Friday, June 30, 2017

13734: AT&T Directs Diversity.

Adweek reported on a new AT&T diversity-mentor program that connects young filmmakers with celebrity talent—including Octavia Spencer and Common. Gee, it’s odd that the telecommunications company didn’t tap acclaimed director Milana Vayntrub for the project.

AT&T Is Pairing Young Filmmakers With Celebrity Mentors to Bring Diverse Voices to the Screen

Hello Lab’s new program supports rising talent

By Sami Main

AT&T’s Hello Lab, a millennial and Gen Z-driven content studio, frequently partners with YouTube creators to help them produce out-of-the-box projects that just happen to be sponsored by AT&T.

The studio announced today a new program that will partner young filmmakers with award-winning professionals from the industry to help them create the project of their dreams.

AT&T refers to this as a diversity-focused initiative as it deals with issues and narratives from people of color, the LGBTQ community and women. Each young filmmaker will be paired with a mentor and an entire team of advisers like studio and production company executives, agents and attorneys.

Academy Award winners Octavia Spencer and Common are two of the mentors this year, along with Rick Famuyiwa, Desiree Akhavan and Nina Yang Bongiovi.

“There are a lot of film programs out there designed to empower young filmmakers,” said Octavia Spencer, in the press release for the announcement. “But the word ‘empower’ is a sort of a catch-all, isn’t it? What I love about this program is that it’s tactical. It’s enabling young filmmakers to make actual, physical work. It’s giving them the first crucial part of their reel.”

Spencer is mentoring Gabrielle Shepard with Mike Jackson, a partner at John Legend’s Get Lifted Film Co.

The five filmmakers in the program will debut their short films on DirecTV Now in the fourth quarter of 2017; AT&T’s Hello Lab will help the young group create high-quality work, and the support team will provide help with pitching their work, managing budgets and directing character-driven narratives.

“I wanted to be a part of this program because opportunity is everything. Connecting with young filmmakers, such as Nefertite Nguvu, is an honor,” said Common. “It’s the young and gifted visionaries who take the arts to levels we haven’t seen.”

Common will mentor Nguvu with Shelby Stone, the president of production at his company Freedom Road Productions.

“I am blessed to have the career that I do, and hope to be able to support and inspire her artistic vision and goals through the AT&T Hello Lab Mentorship Program,” he said.

“Nurturing the next generation of creative minds is crucial for the entertainment industry,” said Valerie Vargas, svp of advertising and Creator Lab for AT&T. “The AT&T Hello Lab Mentorship Program gives voice to filmmakers that may otherwise be silenced, and we can’t wait to see the ideas this unique group of creators develop.”

13733: Bullshit Builds Momentum.

Adweek published patronizing puffery promoting IAM, the high school dedicated to teaching minority youth about the advertising industry—and ultimately recruiting them into the field. Momentum Worldwide CEO Chris Weil penned the pap, and it would be interesting to learn the diversity figures at his company. The only hint of inclusiveness and culture at the agency website can be found via the online store, where MoMo Hammer Pants can be purchased for a mere $179.99.

Want a Robust and Diverse Talent Pipeline? Check Out This High School Dedicated to Advertising

4A’s ‘IAM’ program is a model of how to foster equality early

By Chris Weil

Today’s graduation of the High School for Innovation in Advertising and Media marks the ninth year of the 4A’s foray into helping build the next diverse generation of talent in marketing and advertising through its high school student initiative.

The 4A’s partnered with the New York City Department of Education in 2008 to form the first four-year high school in the nation dedicated exclusively to preparing students for careers in the advertising and media industry. That school in Brooklyn, known as IAM, is helping to train the future practitioners in our industry.

We’ve all heard the lament expressed across our industry in recent years about our talent pipeline drying up—young people weren’t learning the right skills to enter advertising or marketing positions, other fields were attracting students who previously would have considered advertising and marketing, and the diversity of the talent didn’t jibe with the diversity of the country’s population.

Those conversations, to be honest, are still occurring because we haven’t done enough to fix the underlying issues—yet. For example, still only 19 percent of people represented in advertisements are minorities, despite the fact that 30 percent of the voting-age population is a minority. That’s just one example of where we still have lots of room for improvement.

Industries of every type—and advertising and marketing stand out because of the cultural visibility of our work—grow when they tap into the varied thinking only possible with a diverse workforce. Diversity leads to marketing messages that are far more effective because they reflect the reality of the society and marketplace. And in our view, diversity has to begin with education and access, which was one of the core issues we addressed with our school programs.

This initiative builds on the 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Intern Program, or MAIP, which has connected aspiring diverse entry-level advertising professionals with prestigious advertising agencies for the last 44 years. But while we have been addressing the diversity issue long before it became a common theme, we know that it’s an ongoing challenge that requires additional solutions.

As we look to the 2017 class at IAM—graduating today—we can see that the program has been a success—and not just for those of us in the field of communications who want to see a more prepared and diverse pool of prospects making their way to our offices. It has been a success for the students.

What has, to me, been the most exciting development of our programs—which includes partnering with the City University of New York in 2014 to launch the first P-Tech (Pathways in Technology Early College High School) of its kind and the Manhattan Early College School for Advertising, or MECA—is that the kids are the biggest winners.

How do we know that our multipronged approach is reaching these students? Some 25 percent to 30 percent of IAM and MECA graduates are entering the advertising field—a generation of students who might otherwise never have even considered the possibility of advertising and marketing. While we can look on those recruitment numbers with pride, it’s also true that the graduation rate at our schools, which is trending at 78 percent, compared with about 64 percent at the average NYC public school, is the best reward.

It would be a dream to see 100 percent of the students enter our business, but by showing the thousands of students who have passed through the halls of the schools that creativity matters, that you can take your passions and turn them into careers, that there are myriad ways to do more in life, that is a reward that we can all celebrate.

By partnering with these schools, we are in effect expanding our society’s creative class—helping more people understand what a career in creativity is all about, inspiring more of them to consider advertising as a promising career opportunity and to understand all the ways they can be a part of a creative industry. Showing a student that his passion for social media can lead to a career or that the gamer playing video games could turn her interest into a life of building digital experiences for others is one of the most important aspects of these programs.

By next year, almost 1,000 ninth through 12th grade students will be studying advertising and marketing. At the same time, the MECA students will also be entering the community college part of their six-year program. They follow a regular high school curriculum—yes, with algebra, English and science—along with an additional specialty in marketing, advertising and design. Their curriculum includes soft skills such as presenting and storytelling; by their junior year, they are certified in Microsoft Office and Adobe Creative. For six years, the students will study not only every part of the agency and advertising ecosystem, but skills that will serve them in any creative field.

While a handful of individual companies have supported some schools, IAM and MECA are the first public schools in the U.S. to earn the support of an entire industry. The 4A’s uniquely offers this support by helping to create the advertising curriculum, teaching the classes, bringing students to agencies and creating mentorship and internship programs. Additionally, we are bringing in marketing clients such as Spotify and Reebok to introduce real-world briefs for the students to solve. This reinforces that the opportunity in our industry is to create work alongside brands that people love and impact our popular culture on a daily basis.

The students who chose to come to these schools have an interest in what we do, and we have a vested interest in keeping them engaged, sharing the excitement of our field and sharing our experiences. They matter more than ever—either as our future communications colleagues or our future customer population—and the more we can connect with them now, the better we will all be for it.

Chris Weil (@chrisweil) is the CEO of Momentum Worldwide; he sits on the 4A’s board of directors and serves as chairman of the 4A’s High School Initiative Advisory Board.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

13732: Popeyes Is Cheesy.

Check out Cheddar Biscuit Butterfly Shrimp from Annie the Chicken Queen. Let’s hope the Black actor playing a fool received mad cheddar for his performance.

13731: BBDO’s Latest Smokescreen.

Campaign reported on the BBDO New York Creative Residency Program, explaining its origin as follows:

The program grew out of a desire to increase black representation at the agency. In 2014, [BBDO Worldwide Chief Creative Officer David Lubars] received a request from the One Club to send a creative to its long-running “Here Are All the Black People” multicultural career fair, then in its fifth year. “So I sent myself,” he recalled.

During a panel at the event, a question from the audience asked what black and minority creative should do to get their foot in the door at an agency. “Some of the people on the stage weren’t in the position that I was in” to make hires, Lubars said. So he decided on the spot to hire five people of color and tasked [BBDO New York EVP Director of Creative Engineering and Director of Diversity Jd Michaels] with selecting them. “It’s not that hard, it’s just deciding to. I just wish we’d done it earlier,” he said.

Gee, Lubars “decided on the spot to hire five people of color”—yet delegated diversity by ordering someone else to do it. “It’s not that hard,” admitted Lubars. “I just wish we’d done it earlier.” Hey, 2006 would have been nice. Given that Lubars made the decision at an event dubbed “A Multicultural Creative Career Fair,” he probably could have satisfied his impromptu quota without leaving the stage.

Additionally, Lubars’ magnanimous gesture feels disgusting for at least three reasons:

1. The underrepresentation of Blacks at White advertising agencies like BBDO has been a chronic problem for over 60 years; hence, adding five people of color (which technically goes beyond Blacks) is a pathetic and grossly insufficient “solution” to tout. If a creative director reporting to Lubars presented equally lazy answers to marketing challenges, would the CCO tolerate such meager, half-assed executions? Then again, Lubars will undoubtedly nab an ADCOLOR® Award for his Black brainstorm.

2. The promotion of the BBDO New York Creative Residency Program seems like preparatory propaganda for sharing “all of the numbers”—per HP CMO Antonio Lucio, who promised to create a “White” paper detailing the results of his White advertising agencies’ diversity efforts.

3. Omnicom CEO John Wren pledged to double the number of female creative leaders at BBDO in one year. It’s already been shown that these diverted diversity schemes are only benefiting White women and dissing women of color. In short, BBDO will significantly boost White women while offering a “low five” to Blacks.

BBDO New York’s creative residency program goes nationwide

By I-Hsien Sherwood

In its third year, the program expands its reach, as well as the definition of agency diversity.

There’s a well-worn path to becoming an ad agency creative. Undergrad, portfolio school, internship, entry-level—deviate and the industry becomes much more difficult to break into.

But for the past three years, BBDO New York has been quietly running an innovative program to recruit talent from beyond the usual pipelines. Initially conceived as a diversity program, the Creative Residency has expanded its purview to cover diversity of thought and experience—DJs, science fiction writers or creatives who had never considered advertising as a career— while shepherding 12 people into full-time jobs. And this year, the program is going national.

“Traditionally, we’re only looking for people in advertising schools,” said Jd Michaels, EVP, director of creative engineering and director of diversity at BBDO New York. “Were not going to people who are in radio or in television or people who are actors. You do that when you’re looking for people to be planners, but you never hear anything about that with creative.”

This year’s residents include Raymond Li, a painter and photographer who’s worked on new business accounts at MediaCom, and Storm Smith, a deaf filmmaker and motivational speaker. The third resident, Andy Deaza, has a more traditional advertising background, with experience at Miami Ad School and agencies like JWT, FCB, McCann and SpikeDDB.

“For me personally, I was nervous, because I think I’m the only deaf person in this company, ever,” Smith said. “I knew it was a fast pace. The other two have more experience [in the industry] than I do. It’s a totally different world to survive in.” The three residents ease communication with a smartphone app that transcribes speech for Smith to read, and Deaza and Li are learning sign language.

The Creative Residency program is officially in its third year, but it’s difficult to distinguish former residents from current—except for a single member who was poached by Apple, they all still work at the agency. It’s meant to be a simple transition; while the residencies last for a year, the purpose is to funnel talented creative into the agency, “a pipeline for great talent that nobody else is tapping yet,” according to David Lubars, chief creative officer for BBDO Worldwide.

The program grew out of a desire to increase black representation at the agency. In 2014, Lubars received a request from the One Club to send a creative to its long-running “Here Are All the Black People” multicultural career fair, then in its fifth year. “So I sent myself,” he recalled.

During a panel at the event, a question from the audience asked what black and minority creative should do to get their foot in the door at an agency. “Some of the people on the stage weren’t in the position that I was in” to make hires, Lubars said. So he decided on the spot to hire five people of color and tasked Michaels with selecting them. “It’s not that hard, it’s just deciding to. I just wish we’d done it earlier,” he said.

If the residents themselves are nontraditional agency folk, the recruitment method is even more so. Rather than conduct interviews, Michaels and Karla Mayers, EVP, director of diversity and supplier diversity at BBDO New York, identify potential candidates they meet through networking or industry events and monitor their projects and success for as much as a year, sometimes even longer. Amy Lai had been on Michaels’ radar for the initial class of residents, “but we kind of lost touch,” she said. “He found me again when I won MAIP Intern of the Year. ‘We’ve been looking for you!’” Lai joined BBDO as a resident in the program’s second year and now works as a junior art director at the agency.

“It’s the friendliest kind of stalking,” Michaels said. “At the end of this process, we cold called them at their job, asked what they were doing, and told them that they should quit and come work here because they have a job here now.” With only one exception, they all did.

“Out of the gate, we’re providing a full-year commitment and a full-time job with unwavering support from the agency, quickly leading to real work for some of our biggest clients,” said John Osborn, CEO of BBDO New York. “Most importantly, the program is working. Residents are converting to ongoing copywriter and art director positions in the agency, and so the benefits of the program are enduring. And it’s focused purely on creatives, which is the area of the business that the industry and BBDO needs to most keenly address with regard to finding, cultivating and maintaining diverse talent.”

Now that BBDO New York’s Creative Residency program has matured, it’s expanding to BBDO’s other offices in the US. “We wanted to make sure we had this down, that it was successful,” Mayers said. “We felt it was a good time to make that transition.”

The other offices will be able to lean on New York for guidance, but each location will be responsible for determining exactly how the residencies will play out. “They have different cultures. They’re not New York,” Michaels said. “They don’t have the exact same rhythm and style that we do, so they have to find people who match who they are.”

Each office will have at least two residents so newcomers have a partner. “I was delighted when David came up with this program,” said Debbie Lindner, EVP, chief people officer at BBDO Atlanta. “It’s interesting how you invigorate and plant seeds of change in an organization.”

Atlanta is still working out the exact budget for the residencies, which will determine how many people they’re able to hire this year. “We want to make certain we find the right talent,” Lindner said. “They’ll tend more to be junior to mid-level and focused on digital capability.”

As in New York, the recruitment process will be long-term. It will begin this summer, so Atlanta expects to start making offers early next year. Once the North American offices have their Creative Residencies firmly in place, Lubars expects the program to go global.

As for Michaels, he’d be happy to see it expand beyond even BBDO Worldwide. “Our greatest hope,” he said, “is that people rip off this program and do it everywhere.”

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

13730: Sorting Through The Trash.

This Greenpeace campaign from Y&R in Namibia declares, “Trash Shouldn’t Define Our Culture.” Can’t help but notice a lot of the depicted trash is rooted in Western culture. Oh, and Y&R colonizing Namibia is pretty peculiar too, given the White advertising agency’s history and culture of trashing Blacks.

13729: Tweeting Racist Rhetoric.

A MultiCultClassics visitor pointed at the Tweet depicted above, which really underscores how diverted diversity has interrupted and disrupted the true diversity discussion. To gasp, “Racism in advertising isn’t tolerated—why is sexism still ok?!” displays a disturbing level of cultural cluelessness. For starters, the instances of insensitive and ignorant portrayals of minorities in advertisements far outnumber the sexist imagery. Even today, Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben are alive and well—with descendants carrying on the tradition. Plus, there’s another layer of tolerated racism in advertising when considering the unbelievable underrepresentation of racial and ethnic minorities in campaigns. The racist trifecta is completed by the conscious and unconscious bias—exhibited by White admen and White adwomen—that keeps minorities, well, minorities in the industry. To tweet racism in advertising isn’t tolerated in order to protest a gender inequality that barely exists is deceptive, hypocritical and stupid.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

13728: Gender Equality=Inequality.

Adweek reported on a Cannes study revealing that gender equality smokescreens in adland have not benefited women of color. Wow, what a shocking revelation! Can’t wait to hear what diverted diversity divas Kat Gordon, Madonna Badger and Cindy Gallop have to say on the polling data. “Absolutely, the industry’s movement has not engaged or been very responsive to women of color,” chirped IPG Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer Heide Gardner. “Frankly, I think it’s because most of the advocates are not women of color and that they just haven’t been aware that the game is different. … It is impossible to advance gender equality without dealing with other dimensions of diversity and identity.” Not sure what planet Gardner has been living on, as the White women’s bandwagon has been rolling merrily along for quite a few years. It is completely possible to advance gender equality while ignoring true equality—and our ever-exclusive industry has been doing exactly that. On Madison Avenue, White women have shattered the glass ceiling, but women of color have been relegated to cleaning lady roles to sweep up the shards.

Refinery29’s Cannes Study Finds That Gender Equality Efforts Have Left Women of Color Behind

Ad campaigns and workplaces still run on stereotypes

By Patrick Coffee

Given last week’s intense debates about Publicis and Marcel, one may have missed a major topic of conversation at the 2017 Cannes Lions festival: diversity, or the persistent lack thereof.

Several panels sponsored by companies like The Wall Street Journal addressed the matter only yards away from Mother London’s #CampaignForEquality billboards that featured industry personalities like Martin Sorrell and Cindy Gallop calling for more women in leadership roles. In an interview with Adweek, HP CMO Antonio Lucio also restated a dedication to diversity at both his own company and its agency partners.

But for all this talk, the movement has quite a ways to go. Research unveiled during last Wednesday’s IPG Women’s Breakfast panel found that marketing campaigns still traffic in stereotypes. And despite the ad industry’s highly visible efforts to move beyond a history of inequality, many feel ignored or left behind—especially women of color.

Nevertheless, gender stereotypes persisted

A study commissioned by IPG, National Geographic and female-focused media brand Refinery29 examined intersectionality and gender equality by way of a survey involving 4,000 women in five global markets and a series of in-depth follow-up interviews.

It found that the equality movement, as it were, has fallen short in both the global workforce and a marketplace still saturated with gender stereotypes.

A majority of survey participants think marketing remains dominated by such cliches (54 percent). Perhaps for this reason, most said these campaigns feel irrelevant (51 percent), and they do not believe that brands on the whole care about their personal experiences (53 percent).

“Given the changing landscape of consumer trends and how we are defining ourselves across many dimensions, it is surprising that the stereotypes we have used for so long are still quite prevalent,” said National Geographic evp, chief marketing officer Jill Cress.

She continued, “Take the current conversation around gender, for example, where around the globe we find individuals and organizations [like Facebook and Tinder] redefining traditional notions and expressions of gender identity. As marketers, we must also recognize this changing landscape and understand the layered identities of our customers.”

Deeper than demographics

Surprising as they may be, the IPG study’s findings fit with another piece of research from JWT and the Geena Davis Institute, which found that women remain under-represented in marketing campaigns by a striking margin of four to one.

Why have brands not corrected this imbalance despite the oft-repeated fact that a vast majority of consumer purchases are made by women?

“If marketers and agencies can go beyond the demo and psychographic definitions of women leveraged for marketing campaigns, and look at the small but important nuances of how women see themselves, we can start to see change taking place in creative and advertising,” said Hallie Johnston, Refinery29’s svp of client services and strategy for branded content.

The company’s own marketing efforts draw from what Johnston called “the power of niche audiences to move ideas at scale.” She said, “the more you can get closer to the micro topics and issues that women care about and reflect back a mirror of their mindset in marketing, the more you can humanize your brand and drive more engagement with your audience.”

This increased focus on targeting and personalization is in keeping with the findings of a survey in which only 44 percent of participants called womanhood “a universal experience.”

Paying lip service to diversity

Marketing strategies aside, the survey’s most striking findings concern the business world’s inability to improve its own diversity numbers, along with employees’ reluctance to speak out on the matter.

Seventy percent of women around the world said their workplaces are not diverse, and 53 percent do not believe gender equality has been achieved in either a professional or societal context.

Despite these sentiments, only 34 percent of participants said companies need to focus on “building an inclusive environment”—and a mere 22 percent agreed that women of color should hold more leadership roles.

These numbers are hardly surprising to veterans of a notoriously monochrome industry. While agencies have made a point of promoting more women to prominent positions in recent years, the overwhelming majority of those executives are white.

“Absolutely, the industry’s movement has not engaged or been very responsive to women of color,” said IPG chief diversity and inclusion officer Heide Gardner. “Frankly, I think it’s because most of the advocates are not women of color and that they just haven’t been aware that the game is different.”

Gardner continued, “It is impossible to advance gender equality without dealing with other dimensions of diversity and identity. Consider this: the overall wage gap for women in the US is 76 percent, but for Black women it is 64 percent and Hispanic it is 52 percent. It is mathematically impossible to solve this issue without solving for women of color also.”

“Even the stereotypes they have to overcome are different,” she added. “We did a program on Black women in leadership and motherhood did not come up once in the discussion. How people experience the world is driven in part by their identity.”

Progress is impossible without change

Despite overwhelming support for diversity and inclusion in the abstract, only 24 percent of respondents in this survey said they would speak up if uncomfortable with the “-isms” directed toward colleagues or consumers.

In other words, many decline to take action even in cases of problematic behavior and tone-deaf campaigns.

Given these discouraging findings, how will the ad industry—and the business world at large—begin to live up to its own promises? And how should young women and minority candidates who want to enter this field proceed?

“I’m not just a woman of color, I’m also a mother—and I think that I would say to my boys, ‘It is what it is, and you have a decision to make,’” said Gardner while noting that advertising is hardly the only industry to fall short on this front.

She added, with cautious optimism, “I really do think that we are beginning to move beyond that everlasting ‘conversation’ into more action. But if young people decide to join or stay in our industry, they also need to choose wisely. Diversity and inclusion is a value proposition … if the emperor has no clothes, hide your eyes and move along.”

A study released earlier this week by Ketchum and Fast Company argued that blind hiring, especially for entry level positions, could increase diversity. But Gardner countered, “Just having a blind resume process isn’t going to help if your job specs are biased … or if you ask biased interview questions and don’t have a clear framework for decision making.”

“We are not retaining and advancing people of color, in part, because of our business models and compensation strategies—but also because of the environment and lack of proof points for upward mobility,” she said. “I also believe we have talent on board and ready to go and they are probably underutilized.”

Unfortunately, the study’s findings indicate that this debate will continue and that women, particularly women of color, will face the same frustrations until a perceived need for action grows more urgent.

In the meantime, the fact that most executives—and reporters—addressing the matter are both white and male does little to move the conversation forward.

Monday, June 26, 2017

13727: P.S., HP BS.

Wanted to add commentary in response to a remark made by HP CMO Antonio Lucio during interviews at Cannes. While discussing the official memo Lucio sent to his White advertising agencies in August 2016, challenging them to improve their staff diversity, the CMO told Advertising Age the following:

By October we’re going to give you all of the numbers. What I can tell you right now is that in our lead agencies, the number of women leading the account has grown. The number of the women working in the creative department working on our account has grown where they were almost nonexistent. And in the media agency, the number of strategic resources leading our account, which in media is the most important role, has increased significantly as well. Our plan is that in October, by the one year anniversary of our call, we will sit down with all of the agencies and we’re going to do a white paper on the good, the bad, the ugly and the extraordinary.

Now, technically, Lucio only tasked his White advertising agencies with starting the inclusive revolution by promoting White women, as his comment above seems to indicate. At the same time, when Ad Age asked if the original request was exclusive to boosting female figures, Lucio clarified the intended goal by stating, “Women and people of color.” If Lucio does indeed share “all the numbers” as promised, it will be quite an accomplishment. To date, BBDO and Omnicom have steadfastly refused to disclose EEO-1 data to the public. So based on Lucio’s ability to keep his word, October could present an extraordinary trick or treat.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

13726: Taking Shots At 64 Shots.

64 Shots: Leadership in a Crazy World by former Saatchi & Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts could be retitled 64 Shits, as the author essentially shat out turds of wisdom on leadership.

Unfortunately, the book offers nothing fresh or original. Roberts simply regurgitates the perspectives of business experts like Peter Drucker and Tom Peters, repackaging the insights with his own alliterations and acronyms. Plus, he makes lots of tired sports analogies, embracing his personal obsession with Rugby. To complete the dearth of newness, Roberts closes by revisiting his Lovemarks concept.

Roberts’ resignation from Saatchi & Saatchi was ignited by commentary deemed sexist, and the book certainly doesn’t help his cause with its lack of lady lauding. The truth is, however, that White women thrive at the White advertising agency Roberts once led, making his claim—“the fucking debate is all over”—somewhat accurate. Hell, White women seem to be doing swell at the White enterprise that recently hired Roberts too.

On a related tip and flipside, Roberts’ book makes ample references to Black icons including Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Muhammad Ali, Nelson Mandela and Colin Powell. Roberts marveled, “How many organizations start each day with the rolling thunder of inspiration? Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not say ‘I have a mission statement.’ He didn’t talk about rules or tactics. He talked about a moral imperative, about the Promised Land. He had a dream.” Yes, and idiots like Roberts slept on the dream, failing to embrace progressive change, marginalizing minorities and perpetuating exclusivity in a crazy advertising industry that desperately needs leadership with vision. Despite his patronizing faux reverence for equality fighters, Roberts is an Old White Guy, culturally-clueless hypocrite and discriminatory douchebag. On that point, the fucking debate is all over.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

13725: Reinventing Rhetoric.

Oh look! Campaign also provided column space to HP CMO Antonio Lucio and his diverted diversity drive. Forget Cannes. This guy’s going to nab an ADCOLOR® Award. Give the man bonus points for integrating the company’s tagline—Keep Reinventing—into his heartfelt half-hearted rhetoric. “I challenge each of you to influence others in your ecosystem to be more aggressive with their own D&I efforts,” implored Lucio, adding the imperative “to encourage your partners to meet your own D&I standards.” Okay, except Lucio’s D&I standards are admittedly focused on White women versus people of color. The ecosystem remains exclusive.

HP global CMO: diversity and inclusion create the fire that stokes marketing reinvention

By Antonio Lucio

If marketers aren’t inclusive they can’t authentically understand their customers, says Antonio Lucio, global chief marketing and communication officer, HP.

More global, more social, more diverse. Increasingly mobile and always-on. The pace of change in today’s digital world can make us feel disconnected and anxious, making deep emotional ties both rare and precious. And yet it is these emotional connections that help brands to stand the test of time.

In our digital era, every brand message acts as a human-to-human conversation, regardless of what platform it’s consumed on. Brands must reinvent their marketing to deliver emotional resonance. This is not just for consumers but for business partners as well. Doing so demands a deliberate and disciplined approach informed by perspectives that reflect a varied customer base—making diversity and inclusion (D&I) a prerequisite to any successful transformation effort.

67% of active and passive job seekers consider a company’s diverse workforce a major factor in evaluating prospective employers

While advancing D&I is unarguably the right thing to do, it is also increasingly becoming a business imperative for global competitiveness. Manpower reports that one-third of global employers experience difficulty filling jobs. Adding to the impetus for diversity in recruitment, Glassdoor found that 67 percent of active and passive job seekers consider a company’s diverse workforce a major factor in evaluating prospective employers. Faced with a shortage of skilled workers, companies in Silicon Valley and beyond understand the necessity of looking far beyond their usual pool of talent.

As we have embarked on our reinvention journey at HP, we have pushed to have D&I be more than simply a moral imperative; we are baking it into the DNA of our organisation. Data shows that D&I leads to more innovation, better creative work and stronger results. Simply put, if we aren’t inclusive how do we hope to ever authentically understand the customers we serve? We must make every effort to walk in the shoes of our customers to ensure their voices are present at the table.

So how is this accomplished? Look around you. Do most people in your group, department, company or industry look like you? If so, it’s time to define a new talent bar and expand your horizons. Recruit from diverse schools, actively search for underrepresented candidates and create programs to attract and retain diverse talent. Actively expand the global proficiency of your leadership team so they can better connect with and represent your various audiences.

At HP, we are building a more inclusive culture by providing our leadership and, most importantly, our hiring managers with unconscious bias training. We’re using technology to eliminate biased language in our job listings and giving underrepresented current employees a voice, ultimately resulting in opportunities for advancement at all levels of the organisation.

To reach a more diverse talent pool, HP recently launched a recruiting effort with a clear and simple message: HP is hiring, and talent is our only criteria. Our first spot featured the African American community and results speak for themselves, with an uptick in diverse candidate resumes, invitations to speak at Harvard and Howard University, and strong business school engagement with our recruiting and mentorship programs.

Dads and Daughters, the second spot, addresses the biases women face during the interview process. As a father to five daughters, I am profoundly grateful to represent a company that addresses these tough issues head-on. HP’s commitment to ensuring the next generation of women in the workforce have the same opportunities as their male counterparts fills me with great pride.

I challenge each of you to influence others in your ecosystem to be more aggressive with their own D&I efforts, and to encourage your partners to meet your own D&I standards. Demand your advertising and PR agency partners submit a plan laying out how they will increase the number of women and minorities in key creative and strategy roles. Join others, such as PwC’s chief executive Action for Diversity and Inclusion, to work alongside the most progressive organisations in the world to address diversity. Contribute to, volunteer or start initiatives to support underrepresented groups in your industry—such as Free the Bid, which aims to increase the number of female directors in advertising by pledging to give one in three competitive bids to a female director.

Reinvention is hard. Success depends on becoming more insight-driven and emotionally resonant—which emanates from a highly inclusive and diverse workforce. It’s working for HP—we are worth 30 percent more today than we were 18 months ago. This is tangible proof that forging emotional connections through perceptive, you-understand-me moments makes a difference to the bottom line. Creating an environment where unique perspectives are actively sought and celebrated will serve to power an innovative future.

Friday, June 23, 2017

13724: HP Stands For High Propaganda.

Adweek and Advertising Age spoke with HP CMO Antonio Lucio, who blathered on about diverted diversity from the exclusivity of Cannes. “If I could point at one thing that is getting in the way of real progress in our industry, it’s the lack of diversity,” declared Lucio. “We’re spending way too much time talking about it, not enough time doing what needs to be done.” Of course, Lucio is only doing the less-than-minimum of what needs to be done, as his progressive baby step involves promoting White women. Indeed, his comments to Ad Age were almost entirely gushing about rising female figures. Lucio revealed that his White advertising agencies will publicly share the actual success numbers in October, and he announced, “…We’re going to do a white paper on the good, the bad, the ugly and the extraordinary.” Yes, it’s so appropriate to call the report a White paper.

HP CMO Believes the Ad World Spends Too Much Time Talking About Diversity Instead of Implementing It

Company has balanced its leadership teams

By Kristina Monllos

CANNES, France—The ad world isn’t doing enough to improve the diversity of marketing teams and that’s something that HP CMO Antonio Lucio wants to change.

“If I could point at one thing that is getting in the way of real progress in our industry, it’s the lack of diversity,” said Lucio during a video interview with Adweek. “We’re spending way too much time talking about it, not enough time doing what needs to be done.”

And Lucio isn’t just paying lip-service to an industry-wide issue that has been a popular topic at this year’s Cannes Lions festival. He’s actually doing something at HP. “Over the last year, we’ve undertaken a very important initiative … to balance our teams internally to the point that today 50 percent of our most senior leaders in communications and marketing are female,” said Lucio.

Added Lucio: “If you believe in innovation, if you believe in improvement, diversity becomes a business imperative much more than a values issue. … We believe our ability to deliver more innovation and better innovation from a product standpoint and our ability to connect with our customers around the world will improve by having teams that are diverse in their composition.”


‘It’s Working’: HP Says Its Push for Diversity at Its Agencies Is Getting Results

By Brian Braiker

Last September, HP Chief Marketing Officer Antonio Lucio sent a memo to HP’s five advertising and marketing agency partners asking for a commitment “to radically improve the percentage of women and people of color in leadership roles” in their organizations. In April, it released an ad promising to fight bias among its hiring managers. Now, almost a year into the diversity push, Lucio tells Ad Age that HP is already seeing real results—both internally and from HP agencies Gyro, BBDO, Fred & Farid, Edelman and Porter Novelli.

In a quick discussion at Cannes, Lucio reiterated his commitment to diversity and hinted at things to come.

Explain how it’s been going.

Better than I expected. Back in October we made an invitation to our agency partners to participate. We allowed them to set their own targets, understanding that they had to show meaningful improvement in the number of women working on our account, with specific emphasis on strategy and creative services.

Just women?

Women and people of color.

And they were going to set those targets themselves?

That was the only way they were going to commit to it. I thought that was a very important point. I’ve been doing marketing for a very long time. It is stronger when I can convince you to set your own target because it is your target. You are committed to delivering it as opposed to me imposing it on you.

Were there any targets that weren’t good enough for you?

None at all. I was very encouraged by the level of enthusiasm. I met with CEOs only. They did put some very interesting stretch targets. And over the last two quarters, we met once over their scorecard.

Can you share some specifics?

By October we’re going to give you all of the numbers. What I can tell you right now is that in our lead agencies, the number of women leading the account has grown. The number of the women working in the creative department working on our account has grown where they were almost nonexistent. And in the media agency, the number of strategic resources leading our account, which in media is the most important role, has increased significantly as well. Our plan is that in October, by the one year anniversary of our call, we will sit down with all of the agencies and we’re going to do a white paper on the good, the bad, the ugly and the extraordinary.

Any hints at what might be in there?

The only hint that I can give is that it’s working.

We’ve heard from some agencies, off the record, who bristle at this sort of mandate. They say it’s unfair, that it’s a sort of reverse discrimination.

I will tell you one of the CEOs told me that if his 10 lead clients had done this, the industry would be transforming at a faster pace. What we’re requesting is not arbitrary.

Talk about the internal adjustments you made to your own team.

When you looked at my team—like many marketing departments—out of the total population, about 60 percent are women. When you take it a notch higher—to managers—that number goes from 66 to 53 percent. From there to the senior leadership team, the ten most senior people in my global team, there were only two. So over a 12 month period, we worked it out through movements—changes, logical evolution of the structure, if you will—to get to a balanced 50/50. We had to do that first because without the strength of the argument, I could not have gone to the agencies.

You have to walk the walk.

I believe the changes has to be structural. The clients have to change, the agencies have to change and the production houses have to change as well. The number of heads of creative in the agencies is in the 20% range, the number of women directing commercials is less than 10.

When do we start seeing this reflected in the work, then?

Out of the work we just released, for example, the mother-daughters film, that was a female creative director that was not involved in our account before we started this. On the more mainstream stuff, our biggest product introduction on the computer side, which is inking, the director came from Free the Bid and she directed five spots that are going to be seen globally [starting this week]. That had never happened before. So we’re going to see this more and more and more. We test everything, and the way those five spots on the premium line tested, was some of the highest scores we’ve seen.

13723: Leo Burnett Burning…?

AgencySpy posted about creatives at Leo Burnett protesting the Publicis Groupe ban on award shows and trade shows in 2018. When the White advertising agency noticed industry equality would not happen for at least 66 years, they launched a tumblr demonstration. When threatened with the loss of trophies for a mere year, they deface their own headquarters and mount a global revolt. Perfect.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

13722: Experience Diversion.

Adweek reported on a Cannes study that showed “diversity of experience” trumps racial and ethnic diversity. It must be noted, however, that the study participants were 500 creative professionals. Um, polling members of an exclusive field on the topic of diversity is like asking the Ku Klux Klan to vote on inclusion. Diversity of experience prevents the experience of diversity.

Cannes Study Finds Diversity of Experience Is the Most Important Factor in Building Creative Teams

Ketchum and Fast Company call for ‘diverse voices’

By Patrick Coffee

Stop us if you’ve heard this one before. The meteoric rise of social media and our own unconscious biases have created an echo-chamber effect that intensifies, rather than discourages, cultural and personal divisions.

The bubble narrative has grown increasingly popular after last year’s Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump. But a new survey examining the phenomenon doesn’t touch on partisan politics—it’s about the creative work performed by industries like media, communications and advertising.

A majority of creative professionals (54 percent) participating in a study conducted by global PR firm Ketchum and media brand Fast Company agreed that such an echo-chamber effect exists in their fields and that it can greatly impede creativity.

The most significant finding in the survey, which involved 500 members of the Fast Company community and precedes a June 21 Cannes Lions panel moderated by editor Robert Safian, may be that diversity of experience is seen as more influential than ethnic or gender diversity when building an effective creative team.

Experience is the key factor

“The biggest wake-up call that sets this study apart from lots of diversity conversations is that so many participants say diverse life experience makes the difference: how you grew up, your socioeconomic background, whether you traveled, etc.,” said Ketchum partner, chief strategy and creativity officer Karen Strauss.

A whopping 87 percent of participants said “personal experience” is a formative factor in their ability to develop creative ideas. Work experience (70 percent) and personal experience (61 percent) were deemed to have the greatest effect on the judgment and selection of those ideas.

Despite the ad industry’s well-publicized efforts to achieve greater ethnic and gender diversity, respondents ranked those variables last when it comes to shaping creative product (25 percent for race and 26 percent for gender) and evaluating that work (11 percent and 15 percent, respectively).

This isn’t to say that gender and ethnic diversity are not important, that the ad industry has lived up to its own promises on those fronts, or that demographics don’t play a large role in shaping each individual’s personal experience. Simply that those who work in creative fields think hiring those with diverse backgrounds should be emphasized.

And gender blinders do exist. When asked which groups provide “braver” ideas, a majority of both men (61 percent) and women (65 percent) chose their own genders.

A resistance to true diversity

Strauss said the echo-chamber effect stems from “deriving, testing and suggesting ideas only with like-minded thinkers.”

“We think we are bringing in a range of views,” she added, “but we tend to hire people with particular types of experience who are hired through networking and referral, instead of those who have virtually no experience in the [particular] field or come from a very different background.”

A majority of respondents across age groups, disciplines and backgrounds agreed that this sort of approach is common and that it is detrimental to creative work.

Nearly everyone involved in this study (95 percent) said interacting with others who challenge their beliefs and assumptions is a crucial part of any creative endeavor. And while 71 percent of respondents believe their organizations respect such diversity of thought, an overwhelming 85 percent said more needs to be done.

The message is clear: Agencies, media companies and marketing organizations draw too heavily from the same talent pools. But at least they’re aware of the problem.

“The survey respondents see that working alongside people just like themselves limits creative potential, and to get outside our bubbles, we have to build teams from varying socioeconomic, educational and geographic backgrounds,” Safian said.

Marketers failing to work with target audiences

The tendency to work only with those who think like we do also applies to market research.

According to the survey, only 9 percent of creative professionals always work directly with members of their target audiences when developing campaigns or related projects. A near majority of respondents (48 percent) said they never do so, relying instead on third-party research for the ideas that eventually shape their creative work.

“We were shocked that only 9 percent tap the target audience when they test an idea,” Strauss said, adding, “If you bring them into the process, then eureka—you’ve already diversified it.”

The overwhelming influence of seniority in agencies and related organizations also diminishes creative work, according to the survey. While 73 percent of those who participated said younger employees tend to submit “braver” ideas, nearly as many said the responsibility for choosing which ideas will prevail overwhelmingly goes to those with 10 or more years of experience.

‘Less cronyism; less hiring of sameness’

Given the near consensus that creative businesses need to encourage a greater diversity of thinking, one big question follows: What’s the best way to do so?

“One of the biggest answers involves hiring from outside your network and outside your industry—not the usual writers and designers,” said Strauss. “Another is prioritizing people with diverse socioeconomic, family, religious, ethnic and gender backgrounds.”

As one survey participant put it, “Don’t hire for portfolio; hire for curiosity.” But it’s one thing to talk about diversity of experience and another thing entirely to hire a junior art director who has no training in the advertising field.

“You can’t hire only green talent,” Strauss acknowledged, adding that many of those polled suggested a move toward more blind hiring to facilitate “less cronyism [and] less hiring of sameness.”

“It’s a very quick fix,” Strauss said.

At the same time, multiple executives speaking on background have told Adweek that blind hiring can shrink an organization’s diversity totals by focusing more on the very factors the study downplays—where you went to school, where you interned, who mentored you, etc.

Ketchum itself addressed this challenge last year by creating a “gamified” internship opportunity called Launch Pad, a program that seeks to counteract unconscious bias by anonymizing submissions and allowing recruiters to pick candidates based on their “ability to solve fictional client challenges.”

Strauss said Launch Pad increased the ethnic diversity of Ketchum’s internship class by 17 percent over the previous year and that 25 percent of all successful applicants had no prior experience in communications or marketing.

Yet, Ketchum and companies like it still rely on standard executive searches to hire C-level talent. And diversity gaps related to race, gender, education and experience persist across creative industries despite the overwhelming call for change on all fronts.

On that point, Strauss believes the conversation should move away from the word “diversity,” which she said is too closely tied to demographics.

“Most organizations are visually striving to increase gender and ethnic diversity,” she said, “but that alone doesn’t eliminate the self-segregation that happens—or the groupthink.”

She called the entire process “a work in progress” and noted that while Ketchum does not have a specific blueprint, its research has identified some clear steps that need to be taken.

The most important idea to keep in mind?

“Seek out people who challenge your views,” Strauss said. Of course, as the study revealed, this is far more easily said than done.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

13721: Award-Winning Accountants.

Adweek reported new Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun is banning his White advertising agencies from participating in award shows and trade shows for 2018 as part of a cost-cutting move. Guess Sadoun has to make up for all of his predecessor’s compulsive digital spending and infamous failed merger deal. One thing is certain: The bold action will clearly show that holding companies like Publicis Groupe spend far more on pursuing trophies than promoting diversity.

Publicis Groupe Forbids All of Its Agencies From Participating in Awards Shows in 2018

New CEO Arthur Sadoun makes first mark with decision to save costs

By Patrick Coffee

Publicis Groupe will be sitting out the 2018 Cannes Lions festival. The reason? To save money.

New chief executive officer Arthur Sadoun made his first dramatic mark on the holding company this week by forbidding all of its agencies around the world from participating in awards shows, trade shows or other paid promotional efforts for more than a year.

According to an internal memo written by CEO Frank Voris of Publicis Groupe’s financial services unit, Re:Sources, Sadoun’s company is “looking for 2.5 percent cost synergies for 2018” and hopes to achieve those savings, at least in part, by “eliminating all award/trade shows for the next year.”

The memo notes that Re:Sources “will not participate in any vendor conferences, industry trade shows and/or award shows effective July 1.”

“This is mandatory and exceptions will not be approved. … Award/trade show ban is effective for the entire Groupe, not just Re:Sources,” the memo states.

The news comes on the same day Sadoun announced the launch of Marcel, a platform designed to serve more than 80,000 employees in 30 different countries and described as “the first-ever professional assistant that uses AI and machine learning technology.”

The announcement is in keeping with an earlier video in which Sadoun said he wants Publicis Groupe to function as “a platform” rather than a network as part of its larger “Power of One” strategy. In some ways, the Marcel presented in the video above resembles Source, a “gamified” global operating system and collaboration tool developed by Omnicom media agency PHD in 2012.

When speaking to Adweek about Marcel, Sadoun did not directly address whether Publicis Groupe will be sitting out next year’s Cannes festival. He did, however, note that Marcel will debut during the 2018 VivaTech conference in Paris, which directly precedes Cannes. He also stated that Publicis Groupe would not be using any of its budget for self-promotional purposes during the development of Marcel.

According to the Voris memo, Sadoun made these announcements during his first “management session,” which occurred in Paris over the weekend.

A Publicis Groupe spokesperson declined to elaborate on the news beyond Sadoun’s statements and denied the plans have anything to do with “cost synergies.” Re:Sources representatives have not yet responded to requests for comment.

A Cannes Lions press contact has also not responded to a query regarding Publicis Groupe’s apparent decision to sit out the 2018 festival.

Earlier this year, the Re:Sources organization went through a round of layoffs attributed to “automating some of its financial operations in order to deliver globally standardized financial [and] accounting services.”

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

13720: 4A’s 4 Females.

This email for 4A’s The Face Of Talent 2017 Diversity Career Fair accurately depicts the state of diverted diversity in the advertising industry. The focus is on women—and does anyone want to guess which one of the featured females clearly has the best chance of landing a job in the exclusive field?

13719: Microwaving Aunt Jemima.

Adweek reported Dan Gasby, TV executive and the spouse and professional partner of B. Smith, is going after Aunt Jemima. Actually, he’s going after PepsiCo, demanding that they finally dump the iconic pancake maker. “One hundred and twenty four years ago that product was created,” griped Gasby. “They used nasty grains, and they had freed slaves [to promote it], and it’s still a modern-day, 21st-century company. And someone who pours that syrup [or mix], they’re pouring slavery out of a box.” If Gasby succeeds in his crusade to crush Aunt Jemima, it will probably make Annie the Chicken Queen and The Pine-Sol® Lady really nervous.

B. Smith’s Husband Is Launching a Petition Demanding the Aunt Jemima Brand Change Its Name

Seeks to drop the mascot as well, thereby setting the character ‘free’

By Robert Klara

For well over a century, Aunt Jemima has been among the most successful and recognizable brands of pancake mix and syrup on grocers’ shelves. Starting today, however, it might just get flipped on its head.

A new petition, announced this morning, demands the company get rid of its brand name and mascot and “set Aunt Jemima free,” in the words of Dan Gasby.

Gasby, a successful TV executive and the husband and business partner of the model-turned-entrepreneur B. Smith, started the petition after his previous efforts to get the Pepsico-owned Aunt Jemima to discard its name and mascot failed. Gasby believes the Aunt Jemima name and character are enduring vestiges of racism and slavery that have no place on store shelves in 2017.

“For 124 years, [that product] has been the very epitome of African-American female humiliation,” Gasby said. “You can’t tell me Aunt Jemima is positive.”

PepsiCo has not responded to an email and a telephone message requesting comment.

Gasby’s campaign, while newly public, has been years in the making. About a decade ago, Gasby and his wife decided to go shopping in some New York bodegas, those dingy little cigarette-and-beer stores that in many of the city’s poorer neighborhoods are the only grocery-shopping options available. The couple had long passed the point where they needed to do such chores (much less in bodegas), but they were considering getting into the grocery business themselves and figured they’d do a little research.

Instead, they found a cause.

When a young black woman the couple was watching put a box of Aunt Jemima pancake mix into her basket, Smith—an actress, restaurateur, chef and among the most elegant black women of her generation—was disturbed. So she approached the young lady. “I just want to ask you something,” Smith said. “You just bought this product—do you know what it stands for?” The woman replied that Aunt Jemima was “a product that stands for us being blacks.”

“My wife was shocked,” said Gasby, still recalling the event clearly. “And from that day on, we said to ourselves that we’d try to make a difference.”

Gasby, co-owner of the B. Smith lifestyle brand, chose today, June 19 or Juneteenth, the day that commemorates the emancipation of African-American slaves, as the launch date for the campaign. He hopes the symbolism will spark a greater sense of urgency and garner more support.

“One hundred and twenty four years ago that product was created,” Gasby said. “They used nasty grains, and they had freed slaves [to promote it], and it’s still a modern-day, 21st-century company. And someone who pours that syrup [or mix], they’re pouring slavery out of a box.”

In 1889, entrepreneurs Chris Rutt and Charles Underwood of the Pearl Milling Company introduced a new brand of ready-mix, self-rising pancake flour called Aunt Jemima—a name Rutt, a newspaperman by trade, had heard at a minstrel show in a song performed by a singer in blackface. After the R.T. Davis Milling Company purchased the brand in 1890, it hired Nancy Green, who’d been born a slave in Kentucky’s Montgomery County, to portray Aunt Jemima in the company’s promotions. The perennially smiling, bandana-wearing Green was paid to be a caricature, and the resulting archetype, which passed to the ownership of Quaker Oats in 1925, survived long after Green’s death in the form of an illustration of the character on the packaging.

Apart from the cultural baggage of the name itself, the Aunt Jemima character has been a liability for the brand for decades. Though the rendering has been mainstreamed over the years—losing the bandana, shedding the housedress and appearing in pearl earrings—Aunt Jemima is still in many people’s eyes a “mammy”—a stereotypical domestic servant in the white households of the antebellum era.

But in Gasby’s view, updating the character did nothing to address what he sees as the foundational offensiveness of the brand name overall and the character in particular.

“You could make her look like Doris Day in dark chocolate—and you can quote me on that—[or] you can bob her hair, and she could look like she’s in the Daughters of the American Revolution,” he said. “But walk up to a black woman and say to them, ‘You remind me of Aunt Jemima!’ and see what they do to you. Walk into the middle of a room of a group of black women and say, ‘You know, I just want to say I hope you live up to the standards of Aunt Jemima,’ or, ‘Your little daughter or baby reminds me of Aunt Jemima,’ and see what you get. We’ve become desensitized to systemic racism—but image still matters.”

Gasby explained that he finally turned to after his own appeals several years ago to PepsiCo to change the Aunt Jemima brand name came to nothing. Ever since then, he said, “it’s been festering with me, and I know my wife was very adamant about it.”

The couple has more personal reasons for launching the petition now. B. Smith was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2013 and is unable to lead the charge on her own. And while the couple’s plans for their own grocery chain didn’t work out, their hopes to change the Aunt Jemima brand still can.

Gasby’s petition isn’t calling for the liquidation of the company. But he does want the name and mascot eliminated and also suggests PepsiCo consider changing the brand name to that of his wife. Not only is she a well known and widely respected black female entrepreneur, but a portion of sales could be donated to the causes of women’s health and brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s.

“You could say to me, ‘Well, I’m doing it for financial reasons—no,” Gasby said. “If not now, when? [And] who better than B. Smith?”

Monday, June 19, 2017

13718: #NoMoreBlackTargets.

Learn more about #NoMoreBlackTargets.

13717: Goddess Of Ad Awards.

AgencySpy posted on the latest diverted diversity decoration from The 3% Conference: the Athena Advertising Awards, birthed in conjunction with the Athena Film Festival. How original! The jurors will undoubtedly have strong female representation, integrating loony lady luminaries like Cindy Gallop. Maybe Wonder Woman will be a presenter or keynote speaker. And of course, all award winners will also receive automatic certification from Kat Gordon. Why does bringing revolutionary change to the advertising industry usually include inventing new advertising awards?

The 3% Movement Teams Up with the Athena Film Festival to Launch The Athena Advertising Awards

By Erik Oster

There’s a new advertising awards program in town.

The 3% Movement collaborated with the Athena Film Festival, “a joint initiative of the Athena Center for Leadership Studies at Barnard College and Women and Hollywood,” to create the Athena Advertising Awards, which will recognize top advertising telling the stories of women and girls.

“The depiction of women and girls in advertising has steadily been improving, thanks in large part to consumers’ ability to talk back to brands via social media,” The 3% Movement founder Kat Gordon said in a statement. “It’s time to celebrate brands and agencies that are demonstrating leadership and creating messages infused with ambition, courage, resilience, and moxie.”

“One of the primary goals of the Athena Film Festival is to challenge the way society views and values women,” added Athena Film Festival co-founder Kathryn Kolbert. “In many ways, those views and values are shaped by advertising. We could not be more excited to launch this new initiative to reward those brands and agencies that are elevating images and voices of bold, courageous women and girls.”

The Athena Advertising Awards is open to North American brands and agencies and will feature six categories: Film, Digital/Mobile, Social Marketing, Print, Events/Experiential, and Integrated Campaigns. Submissions are open beginning today, with a September 8 deadline. The awards presentation will be part of The 3% Conference in New York on November 3 and will then be replayed at the Athena Film Festival, which will take place from February 22-25 at Barnard College.

The Athena Advertising Awards are not the first award program to honor depictions of women and girls in advertising. SheKnows Media launched the #Femvertising Awards back in 2015 and will begin submissions for its third annual event this August. According to its site, this year the awards will be “expanded…to be inclusive of ads that do the right thing by ALL humans, regardless of gender, race, religious beliefs and sexual orientation.”

For its part, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity responded to a petition by #WomenNotObjects founder Madonna Badger to ban ads objectifying women, while also making a move toward greater gender diversity in its jury panels. This came after the festival awarded an Almap BBDO Brazil outdoor ad for Bayer aspirin with a Bronze Lion in the outdoor category, despite objections that the campaign, which included copy like “‘Don’t Worry Babe, I’m Not Filming This’.Mov,” was overtly sexist. It wasn’t the only incident at the awards ceremony that led to accusations of sexism or female objectification, as VaynerMedia and Thrillist were criticized for a party invite specifying “attractive females and models only,” which they attributed to third party events company iGetIn.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

13716: HP Celebrates Father’s Day…?

Campaign reported on the Daddy-Daughter diverted diversity display from HP. Plus, the trade journal interviewed HP Chief Diversity Officer Lesley Slaton Brown, who’s becoming a star of sorts as the technology company proceeds to push for progress. “Keep Reinventing” meets Delegating Diversity.

HP debuts its newest diversity video, admits it has ‘room for improvement’

By Kathryn Luttner

The brand’s Chief Diversity Officer Lesley Slaton Brown talks about the company’s hiring initiatives and its latest spot targeting women.

HP continues to market itself as a company where talent is its only hiring criteria with a new spot debuting today, titled “Dads and Daughters.” In it, real-life fathers and daughters read female-focused interview advice that’s largely negative, like “don’t wear too much perfume,” “avoid dressing too much like a woman” and “don’t be aggressive.”

The nearly three-minute ad is a continuation of the “Reinvent Mindsets” diversity campaign launched in April from agency Fred & Farid. The first spot, “Let’s Get In Touch,” focused on African-Americans and cited that “when qualified for a job, African-Americans are three times more likely to experience a denial.”

The latest commercial is directed by Jillian Martin, who is part of Alma Har’el’s Free the Bid, an initiative that challenges both agencies and brands to include at least one female director on triple bids, to which HP has donated $100,000. While the latest commercial doesn’t point to statistics, it does reveal actual interview tips found online. HP said the advice was gathered from news outlets like Cosmopolitan, FOX and The New Yorker.

To combat unconscious interview bias, HP is releasing this video through paid social media and other digital platforms. Campaign US spoke with the brand’s Chief Diversity Officer Lesley Slaton Brown to discuss why diversity has become one of HP’s top priorities.

Why did you decide to focus on women in this spot?

HP does business in 170 countries globally. We look at our different sites and say, “Okay, we need to balance our workforce.” For example, in Palo Alto, Asian is not underrepresented. In Boise, Idaho and Corvallis, Oregon, it is. And again, because we want to diversify our workforce, we look at those different sites.

So, when HP formed, when it split in November of 2015, we developed the most diverse board of directors in corporate American technology. To build from that, we increased our women in technical roles, executive technical roles by 4 percent. And the next level for us was women in technology, and so that is a focus, that is a primary segment or audience that we wish to increase within HP.

But your 14 C-suite executives consist of three women and no African-Americans, nor Asians. Would you say there’s room for improvement?

Oh, of course. I think absolutely there’s room for improvement. We started with our board of directors and just as you mentioned, we still need to do work at the L1—our senior most business leaders. Still, we represent over seven different countries within that leadership team.

But, more importantly, we also formed another layer with our global diversity advisory board, which consists of 17 people. The reason we did that is because we want to fill where we have gaps with senior leaders, influencers that are doing the work, that are making a difference, and that get it, so to speak. We have a reverse mentoring program that we do with our board of directors and our L1 leaders. That is representative of African-American, Asian, every region, every business.

That said, Cathie Lesjak as CFO, Tracy Keogh, head of HR, Kim Rivera, Latina, head of general counsel and head of legal—the representation of those leaders cannot go unnoticed and dismissed. They are leading industry change. And, of course, Antonio Lucio with Free the Bid.

Cathie is taking her role to a whole other level as well by holding our consultants to that same level of accountability and making sure that they’re representative of women and minorities in the highest level positions as well. If it hadn’t been for Tracy—guess what—none of this would’ve started as far as our board of directors.

And so, it’s more than just about the numbers. It is about the standard. That’s the work that this group of leaders is doing.

“Dads and Daughters” is the second part of your “Reinventing Mindsets” campaign. Will we see future spots centered on other minorities?

You’re going to see a lot more. This just isn’t about eliminating bias in recruiting or recruiting more talented women. It’s just the start. The work that we’re doing, it is pervasive. When I agreed to lead this effort, I said, “First and foremost, we have to debunk the myth that diversity and inclusion is the responsibility of HR.” Nor is the culture HR’s responsibility. It is about everybody being inclusive.

As you know, from a global perspective, diversity and inclusion means different things to different regions. In China, we’re dealing with people with disabilities, and other places, we’ve got women in executive positions. Within the U.S., we look at veterans, we look at, as I said, technical women. That’s the focus within the U.S. people with disabilities as well.

Have you personally experienced unconscious bias when you were interviewing for jobs?

I have as an African-American woman. And it’s funny because a name makes a difference, right? So, my former name was Lesley McNorton, and what I found was that with my resumes, if I used my name, Lesley McNorton, they automatically thought I was white, because of the “Mc.”

There were honestly times where I made sure that I didn’t put the organizations that I’m invested in as a minority because I saw the rejects. If you become real and unmask yourself, what you get and how soon the interest you get based off of your name and not exposing that you’re a part of these different organizations—“minority organizations”—versus doing that, there’s definitely a difference there. So, absolutely I have faced that.

With HP, it was a little different because one, HP’s culture, our heritage. And two, when I came to work for HP, I was actually working as a community volunteer as a co-chair for a particular organization and the woman that I was co-chairing with had just gotten a promotion at HP where she was starting her own organization. She was a Caucasian woman, and she said, “We work well together. I’m starting this new business, and I’d love for you to come work for me.”

It’s funny that time comes full circle, talk about talent being the only criteria, right? That’s because that’s true to HP’s legacy and so, have I had that happen to me? Absolutely. Absolutely.