Monday, July 31, 2017

13770: P&G Cuts&Saves.

Advertising Age reported Procter & Gamble cut its digital ad spending by $140 million—and still enjoyed sales increases. Hey, why not? The mega-advertiser reduced the crumbs given to minority shops—and let White advertising agencies produce Black advertising without blinking, and maybe sales weren’t adversely affected too. The scenario even inspires some sidebar pondering: specifically, has P&G ever dedicated $140 million annually to multicultural marketing?

P&G Slashes Digital Ads by $140M Over Brand Safety. Sales Rise Anyway

By Jack Neff

Procter & Gamble’s concerns about where its ads were showing up online contributed to a $140 million cutback in the company’s digital ad spending last quarter, the company said Thursday. That helped the world’s biggest advertiser beat earnings expectations. Perhaps even more noteworthy, however, organic sales outperformed both analyst forecasts and key rivals at 2% growth despite the drop in ad support.

P&G didn’t call out YouTube, the subject of many marketers’ ire earlier this year, in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings release, but did say digital ad spending fell because of choices to “temporarily restrict spending in digital forums where our ads were not being placed according to our standards and specifications.”

Those cuts amounted to nearly a percentage point of profit margin for the quarter, with cuts to agency and production fees further boosting profits.

People familiar with the matter said P&G left YouTube in March over brand-safety issues, though P&G has also had problems with ads appearing on video content that didn’t match its goals. It’s unclear whether or to what extent the digital cuts came from other venues, though Chief Financial Officer Jon Moeller in a media call also noted Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard’s broader efforts to eliminate “a significant amount of waste” in the digital media supply chain.

YouTube parent Google reported strong revenue growth last quarter despite what appears to be a dwindling advertiser brand-safety revolt. But P&G isn’t in a hurry to resume spending either. Despite the cuts P&G had “very strong relative organic sales growth,” Moeller said. “So we stand in pretty good net as a result of all those choices.”

Asked whether P&G sees any need to put that money back into digital media in the future, Moeller said, “Clearly we don’t need to be spending money that is seen by a bot and not a person. Clearly we don’t need to be spending money on ads that are placed in inappropriate places, and that’s why you see a significant reduction.”

So how well did P&G do in the quarter? Globally its organic sales, excluding effects of divestitures and currency, rose 2% to $16.1 billion on a unit volume increase of 2%. That compared to categories that were roughly flat, Moeller said on an investor call later, adding that P&G’s organic sales actually accelerated over the fiscal year even as category growth slowed.

P&G U.S. revenue rose 2% on 4% unit growth. The spread there owes largely to a 12% cut in prices of Gillette razors, which boosted volume but reduced sales at least for the short term. The beauty business, long a company laggard, this time led with 5% organic sales growth.

All-in net earnings rose 15% to nearly $2.3 billion for the quarter, with nearly half the gain from those digital media cuts.

Rival Unilever, which hasn’t pulled out of YouTube but similarly reduced marketing spending last quarter, increased global organic sales 3% on flat volume. Rivals Kimberly-Clark Corp., Colgate-Palmolive Co., RB (Reckitt Benckiser) and Johnson & Johnson’s Consumer business all had down or flat organic sales and volumes, mostly combined with decreases in advertising spending where that was reported.

P&G’s forecast for its new fiscal year, which began July 1, leaves room to hike marketing spending from productivity gains, and the $140 million cut last quarter could grow further still if P&G follows through on its threat to stop spending on digital media that doesn’t have third-party audience measurement verified by the Media Rating Council by the end of the calendar year.

While P&G has increased its U.S. TV upfront commitment for this year, according to people familiar with the matter, it’s far from certain all digital dollars it cuts would go there or elsewhere. CEO David Taylor was non-committal on the investor conference call when asked about plans for next year’s spending.

“Certainly we are and have been rethinking marketing overall, and it will evolve,” Taylor said, but didn’t specify what that would mean for media spending. While Taylor has criticized past P&G moves to cut spending in the fiscal fourth quarter to boost profits, last quarter’s digital cuts, motivation aside, essentially did that. Over five years, P&G is aiming for $2 billion in marketing cuts, including media, with a heavy emphasis on cleaning up the digital supply chain.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

13769: Presenting SapientNitroCho.

Adweek reported on this over a year ago, but it’s definitely worth reviewing. SapientNitro Digital Strategist William Yu sought to spotlight the lack of diversity in Hollywood by replacing White stars in movie posters with John Cho. Nice concept and execution—probably the best thing to ever come out of SapientNitro. As this blog has criticized the digital shop in the past, it’s only fitting to apply Yu’s idea to spotlight the lack of diversity in SapientNitro leadership too.

John Cho Appears in Popular Movie Posters to Address Lack of Diversity in Hollywood

SapientNitro digital strategist’s campaign goes viral

By Katie Richards

Take a look at a handful of movie posters from some of the hottest films, from Avengers: Age of Ultron, Me Before You and Jurassic World. What do you notice?

William Yu, a digital strategist at SapientNitro, noticed a serious lack of diversity. “The lack of representation of Asian-Americans in media is something that’s always been top of mind for me,” Yu told Adweek. Recently, Yu came across a study reporting that movies with more diverse casts actually lead to higher box office numbers and returns on investments. So why, he thought to himself, is Hollywood still not putting Asian actors in starring roles and hiring white actors for Asian roles?

That prompted the 25-year-old Korean American to launch the Starring John Cho campaign on Twitter with Harold & Kumar actor John Cho as the star. Yu took a number of big movies from the past year and a few highly anticipated ones for 2016 and replaced faces of lead characters with Cho’s to address the serious lack of diversity in Hollywood.

Chris Evans as Captain America in Avengers: Age of Ultron suddenly becomes John Cho. Matt Damon in The Martian, Daniel Craig in Spectre, Ryan Gosling in The Nice Guys, all replaced with Cho’s face. Yu went with Cho because the actor is one of the most well-known Asian-American actors in Hollywood and, with a starring role in the Harold & Kumar franchise and a role in Star Trek, Cho “has both the presence and the bankable talent to build a tent pole around,” Yu said.

Yu also made sure to pick from a wide range of genres to show that Asian-Americans can play every role from the action star to the romantic lead.

“I really wanted to give people visual and tangible evidence that having an Asian-American star in a leader role wasn’t quite so crazy or outrageous but it was actually quite fitting,” Yu said.

After picking a leading man and a few movie posters, Yu created the hashtag #StarringJohnCho, built a website where people could see all of the posters and read about the project and let the conversation kick off from there. The goal, he said, was always to “spark and ignite a conversation about Asian-Americans and how they are presented in Hollywood.”

The campaign has already gained traction on Twitter and, as Yu hoped, sparked a conversation and even a larger movement with fans of the campaign creating their very own movie posters. Cho has even been in on the action, tweeting a heart at the Starring John Cho Twitter account.

Friday, July 28, 2017

13767: Google, Silence Yourself.

The Google Doodle for July 28 salutes the 100th anniversary of the Silent Parade in New York that covered Fifth Avenue to—appropriately enough—Madison Avenue. “Today’s Doodle commemorates the 100th anniversary of the Silent Parade,” explained Google, “and honors those whose silence resonates a century later.” Not sure what that last line means. Modern-day Madison Avenue doesn’t have enough Blacks to execute a line dance, let alone a parade. And when asked about its Black representation, Google resorts to being silent.

13766: Mickey D’s Magnificent Seven.

Advertising Age reported Mickey D’s has reduced its roster of local advertising agencies from about 60 to a mere seven. Four of the finalists are White advertising agencies that have already been servicing the fast feeder, and at least one shop in the quartet boasts multicultural capabilities. The three newcomers offer a host of questionable skills, with Doner featuring a multicultural division, Lopez Negrete being a Latino agency and the ever-awful Zimmerman being a sister agency of We Are Unlimited—as well as a resident in the Omnicom stable of jackasses. Mickey D’s Founder Ray Kroc insisted, “We have an obligation to give something back to the community that gives so much to us.” Okay, but the Magnificent Seven hardly reflect the communities that the burger joint serves.

Seven Agency Groups Make the Cut for McDonald’s Local Advertising

By Jessica Wohl

McDonald’s and its franchisees have picked seven agency groups to handle local advertising for the chain across the United States, Ad Age has learned.

Previously, about 60 agencies handled local advertising for nearly 200 cooperative groups across the country. Now it appears that just seven agencies will handle the load going forward. They’ll be working with a smaller number of co-ops, perhaps fewer than 100, as McDonald’s adjusts the composition of its regional groups nationwide.

According to multiple sources familiar with the pitch process, McDonald’s appears to have selected seven groups to be certified as agencies that can work with the co-ops. Bernstein-Rein and Fahlgren, which each worked with McDonald’s co-ops in the past, are collaborating as a team. So are two other incumbents, Moroch and Stern. Davis Elen and H&L are two other incumbents that have been selected, sources said. And it appears three newcomers are set to join the roster: Doner, Lopez Negrete and Zimmerman.

McDonald’s declined to comment. The agencies involved either declined to comment or could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, dozens of agencies that have had relationships with McDonald’s co-ops are going to soon lose that business. The media side of those local accounts, which was often handled by the local agencies, has already been moved to Omnicom’s OMD. Omnicom is also home to McDonald’s national creative agency, We Are Unlimited, which was formed after a separate pitch process last year.

The pitch process is still ongoing for the certified agency groups, which must now present to co-ops to try to win their business.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

13765: Stereotypical Sex MODE.

Here’s another reason to be offended by MODE Body Boutique advertising. The White women—while treated as sex objects—are at least engaged in athletic or avant-garde behavior. In contrast, the woman of color is a sex object seeking sex.

13764: Talk The Talk…

Advertising Age spotlighted “The Talk”—a campaign featuring a video depicting Black parents discussing the thorns and threats of racism with their children. The work falls under Procter & Gamble’s “My Black Is Beautiful” initiative. What makes the latest project downright outrageous? The video was created by White advertising agency BBDO New York. First of all, there’s something very familiar about the concept, but MultiCultClassics can’t immediately identify the “inspiration” for the video. Second, they should have included a parent warning their kid about encountering blatant racism—by pursuing a job at BBDO or any other White advertising agency in America. The saddest part is, BBDO CCO David Lubars will probably nab an ADCOLOR® Award for the hypocritical bullshit. This mess is a shining example of talking the talk, but not walking the walk.

Procter & Gamble is both “Proud Sponsor of Moms” and supporter of African-American women, with its ongoing “My Black Is Beautiful” campaign. These concerns merge in the marketer’s heart-rending film about the unique challenges African-American mothers have in raising kids—in decades past, and continuing today.

Scenes that take place over different eras depict moms consoling and educating their children after they encounter racism: one daughter receives a compliment that she’s pretty—“for a black girl,” a boy gets called the n-word while another has faced discrimination on the sports field.

The mothers encourage their kids to endure and hold their heads up high, no matter what the challenges. One mom tells her daughter she’ll do fine at science camp, but she’ll have to “work twice as hard and be twice as smart,” and the mother with the “pretty” daughter drives home that she’s “beautiful, period.”

But there are other fears as well, ones that the women may have little control over. One mom insists that her son take his ID with him to music practice, because it will be late when he returns home. Then a young woman at the steering wheel tells her mother she need not worry because she’s a “good driver,” but that’s not what Mom’s real concern is.

Unlike many other socially-conscious ads, the film, entitled “The Talk,” doesn’t sugarcoat with assurances that things will only get better. It’s inspiring yet filled with an unsettling uncertainty—a thoughtful marketing approach that’s sure to promote real conversation.

BBDO New York created the ad, and Malik Vitthal of The Corner Shop directed.

P&G introduced the “My Black Is Beautiful” campaign a decade ago, with the goal of helping black women and girls feel confident about themselves, and in the process, develop a stronger bond with black consumers. The marketer intends this latest ad to open about a broader discussion about discrimination among a spectrum of communities. Further films on the accompanying website for “The Talk” show how real people have dealt with negative bias in their everyday lives.

“We know that bias is not just an African American issue,” said Damon Jones, director of global company communications of Procter & Gamble in a statement. “It’s an issue that takes on many shapes and forms, across gender, race, age, weight, sexual orientation, and more. Our goal with ‘The Talk’ is to help raise awareness about the impact of bias. We are also hopeful that we can make progress toward a less biased future by recognizing the power of people of all backgrounds and races showing up for one another.”

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

13762: Put MODE In Commode.

MODE Body Boutique appears to be a health club and gentlemen’s club.

13761: Limited Diversity @ We Are Unlimited.

AgencySpy posted about two hires at We Are Unlimited—Max Geraldo and Bruno Guimaraes—who likely address the restless ambition of DDB North America CEO and President Wendy Clark “to be as diversely inclusive as the marketplace that we serve on behalf of our clients. Period.” Then again, Geraldo and Guimaraes originally hail from Brazil, the new Sweden for recruiters servicing White advertising agencies. To date, it looks like Clark’s action plan involves enlisting White women and Brazilians. Which makes her bold declaration unlimited bullshit. Period.

Monday, July 24, 2017

13760: Regulating White-Women Worship.

Adweek shat out a lengthy turd titled, “Why the U.S. Ad Industry Will Never Regulate Gender Stereotypes.” Oh, really? The White women’s bandwagon will absolutely demand and direct regulation of gender stereotypes—and White men will eagerly jump on board—ultimately providing a smokescreen to avoid dealing with all the racial and ethnic stereotypes so prevalent in advertising campaigns, as well as the discriminatory racial and ethnic profiling that fuels exclusivity in advertising agencies. Clients and trade organizations are already pushing matters, and a spike in gender-friendly awards seals the deal. It’s a safe bet that the U.S. advertising industry will regulate gender stereotypes long before the 66 years it will take to bring diversity to the field.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

13759: Overreaction Of The Week.

Is this Brazilian campaign featuring a headline about being a “fashion slave” graphically alluding to the physical effects—shackle impressions and whip marks—of slavery?

Friday, July 21, 2017

13758: McCann Is A Loser.

Advertising Age reported McCann Worldgroup is officially protesting to the Government Accountability Office after being cut from the review to retain the guesstimated $4-billion-over-a-decade U.S. Army account, which the White advertising agency has serviced since 2005. According to Ad Age, a memo from McCann Worldgroup Chairman-CEO Harris Diamond whined, “We have recently been notified by the government contracting officer, who is managing the mandated Army review, that we were disqualified due to technical issues related to our proposal. Therefore, we were not invited to the oral presentations.” The memo also stated that McCann was whacked before the proposal reached “our clients [the Army] who have been quoted in support of our work and relationship… [and] are not being given the opportunity to read or review our proposal. We believe the contracting officer’s decision is wrong and we are protesting.” Gee, imagine if every minority advertising agency “disqualified” from a pitch for “technicalities” lodged a formal protest. It would require an army of lawyers just to read the gripes. For McCann Worldgroup to complain about losing a government account that it has held for over a decade inspires delivering a truth well told: All is fair in love and war.

McCann Worldgroup Files Protest Against U.S. Army

By Lindsay Stein

Charging that its elimination from an agency review for the U.S. Army’s business was “an arbitrary and capricious decision,” McCann Worldgroup has filed a formal Government Accountability Office pre-award bid protest against the Army.

In January, the U.S. Army released a request for proposals for its advertising and marketing business. An Army representative said at the time that the mandated review “estimates the contract ceiling to not exceed $4 billion” over a period up to a decade.

McCann Worldgroup, which includes Weber Shandwick and UM, has held the business since 2005 and reaps an estimated $30 to $40 million in annual revenue from the account. The Army last extended its contract with McCann Worldgroup in November 2015 for another 18 months.

But now McCann has been cut from the new review.

“We have recently been notified by the government contracting officer, who is managing the mandated Army review, that we were disqualified due to technical issues related to our proposal,” McCann Worldgroup Chairman-CEO Harris Diamond said in an email to employees that was obtained by Ad Age. “Therefore, we were not invited to the oral presentations.”

The agency, the email said, was disqualified before its proposal reached “our clients [the Army] who have been quoted in support of our work and relationship, are not being given the opportunity to read or review our proposal. We believe the contracting officer’s decision is wrong and we are protesting.”

Some of the reasons cited in the bid protest, filed in June, include the contracting officer’s “failure to read McCann-Erickson’s entire proposal” and “incorrect and inexplicable assertion that McCann-Erickson is not registered in the System for Award Management (SAM),” or the system used by the government in hiring contractors, even though it has been a longtime agency for the U.S. Army.

According to the document, McCann alleges that the Army’s contracting officer made a “superficial review” of its proposal and “inexcusably failed to correctly check the SAM database.” McCann refers to the SAM issue in the protest document as “one of the most egregious errors in the review.”

The Army also allegedly disqualified McCann, according to people with knowledge of the matter, for several technical errors, such as using a PDF rather than an Excel sheet in the proposal.

Representatives from the U.S. Army did not return calls for comment by press time.

The holding company protest follows McCann’s agency-level protest in May, which was denied. If the GAO bid protest is also denied, the agency can take the matter to the Court of Federal Claims. One McCann executive said the agency intends to take the matter to court if the protest doesn’t produce results.

“We think we’re right on the merits,” the executive told Ad Age, “but equally important, we think we’ve done really great work for the U.S. Army. We’ve met everything and have been honored by them for performance over the years, so we hope to get through this process.”

In a GAO protest, a government agency – the Army in this case – cannot award the business until the protest is ruled on, which must occur within 100 days. The start date for the new contract is March 30, 2018.

“There is simply no logical reason to rush to exclude strong proposals given the time available to select the best offeror,” the protest document says.

The document also notes that there is “already an extremely small pool of competitors” in the review. McCann writes in the document that it deduces that there were only two or three agencies in the competition, “an extremely small number for any procurement, let alone of this importance, size and complexity.”

McCann was told about being eliminated from the process via email rather than on the phone or in a meeting, according to people familiar with the situation.

“We are disappointed in the Contracting Officer’s decision,” said a McCann spokesman in a statement. “We are enormously proud of the work we have done with our client partners over the past 11-plus years and hope we will have the opportunity to continue to help the U.S. Army in meeting its important recruiting mission and goals.”

Last month when McCann Worldgroup was named the No. 2 Most Effective Regional Network at the 2017 North American Effie Awards, Mark Davis, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Army for Marketing publicly praised McCann. “When two great teams, like the Army and McCann, partner together you can accomplish amazing things and make a difference,” he said then in a statement. “It is our honor to share with McCann Worldgroup this prestigious acknowledgement of the effectiveness of our efforts by the Effie Awards.”

Thursday, July 20, 2017

13757: The ASA is ASS.

The BBC reported the Advertising Standards Authority is drafting new rules to fight advertisements that display stereotypical gender roles in the UK. It’s another example of diverted diversity—aka the White women’s bandwagon—running over racial and ethnic diversity. After all, the ASA should know that minorities are underrepresented in advertising campaigns, yet the organization is not drafting any rules to address the inequality—or spanking the White advertising agencies that extend the discrimination with biased hiring practices.

13756: Prehistoric Thought Leadership.

Campaign published pathetic, prehistoric pap from FCB Global Chief Creative Officer Susan Credle, who whined, “If advertising is going into the content business, who will take care of the brands?” Um, no one associated with FCB sounds like a good answer. Why do old-school advertising executives pontificate on the sacred power of brands while jumping from one generic White advertising agency to the next? Hell, FCB just recently rebranded itself—and you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish the FCB Credle from the Leo Burnett or BBDO versions. Can’t help but think Credle is a dinosaur, desperately struggling to survive in the Land of Digital. It’s not the first time the woman has displayed cluelessness about technology beyond traditional advertising—which she prefers to typeset with a capital A. Like many dinosaurs inhabiting the advertising industry, sadly, Credle is as clueless about digital as she is about diversity, although she’s a Jenny-come-lately on the White women’s bandwagon. Wringing one’s hands over a future that’s already been in place for at least a decade is asinine with a capital A. The question should read, “If advertising is going into the content business, who will take care of the brontosauruses like Credle?”

If advertising is going into the content business, who will take care of the brands?

By Susan Credle

Advertising with a capital A is about creating opportunities that lead to a healthier economy. Sometimes, it’s an ad. Sometimes, it’s a new product.

Last year in Cannes, I gave a talk titled, “Confession: I Love Advertising.” The speaker following me started his speech with the title, “How to Stop Advertising and Save Our Industry.”

Over the past decade, the advertising industry has somehow managed to demonize the very word that defines what we make.

But is the industry really changing, or are we just changing the words? Branded content. Isn’t that what advertising is—a piece of content that features a brand?

Recently, I read an article that declared, it’s time to take the brand out of branded content. So if we are all going into the content business, who is going to take care of the brands?

Two years ago when discussing branded content on a jury, one person said, “I’ve got it! If we like the work, it’s branded content. If it sucks, it’s advertising.” This person was not in the business of advertising. He was a novelist.

And a month ago, I was in New Orleans at the Collision Conference. A colleague of mine, Winston Binch, said, and I paraphrase, “Susan, it’s fascinating. When I tell people I’m in advertising, they aren’t interested. They don’t think they are ready for an advertising agency, too expensive. But, if I tell them I’m in branding and marketing, they ask for my card.”

I’ve always been proud to be in Advertising with a capital A. When I was growing up, I loved ads. And in turn, I loved brands. In my first job at BBDO, I learned we could make things more famous, more beloved than the content we paid to sit alongside.

We were the masters of short-form communication. And, yet, in a world that is asking for things to be shorter—six seconds, 140 characters, an emoji—we seem to be going in the opposite direction. Our films are getting longer. Instead of a crafted one-second image that we used to call print, we want to create blogs and interactive posts. Anything that doesn’t look like an ad.

Long before we coined the phrase “branded content,” Howard Luck Gossage said, “People read what interests them. Sometimes it’s an ad.”

In the general sense of the word, I never thought advertising meant traditional ads. Yes, it includes those powerful media. But for me, advertising was anything that was done in service of a product or business. And the result of great advertising was an emotionally strong brand and a financially strong business.

So perhaps it’s better to separate the business of advertising and ads. Ads are a part of what we do in advertising. But Advertising with a capital A is about solving problems and creating opportunities that lead to a healthier economy.

Sometimes, it’s an ad. Sometimes, it’s a new product. Sometimes, it’s intellectual property. Sometimes, it’s a partnership. Sometimes, it’s an event. Some time in the future, it will be something else.

But every time, when it’s on strategy and in service to a client’s business, it’s Advertising.

If you believe that, too, let’s focus on our real problem, which is not that we work in advertising. It’s that we’ve allowed the word to be co-opted and connected to the intrusive, the disrespectful and the disinteresting.

Let’s take back advertising and define it for what it really is—one of the best economic-drivers, problem-solvers, dream-makers in the world.

Susan Credle is the global chief creative officer at FCB Global.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

13755: Omnicom “Wins” MillerCoors Work.

Adweek reported MillerCoors pulled a PepsiCo play, shifting beer business from one bunch of Omnicom-owned White advertising agencies to another. What’s more, the client revealed creatives from the former AORs will move to a special team in the new AORs. Welcome to Miller Time—and Corporate Cultural Collusion. Whassup?

MillerCoors Consolidates Global Creative Duties on the Miller Brand Within Omnicom’s DDB Network

Adam&EveDDB wins Miller Genuine Draft and DDB Chicago lands Miller Lite

By Patrick Coffee

Beverage giant MillerCoors has shuffled the creative agency roster for its Miller brand for the fifth time in less than six years, assigning global duties on Miller Lite and Miller Genuine Draft to DDB Chicago and London-based Adam&EveDDB, respectively.

The change occurred after a formal review.

Chief marketing officer David Kroll, who recently returned from medical leave, confirmed the decision in an internal memo sent to MillerCoors’ agency partners this morning.

“Starting this week, we are consolidating the Miller Lite creative responsibilities at DDB Chicago. This transition will be seamless as we are keeping the business within the Omnicom family,” Kroll wrote after noting that the brand recently celebrated 10 consecutive quarters of share growth.

As mentioned, this announcement keeps the business within the Omnicom family while ending Miller’s relationships with now-former creative agency of record 180LA and Juniper Park, a Toronto-based shop that is part of the TBWA network.

The news also follows this spring’s decision to shift the digital portion of the Miller Lite account from DigitasLBi Chicago to DDB, again without a review. Moving forward, Miller Coors will consolidate some of the cross-agency talent working on that account in North America.

“We are moving some of the best creative talent from our previous agencies 180LA and Juniper Park, into a new team at DDB in order to have a best-in-class creative and planning team,” Kroll’s note continued. “DDB has made great strides on the digital side of the Miller Lite business over the last month, and we feel confident that this expanded team will keep the brand on its positive trajectory.”

Last April, MillerCoors moved responsibility for Miller Lite from TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles to sister shop 180LA weeks after reports indicated that the company had been talking to various agencies and “looking for ideas” on the brand. In that case, there did not appear to be a formal review.

A MillerCoors spokesperson referred back to Kroll’s memo. Representatives for DDB and 180LA declined to comment on the news.

According to the latest numbers from Kantar Media, MillerCoors spent approximately $130 million on measured media promoting the Miller Lite brand in the U.S. last year and $27 million in the first quarter of 2017.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

13754: Dear Madison Avenue, You Suck.

A MultiCultClassics visitor left a comment that warrants its own post. published “Dear John: A break-up letter to advertising”—and the following excerpt is classic:


You use words like modern and diversity.

How open minded you are and how you get culture.

Really? I don’t think you give a shit.

You’re about as cultural and inclusive as the KKK.

You don’t represent the world you want to influence — because you have no respect for that world.

You just want to be with people who look like you.

You’re in love with your own image.

But there’s a whole world out there and until you see it, you’re not worth my time.

Monday, July 17, 2017

13753: Arthur Sadoun Is Sad.

Advertising Age reported on recent remarks from Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun, who sought to explain his one-year ban on award shows and trade shows to help fund a digital doodad for the global White holding company. According to Sadoun, Marcel will connect employees across the network—especially the younger generation. “[Millennials] are the ones who will find the kind of ideas we are looking for. They are not behaving in the same way we are,” claimed Sadoun. “They want to be recognized quite quickly, they want to be engaged, they want to touch things in a different way. This is why we are building a platform.” Nice. Barely six months into his new leadership role and Sadoun exposes himself as an exclusionist. That is, the company is spending a significant amount of money and resources to satisfy the needs of youthful staffers. This will undoubtedly piss off all the Old White Guys who are now being denied annual jaunts to Cannes and other exotic locales. It also underscores how Sadoun will make major investments for a single segment of privileged underlings while ignoring racial and ethnic minorities. Need proof? Compare the costs for Marcel to the “diversity budgets” at Publicis Groupe. Would Sadoun ever consider a second ban to fund inclusive initiatives? Hey, he could create a platform called Martin.

Publicis CEO Sadoun: ‘I Am What I Am Because of Creativity’

By Emma Hall

Publicis Groupe’s chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun defended his controversial Marcel project — which entails pulling out of all awards shows for a year to help fund a group-wide AI system — as a draw for both talent and clients.

Speaking at the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers’ annual lunch, Sadoun told a room full of marketers that Marcel would make a big difference to the younger generation.

“They are the ones who will find the kind of ideas we are looking for. They are not behaving in the same way we are,” he said. “They want to be recognized quite quickly, they want to be engaged, they want to touch things in a different way. This is why we are building a platform.”

Marcel will be able to link up not just people qualified to handle a brief, but to find “the ones who are eager to do it.” A young creative in Sao Paulo, he said, would have the opportunity to work on a Super Bowl ad led out of New York.

Marcel is already having a positive impact on business, Sadoun claimed. He told the story of a big client with whom the relationship was “difficult.” The marketer had been planning to fire Publicis, but said to Sadoun, “I see what you did in Cannes and I get the impression you are making progress and I’m going to give you six months.”

In a rejection of the status quo, Sadoun said, “I don’t care how long I stay. We are committed to changing things. Whether we will succeed I don’t know. We believe we have a responsibility to our industry. It’s incredible to see we are operating exactly the same way we were 20 years ago. We look at Omnicom, at WPP. We are not putting technology at the core of our own model. We are the only service industry that has not tried.”

The packed room at London’s Dorchester hotel burst into applause when Sadoun added, “We are trying to show something to the industry. If the others say we are not coming to Cannes because we don’t stand for creativity, I will take it. I don’t care… I’m not going to CES either, so I guess I don’t like technology.”

Still Sadoun was met with some cautious optimism at best.

“I enjoyed his energy and candor,” said Michael Wall, global CEO of Mother and former global CEO of Interpublic’s Lowe and Partners. “He is dealing with one of the common problems of holding companies: Namely large teams of people that are largely unconnected and who can often create complexity in terms of dislocation, capability and cost before they get to a legitimate answer for their clients. Whether a high level form of intranet can help to resolve this, time will tell.”

Despite his spirited defense of Marcel and the decision to pull out of awards for a year, Sadoun made it clear that that the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity is important to him.

“I am a big fan of Cannes,” he said. “I owe my career to Cannes. I’ve been on stage to collect an agency of the year award four times. I am what I am because of creativity and Cannes has a big part to play in that.”

However, he did suggest that the hiatus from awards could have longer-term effects. “It’s a question of focus. We need to enter work because we truly believe it deserves an award, and not because the creative director knows the festival. It’s a way to bring back putting the idea and the talent first.”

Continuing in the tradition of his predecessor, Maurice Lévy, Sadoun lost no time in criticizing rival group WPP. He said that the reason Publicis Groupe had beaten WPP to win the Procter & Gamble business was that, “instead of saying ‘this is how you should organize yourself,’ we said ‘this is the kind of transformation you should do and these are the kind of people you need to do it’. You wouldn’t know who was from Sapient, Digitas, Publicis, Saatchi.”

Sunday, July 16, 2017

13752: Why Diversity Advertising Sucks.

Another indicator that diverted diversity—aka the White women’s bandwagon—has run over racial and ethnic diversity in the advertising industry can be seen by comparing diversity campaigns. That is, gender diversity advertising receives maximum attention, resources and budgets. Why, the work in this area wins major awards—and even inspires the birth of awards. Racial and ethnic diversity advertising appears to be executed by junior-level staffers from the mount room—or mailroom—who are required to use royalty-free stock photography. In the end, diversity advertising perfectly reflects, well, diversity in advertising.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Friday, July 14, 2017

13750: PepsiCo-Omnicom Exclusive Affair.

Advertising Age reported PepsiCo is executing an exclusive review, where only White advertising agencies from Omnicom will be “competing” for Pepsi brand work. “Omnicom has been our longstanding partner because we value the diverse array of agencies and talent they have under one roof,” claimed a PepsiCo spokeswoman. “We continually evaluate the best ways to market our brands, and in the U.S. on brand Pepsi, we are once again looking within Omnicom for custom creative solutions.” Well, it’s not the first time PepsiCo has engaged in Corporate Cultural Collusion with Omnicom. If Fathom Communications is still in business, the place is a definite contender. If they’ve gone out of business, Omnicom will simply build a new White ad agency to replace them. On the other hand, that the PepsiCo spokeswoman praised the holding company for its “diverse array of agencies” is pretty crazy. Yes, there are lots of stallions in the Omnicom stable, but mostly of a White horse variety—although the place is working hard to add White fillies and mares to the fold. Maybe Kendall Jenner will protest that Black lives don’t matter at Omnicom.

Pepsi Launches an Omnicom-Only Creative Review

By E.J. Schultz, Lindsay Stein

PepsiCo has put its flagship soda brand in creative review in the U.S., but the brand is only considering a handful of Omnicom Group agencies, according to people familiar with the matter.

The marketer has a long relationship with Omnicom, but in recent years has moved assignments around, including handing some work to non-Omnicom shops such as the independent agency Mekanism. The review signals that Pepsi could be returning to a lead agency model. Its restriction to participants from Omnicom is good news for the agency holding company, although there could be winners and losers within it.

“Omnicom has been our longstanding partner because we value the diverse array of agencies and talent they have under one roof,” said a PepsiCo spokeswoman. “We continually evaluate the best ways to market our brands, and in the U.S. on brand Pepsi, we are once again looking within Omnicom for custom creative solutions.”

Brand Pepsi spent $192 million on measured media in the U.S. in 2016, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.

Historically, Omnicom’s BBDO is most closely linked to Pepsi as the maker of famous campaigns like the “Pepsi Generation.” Pepsi moved away from BBDO in 2008 as it began working with TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles.

The brand later adpoted a more flexible agency model within Omnicom, an approach it dubbed Galaxy, in which the brand uses various Omnicom shops, including 180LA. BBDO returned to Pepsi in 2015 when it won an assignment to make an ad starring Marshawn Lynch. It followed up with more NFL-related advertising last year. Other Omnicom agencies with links to Pepsi include Goodby Silverstein & Partners, which has worked on PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay brands over the years. (Lay’s is currently in an agency review of its own.)

The Pepsi review comes three months after the brand’s embarrassing Kendall Jenner ad flop, which many outsiders blamed on the brand’s reliance on its in-house agency. However, that ad was overseen by PepsiCo’s global team. The Omnicom review is confined to the U.S. market and overseen by U.S. executives. In the U.S., Pepsi is overseen by Greg Lyons, who took over as chief marketing officer for North American beverages in February. Lyons’ PepsiCo tenure includes a stint as VP-marketing for Mtn Dew, which has used BBDO over the years.

Outside of Omnicom, PepsiCo uses WPP’s VML, which was named lead creative for Brisk last summer. Dentsu Aegis Network’s Firstborn has been the Pepsi brand’s lead digital creative shop since October. Cheil Worldwide’s Barbarian Group, which was undergoing a number of executive departures at the time, had been the incumbent on both Brisk and Pepsi digital.

In an earnings report on Tuesday, PepsiCo reported that organic volume growth in its North American beverage business was flat in the second quarter. Brand Pepsi’s volumes fell 2.8% in 2016, finishing with 8.4% market share in carbonated soft drinks, according to Beverage Digest. CEO Indra Nooyi said on an earnings call that the company is “encouraged by the performance of Pepsi Zero Sugar, but have more work to do on the carbonated portfolio overall.”

Nooyi added that the company will be “allocating a bit more marketing behind” Pepsi in the year’s second half. Pepsi is an NFL sponsor, so a good chunk of that new advertising will likely be occurring in the fall.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

13749: Unlimited McCuts.

Advertising Age reported Mickey D’s put its local U.S. creative accounts in review, seeking to cut roughly 60 advertising agencies down to 10 or less. Wonder if any minority shops will get whacked in the process, losing their McCrumbs to local White advertising agencies. If so, thankfully, Mickey D’s White AOR We Are Unlimited is a diverse powerhouse led by DDB CEO Wendy Clark, whose restless ambition to bring diversity to the industry would certainly compensate for any local minorities adversely affected by the review.

McDonald’s Puts Local US Creative Accounts in Review, Aiming to Cut Dozens of Shops

By Jessica Wohl

McDonald’s is plotting another massive shakeup of its U.S. marketing model as it looks for ways to cut millions of dollars in ad costs and sharpen its messaging.

The Golden Arches plans to greatly reduce the number of creative agencies handling marketing for cooperative franchise groups that operate throughout the United States, Ad Age has learned. Some 60 or so agencies do local creative work for nearly 200 McDonald’s co-ops across the country, with some agencies handling work for multiple co-ops. McDonald’s aims to slash that figure to 10 or fewer, people familiar with the situation told Ad Age.

The scope of the work that they do is also expected to change, with less original local output and more emphasis on localizing national campaigns.

Some of the agencies until recently handled media duties on the local accounts as well. But all media duties for co-op marketing have been moved to Omnicom Group’s OMD, according to multiple people familiar with the situation. OMD was already McDonald’s media agency at the national level.

McDonald’s is simultaneously consolidating its co-ops into fewer, larger groups as it tries to become a more nimble operator.

The chain has been working for more than two years to become what CEO Steve Easterbrook has often called a “modern, progressive burger company.” Now, after last year’s national agency shakeup, followed by the addition of a new president of the U.S. business and a new U.S. chief marketing officer this year, McDonald’s wants to find a better way to tell its brand story. In the U.S., its platform comprises a mix of national and local campaigns.

McDonald’s confirmed the effort to trim its local agency roster. “Building the modern, progressive company that we aspire to be involves changing the way we conduct business,” McDonald’s spokeswoman Terri Hickey said in a statement. “In order to accelerate our efforts to engage customers across all platforms to advance our brand vision, we aim to streamline and modernize our local marketing efforts in 2018.” Hickey declined to elaborate.

Agencies currently involved in the RFP, which the people familiar with the situation said is being run by Select Resources International, are expected to present their pitches to McDonald’s and some members of the co-op team beginning on July 17. The group of agencies expected to pitch next week includes some that have already worked for McDonald’s co-ops and others that would be new to the business.

Select Resources International did not respond to a request for comment.

The overhaul of the co-op accounts comes less than a year after McDonald’s chose a new Omnicom model, an agency now called We Are Unlimited, as its main U.S. creative agency. That review, which was also handled by Select Resources International, did not affect agencies that worked with the regional co-ops, multicultural creative agencies, OMD and McDonald’s longtime PR agency Golin.

Omnicom declined to comment Wednesday and referred all questions to McDonald’s. Some agencies that have worked with McDonald’s in the past, including Bernstein-Rein, H&L Partners, Moroch, Stern, and Zimmerman, declined to comment or did not respond to inquiries.

McDonald’s is preparing to shift more of its marketing resources to the national platform, run by We Are Unlimited.

Consolidating the co-op work among a smaller number of agencies is expected to give the world’s largest restaurant company and its franchisees better bargaining power. It may also give local co-ops a more cohesive marketing message, as one agency may do work for multiple co-ops either in the same geographic area or in areas in different parts of the country with similar demographics. Some people familiar with the RFP expressed concerns, however, that the local flavor currently found in local McDonald’s marketing may be lost.

And although moving all media to OMD should in theory reduce costs, one agency executive who has worked with McDonald’s for years believes it may be difficult for OMD to handle the all of the local media work without adding additional resources at the local level—which would, in turn, lead to higher costs.

The review comes after a series of executive changes at McDonald’s.

Chris Kempczinski was promoted earlier this year to president of U.S. business from exec VP of strategy, business development and innovation, the post he held since joining from Kraft Heinz in 2015.

The marketing team includes Global Chief Marketing Officer Silvia Lagnado, who joined McDonald’s in 2015, and U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Morgan Flatley, who arrived from PepsiCo in April.

Easterbrook has a long history at McDonald’s, though he left for a few years for roles at other restaurant companies before returning to McDonald’s and taking the CEO role from Don Thompson in 2015.

McDonald’s was the 33rd largest U.S. advertiser last year, with spending up 1.5% to nearly $1.46 billion, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

13748: GoDaddy Goes Sugar Daddy.

Campaign published a story titled, “Say yes to action on gender diversity: Six women on their first Cannes Lions”—featuring perspectives from the six GoDaddy Scholarship for Women in Technology winners. The accompanying photograph of the winners (depicted above) indicates quite clearly who really benefits from gender diversity schemes—aka diverted diversity and the White women’s bandwagon. That the scholarship came from GoDaddy, a brand that has historically produced notoriously sexist advertising, underscores the outrageousness of it all. Indeed, this sort of patronizing propaganda is the equivalent of major banks producing diversity advertising after getting busted for discriminating against racial and ethnic minorities seeking home loans.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

13747: Delayed WTF 35—CDOs & CFOs.

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.

Another point to ponder in the 2016 Deutsch diversity debacle—where former Deutsch Diversity Director Felicia Geiger claimed the agency “was no longer going to invest in diversity”—involves the references to a “diversity budget” at White advertising agencies. It begs a few questions: Who decides on the actual amount for such financial allocations? How does a standard “diversity budget” compare to, say, the money earmarked for award submissions and jaunts to places like Cannes—or to the annual compensation of CEOs?

Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun recently sparked minor controversy by placing a one-year ban on participation at award shows and trade shows in order to pay for a companywide digital doodad. How much money will be recouped by Sadoun’s mandate? Of course, there was probably no consideration to placing a ban on diversity-related expenditures, as such an action would not realize enough loot to cover the annual costs of Sadoun’s haircuts. (On a side note, the creation of Marcel could easily be paid for by simply erasing former Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Lévy from the payroll—after all, he’s the digital drunk whose obsession with technology led to lots of overspending on mergers and acquisitions.)

But back to the practice of implementing a “diversity budget” for White advertising agencies. If this is indeed a common thing, perhaps it’s time for shops to publicly share the budget figures. In lieu of EEO-1 data, present the accounting data, which would provide a clear indicator of a company’s commitment to inclusive progress. Oh, and tax-deductible donations to entities like ADCOLOR® don’t count.

The notion of a “diversity budget” leads to additional questions. In the quest for a diverse and inclusive industry—and using IPG as an example for this examination—is Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer Heide Gardner more important and influential than Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Frank Mergenthaler? In short, is a CDO more necessary for diversity success than a CFO? Plus, like multicultural marketers, is the typical CDO operating with crumbs?

P.S., Advertising agency CFOs and CDOs can purchase the book depicted above for a mere $49.99—provided the “diversity budget” even has $49.99 in the kitty.

Monday, July 10, 2017

13746: Absolut BS From BBH.

Campaign spotlighted a new Absolut advertisement—created by BBH London—that really underscores how Absolut has gone from iconic, breakthrough advertising to awful bullshit. Absolut Global Communications Director Gaia Gilardini explained the campaign launched with Pride in London, but its message goes beyond LGBTQIA acceptance and inclusion. “We wanted to bring to life one of our core values and beliefs, which is that everyone should be free to love who they choose,” said Gilardini. “It uses a kiss as a metaphor for this expression of acceptance. But it’s a broader idea of acceptance—it’s not just tied to sexuality. Freedom to love who you choose goes further than just sexual preference.” Huh? To declare the vodka brand’s core values and beliefs include “that everyone should be free to love who they choose” sounds like, well, not sober thinking. The sentiment certainly isn’t among the values stated at the company website. And, sorry, but the orgy-like behavior depicted in the video makes the characters look as if they’ve had one Absolut Vodka Martini too many. Drink responsibly, but feel free to engage in irresponsible, unsafe sexual behavior. What makes it all even more obscene is that the “free to love who they choose” concept is reflected by BBH London in ways that run counter to the Absolut spirit of acceptance and inclusion. That is, BBH London exercises its right to freely choose whom to love by exclusively hiring a specific type of people. White people, that is. Acceptance and inclusion are MIA at BBH.