justice to commemorate the naming of the DC Comics character they’ve both portrayed as the ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls worldwide.

Er … sorry … did I say Hall of Justice? Silly me. I meant the United Nations in Manhattan. You know, the headquarters of the actual real-life institution upholding human rights, international peace and security, economic development and, if choosing a comic book character as an ambassador is any indication, the ultimate destruction of Mr. Mxyzptlk.

Announced last week, the appointment has been received with “Yay Women!” cheers from some, and dumbfounded shock followed by sheer indignation from others. Members of the shock-and-indignation crowd protested at today’s UN ceremony.

It’s possible that the U.N.’s decision wouldn’t have rubbed so many people the wrong way had Aquaman ever been tapped to represent the U.N. Division for Oceans and the Law of the Sea.

Instead there is now a lot of dissent even among U.N. staff. An online petition from “Concerned United Nations Staff Members” calls for the U.N. to reconsider its choice. Despite an embrace of the character as feminist icon at times (heck, she was on the first Ms. magazine cover in ‘72), she is often perceived more as a sex object than a formidable female. As the petition notes:

Although the original creators may have intended Wonder Woman to represent a strong and independent ‘warrior’ woman with a feminist message, the reality is that the character’s current iteration is that of a large breasted, white woman of impossible proportions, scantily clad in a shimmery, thigh-baring body suit with an American flag motif and knee high boots—the epitome of a ‘pin-up’ girl.

Put the sex object stuff aside, and one of the world’s most respected bodies designating a fantastical character with superpowers as a role model for women and girls says to many people, female or male, “Sorry, we just couldn’t find a real woman we thought was worth looking up to.”

The petition’s authors say as much, offering to supply a “list of incredible extraordinary women that would formidably carry out this role” if the Secretary-General were interested.

One has to wonder, why Wonder Woman? If the U.N. really had to go with a fictitious character, why not Barbie? At least she’s had real professions—surgeon (1973), firefighter (1995), even UNICEF Summit diplomat (1990). Well, let’s just hope the U.N. has enough magic lassos to distribute to women and girls in its next aid convoy.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

13400: Adland Remains White Empire.

Campaign reported the following:

Between 2011 and 2015, ad spending for broadcast TV shows with predominantly Black audiences rose by 255%, according to Nielsen’s “Young, Connected and Black” report, which was released today. The primary reason is the explosion in Black-oriented programming on network TV, particularly in the last two years. Shows like “Empire,” “Scandal,” “How to Get Away with Murder” and “Black-ish,” and even one-time events like NBC’s “The Wiz LIVE!” have provided advertisers with unprecedented opportunity to reach Black audiences.

No similar increases were experienced in terms of business for Black advertising agencies or Black representation in the advertising industry. In fact, the declines in such areas were probably recorded at much higher percentages.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

13399: UK BS.

Derek Walker’s perspective published at The Drum inspired a decent number of comments—and two comments warrant further commentary. A couple of folks presumably from the U.K. expressed outrage over the scenarios Walker had shared that featured overt racism. Judit Mora exclaimed, “This has ‘US’ written all over it. It’s bad in the UK but people couldn’t get away with statements like that, that’s for sure!” Jonathan Stevens chipped in, “Always get amazed by how blatantly racist Americans are. Sure, the British try racism out a bit sometimes, but at least here are more subtle about it, knowing they’d be seen as total arseholes if they said the things in that article.” Leave it to Brits to believe cultural inequities are less severe in their adland neighbourhood. Sorry, it just ain’t true, arseholes!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

13398: Yo Message So Dumb…

This billboard message from appeared, appropriately enough, on a recycling refuse bin.

13397: Keep Reinventing Diverted Diversity.

Campaign probed HP Chief Marketing Officer Antonio Lucio on his diverted diversity demands to White advertising agencies, whereby the technology company is taking a White-women-first approach to igniting inclusion. Lucio requested that his White advertising agencies present proposals on how they intend to boost White women and minorities, and the CMO reported feeling “incredibly pleased” by the submissions. However, Lucio declined to publicly share the brainstorms. Given Omnicom’s refusal to expose its EEO-1 data, it’s unlikely shops such as BBDO will openly reveal their cultural concepts—which probably include comic books and diverted diversity councils that will be entered at Cannes for a Glass Lion. HP’s tagline is: “Keep Reinventing.” Alas, Lucio’s half-hearted move will likely keep reinventing the smokescreens and schemes that have made true diversity a dream deferred, delegated, diverted and denied. Bet on it.

HP’s chief marketing officer Antonio Lucio makes diversity ‘bet’

HP’s chief marketing officer Antonio Lucio admits that he’s taking a “bet” that more diverse teams will lead to better output.

By Shona Ghosh

HP was the first brand this year to issue an ultimatum to agencies: put more diverse staff onto the account, or else. The PC and printer maker’s roster of agencies — BBDO, Fred & Farid, and Gyro — were given a month to propose how they would boost the number of women and ethnic minorities in senior account positions.

Asked whether HP had evidence up its sleeve that diversity led to better output, Lucio said: “That’s our bet.

“Our bet is that when the staff we have adequately represents populations we serve, our output will improve.”

After a visit to design agency Ideo, Lucio said he was impressed by the way the company hired for cultural contribution, not cultural fit. “It delivers a higher innovation rate,” he said. “We believe that having a more diverse team in place will translate into better work, no question.”

Lucio says five of his top ten marketers are women. And HP’s marketing team comprises 30% ethnic minorities.

The proposals from HP’s five agencies have landed in Lucio’s inbox. He wouldn’t comment on specifics, but said he was “incredibly pleased” by the agencies’ commitment.

“If we are able to live by what we have reviewed in the first meeting, we will see a significant improvement in the representation of women and people of colour in top leadership positions in creative and strategy,” he said.

Asked whether he would fire an agency that couldn’t make good on its promises in a year, he said: “We could do anything. We could change agencies.” He added that it “was not about the numbers, but business imperative.”

According to Lucio, 50% HP’s personal systems buying audience is female. The number is more like 45% on printers.

Reinventing HP

It has been almost a year since HP split into two companies, HP Inc and HP Enterprise. The former deals in personal systems and printers, while the latter covers infrastructure, software and services.

Lucio, formerly Visa’s chief marketing officer, joined the company in May last year. The split took place six months later.

“The process [of splitting] is both challenging and interesting — you want people to embrace what the company is going to be,” he said. Lucio created the architecture for HP’s brand positioning, “Keep reinventing”, to keep the brand on-track during the split.

But Lucio continues to face a challenge in furnishing HP Inc with some cool, as the wider PC market struggles.

HP lost its number one position in the market to Lenovo last year. And in its third quarter, HP reported net earnings of $783m (£643m), down from $854m over the same period the prior year. Revenue was down 4% year on year to $11.9bn.

Lucio said HP had strong awareness, but lacked an “emotional” connection with consumers.

He pointed to a soon-to-launch campaign for HP’s printers, which focuses on people printing out their smartphone photos.

“People are significantly more attached to the tangible, so the insight is that in a post-digital world, people will discover the beauty of the tangible,” he said.

13396: VML WTF.

Need more evidence that digital agencies have no business creating branding campaigns? Check out this Wendy’s video from VML, which painfully reflects the cultural cluelessness of its leadership. Word.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

13395: Awarding Diverted Diversity.

Campaign published diverted diversity droning from Ogilvy & Mather Group UK Chief Marketing Officer Nina Jasinski, who took advantage of her side role as Chair of the Wacl Future Leaders Award to accelerate the White women bandwagon. “Across our industry diversity has become the number one agenda item,” Jasinski declared before launching into a passionate plea for greater representation of White women in leadership roles—which she actually referred to as “proper diversity.” Hell, Jasinski managed to type over 450 words on diversity without a single mention of race or ethnicity—and she only used culture in regards to the imperative to “grow a training culture for younger women.” The photograph accompanying the perspective (depicted below) shows quite clearly that Jasinski’s visionary view of diversity lacks, well, diversity.

Diversity and training: why our business needs the Wacl Future Leaders Award

A view from Nina Jasinski

What really matters is improving the junior route to the top for future female leaders, says Ogilvy & Mather’s chief marketing officer.

There is an expression that “you can’t be what you can’t see”. Across our industry diversity has become the number one agenda item but with only 30% of senior leadership positions today held by women, there is still a long way to go. Part of that journey means we need to turn up the volume on training our future female leaders. Quotas on boards are important but at board level lots of people are recruited externally — in other words, working on the pipeline where training can make a huge impact.

The ambitious targets set by the IPA could remain just targets unless we all get to grips with the steps that will be required to meet the 2020 targets. Part of that pathway must include training. Training is vital to empower the next generation of leaders, male and female. We believe that women have traditionally missed out on some of the training budgets, so we want to grow a training culture for younger women.

The Future Leaders Award from Wacl is open again for entries and our goal is for future talent to be clearly identified and to flourish. Both employers and employees have their role to play in harnessing training to help to achieve proper diversity across the industry. So here’s some top tips for both parties:

For employees

1. Self-identify your strengths and weaknesses. If your weaknesses are instrumental in a leadership role — you want to be CEO and spread sheets scare you — then ask your company for training or look to awards such as the FLA.

2. Break down your career path — giving yourself knowledge targets as well as titles and salary targets. If your company doesn’t give you a proper plan, make your own.

3. No one cares about your career as much as you. Make sure you grab every chance to join in on formal and informal training. Keep a log of how much you are doing so you can see if you’ve gone too long without added inspiration.

For employers

1. Make sure you understand where you are on diversity, and if there are departments that need work, make a plan on how you can bring change about. What is the training plan that sits behind these targets?

2. Ensure all employees have a development plan with regular reviews — use a diversity lens on these plans at a macro level. This needs as much hard work as good intentions. Diversity does not produce better results automatically, through a sort of magic. It does so only if it is managed well.

3. Embrace “created not bought”. Believe that you have the female talent to lead your teams and find ways to give them the support and bespoke training to allow them to achieve their maximum potential.

The Wacl Future Leaders Award closes on 4 November. All details and the application form can be found on Wacl’s website.

Nina Jasinski is chief marketing officer at Ogilvy & Mather Group UK and Chair of the Wacl Future Leaders Award.

Monday, October 17, 2016

13394: AIMM Sounds LAME.

Advertising Age reported the ANA launched the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing—aka AIMM—a new partnership that ANA President and CEO Bob Liodice proclaimed will create a “united blueprint for the evolution of multicultural and diverse-segment marketing in America.” Too bad the ANA has plenty of damning data to show multicultural marketing has actually experienced a devolution over the years—it’s in a death spiral. Liodice also stated, “Our strategic intent is to reach out to all constituencies in order to collectively make a difference in realizing the potential of multicultural marketing.” Um, the ANA should be realize by now that the potential of multicultural marketing amounts to diminishing crumbs. Additionally, AIMM will be charged with “finding new ways to discuss and tackle diversity within the advertising and marketing communities.” Okay, so the goals are to resuscitate flat-lining multicultural marketing and address the global dearth-of-diversity dilemma that has gone unsolved for over 60 years. But wait, it gets better. The invitation-only participants of the bold alliance are the very multicultural marketers and advertising industry minorities who have historically been unable to increase the crumbs and commitment required to make progress possible. It’s like asking the Harlem Globetrotters to compete in the NBA Finals—no offense to the Harlem Globetrotters. The ANA is the Association of National Advertisers. As recent events have shown, clients possess the power to demand diversity from White advertising agencies. To ignite change, they don’t need an alliance. They just need to ask.

The ANA’s New Alliance Wants to Provide the Blueprint for Multicultural Marketing

Leaders from various communities will head the group

By Katie Richards

As the advertising industry continues to find ways to improve upon its diversity problem and clients continue to demand more diverse agencies and work, the Association of National Advertisers announced today the launch of a new group that will target multicultural marketing, named the Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing, or AIMM.

According to ANA president and CEO Bob Liodice, the goal of AIMM will be to bring together leaders from African American, Hispanic, Asian and LGBT marketing communities to help establish a “united blueprint for the evolution of multicultural and diverse-segment marketing in America.” For the first year, the group will be open by invitation only.

Some of the key goals for AIMM, laid out by the ANA, include finding new ways to discuss and tackle diversity within the advertising and marketing communities, creating and distributing “best practices of multicultural and diverse demographic segments,” invest in research and create a multicultural marketing knowledge center.

“Our strategic intent is to reach out to all constituencies in order to collectively make a difference in realizing the potential of multicultural marketing” Liodice said in a statement.

Liodice will co-chair AIMM alongside Michael Lacorazza, EVP, brand and advertising integrated marketing at Wells Fargo. Other members of AIMM as of its launch today include the AHA: The Voice of Hispanic marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Burrell Communications, Coca-Cola, Dunkin Donuts, IW Group, Kaiser Permanente, Kellogg, López Negrete Communications, NBC Universal, OMD, Procter & Gamble, Target 10, Univision, Video Advertising Bureau and Wells Fargo.

The formation of the new alliance follows the ANA’s 2016 Multicultural Excellence Awards, created to recognize outstanding creative work featuring African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, LGBTs and people with disabilities. Anomaly took home this year’s best in show award for its “Stay Connected” work for Duracell, which tells the story of a grandfather learning to live with a hearing disability.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

13393: HP HR News.

Computerworld reported HP plans to cut up to 4,000 jobs over the next three years. Hey, will the workforce reduction be executed with diversity in mind?

HP to cut up to 4,000 jobs in next three years

The company said the cuts are part of a restructuring plan to boost savings

By John Ribeiro

HP Inc. is cutting between 3,000 to 4,000 jobs over the next three years as part of a restructuring plan worked out by the company.

The PC and printer firm, which was created about a year ago after Hewlett-Packard was split into two companies, said in a filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday that it expects about “3,000 to 4,000 employees to exit between fiscal 2017 and fiscal 2019.”

The company’s “printing business is challenged right now but the PC business is hitting on all cylinders,” said Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst of Moor Insights & Strategy. “The PC Group is gaining market share, increasing profits and innovating more than I have seen in years,” he added.

The workforce changes will “vary by country, based on local legal requirements and consultations with employee works councils and other employee representatives, as appropriate,” HP said in the filing.

The company said earlier that it would be cutting 3,000 jobs during the company’s 2016 fiscal year ending Oct. 31. It had nearly 50,000 employees as of Nov. 1, according to its website.

The new job cuts are expected to cost HP $200 million in labor costs related to the workforce reduction, out of $350 million to $500 million in total restructuring and other charges. The entire restructuring plan, approved by the HP board earlier this week, has been forecast by the company to generate gross annual run rate savings of about $200 million to $300 million starting in fiscal 2020.

Although its core markets are challenged and the macroeconomic conditions are in flux, the company continues to “see long-term growth opportunities in commercial mobility and services, the disruption of the A3 copier market, and the digitization of graphics and manufacturing through our leading 3D printing solutions,” company president and CEO Dion Weisler said in a statement.

The company is on track to achieve more than $1 billion in savings since the separation, which it will invest back in the business in such areas as research and development, Weisler said at an analyst meeting on Thursday.

HP recently said it would acquire Samsung’s printer business with over 6,500 patents in a $1.05 billion deal, with the aim to push more efficient A3 multifunction printers in the traditional copier market.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

13392: Walk The Walk With Walker.

The Drum published a perspective from adman Derek Walker, who has been quite vocal over the years regarding the dearth of diversity and excess of exclusivity in the advertising industry. When White women complain about the White-male-dominated field, they receive praise and support—even from White men! Hell, they nab ADCOLOR® awards too. When minorities voice similar complaints, the response is a little different.

It is not me, it is you: The advertising industry needs to face its diversity problems, and stop blaming others

By Derek Walker

Have you ever watched a person purposely destroy his career and business? No? Well, keep reading. I’m about to torch both in one fell swoop. I’m going to talk racial diversity in the advertising industry.

First, I’m going to share with you actual quotes (as close as I can remember) that have been said to me during my career in advertising:

1. My last interview for a creative director position ended this way: “I don’t want to lie to you, but management didn’t know you were Black, and they are unwilling to pay a Black man this much.” Maybe that explains why despite being on my itinerary, they didn’t meet with me during the two days I was there.

2. Here’s my nomination for the world’s shortest interview: A partner whose name was on the door met me in the lobby, shook my hand, and said: “I’m sorry Derek, but I don’t think our clients are ready for a Black copywriter.” Interview over.

3. From the Group Creative Director on my first day of work. (He didn’t hire me, the partners did): “I told them that I don’t believe a Black man can write copy, and I am going to prove it.”

4. During a glowing evaluation from a Group Creative Director: “You do know if you were white, I’d be working for you. Management has told me that I can give you a raise but as long as you’re Black, you can never be promoted. Dude, I’m sorry.”

5. In a meeting of the new business team, my Executive Vice President thought it important to point this out: “I don’t care how talented you are, how creative or how smart — if you don’t have the look, you will not be allowed in front of the client.” (I was the only Black in the group, and the only person never to present work to a client, despite the majority of the concepts being mine.) By the way, I do own a few custom suits and shirts.

6. My new reality as the owner of a small ad agency in Columbia, South Carolina. I’ve heard a version of this comment at least four times over the past 18 months: “You know what you need to do to grow your shop? Hire a White guy or even better, a pretty blonde White woman, and make him/her the face of your agency, and the business will come. You have the talent and experience. You just need a White face.”

I wish, I really, really wish that my experience were unique, but I’ve heard similar stories of other Black advertising professionals. My experience is more common than it should be.

Now, let’s talk racial diversity in the ad industry.


I’m a figment of my own imagination.

According to the advertising industry, I don’t exist.

I’m a unicorn. I’m the Loch Ness Monster.

I’m a qualified, senior Black advertising professional.

My name is Derek L. Walker.

I’m a figment of my own imagination.

According to the advertising industry, I don’t exist.

I’m not alone.

There are Ed Crayton, Hadji Williams, Harry Webber, Paul Hebron, and James Glover — all friends whom I mention here with permission. But there are more, a lot more senior-level, Black creative advertising professionals.

Right now, some folks at the 4A’s (Association of American Advertising Agencies), AAF (American Advertising Federation), and The One Club may be blowing a gasket. Good. They know we exist. Heck, they wheel out the same group of senior Black advertising professionals for every panel or event to push their agenda. Too bad that agenda says, “You don’t exist.”

For years, these organizations have been towing the safe, predictable line: namely that the ad industry’s lack of diversity is due in part to a lack of knowledge on the part of Black people about careers in advertising; that we have not been exposed to advertising as a career choice; and that if we have, our skills are lacking.

Male bovine excrement.

Like a lot of folks, by embracing this course of action, they subconsciously blame Black people for the diversity problem. Oh, the next statement is going to hit a nerve — but please, hear me out.

To focus on programs that bring more Black young people into advertising without looking at retention and advancement rates of Blacks already working in the industry implies the problem is Blacks are both unaware of careers in advertising and unprepared.


Of course, they mean well, and they aren’t saying this aloud. But their actions scream it. Nearly every program or panel works off this premise. Go to their websites and check out how they approach racial diversity.

It is important to make the distinction between racial diversity and gender diversity. Look at the programs and panels for gender diversity. They do not assume that women are unaware or unprepared for a career in advertising, or that those women working in advertising lack the skills to advance and grow as professional. These initiatives claim the problem is with the advertising industry, not women.

See the difference?

All this talk about how unaware of or unprepared Black people are for an advertising career ignores the fact that there have been Black advertising agencies since the late 1960s. How could we have Black-owned advertising agencies doing work aimed at speaking to Black consumers if we were unaware of career opportunities in advertising? Someone answer me, please. Cue the chirping cricket sounds.

To acknowledge the existence of senior-level Black creative advertising professionals is to admit the ugly truth that the industry’s problem with diversity is the fault of the agencies, and theirs alone.

Oh, we don’t like doing that, finding fault with a person or a party. But here is what folks don’t get: We can’t make advancements until we recognize where advertising is as an industry. Both parties don’t and shouldn’t share the blame; this is an industry problem, and it is time our industry owned up to its issues.

It is time.

The advertising industry has to put on its big boys’ and big girls’ panties and face the glaring truth: that the racial diversity issue has little to do with awareness or availability of qualified talent. And everything to do with prejudice and racism inside advertising.

Yes, I’m calling a lot of people in advertising either prejudiced or racist, but I firmly believe it’s a prejudice issue more than a racist thing. Please, the two terms are not the same. Before you pull out the pitchforks and torches, allow me to explain the difference. No. Let’s allow Merriam-Webster to give the definition of the two words:


“Preconceived judgment or opinion (2): an adverse opinion or leaning formed without just grounds or before sufficient knowledge



“A belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

It is important to understand the differences and variances between the two words. Having worked in advertising for more than 20 years, I believe most of the issues concerning diversity are tied to a form of prejudice, rather than racism, although there is a bit of that going on as well.

I cringe every time I hear advertising professionals throw out words like “culture” and “fit” when talking about hiring people. Both terms reflect a degree of prejudice. What is it about the person that doesn’t “fit?” What “culture” doesn’t a person have that he/she can’t do the job?

The ambiguity of these words makes their use as a tool for excluding a group of people an act of pure genius. An interviewer can have a feeling that the person will not be a good “fit” or match in the “culture” without having to explain why. It is the perfect cloak for prejudice.

Until advertising acknowledges and moves to deal with this prejudice —instead of promoting and perpetuating the idea that Blacks are either unaware or do not possess the skill set to work in advertising — very little will change. The current course of action is nothing but shifting the blame.

Ah, but here is the catch: Advertising cannot and will not face its racial diversity issues alone. And the industry shouldn’t have to. 

This is partially the fault of clients.

Clients know their agencies. They know the people who work on their accounts. And they are keenly aware that it has been a white men’s club for years. Despite the fact that most clients have had diversity programs in place for decades, which they themselves know has succeeded. All too often, the only people of color in the room during meetings are on the client side. This should make clients uncomfortable, and give them pause.

The issue of racial diversity is so much more than political correctness, it is good business. Having a diverse staff allows an agency to have a wider range of experiences and views to pull from when creating messages to reach an audience that is becoming more diverse every day. Clients are screaming for more effective work. Well, how effective is it to always approach assignments from a singular cultural point of view? It isn’t.

So what can clients do? I’m not talking about a mandate from clients. Simply asking about and encouraging your agency to look into its diversity will have a huge impact.

(Here is a secret your agencies don’t want you to know: They are afraid of you – scared excrement-less (yeah, this isn’t a word but I’m trying to keep it “G-rated”) of you. Shhh. Don’t let them know I said this, but agencies are horrified that you, the client, will ever be upset with them.)

Don’t force them to go it alone. Offer to make your HR and diversity people available to share the understandings and insights they have from years of doing it. Just offering to share information will ignite a fire with your agency because they will know that you have noticed their own lack of diversity. And that you care.

For more than 20 years, I have watched and waited for advertising to mature and develop a conscience on this subject. I’ve seen program after program come and go, and nothing ever changes.

Wait, that is a lie. There has been one change: Today there are fewer Blacks in advertising, at general marketing agencies than when I first entered the business. The lack of diversity has actually grown worse.

Shame on advertising.

“Advertising is afraid of the dark.”

The big advantage of me speaking out is that, since I technically don’t exist, anyone who disagrees can brush off this blog as a figment of his or her imagination, and go on with business as usual.

I’m really not here.

But I can’t wait to exist.

Friday, October 14, 2016

13391: Diverted Diversity Conference.

Adweek reported Nashville-based BOHAN Advertising hatched a diverted diversity scheme allegedly targeting women of color with a conference. Gee, how original! As the intent is to woo non-White women, invitations will go to high school and college students—because, of course, there are no professional women of color out there. Minorities must be recruited from school systems and inner cities. Oh, and the image Adweek created for the story featured White women.

Here’s One Indie Agency’s Plan to Get More Young Women Interested in Ad Careers

Bohan Advertising launches new conference

By Katie Richards

How will agencies get more women and people of color in high-level C-suite and creative leadership positions? It’s a question the industry has been grappling with quite a bit recently, and Nashville-based Bohan Advertising thinks it’s found a way to truly begin making a change within agencies.

On Oct. 25, Bohan will hold its first Ad Women for All Women conference aimed at high school juniors and seniors, and college-age women, with a particular focus on African-American women. Thirty applicants will be chosen to attend the free, one-day conference, which will be held at the agency’s Nashville headquarters.

“Hopefully, the end result will increase awareness of our industry and how women can play a big part in careers within our industry,” Shari Day, Bohan Advertising’s CEO, said.

Bohan hopes to convince students that advertising is a feasible career path for them and that it ultimately leads to more women and women of color in top agency positions in the future. Bohan also wanted to create something that wasn’t just for its own agency, but for independent shops across the country to help spur industrywide change.

“The bottom line is we wanted to develop a program that other agencies our size could go out and use, from the design to our literature,” Day said. “We have also intentionally taken Bohan out of the brand. It’s a brand that lives on its own, so other agencies can pick it up and move forward with it.”

Speakers for the first event include Valerie Graves—one of the first black copywriters at BBDO—other Bohan employees, and a number of successful local women in marketing and media. As the keynote speaker, Graves said, she hopes to instill in all of the attendees that a career in advertising isn’t out of reach in spite of how things may look today.

“If you create a picture for yourself—who you want to be, how you want to live—that could include something like getting into advertising,” Graves said. “Whether you know someone who has done this before or not, it can happen for you. There are many more avenues that are opening up. The recent move of clients to mandate that their agencies have to be diverse is just a sea change and can have gigantic impact.”

Not only will attendees get to hear from inspiring women in the field, but each of the 30 women will have the chance to visit an agency and shadow people at the shop. They can choose two different disciplines, including broadcast and finance, to learn more about and hopefully find a potential career track that sparks their interest.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

13389: USAA Picks Less-Biased Partner.

Advertising Age reported USAA handed its business to White advertising agencies from Publicis Groupe, replacing White advertising agencies from IPG. The move started when USAA dumped White advertising agency Campbell Ewald following a racist email fiasco involving the C-E office in San Antonio. At one point, IPG hoped to retain the business by erecting a standalone White enterprise within its White network to exclusively service the client. Instead, USAA opted for White offerings from Publicis Groupe. According to Ad Age, Razorfish Global CEO Shannon Denton said the new relationship “is part of Publicis and USAA’s goal to transform the industry. [Denton] added that USAA members are diverse and noted that Publicis Groupe believes the work on the account will be better and more creative if the team is also diverse in terms of ethnicity, gender, race and ways of thinking.” Okay, but the White advertising agency in the Publicis Groupe mix is Saatchi & Saatchi, a place routinely executing total market tactics that ultimately marginalize minority professionals in the field. Plus, Saatchi & Saatchi’s former chairman sparked controversy with his clumsy remarks regarding White women in the industry. So USAA has not moved significantly closer to connecting with partners that reflect the USA—or even USAA, for that matter. Only in America.

Publicis Groupe Agency Team Wins USAA Account

By Lindsay Stein

USAA has selected a Publicis Groupe team, including Razorfish, Saatchi & Saatchi and others within the network, to handle all integrated marketing, communications and media after a competitive holding company review.

Publicis Groupe landed the business after what USAA referred to as “several months of rigorous interviews, on-site visits and in-depth discussions with several companies.” For the pitch, the holding company implemented its so-called “Power Of One” strategy by bringing together agencies and services from Publicis Communications, Publicis.Sapient and Publicis Media. In addition to Razorfish, the team includes Saatchi & Saatchi, MSLGroup, Mediavest|Spark and Prodigious. The team will be responsible for creative and content development, marketing, advertising and media buying, social media, corporate responsibility, PR and issues and crisis management.

USAA Chief Marketing Officer Roger Adams wouldn’t identify the other holding companies in the hunt but said though they all had integrated models, Publicis stood out, with its “spot on” examples of integrated creative across all marketing communications and social functions. Each company leader involved in the selection process—across all areas of PR, creative, marketing and social—unanimously chose Publicis Groupe, he added.

Publicis Groupe also rose above competitors because of its focus on diversity, which includes a pledge to hire 30% of new staffers on the team from diverse communities and backgrounds.

While the diversity aspect was called out in the RFP, Mr. Adams said Publicis Group “went well beyond what they were asked for and demonstrated how they would deliver diversity by turning it into a program.”

Shannon Denton, global CEO of Razorfish, who ran the pitch and headed up the team integration for it, said the program is part of Publicis and USAA’s goal to transform the industry. He added that USAA members are diverse and noted that Publicis Groupe believes the work on the account will be better and more creative if the team is also diverse in terms of ethnicity, gender, race and ways of thinking.

The five key components of the diversity program are education, recruitment, onboarding, retention and recognition of talent, said Sandra Sims-Williams, chief diversity officer of Publicis Groupe. The holding company will also work closely with USAA on the program.

All work being done by USAA’s previous agency partners will be fully transitioned to Publicis Groupe by the end of the first quarter of 2017, except for WME/IMG, which will continue working on sponsorship-related activities, such as the Army-Navy Game presented by USAA.

USAA began working with MullenLowe in March after it parted ways with former agency partner Campbell-Ewald because of a scandal related to a racist memo. MullenLowe and Campbell-Ewald are both part of Interpublic Group, and after the insurance and financial company dropped Campbell-Ewald, IPG said in a statement that it planned “to transition our USAA team into a standalone, purpose-built entity over the next few months.”

Though IPG said it would create a standalone entity, USAA said it had not signed an agreement with IPG regarding the work terminated with Campbell Ewald and said it was working with IPG on a transition plan as it searches for a new shop. IPG’s Initiative was the media agency on the account, Fleishman Hillard previously handled PR and Merkle worked on USAA’s social business.

Mr. Adams said all of the former agencies “have done a great job in the past,” but the company has to “reorganize for the future and put a premium on integration.”

“We thank USAA for the opportunity over the past eight years to help their members experience the benefits of financial readiness,” said IPG in a statement. “IPG employees across this country have felt pride in sharing the stories of military members and their families with the rest of America and in seeing USAA grow their membership base by over 50% during this time.”

Representatives from MullenLowe, Initiative, Merkle and FleishmanHillard were not immediately available for comment.