Friday, November 30, 2018

14397: NBA CMO Pam El Retiring Her Jersey.

Adweek reported NBA CMO Pam El is retiring at the end of the year. Gee, the typical CMO changes teams more often than Chucky Brown.

NBA CMO Pam El Announces Plans to Retire at the End of 2018

She first joined the organization in 2014

By Katie Richards

After a 35-year career in marketing, Pam El has announced she will retire at the end of the year. El currently serves as the evp and CMO of the NBA. Although she will be leaving her role, the NBA noted that El will continue to work with them, serving as an adviser on marketing and branding matters in the future.

El joined the NBA in 2014 after a brief stint at Nationwide. Prior to that she spent 11 years at State Farm where she served as marketing vice president in charge of sales and marketing in the U.S and Canada. During her time at State Farm, El worked closely with the NBA and WNBA to establish a partnership between the two leagues and the insurance company.

“We are grateful for her incredible impact spearheading marketing strategy for all four of our leagues, and we wish her well in retirement after an award-winning career,” NBA deputy commissioner and COO, Mark Tatum, said in a statement.

Some of her other achievements while with the NBA include launching the leauge’s “This Is Why We Play” campaign and the WNBA’s “Watch Me Work” campaign. El also spearheaded a new brand identity for the NBA in a move to get more global recognition for the league.

Throughout her career, El has been recognized for her work in the marketing world. She has received numerous honors from Adweek including, most recently, being honored in the annual Adweek 50 list (for the third consecutive year) for raising the league’s profile in the U.S., but also worldwide.

El noted in a statement that working for the NBA, “has been an amazing privilege,” for her.

“I am particularly proud of the terrific team of marketing experts we’ve assembled globally—truly a skilled group that is among the best in professional sports. With this great team now in place, it’s the right time for me to transition from a full-time position to focus on board opportunities, my non-profit work and spending more time with my family and friends,” she added.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

14396: MDC Partners Nixes Buyback Deals From Its Shitty Shops.

Adweek reported certain White advertising agencies—including Doner and 72andSunny—proposed buying themselves back from MDC Partners, but were rejected by the White holding company’s board of directors. Any buyback plan should require that agency leaders who collected big bucks in such deals return their booties—with interest. And the refunded money would then be distributed to all former employees who were terminated as a result of mergers and buyouts at MDC Partners. Oh, and each terminated employee should be allowed to deliver a single kick to the groin of former MDC Partners CEO Miles Nadal. Surely the board of directors would green-light these ideas—at least the one involving kicking Nadal in the nuts.

MDC Partners Board Reportedly Rejected Agencies’ Buyback Offers

Company counters investor demands for executive shakeup

By Patrick Coffee

At least one of the more than 50 agencies owned by struggling network MDC Partners recently made an effort to buy itself back from the company only to be rejected by the board of directors, according to Adweek’s sources.

On Wednesday night, MDC responded to a Nov. 19 SEC filing by hedge fund investor FrontFour Capital Group that aggressively called for change on the board and criticized its leadership for not acting quickly enough.

News of the filing was first reported Wednesday afternoon by The Wall Street Journal.

“FrontFour first initiated private conversations with the Board in August 2018 in an attempt to constructively outline a strategy that would result in the replacement of Scott L. Kauffman as CEO with a candidate better suited to leverage the strength of the Issuer’s agencies and grow the Issuer’s market share in key industries,” the SEC document read.

It went on to criticize MDC’s leadership for “hastily” announcing Kauffman’s plans to resign the following month “without having commenced a search for his replacement.”

FrontFour, the text continued, believes “significant changes to the composition of the Board are required in order to ensure that the best interests of shareholders are represented” and has begun to explore options including “a special meeting of shareholders requisitioned for such purpose.”

The Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund owns approximately 5.1 percent of MDC Partners.

“MDC Partners welcomes open and constructive conversations with our shareholders and seriously considers all ideas and suggestions that may enhance long-term shareholder value,” read a statement from MDC Partners issued Wednesday night. “We have had an ongoing dialogue with FrontFour, and are disappointed that they elected to go public with their concerns at this time.”

It continued: “While we expect communication with FrontFour to continue, our focus remains on conducting our previously announced strategic review and CEO search process, and we remain committed to delivering value for all our shareholders.”

A spokesperson for FrontFour has not yet responded to questions regarding the timing of the filing and the specific changes to the board it believes will “better align the perspective of the Board with that of the Issuer’s shareholders.”

The news comes at a financially precarious time for MDC Partners, which laid off several executives in July before Kauffman lamented “poor” results for the first half of 2018. The company’s stock has lost half its value since August, and its estimated debt is greater than $1 billion.

U.S. CMO Ryan Linder was promoted the global role in October.

According to sources within MDC Partners, multiple agencies have explored the possibility of buying themselves back.

One source said Doner leadership determined the process would ultimately cost more than $500 million and therefore wasn’t workable. Other sources said 72andSunny’s recent offer to buy its independence was rejected by the MDC board.

Spokespeople for Doner and 72andSunny declined to comment. MDC Partners declined to elaborate beyond its Wednesday statement.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

14395: Talking Shit (And Ship) About Diversity.

Advertising Age published a lackluster look at the advertising industry’s state of diversity, ultimately exposing the advertising industry’s state of denial. Other key states in the exclusive union include delegating, diverting and discriminating.

The net takeaway: racial and ethnic minorities are being recruited, but not retained—and this only applies to entry-level workers. Gee, what a newsflash.

Yep, it looks like all the minority internships, college scholarships, inner-city high school apprenticeships and embryonic courtships are bringing in shiploads of colored candidates. Unfortunately, newbies quickly discover the typical White advertising agency is no Love Boat, so they bail out. The Ad Age report didn’t include hard figures, incidentally, so the youth-related summations are questionable and suspect too.

Speaking of questionable and suspect, the article gathered insights from the usual suspects—specifically, Chief Diversity Officers. It’s ironic that these individuals noted the lack of mid- to senior-level minority hiring, as “diversity and inclusion executive” seems to be the sole role that White advertising agencies are quick to fill with mid- to senior-level people of color. To compound the problem, White advertising agencies are even quicker to let CDOs launch kiddie internships, scholarships, apprenticeships and courtships—and then proclaim mission accomplished.

Most disturbing are the closing comments from Omnicom SVP CDO Tiffany R. Warren:

“It’s about recognizing and considering people of color in ways that their white counterparts are being considered. Is there equity in how we deal out the retention and leadership opportunities? It just takes a quick audit and review of who’s within your agency now, who’s ready for that step up. … I want to be really clear: It’s not that difficult.”

Um, Warren’s been steering the ship since 2009. If it’s not that difficult—and she’s working for a Pioneer of Diversity and restlessly ambitious diversity defender—why hasn’t Warren managed to turn Omnicom into a multicultural Mecca?

Cue the colored crickets chirping.

Why diverse talent is being found and hired, but not sticking around

By I-Hsien Sherwood

More than 1,000 people, most of them young marketers, gathered last month near Manhattan’s Penn Station for The One Club’s cheekily named diversity conference, Here Are All the Black People.

Part job fair, part speaker series, the event brought people of color looking to break into or advance careers in advertising face-to-face with recruiters from dozens of agencies. Senior creatives critiqued portfolios, and panelists from the 3% Conference and brands like Facebook and Diageo discussed how to tackle racism, sexism and ageism in the workplace.

Industry events like this now dot the calendar, and they’re increasingly popular, with big names behind them. In September, 1,200 people attended the 12th annual AdColor Conference in Los Angeles, a gathering jointly sponsored by Microsoft and Omnicom Group. In August, 750 people showed up for a luncheon to celebrate the latest crop of high school and college students to come out of the American Association of Advertising Agencies’ Multicultural Advertising Internship Program, an initiative that’s in its 45th year.

But the progress made by diversity and inclusion efforts in the industry has largely been concentrated at the entry level. The problems come later: While diverse talent is being found and hired, it’s not being sufficiently supported or groomed to reach senior levels.

Falling short

According to an Association of National Advertisers survey published earlier this month, 9 percent of administrative, clerical and entry-level staff at member companies that responded are African-American, but only 4 percent of senior level staff are African-American. While 6 percent of overall employees at ANA member companies are black, only 3 percent are CMOs.

According to an ANA survey from earlier this year, Asians make up 10 percent of ANA member company employees but just 5 percent of CMOs. The ratios are similar for Hispanics: 8 percent and 5 percent, respectively.

The success that recruitment efforts are seeing isn’t translating to better representation at the top because the attrition rate for people of color in the industry is so high. “I don’t think there’s a problem at the junior level,” says Carl Desir, diversity and inclusion director at R/GA and former VP for talent initiatives at the 4A’s. “Where it gets more difficult is in the mid-to-senior executive levels. If they don’t stay, we can’t groom them for leadership.”

Yet agencies and brands continue to focus on building out the diversity “pipeline.” There seems to be a new internship program or portfolio school initiative unveiled every few weeks. But while these programs and events are both good and necessary, these days the pipeline isn’t the problem, say the people responsible for diversifying agency rosters. Poor retention and a lack of leadership are driving people of color away from the industry—or failing to keep them—almost as fast as they can be recruited.

“We are very gung-ho about finding and encouraging these young people and getting them super excited, and then we kind of throw them to the wolves to figure it out,” says Tiffany Edwards, engagement and inclusion director at Droga5. “That leads to what we call the ‘leaky bucket.’ You can funnel in as many people as you want, but within the first one to two years, they all slowly start to leak out the bottom.”

The focus on bringing students and diverse young talent into the industry can mask institutional problems that no amount of recruitment can fix. Certainly it’s easier for an agency to show up at job fairs than to analyze and correct an environment that isn’t welcoming to people who don’t fit a particular mold.

“It becomes a way for organizations to make the focus external instead of internal,” Edwards says. “Instead of figuring out why we’re not promoting people of color or hiring people of color into senior positions, let’s go find a bunch of the most promising high school students and say we’re ‘doing diversity.’“

And if the newcomers aren’t happy in their positions or don’t feel they’re getting the right kind of support professionally or culturally, it’s only natural to see them as the problem, rather than the organization and all its built-in biases, Desir says. “Advertising has been a straight white man’s world since it was created,” he notes. “People are attracted to and drawn to people who look, act, think just like them. So when you have this shift where culture and society is becoming more diverse and the industry is not, and people feel like they’re losing what they’ve built—whether that’s true or not—you’re going to have pushback.”

Plugging the leaks

In advertising, quality is subjective. Copy, art and strategy don’t lend themselves to dispassionate appraisal, especially in an industry where people work in small close-knit groups. “When you get a team who feels comfortable, it’s easy,” says Kelly Davis, global chief human resource officer at Droga5. “But if you get a team filled with people that are different from you, how do you get the best from them?” Managers need to be trained to value opinions and ideas that feel unfamiliar to them, she says, and to appreciate cultural references that may not resonate with them but will with a broader audience.

It’s a task that becomes easier to accomplish the more it’s already been accomplished—a classic virtuous cycle. Tapping diverse talent for promotion puts them in leadership positions. As creative directors or account directors, they’re in a position to more easily recognize the contributions of other underrepresented talent. In turn, entry-level staffers have people higher up in the organization whose career paths they can emulate and who can serve as mentors and advocates.

But that means creating space within organizations for new kinds of people. The traditional hiring model seeks a person to fill a position, usually one that’s been recently vacated or one created by the current teams. Instead, companies looking for new ideas should build positions around the right people, Edwards says.

“We’re still trying to shape the talent to fit our very old model of what advertising is, instead of actually helping them develop their creativity and flourish and figure out why they’re valuable,” she says. “They’ve been told there’s this cookie-cutter way to be in advertising: this is what a portfolio should look like, this is what good work looks like. They’re not trained to be their authentic selves.

By now, most companies recognize the value in having diverse teams, or at least give lip service to the idea. A January 2018 study from McKinsey & Co. showed that executive teams with the highest ethnic and cultural diversity were 33 percent more likely to lead profitability in their industries. Companies that lacked diversity were 29 percent less likely to pull in high profits. But the question remains: How much diversity is enough?

When it comes to women’s representation, 50 percent parity is an easy metric to settle on because women are half the population, says Tiffany R. Warren, Omnicom senior VP and chief diversity officer and the founder of AdColor. For people of color, demographic data can help. African-Americans are 13 percent of the U.S. population, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, and Hispanics make up 18 percent. But in the areas where advertisers and their agencies are clustered, the numbers are much higher. Only 45 percent of New York City and 50 percent of Los Angeles are white, according to the census. Minneapolis is only 64 percent white, the census found, while 74 percent of employees in the ANA survey at member companies are white.

“If you’re in a majority-minority town, and your agency or company is at 4 percent, you have to examine yourself,” says Warren. “What, systematically, is happening that you’re not reflecting the cultural diversity of the city that you’re in?”

A simple solution

For all the hand-wringing about diversity and where the industry has gone wrong or is falling short, the fixes are relatively straightforward, Warren says. Spend the time required to build out diverse teams. Spend the money required to hire talented senior-level people from underrepresented groups.

“It’s about recognizing and considering people of color in ways that their white counterparts are being considered. Is there equity in how we deal out the retention and leadership opportunities? It just takes a quick audit and review of who’s within your agency now, who’s ready for that step up,” she says. “I want to be really clear: It’s not that difficult.”

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

14394: Merger She Wrote—The Wunderman-JWT Mix-Up.

Adweek reported WPP CEO Mark Read continues to poop in a blender, concocting the latest dookie smoothie with two titanic turds—Wunderman and JWT. This excremental execution doesn’t allow for initial integration like VMLY&R, so the new outhouse will be called Wunderman Thompson. Gee, iconic advertising agencies are assuming second-class citizenship in the downsizing WPP empire. “To achieve transformative outcomes, clients today need inspiration that is rooted in data-driven insight. I am really excited to be able to deliver that within one agency,” said Wunderman Thompson CEO Mel Edwards, who will co-run the crap factory with Tamara Ingram. “Wunderman Thompson offers precisely what clients want: brilliant creativity, expertise in data and sophisticated technology skills.” Wow, that’s the most creative copy to ever come out of Wunderman. Regarding this merger, one thing is certain: White men will be obliterated.

WPP Will Merge J. Walter Thompson With Wunderman to Form Wunderman Thompson

Exclusive: World’s oldest agency joins digital network

By Patrick Coffee

WPP leadership has decided to merge J. Walter Thompson, the world’s oldest ad agency, with digital network Wunderman, a spokesperson for the former company confirmed today. The news was announced to employees at the start of the business day in New York.

WPP leadership has decided to merge J. Walter Thompson, the world’s oldest ad agency, with digital network Wunderman, a spokesperson for the former company confirmed today. The news was announced to employees at the start of the business day in New York.

The resulting organization will be known as Wunderman Thompson and be headquartered in JWT’s offices on Manhattan’s Lexington Avenue. It will employ approximately 20,000 people in 200 locations across 90 global markets. WPP is expected to debut a new visual identity for the company in the coming days.

Mel Edwards was promoted to global CEO of Wunderman in September after her predecessor, Mark Read, succeeded Martin Sorrell as WPP’s chief executive. She’ll keep that title, with JWT worldwide CEO Tamara Ingram serving as chairman.

“To achieve transformative outcomes, clients today need inspiration that is rooted in data-driven insight. I am really excited to be able to deliver that within one agency,” said Edwards. “Wunderman Thompson offers precisely what clients want: brilliant creativity, expertise in data and sophisticated technology skills. I couldn’t be more honored to lead this new organization and its exceptional people.”

JWT calls itself “the world’s best-known marketing communications brand,” and in the last 150-plus years it has created such iconic campaigns as the Oscar Meyer Weiner Song and the Toys “R” Us Kid anthem, in addition to some of the earliest ads for Henry Ford’s Model T automobiles.

Wunderman, which began 60 years ago as the first direct marketing agency, has since expanded into the fields of brand strategy, consulting, ecommerce and, perhaps most importantly, data analytics.

“Coming together was a decision driven by the opportunity to better serve our clients, expand our offering and create an agency effectively positioned for the future,” Ingram added. “Both JWT and Wunderman have been built by the commitment of many talented people whose combined capabilities will further distinguish us in the market.”

JWT did not elaborate beyond these statements. A WPP spokesperson declined to comment.

This is the second major merger announced by Read since taking the helm of the world’s largest holding company. His first, which mashed VML and Y&R together to create VMLY&R in September, similarly combined a digital network with an older, more traditional agency.

One source with executive-level connections at Wunderman told Adweek that the two firms, which have been “moving closer together” in recent months and share several major clients including Shell, Nestle and Johnson & Johnson, will effectively operate as one.

“Wunderman in many ways has become the darling of WPP,” the person said, calling the decision an obvious one for the sake of efficiency and account planning.

An email sent to top holding company executives earlier this month confirmed that all Wunderman staff will relocate from their headquarters in Manhattan’s Columbus Circle to JWT’s office in January. This move continues the holding group’s strategy of housing its agencies in various “campuses,” the newest of which are located in Toronto and New York’s 3 World Trade Center.

Rumors of the merger have been around for weeks, according to several people who spoke to Adweek. One recruiter described it as an “open secret” in the agency world. A WPP veteran said the merger had been discussed as “something that was clearly being considered” in recent leadership meetings.

Another holding company executive said the move is in keeping with Read’s “less is more” vision for the company, adding that Wunderman and other digitally oriented agencies will likely serve to support JWT’s above-the-line creative offering moving forward. That source compared the partnership to Wunderman and Possible, which joined forces to create a digital “super group” in 2017.

A source on the client side who recently went through a pitch led by Possible also noted that the agency often refers to Wunderman as part of a package deal in a manner similar to Publicis Groupe’s “Power of One” approach, where multiple agencies team up to pitch for a single account.

Possible and Mirum, which are part of the Wunderman and JWT networks, respectively, will reportedly retain their independent brands.

Three WPP employees confirmed that Read will reveal his strategic plans for the larger network at an executive summit on Dec. 11. At an October meeting in Brooklyn, the CEO spoke with agency leaders about the company’s visual identity and strategic positioning, which he reportedly described as a “radical evolution.”

Several questions remain unanswered, chief among them how the move will affect the structure of Wunderman’s and JWT’s operations in London, India, Asia and Latin America. But the people who spoke to Adweek said no more leadership announcements are expected before 2019.

A rich legacy

William James Carlton founded Carlton & Smith in 1864, four years before hiring bookkeeper and eventual namesake J. Walter Thompson (who purchased the business in 1877 for $500). Its opening marked the first business designed to sell advertising services to clients. The 1899 launch of JWT’s London office made it the first such American operation to expand overseas, and the agency also hired the industry’s first female copywriter, Helen Lansdowne Resor, more than 100 years ago.

The agency celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2014.

Wunderman, Ricotta & Kline opened its doors in 1958 and pioneered the practice of direct marketing before WPP acquired it in 1973. Among the innovations attributed to founder Lester Wunderman are the 1-800 number, the Columbia House record club model, and the American Express customer rewards program.

President Richard Nixon hired Wunderman in 1972 to help Americans better understand the U.S. Postal Service’s still-new ZIP code system.

Despite its considerable value and the role it currently plays in nearly every significant piece of business handled by WPP, Wunderman has largely flown under the radar. The agency does not yet boast the name recognition of other holding company properties like Grey, Y&R, Ogilvy and JWT.

That will almost certainly change in the months and years to come.

Monday, November 26, 2018

14393: TIME’S UP/Advertising’s Messy, Murky, Mushy Mission.

Adweek published a lengthy look at the latest lollygagging from the ladies at TIME’S UP/Advertising. The stumbling sisterhood declared, “Our mission is to create workplaces that are Safe, Fair, and Dignified.” An accompanying chart (depicted above) feels like something conceived, composed and crafted by an intern—and the type of intern who landed her gig solely through blood relations to a major client.

David Ogilvy said, “Search the parks in all your cities. You’ll find no statues for committees.” The TU/A mission statement and goofy graphic appear to underscore Ogilvy’s perspective. It’s easy to imagine a giddy steering committee covering a whiteboard with Post-It Notes, pondering every pillar and overthinking each participle. Although it’s more likely the Ms. Magna Carta was cobbled together via IM and email. A competent creative director would have instructed the group to start over, because the final mess is kinda embarrassing.

Aren’t professional advertising agencies already striving—at least through HR-drafted employee handbook instructions—to foster Safe, Fair and Dignified workplaces? Surely shops within holding companies have processes and principles that employees are required to uphold. Sorry, but TU/A is presenting common knowledge, common sense and common courtesy.

Additionally, how is TU/A authorized to enforce anything? Especially considering the majority of its members are hardly credible advocates for equality. Need proof? Adweek pointed out that women of color already feel left out from the cause. It’s time to admit that WOC underrepresentation in the advertising industry has been orchestrated by White men and White women. Contrary to the hysterical hollering from Cindy Gallop, there’s no evidence to believe White women will fight to secure true Safety, Fairness and Dignity for all. Indeed, there’s lots of historical data to demonstrate they won’t do the right thing.

Intersectionality is a tough concept to grasp, and tougher if you’re culturally clueless. Even the woman who originated the notion—KimberlĂ© Crenshaw—admits there are complex and confusing components. Certain Chief Diversity Officers have attempted to inject intersectionality into conversations, but the continuing conflicts show there’s still a great need for awareness and acceptance before taking action. Yet how can one expect to make proper decisions in this overall scenario if the collective membership is not fully informed and legitimately enlightened?

Anyway, here’s a suggestion/comment that’s bound to piss off TU/A enthusiasts: Ending sexual harassment and gender inequality—particularly in the advertising industry—is a man’s job. Hate to admit it, but IPG Chairman and CEO Michael Roth has done waaaaay more to address matters than TU/A. Granted, he’s been forced to act because his network is seemingly filled with predators and perpetrators. Nonetheless, the old man is setting standards for performance, practice and punishment. To be clear, this suggestion/comment is rooted in a few imperative realities: 1) men must minimally be a partner in any solutions; 2) men are better equipped to go toe-to-toe with offenders and; 3) men need to make amends for having started the problems—even if by virtue of simply sharing the same gender as the chronically-corrupt bad boys.

Think of it as a form of reparations. Then again, in the advertising industry, White men and White women have steadfastly refused to acknowledge their roles and responsibilities in nettlesome affairs and be held accountable for their misdeeds.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

14392: U.S. Army Recruits Omnicom, Rejects McCann.

Adweek reported Omnicom was awarded a 10-year contract with the U.S. Army estimated at $4 billion. Of course, incumbent White advertising agency McCann Worldgroup will probably refuse to concede defeat, despite being eliminated multiple times from the review.

The winning team—reportedly led by DDB—included fluent360, an Omnicom-owned multicultural shop that appears to be part of the Nissan United crew too. Given that racial and ethnic minorities represent roughly 40% of the U.S. Army’s ranks, can fluent360 expect to receive up to $2 billion in business from the governmental contract? Or will the minority rations amount to a few handful of crumbs? Hey, here’s another opportunity for DDB Global President and CEO Wendy Clark to display her restless ambition for diversity. More likely, she’ll display her fluency in bullshit.

Omnicom Wins 10 Year, $4 Billion Army Contract After Elimination of Incumbent McCann

DDB Chicago led the pitch

By Patrick Coffee

Omnicom has emerged victorious in the long, highly contested review for the Army’s marketing contract, according to the Department of Defense. WPP was the other finalist in the pitch.

The news comes less than one week after the U.S. government denied a bid protest filed by incumbent McCann Worldgroup upon its elimination from the review. The winning bidder will oversee a multi-billion dollar contract managing a variety of marketing and public relations activities over 10 years.

The DoD statement confirms that DDB’s Chicago office led the team that won “a $4,000,000,000 hybrid (cost, cost-plus-award-fee, cost-plus-fixed-fee, and firm-fixed-price) contract for services in support of the U.S. Army Marketing and Advertising Program.”

“Work locations and funding will be determined with each order, with an estimated completion date of Nov. 18, 2028,” the release reads.

After this story initially ran, an Omnicom representative confirmed that a group known as Team DDB will handle the business. Beyond the titular agency, it will include employees from media network OMD, data group Annalect, PR firm FleishmanHillard, CRM shop RAPP, experience design agency Critical Mass, multicultural agency Fluent360 and The Marketing Arm, which specializes in consumer engagement.

The win follows several controversies surrounding a personal relationship between a top executive at the Army Marketing and Research Group (AMRG) and a leader of the account at McCann, as well as an internal audit that found millions of dollars in ineffective spending.

As a result of that audit, the Trump administration moved to withhold 50 percent of the Army’s taxpayer-funded marketing budget.

A spokesperson for the U.S. Army did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

When news of McCann’s bid denial broke last week, the agency promised to take its case to federal court. An AMRG representative referred Adweek to the Department of Justice’s public affairs division “due to pending litigation.”

The business had been with IPG for 12 years and involved many agencies beyond McCann creative, including Momentum Worldwide, Weber Shandwick, UM and more.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

14391: Sir Martin Sorrell, Raider Of The Lost Argh.

More About Advertising reported Sir Martin Sorrell continues to build his peanut factory by grabbing nuts from the WPP assortment tray. Now, most White holding companies prohibit departing executives from recruiting former associates. But clearly, WPP didn’t place such restrictions on Sorrell, which is somewhat amazing. It also shows how the rules routinely forced upon the drones don’t apply to the douchebags occupying C-suite accommodations. Oh, and Sorrell’s raiding expedition nabbed—you guessed it—a White man (with a peanut head to boot).

Sorrell raids WPP’s GroupM for S4C APAC chief

By Stephen Foster

Sir Martin Sorrell’s new S4 Capital has raided his old firm WPP for its new Asia Pacific region boss, Michel de Rijk, who joins from WPP media operation GroupM.

De Rijk (left) was global chief growth officer at GroupM’s Performance Media Group and before that APAC president where he led the expansion of GroupM’s (m)Platform media technology offering. He has also worked at GroupM digital platform Xaxis and interactive digital technology provider EyeWonder.

S4C is based on Dutch digital content agency MediaMonks but plans to move into digital media planning and buying and first party data.

De Rijk says “Our industry is in the middle of a revolutionary change, and relationships between brands, agencies, consultancies and media owners will be re-forged. Brands want solutions that give them ownership, but that are of the highest quality and informed by deep experience. S4 Capital will be able to operate in exactly the areas to fulfill these needs.”

Executive chairman Sorrell says: “I’m delighted to welcome Michel to S4 Capital. He has the network and the skills to help MediaMonks and all of our future businesses in the region maintain impressive growth, while identifying further opportunities to grow by acquisition. No one could be more qualified to represent the S4 Capital difference.”

S4C has been strongly linked with programmatic media buying company MightyHive.

Friday, November 23, 2018

14390: Rack Friday—Fired McCann CCO Fires Back.

Adweek reported former McCann Health CCO Jeremy Perrott—who was fired last summer for allegedly using “offensive and inappropriate language” that violated the company’s Code of Conduct—filed a lawsuit against the White advertising agency and IPG for defamation and wrongful termination. In addition to seeking $25.4 million in damages, Perrott leveled charges that his former employers will likely deem even more offensive and inappropriate. The rest of the industry will likely deem Perrott’s tirade highly entertaining.

First of all, the court papers read like a melodramatic TV commercial script: “[Spurious.] Deceitful. Vengeful. Told with reckless disregard for the truth. Cowardly lies that poison and kill a man’s reputation. Rob him of his life’s work. Turn him into a leper and an outcast.” Gee, Perrott is really maximizing his experience working in pharma advertising with such copy.

Next, Perrott went straight after IPG Chairman and CEO Michael Roth, blasting the old man’s obsession “with diversity” as having created a “toxic corporate policy that encouraged, facilitated and condoned the lynching and character assassination of McCann Health’s phenomenally successful global CCO and his dismissal without any due process.” Wow, diversity is now being used to lynch White men. The filings whined that Perrott was canned thanks to an “unjust corporate culture of #MeToo and #TimesUp appeasement,” as well as “a corporate policy that spares no male at IPG, MWG or McCann Health.” Guess Perrott didn’t read Roth’s memo on zero tolerance for bad-boy behavior.

So what were Perrott’s culturally clueless crimes? According to the Adweek report, the former CCO allegedly told a female associate she had a “nice rack” and another had a “nice ass”—which he’ll undoubtedly insist were sincere compliments taken out of context and misinterpreted.

It will be interesting to see how Perrott fares, as he’s the maddest Mad Man to date. Specifically, he represents the growing unhappiness of White men in advertising and society at large. Hey, if serial sexual harasser Donald Trump landed in the White House, could Perrott lead the counterassault for White men to reclaim retain the power position on Madison Avenue?

Fired McCann Health Global CCO Sues Former Employer for Defamation and Wrongful Termination

Jeremy Perrott blames the ‘unjust corporate culture of #MeToo’

By Lindsay Rittenhouse, Patrick Coffee

Jeremy Perrott, McCann Health’s global CCO who was fired for unspecified behavioral violations in July, is suing McCann Worldgroup and the larger IPG network for “defamation, tortious interference with contract, common law conspiracy and gross negligence.”

Perrott is seeking $25.4 million in damages.

According to court papers filed in Virginia in late October, Perrott said he was fired by McCann and IPG unexpectedly for using “inappropriate language.”

When Perrott asked his employer for examples when he was fired, the suit states he was accused of telling a woman in a McCann Workgroup elevator in New York that she had a “nice rack.” The former CCO denied that allegation, saying he rarely was in New York.

According to the court filing, Perrott’s former employer also accused him of commenting to a woman, “nice ass,” which he also denied. The suit states McCann and IPG did not specify who made those accusations or where the second incident happened.

The suit describes the allegations and circumstances surrounding Perrott’s firing as “spurious. Deceitful. Vengeful. Told with reckless disregard for the truth. Cowardly lies that poison and kill a man’s reputation. Rob him of his life’s work. Turn him into a leper and an outcast.”

“We stand by our actions to protect our employees and our earlier and truthful statements. We will defend the case vigorously,” read a joint statement from IPG and McCann.

Adweek reached out to Perrott’s lawyer, who did not respond to an email and voicemail seeking further comment. Emails sent to each individual IPG employee named in the suit were not immediately returned, and Perott has not responded to requests for comment via his LinkedIn account.

Perrott, a native of Australia who held the title of global CCO at McCann Health since 2008, was fired in July. During his tenure, he also served as chairman of judges at Cannes Lions Health 2014 and inaugural president of the international LIA Health and Pharma Awards.

The McCann spokesperson declined to elaborate on what led the agency to fire Perrott but said it came after an investigation into “a complaint about a violation of our Code of Conduct.”

Perrott is suing McCann and IPG for defamation, the court filing asserts, because the two organizations leaked news of his firing to the press and because the July statement in which they alleged he was terminated because of a complaint against him was defamatory. A slew of McCann and IPG executives are mentioned in the suit, as well.

“The defendants’ categorically false and defamatory statements about Jeremy spread like wild-fire through the internet, social media and the advertising industry,” the suit states, “destroying Jeremy’s name and reputation, making him an instant pariah.”

The suit also names IPG chairman and CEO Michael Roth, claiming his preoccupation “with diversity” at the company has led to a “toxic corporate policy that encouraged, facilitated and condoned the lynching and character assassination of McCann Health’s phenomenally successful global CCO and his dismissal without any due process.”

Perrott’s lawyers wrote that he was fired due to an “unjust corporate culture of #MeToo and #TimesUp appeasement,” which later in the filing is described as “a corporate policy that spares no male at IPG, MWG or McCann Health.” The suit even cites Joe Alexander, IPG-owned The Martin Agency’s former CCO, who was fired following accusations of sexual harassment by multiple women (who then detailed their accusations directly to Adweek), as another victim of this “toxic policy.” He told Adweek those accusations were false, though one led to a six-figure settlement.

Perrott’s lawyer claims in the lawsuit that Perrott was “denied the right” to defend himself and instead was “immediately sacked and ordered to return to Australia.” The court filing states it would have been “basic decency” for McCann and IPG to identify Perrott’s accusers to him.

The suit also alleges McCann denied him the right to talk to the press or attend Cannes, where he was scheduled to be interviewed by TV and print media, in June.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

14389: Giving Thanks For Significant Settlement…?

AgencySpy posted on former JWT Global Chief Communications Officer Erin Johnson, who landed as Chief Communications Officer for Gifnote. AgencySpy stated Johnson received a “significant settlement” from WPP, even though no news sources ever provided a figure, as the agreement terms were confidential. At least Johnson has a fresh headshot to tout her new job. And if she did receive a significant wad of loot, maybe she’ll send the GIF below to Gustavo “I want to be a university professor” Martinez.

Erin Johnson to Lead Communications for Messaging Startup Gifnote

By Patrick Coffee

Erin Johnson, the former head of global communications for JWT, has taken a new role as head of comms for Gifnote, a music messaging startup.

Johnson earned worldwide attention after suing her former employer and CEO Gustavo Martinez for sexual harassment in a case that stretched over two years and ended in a significant settlement for WPP.

In the new position, she will work with Gifnote’s executive team to help oversee marketing communications strategy and execution. The product, which launched earlier this month, allows users to send music clips or Soundbytes in texts and social media messages. The company “works in compliance and partnership with the music industry” to maintain a database and search engine consisting of thousands of samples from popular songs.

Founder Andy Blacker is a former AOL executive who also co-founded ToneMedia, which was acquired by music listings company Bandsintown.

In a statement, he said Johnson “is driven by creative excellence and a sharp understanding of today’s digital media landscape and economy,” adding that “Our mission is to bring our patented and licensed Songbytes into the world’s largest form of communication—texting and social posts.”

Earlier this week, Gifnote announced the hire of Quello founder Richard Johnson as executive advisor.

Johnson spent 13 years with the JWT organization and served as its chief communications officer from 2008 to her departure earlier this year.

Her suit, first filed in 2016, preceded the larger string of cases that attracted headlines starting approximately one year ago. Martinez, who was described by many as a [probable] successor to Martin Sorrell, officially left WPP in June. Johnson responded to the news by sharing a link and a Gifnote image.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

14388: The WPP Board Breakdown.

Now WPP is identifying its Board members by nationality, presumably to prove the holding company’s people “represent perhaps the most diverse example of diversity of any single organisation.” Will the labels soon include race and ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, etc.? And why isn’t CEO Mark Read identified by nationality?

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

14387: Wrestling With Gender Equality In Advertising.

Campaign published a perspective from The Beyond Collective CEO Zaid Al-Zaidy—inspired by the JWT London fiasco—that underscores the similarities and differences between how the U.S. and U.K. advertising communities fumble with diversity and divertsity. The last time MultiCultClassics noticed Al-Zaidy, he was suggesting that the United Kingdom address its diversity dilemmas by emulating the United States. Al-Zaidy’s proposal seemed like Harvey Weinstein seeking advice from Bill Cosby. Interestingly enough, the U.K. is following follies from the U.S. in regards to gender equality and sexual harassment. Just as the loose cannons at Diet Madison Avenue sparked controversy and a lawsuit, a loud-mouthed creative director allegedly did the same across the pond. Al-Zaidy recommends the industry find a “safe place” to calmly confront the complexities and conflicts. Unfortunately, we’re running out of neutral continents. Perhaps someone should simply stage a tag-team wrestling match pitting Cindy Gallop and Jo Wallace against Ralph Watson and the JWT London crew.

It’s little wonder some white men have begun to feel like the enemy

There are few places for reasonable and rational debate beyond screaming headlines or shaming posts on social media.

By Zaid Al-Zaidy

As that most gammony of dead white scientists, Isaac Newton, famously said: “To every action, there is always an equal and opposite reaction.” And so we see it with reports that a number of white men from J Walter Thompson London are calling out the agency for discrimination on the basis of their colour, gender, nationality and sexual orientation.

Without wanting to go into the precise details of this incident, being not in full knowledge of the facts, it seemed inevitable that the industry would reach this milestone. The time bomb has been ticking away in a cupboard of our creation.

It goes without saying that the campaigns to increase the representation of women, ethnic and other minorities (of which I remain a proud but fairly lonely member) are a good thing. The problem is that, with the high temperature that has been set by some, which many would argue is only commensurate with the level of rebalancing that is required, a lot of men — particularly white men of a certain era — have become positioned as or made to feel like they are the enemy. They are therefore scared.

You might think that the word “scared” is excessive, given the horrific nature of some of the #TimeTo and #MeToo stories. And, of course, the context is very different. But this vulnerability has come about because there are few places for reasonable and rational debate beyond the screaming headlines or shaming tweets or social media posts by those whose virtue doesn’t just need signalling but shouting from the rooftops.

“Safe places” are often mocked, but that’s exactly what we need — somewhere for balance and nuance and shades of grey in an industry where everything has become binary.

Bias isn’t black and white — it’s time that we acknowledge everyone is somewhere on the “ism” spectrum, depending on multiple internal and external influences. Therefore, no one person can claim to be a paragon of virtue, despite this social media-fuelled arms race to appear to be so. It’s little wonder, then, that some men (particularly white ones) have begun to feel like they are under constant attack.

The industry’s navel-gazing and attempts to rectify the complex wrongs of the past have been done in the full glare of the lights of publicity. At times, it has seemed like point-scoring or a quick PR hit, rather than a concerted effort to change the industry to better reflect society and our ultimate customers — the public. It’s in all of our interests that we create an environment that isn’t a case of “them and us”. It’s a case of bringing everyone together.

As that old dead white dude also said: “Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.”

Zaid Al-Zaidy is chief executive of The Beyond Collective

Monday, November 19, 2018

14386: Personality, Cultural Fit And Bullshit.

A paragraph from the Advertising Age report on the “culture” at Havas Chicago warrants additional commentary:

While Havas took a beating on social media for the video, Sarah Pak, VP of strategic accounts at Robert Half’s The Creative Group, says that she is seeing more agencies trying to stand out by being brazen about their personality. “Even though the market is so tight for creative and marketing professionals, our clients are still requiring personality and cultural fit to be No. 1,” she says. “If you fit the culture, then we’ll make sure you are happy here. But you have to fit our culture first.”

Sorry, but the VP from Robert Half is a half-wit. The moron explains why our industry is such a mess in terms of diversity and inclusion. Plus, she shows how recruiting firms—besides being ignorant and useless—are complicit in maintaining the discriminatory exclusivity.

The No. 1 requirement is personality and cultural fit? What happened to experience, performance and talent? Does a candidate’s potential factor into the equation? And don’t trophies trump all of the above?

Take a peek at job postings from recruitment firms. There’s never a bullet point indicating the imperative for personality and cultural fit. Indeed, job postings typically feature a laundry list of skills and capabilities specifications—usually written by the hiring agency versus the recruiter. Is the VP of strategic accounts implying hiring agencies and recruiters hold side conversations to define personality and cultural fit?

As Havas Chicago demonstrated, leaders who hype an agency’s personality and culture are narcissistic, delusional jackasses. White holding companies have commoditized creativity, turning the overall advertising industry into a generic dung heap. Painting walls with graffiti images—and hosting Halloween parties with soft porn dancers—are smokescreens designed to conceal mediocrity.

Recruiters believe they’re “seeing more agencies trying to stand out by being brazen about their personality,” but candidates view such places as analogous to old men donning bad toupees and driving fancy roadsters.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

14385: ABC WTF.

This commercial for Trelegy hijacks the Jackson Five and their classic ABC tune. Anybody else think it’s inappropriate for a pharmaceutical company to use music from an artist who suffered an early death with lots of prescription drugs in his system?

Saturday, November 17, 2018

14384: ABC Changing Channels And Channing Dungey.

From Advertising Age…

Channing Dungey out at ABC

By Jeanine Poggi

Channing Dungey is stepping down as president of entertainment at ABC just two years after she assumed the role.

Dungey, who has spent 14 years at the company, will be replaced by Karey Burke, who currently leads original programming at ABC sibling channel Freeform.

This comes as ABC parent Walt Disney nears its acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets, including the cable channels FX Networks and National Geographic. Dungey will remain at ABC until the transaction closes.

Dungey’s departure is the latest executive shuffle inside the Mouse House amid the acquisition. Ben Sherwood, co-chair of Disney Media Networks and president of Disney/ABC TV Group, will also depart the company once the deal is closed.

When Dungey was appointed in 2016, she became the first African-American to lead a major broadcast TV network. But her tenure has been filled with several controversial decisions, including the cancellation of the Tim Allen comedy “Last Man Standing,” which now airs on Fox; the decision not to air an episode of “Black-ish” that included athletes kneeling and white supremacist violence; and of course, the cancellation of “Roseanne” following a racist tweet by Roseanne Barr. Dungey also oversaw the much-hyped revival of “American Idol,” which averaged just a 1.6 rating last season.

The past two years have also seen the departure of showrunner Shonda Rhimes, whose shows like “Grey’s Anatomy” and “How to Get Away With Murder” own the Thursday night block, and “Black-ish” creator Kenya Barris, to Netflix.

ABC is in last place among the Big Four broadcasters in the commercial ratings in the three days after a show airs, an industry standard known as C3. The network is averaging a 1.0 rating in the key 18-49 demographic, trailing Fox, which is averaging a 2.0, NBC with a 1.9 and CBS with a 1.2. ABC is down 18 percent year-over-year and has lost one-third of its gross ratings points in the last two seasons.

Contributing: Anthony Crupi

Friday, November 16, 2018

14383: How McCann Will Beat The U.S. Army.

Advertising Age reported McCann lost its protest with the Government Accountability Office, effectively being eliminated from the U.S. Army account review again. Of course, that isn’t stopping the White advertising agency from continuing its efforts to get back into the competition, as McCann plans to pursue legal action with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. If the next maneuver fails, expect the White advertising agency to appeal to The People’s Court. From there, the initiative will move to Shark Tank and Dancing With The Stars. Concurrently, McCann will introduce a program a la The Bachelorette, where contestants vie to serve as a covert femme fatale for the White advertising agency. This ain’t over yet, folks!

McCann loses protest bid in Army review but vows to fight on

By E.J. Schultz and Megan Graham

McCann has suffered another significant setback in its attempt to hang onto the lucrative Army account it has held for 13 years. WPP and Omnicom are still alive in the review, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Interpublic shop was eliminated from the review earlier this year, but it fought the decision by filing a protest with the Government Accountability Office. The GAO this week denied the protest bid, but McCann is vowing to take the matter to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

The government did not publish details of its decision. In an internal memo issued today, McCann Worldgroup CEO Harris Diamond stated “we were eliminated from the review by the contracting officer, not our client, based solely on a technical issue related to a missing disk, notwithstanding the fact that we believe they are in possession of all the necessary information needed to evaluate our proposal fairly.”

He added that the agency would “pursue every channel necessary to have the quality of our proposal fairly evaluated, including bringing the matter to federal court where a judge will evaluate our case.”

“I’m very proud of the relationship we’ve had with the U.S. Army. It’s been an honor. I’m proud of the work and proud of what we’ve accomplished together,” Diamond told Ad Age. “I think that we are the right team to take them forward in a complex recruiting environment.”

As for McCann’s next move, he said: “We’re going to go forward and make our argument … we want to be allowed to be evaluated. Not asking to win, we want to be evaluated.”

In January 2017, 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, Ad Age reported last summer.

Omnicom declined comment. WPP referred comment to the client.

Last September, McCann Worldgroup won a separate protest it filed against the Army’s Government Accountability Office alleging that its elimination from a review for the Army’s business was “arbitrary and capricious.”

In October, McCann released new work for the client as part of a “Warriors Wanted” campaign.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

14382: The 3% Movement Membership Has Its Privileges.

Adweek spotlighted a patronizing promotion presented at the latest soiree of The 3% Movement. Created by San Francisco-based Heat, the concept challenged attendees to “check their privileges” along with their coats. The onsite gimmick directed people to an online gimmick, ultimately showing how everyone is splintering in diverse divertsity directions, seeking to address every marginalized group out there. What’s most outrageous is that the majority of The 3% Movement fans—White women and White men—have historically leveraged their White privilege to dominate the advertising industry, quash any attempts at progress and hijack all equality discussions. An original idea would have been for the coat-check staff to deliberately lose attendees’ items. Instead, at the end of the girlfriend get-together, the pseudo crusaders got their White privileges back along with their designer hats and coats.

Heat Asks 3% Conference Goers to Check Their Privileges at the Door

Deloitte-owned shop wants attendees to leave the 7th annual event more aware

By Lindsay Rittenhouse

At the seventh annual 3 Percent Conference, which is being held Thursday through Friday in Chicago this year, Deloitte-owned Heat wants guests to be “as aware of your privileges as the coat on your back,” senior brand strategist Catherine Dailey told Adweek.

The San Francisco-based shop is operating a coat check—positioned directly next to where guests sign into the event—that doesn’t just take outer layers. Each person that checks a coat with Heat will receive a ticket stub with scratch-off statements shedding light on certain privileges many mainstream individuals in the U.S. take for granted.

The privileges include: “I have never had to ‘come out.’ I have never gone to bed hungry. I am not taught to fear walking alone after dark in average public spaces. I can afford to visit a healthcare professional multiple times a year. I can go to new places knowing that there’ll be a bathroom I can use. I am not nervous in airport security lines. I do not have a disability.”

Guests are intended to scratch off which privileges with which they identify, revealing facts angled to open their minds a bit about their advantages, such as: “Sixty percent of transgender Americans avoid using public bathrooms for fear of being harassed. Only four states offer third gender options on birth certificates. Ninety-four percent of teen females have experienced body shame. Only 46 percent of working-age adults with learning disabilities are employed.”

Dailey noted that these are more “non-obvious, day-to-day” privileges people often overlook.

While tickets varied in terms of listed privileges, they all ended the same: “I want to do better.” When scratched off, this message is revealed: “By acknowledging our privileges, we can work to create opportunities for everyone, building a more diverse and inclusive world.”

A diverse team of Heat employees collaborated on the project, discussing what biases they face in their own daily lives that then fueled the list of privileges, according to Dailey.

Heat copywriter Rebecca Wang, who was instrumental in creating that list, said there are lessons to be learned for all.

Dailey admitted that she was not consciously aware of how many public spaces in 2018 are still inaccessible to people with certain disabilities until she began working for her current boss, whose husband is in a wheelchair.

“I notice more when I go places, which have wheelchair access,” Dailey said, who now always double checks that Heat’s out-of-office gatherings like happy hours are held at accessible places.

Once you’re aware of your privileges, Wang explained, you can use them to “help others.” Heat hopes each 3 Percent Conference attendee walks away with a heightened sense of consciousness and empathy, she said.

That, and their coats.

Tickets given to people who visit the coat check direct back to Heat’s website, which features a digital privilege check during the two-day conference. Resources on Heat’s commitment to diversity and inclusion are included on the landing page. The project is also being supported on the agency’s social channels.

14381: Annie The Chicken Queen Censored.

Annie the Chicken Queen continues to hawk poultry products, even though Popeyes and White advertising agency GSD&M don’t post her commercials online. So it’s not clear how long these uploads featuring turkey promotions, censored hot sauce and golf course gators will be viewable. Actually, the spots are barely viewable now, at least from a lameness perspective.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

14380: Stan Lee (1922-2018).

The late Stan Lee is best known for his comic book creations. Yet he was a heroic equality defender too.

14379: JWT London Falling Down On White Men.

Campaign reported JWT is facing another discrimination lawsuit, except this one involves JWT London being accused of discriminating against straight White men. Sorry, Gustavo Martinez, you’re no longer eligible to join the legal fight as a plaintiff.

The latest fiasco started when JWT Creative Director Jo Wallace reportedly spoke at a Creative Equals event, introducing herself as a lesbian and declaring her mission to “obliterate” JWT’s reputation as a “Knightsbridge boys’ club” for White, British, privileged, straight men. A few days later, a group of White, British, privileged and straight male employees allegedly met with the JWT HR department to voice their concerns. Within days of the HR powwow, the group was obliterated and made redundant—that is, the guys were fired.

For the initial news stories, JWT London declined to respond, opting for the standard line: “It’s not appropriate for us to comment on individuals in an ongoing process. Any redundancies at JWT London are handled fairly, lawfully and without any form of discrimination.”

Okay, people are allegedly treated fairly when fired, but what about when hired? Given the earlier revelation that JWT London has a terrible gender pay gap problem, it’s safe to say the White advertising agency engages in discriminatory practices—so it’s reasonable to presume the place is capable of wrongdoing in any employment-related area.

Additionally, once the news spread—and Wallace likely started getting targeted with criticism—JWT London sources proceeded to inappropriately comment. The sources even remarked that seemingly disproportionate firings of White men were to be expected, as White men are disproportionately in the majority at JWT London.

Yet the bigger news bomb came when clarifying that Wallace was not delivering a monologue at the Creative Equals event. Rather, she shared the stage with JWT London Executive Creative Director Lucas Peon; plus, JWT London CEO James Whitehead was in the audience. Um, Peon and Whitehead—whose last names are wildly appropriate in the overall scenario—actually deserve the most flak, as they had to be aware of the gender discrimination at JWT London long before Wallace realized she was getting screwed by her employer. And the two male leaders had to be directly involved with the decisions that sparked the redundancy of White men.

BTW, if the redundant White men ultimately take their former employer to court, they can offer the JWT Female Tribes gender pay gap campaign as evidence of a pro-White-women workplace. Hell, they could toss in JWT Worldwide CEO Tamara Ingram’s tampon crusade too.

At this point, WPP CEO Mark Read is probably wondering if he can institute a lawsuit freeze.

Finally, look forward to JWT London positioning itself as innocent and progressive by having the Commodore replace Victoria Beckham for the Spice Girls Reunion Tour. Or he could join Village People, as the group has never really featured a Commodore character.