Friday, May 31, 2019

14645: Unsettling Settlement For IPG And Jeremy Perrott.

Adweek reported IPG and McCann settled the defamation lawsuit filed by ex-McCann Health CCO Jeremy Perrott, fired for allegedly violating a code of conduct—which, in Perrott’s case, involved alleged instances of commenting on the “nice rack” and “nice ass” of coworkers. As the settlement details are confidential, it’s impossible to know if Perrott collected any of the $25 million in damages he was seeking. To recall, Perrott had blasted IPG Chairman and CEO Michael Roth for jumping on the #MeToo bandwagon and creating a toxic work environment for White men. The official court document—posted by Adweek—doesn’t state anything beyond the settlement agreement. Why, it’s similar to the legal disclaimers that routinely appear on the pharma advertising practitioners like Perrott create, in terms of not really presenting clear communication. Maybe Perrott should talk to his lawyer to create the right treatment plan for his career.

McCann Settles Defamation Suit With Former Global Creative Leader Jeremy Perrott

He was fired for alleged behavioral violations last July

By Erik Oster, Patrick Coffee

Earlier this month, IPG settled a wrongful termination and defamation lawsuit filed by former McCann Health global chief creative officer Jeremy Perrott last October following his termination for alleged behavioral violations.

The terms of the settlement were confidential.

“Jeremy Perrott filed his complaint in October of 2018 claiming that IPG and McCann defamed him. IPG and McCann filed an answer in Court denying the allegations in Mr. Perrott’s complaint and moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground that it lacked merit,” read a joint statement from agency and holding company. “The Parties have resolved the matter in a manner acceptable and confidential.”

Neither Perrott nor his legal counsel have responded to multiple requests for comment on the case. In January, McCann hired former JWT creative lead Matt Eastwood to succeed Perrott.

McCann Health fired Perrott last July, following an investigation into “a complaint about a violation of our Code of Conduct,” an agency spokesperson said at the time. Perrott claimed he was terminated unexpectedly for using “inappropriate language” and sued McCann Health and IPG for “defamation, tortious interference with contract, common law conspiracy and gross negligence,” claiming that IPG and McCann leaked news of his firing and that its statement was defamatory. The news then spread, Perrott’s lawyers argued, in a way which was damaging to his reputation, “making him an instant pariah.”

Court documents revealed that Perrott allegedly made inappropriate remarks to multiple women regarding their appearance in violation of McCann’s sexual harassment policy. Specifically, it claimed he told a woman in an elevator at the agency’s headquarters in New York that she had a “nice rack” and that he said “nice ass” to another woman. Perrott denied both claims, and the suit subsequently filed by his lawyer attributed his firing to an “unjust corporate culture of #MeToo and #TimesUp appeasement.” It also named former Martin Agency chief creative officer Joe Alexander as another victim of a “toxic policy” that “spares no male at IPG, MWG or McCann Health.”

This month’s confidential settlement now ensures the suit will not reach a discovery phase, which means the female McCann employees who accused Perrott of harassing them will not be forced to reveal their names or testify against him in court.

The settlement document itself offers little in the way of details. It renders moot previous motions from IPG and McCann to dismiss the case, along with a request for a “protective order barring certain of plaintiff’s jurisdictional discovery” and a renewed motion to stay discovery.

Below is the letter confirming the settlement as signed by Judge Robert E. Payne of the U.S. District Court of Eastern Virginia on May 15.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

14644: Dear Adland, You Are A Discriminatory Dung Heap.

Campaign reported on a divertsity digital diversion dubbed “Dear Adland”—a site where people can “share their stories of discrimination” experienced while working in the field. Not surprisingly, the story illustration (depicted above) shows a bullhorn held by a White woman’s hand. That aside, “Dear Adland” sounds like a sanitized rerun of Diet Madison Avenue. It will be interesting to see if the discriminated will name the discriminators. After all, why is it okay for sexual harassers to be expelled from the industry while the culturally clueless—namely, White advertising agency leaders leading White advertising agencies—get a pass?

Dear Adland project wants those in the industry to share their discrimination stories

By Gurjit Degun

A group of marketing and advertising bodies have backed an initiative that allows people to share their stories of discrimination while working in the industry and connect with each other to build “confidence and power”.

Dear Adland was set up by Emily de Groot and is a site for men and women to post anonymous accounts of bias, sexual or racial harassment and issues experienced as a parent.

De Groot explains on the site that the aim is to create a forum with senior industry leaders “and we want to create a ‘fishbowl’ for listening for them”.

The initiative, which is backed by Creative Equals and Bloom, will host a reading and invite managing directors and chief executives from every ad agency in London. They will also be published into a “boardroom book” that will be handed to agency leaders.

“We think they’ll hear more than enough stories to prompt them to take action,” the site says. “We’ll invite them to respond with their plans and strategies to ensure these kind of stories are no longer heard.”

It adds: “The greatest change comes from us using our voice. Our voice gives us confidence and power. It allows us to connect with others, who might be going through a similar thing. If we stay quiet it can create guilt and shame, which can linger.

“It’s through using our voice and understanding another person’s point of view that change can really happen.”

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

14643: Desperately Seeking Rock Star Willing to Work For Pebbles.

This actual job listing symbolizes the sorry state of affairs in the advertising industry. A firm is seeking a “Rockstar” Creative Director with at least 3 years of total career experience to serve as the “creative force” for the “profitable CPA (Cost per acquisition) lead generation/referral business.” The candidate “must be extremely creative” with energy—the latter quality being the “most important asset of any key player on our team.” The going rate for an energetic “rockstar” maxes at $65k per year.

Creative Director

Company X

City Y, State Z

Creative Director (Rockstar) – Wanted


Company X is a rapidly growing resource management company that services as an incubator for a number online businesses. At the core, is a profitable CPA (Cost per acquisition) lead generation/referral business, with a 100+ person sales and fulfillment center focused in the credit challenged space since 2005. We are currently looking for a Creative Director who has extensive experience working with traditional media and brand management to join our 20+ people digital Marketing team. This person’s core function would be to create, manage and oversee the productions of our print/traditional branding media campaigns, while uncovering new opportunities. (a.k.a. Marketing Rockstar)

Why this is a Dream Job:

• You will be the creative force behind all of ours print-media, TV, Video Production campaigns, ensuring brand identity and recognition is at the core of our campaigns.

• You will be creatively working with energetic entrepreneurs to grow existing business, while be working on new Branding opportunities.

• This is an opportunity for you to be a key player in a fast paced, motivated and driven marketing group. (Work hard–Play harder environment.)

• Capability to influence the creation creative ad copies including but not limited to print collateral, digital ad copies, copywriting and video.

• Providing strategic insights to help accelerate the sales growth and profitability of Facebook Ads, display ads, social, email marketing and other marketing channels.

Job Requirements:

CREATIVE—Must be extremely creative.

• 3+ years of experience in marketing

Energy (Most important asset of any key player on our team)

Experience—3+ years executing results-driven paid marketing programs and a minimum Bachelor’s degree in Marketing

Team Player—Strong analytical and communication skills with the ability to articulate performance metrics challenges and opportunities

Job Type: Full-time

Salary: $58,000.00 to $65,000.00 / year

14642: When It Comes To Diversity, It’s All Greek To Havas Honcho.

Campaign published divertsity distortion from Havas Creative Group Global Chief Marketing Officer Tracey Barber. First of all, Havas Creative Group is an oxymoron. Barber, on the other hand, is a regular moron.

The title of the perspective—Adland is missing out on talent that doesn’t look like us—speaks of Barber’s grand enlightenment, inspired by a volunteer excursion to refugee camps in Greece. Seems Barber was shocked to encounter young women and men with experiences and capabilities that would qualify them to work among the elitists at White advertising agencies—plus, these refugee campers were surprisingly articulate. Barber’s amazement included:

I met young women whose ability to articulate their point of difference would rival the expertise of the most seasoned strategist building a brand’s USP. The journey from camp to asylum status can take years, and these women were honing their skills and delivering succinct rationale of what they can offer and why, articulated better than many creative briefs I have seen.

I ran sessions with young men whose life experiences and copywriting talent told stories of heart-wrenching potency equal to any D&AD entry, and 18-year-olds showing the kind of determination, drive and entrepreneurialism that has led to successful start-ups and a level of innovation to rival any of our tech labs.

Um, the typical “seasoned strategist” is barely a rung above a Walmart greeter (no offense to Walmart greeters), the standard creative brief is a rung below soiled Charmin and most D&AD entries—especially those submitted by Havas—don’t deserve a rung, let alone a pencil trophy.

At least now Barber can add refugee camps to the list of options—including inner cities, hip hop performers and Brazil—for finding minority talent.

Adland is missing out on talent that doesn't look like us

A view from Tracey Barber

After volunteering at refugee camps in Greece, the Havas Creative Group CMO reflects on her learnings.

Our recent visit to refugee camps in Greece originated out of a simple idea, and one that runs through Havas: less talk, more “do”. We decided to volunteer because we wanted to do something — anything — tangible in the face of such a devastating humanitarian crisis and we came home with a far greater understanding of the complexity of the situation. But what transpired was more challenging, inspiring and — to my surprise, or perhaps ignorance — creative than I’d anticipated.

Each camp houses more than 1,000 people in rudimentary metal containers. The majority have fled terrible circumstances; all are seeking asylum. Most are under 21. Syrians, Iraqis, Congolese and more live side by side in extremely basic conditions, coexisting through necessity despite a plethora of cultural differences and with a narrative none of us can begin to imagine.

I have no desire to write what would be a crass “five things marketers can learn from…” piece — but some of the things we realised are worth highlighting.

We went out with a specific brief: to help the refugees craft their CVs and asylum applications, and to highlight — to the women specifically — the level of opportunity available to them. What actually transpired was a series of interactive workshops where we learned as much from the attendees as we hope we were able to teach them, and sessions that became dynamic presentations, hotbeds of debate, complex and demanding Q&As and what amounted to, by any standards, show-stopping pitches.

It reminded me that pitching is not just a business (or new-business) aptitude, but a fundamental life skill — and one we should be equipping all of our people with, not just the most senior.

It also brought home that these kids (and they are kids, the same age as this “next generation of talent” we’re all looking to attract) don’t just want to be told what to do — they want to show what they have to offer. If they were able to force us to sit up and listen in this unlikeliest of environments, more fool us if we don’t do the same at home.

I met young women whose ability to articulate their point of difference would rival the expertise of the most seasoned strategist building a brand’s USP. The journey from camp to asylum status can take years, and these women were honing their skills and delivering succinct rationale of what they can offer and why, articulated better than many creative briefs I have seen.

I ran sessions with young men whose life experiences and copywriting talent told stories of heart-wrenching potency equal to any D&AD entry, and 18-year-olds showing the kind of determination, drive and entrepreneurialism that has led to successful start-ups and a level of innovation to rival any of our tech labs.

And yet what are the odds for those who end up in the UK — or, frankly, any country with an advertising industry — that any of them would ever be hired by any of us?

The difference isn’t talent or drive — it’s circumstance.

If you think this comparison is a stretch, or even flippant, try this one: what’s the difference between the predominantly white, middle-class, university-educated people we have traditionally hired and those we haven’t — those from disadvantaged or minority backgrounds or without a CV full of qualifications?


I’m not saying that we’re missing out on talent in refugee camps in Greece (although I’m not not saying that either — some of the people I met could certainly teach us a thing or two). It’s that we’re missing out on talent that doesn’t look like us. There are pools of creativity and inspiration and ideas and difference in all sorts of places, which we are failing miserably to access.

Tracey Barber is global chief marketing officer at Havas Creative Group

Monday, May 27, 2019

14641: Revisionist Memories On Memorial Day.

HISTORY noted, “One of the Earliest Memorial Day Ceremonies Was Held by Freed Slaves.”

The BBC broadcasted, “Memorial Day: America’s strained salute to its black veterans.”

History News Network wrote, “The African-American origins of Memorial Day have been suppressed.”

14640: The Last Straw Dogs (Cont’d).

More plastic-straws-kill-wildlife campaigns are washing up on shores worldwide. This one is particularly questionable given that it was hatched by the Puerto Rico office of DDB—a White advertising network tied to Mickey D’s, a junk food corporation likely responsible for a sizable amount of the plastic straws polluting the environment.

Sunday, May 26, 2019

14639: Toying Around With Wildlife And The Environment.

Oh, look! Another plastic-kills-wildlife campaign featuring a sea turtle. And what’s with the seal being attacked by Native Americans?

Saturday, May 25, 2019

14638: Adweek Delegates Diversity Awards.

Adweek spotlighted 18 executives and creatives “making meaningful contributions toward diversity and inclusivity”—and gave each of them an inaugural Adweek Champions salute. The trade publication teamed up with ADCOLOR® to select the winners, which sorta translates to delegating diversity for trophies. Additionally, the champs look like the usual ADCOLOR® suspects. Finally, Adweek designated the report as premium content requiring a paid subscription for access. Heaven forbid the champs might have best practices and success stories to freely share with adland at large.

Friday, May 24, 2019

14637: And The White Women’s Bandwagon Played On.

Adweek published a divertsity ditty from Music Audience Exchange VP of Marketing Rosemary Waldrip, who performed a bitching ballad on the underrepresentation of women in music. Gee, this could lead to progress for female rappers and recording artists, because everyone knows White advertising agencies love hip hop.

Why Marketers Need to Push for Inclusivity in Music

It connects them on a deeper level with their consumers and culture

By Rosemary Waldrip

Women are increasingly demanding a seat at the table. This cultural shift means marketers need to rethink female representation in their marketing to general audiences, particularly as they use music to engage consumers.

Consider the data on music’s gender gap. Only 9 percent of the 899 individuals who were nominated for a Grammy Award between 2013 and 2018 were women, according to data compiled by professor Stacy L. Smith of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative.

And while the awards shows may be starting to showcase more female artists this year, the industry trends are actually going in the wrong direction. In 2017, 83 percent of music industry artists were men and only 17 percent were women, a six-year low for female artists. But here’s the most alarming data point: of the 651 music producers in the study, 98 percent were male and only 2 percent female.

This disparity is troubling in its own right, but it’s especially damaging because of music’s outsized effect on culture. Music shapes our sense of how things are done “around here,” whether “here” is a country music venue in Nashville, a media company boardroom or our culture at large. Consequently, as marketers adapt to meet evolving consumer expectations, they should also reconsider their approach to incorporating female voices, both in the office and in terms of the music they choose to associate their brands with.

Use audience data to disrupt gender-based assumptions

Rather than the simplistic assumption that female artists are only relevant to female audiences, marketers should look at the data. By digging deep into a target segment’s psychographic, demographic, geographic and behavioral attributes, marketers gain insight into what music influences those consumers and how they can leverage those insights to build affinity for their brand.

Spotlight female voices

Female musicians often tell incredible, human stories. They speak out about real causes that matter to them, and their voices can lend authenticity to brands that want to join important cultural conversations.

Even if marketers aren’t aligning their brands with a cause, female voices matter because they drive impact. According to studies from Westwood One, female voices outperformed male counterparts for favorability, brand recall, relevance, memorability and engagement.

Include female artists in recommendations

I’ve never seen a buyer persona that returned an all-male list of matching artists the brand should consider partnering with. While sometimes it might not make sense for a specific campaign, keep in mind that there are plenty of female artists in every genre. Ask your partners or agencies to prioritize inclusivity by making sure that female artists are represented in the RFP process.

See representation as a tool for growth

Firms that rank in the top quartile for gender diversity are 21 percent more likely to overperform on profitability, according to a McKinsey report. Unfortunately, some see representation as code for taking a man’s job and giving it to a woman. That’s a scarcity mindset that punishes everyone, and it also runs contrary to the marketer’s primary mission to achieve growth.

Rather than pitting men and women against each other, use a mindset that sees the opportunity in representation. Instead of mandating progress for its own sake, we can insist on growth by making the case that new voices bring new opportunities. By welcoming more female voices, marketers better align brands with consumers, and in turn, grow their business.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

14636: Mickey D’s Extra Vile Meal.

Mickey D’s is getting deep-fried for its rampant sexual harassment—and now the TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund is rolling into the drive-thru. Hey, is it an unfortunate coincidence that the fast feeder partners with a White advertising agency run by a former TIME’S UP Advertising leader who left her position after getting caught freelancing an alleged sexual harasser?

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

14635: The Truly Invisible Cannes Can.

The Cannes Can: Diversity Collective describes itself as follows:

The Cannes Can: Diversity Collective (CC:DC) was created in 2017 due to the continued conversation regarding the lack of diversity in the Advertising/Marketing Industry. For decades there have been a plethora of industry leaders that have expressed concern regarding this issue.

The Cannes Can: Diversity Collective has moved beyond concern to creation, by creating the opportunity for previously absent faces of color to be represented at the 2018 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity and beyond.

It’s kinda sad how this diversity initiative receives little press coverage and even littler attention versus the endless divertsity initiatives promoting White women at Cannes. To say that a “plethora” of industry honchos have expressed concern for true diversity might be technically correct—but few have actually done anything about it. Instead, the creative elite offers a plethora of clich├ęd excuses, covert heat shields and contrived solutions.

It’s also kinda sad how the organization’s logo (depicted above) looks like a trilobite.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

14634: Dodging The Draftline With Anheuser-Busch InBev.

Advertising Age reported Anheuser-Busch InBev launched an in-house agency called Draftline. Okay, maybe it’s a nod to draft beer, but the name feels like a Howard Draft enterprise—and even shitty White advertising agency FCB saw fit to shed the Draft label from its masthead.

Monday, May 20, 2019

14633: Wunderman Thompson London Celebrates Mental Health Week In Depressing Fashion.

AgencySpy posted about Wunderman Thompson London celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week by helping staffers deal with stress and anxiety via power naps, mental health ambassadors and a happiness guru. The feel good vibes were completely offset by post-merger redundancies, Jo Wallace and Unhappiness Guru Mark Read.

Wunderman Thompson U.K. CEO Pip Hulbert explained, “Stress is the enemy of creativity.” No, lack of talent is the enemy of creativity—along with an abundance of corporate cluelessness.

Saturday, May 18, 2019

14631: Polish Joke—An Alien Walks Into A White Person.

Not too sure about this campaign from Poland. If you don’t speak English, not only are you viewed as a foreigner—you’re an (illegal) alien.

Friday, May 17, 2019

14630: BBDO Gives Snickers A Kick In The Nuts.

BBDO Mexico demonstrates that it is indeed possible to produce a shitty Snickers advertisement. Did the Brazilian creatives responsible for the scammy Bayer campaign move to Mexico?

Thursday, May 16, 2019

14629: Running In Circles To Address Divertsity And Diversity.

Campaign reported on another divertsity device—Grow Your Circle—invented by White advertising agency Forsman & Bodenfors New York. According to Campaign, Grow Your Circle is “a platform that allows ad agencies and commercial producers to find people from all backgrounds.” Gee, how many similar lists and resources are currently available to represent the underrepresented? To create the redundant heat shield, Forsman & Bodenfors New York coughed up $500,000 of its own loot, which will probably be written off as a tax deduction. The White advertising agency was allegedly inspired to act after struggling on a project to assemble an entire production with a female-only crew. Were they also operating with a female-only agency team? Whatever. It’s interesting to note that the Forsman & Bodenfors website fails to display the makeup of its own leadership and staff. Then again, maybe it’s not that interesting. Or surprising.

Agencies: Here’s another way to find diverse talent

By Oliver McAteer

Forsman & Bodenfors New York created Grow Your Circle as a home for underrepresented people with skills to slay just as much as that old white guy you know.

There are zero excuses for not taking on diverse talent.

Here’s another reason why: Forsman & Bodenfors New York has launched a platform that allows ad agencies and commercial producers to find people from all backgrounds.

Grow Your Circle is the result of a $500,000 investment of the agency’s own money after it set out to run an entire production with a female-only crew and struggled.

Amber Wimmer, interactive production lead at F&B NY, said: “Grow Your Circle provides a platform, a voice, and an opportunity for underrepresented talent across all production disciplines.

“There is so much unseen talent in this industry; Circle champions intersectionality and inclusion while allowing agency producers and production houses to dig a bit deeper to better tell authentic stories for brands.

“We hope Circle inspires the industry to recognize the power of their buying decisions, fulfills our responsibility to help minimize the inequality across the production industry, and creates better work as a result of it.”

The digital tool allows agencies and producers to find underrepresented talent in the U.S. from disciplines across all types of production including film, digital, and experiential. More importantly, it gives access to many other entrepreneurs, like those who identify as LGBTQ+, come from diverse backgrounds or live with a disability.

Since the platform soft-launched at the 3% Movement conference in November 2018, membership has skyrocketed with partners and talent including 72andSunny and Droga5, and independent production companies Prettybird, WAX, and Armada.

The new tool is part of a larger F&B effort to fight inequities in the industry. An inaugural member of the 3% Movement, the agency recently achieved 100 percent pay parity.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

14628: Smartphone Campaign Is Not Smart. M&C Saatchi Is Definitely Not Smart.

The morons at M&C Saatchi in Spain probably think this campaign for the HUAWEI P30 Pro smartphone is provocative and breakthrough, but it looks like perverts are using their mobile devices to secretly photograph breastfeeding moms.

14627: Marc Pritchard Promotes #SeeHer—And Turns Blind Eye To True Diversity.

Adweek reported on the latest divertsity dung from P&G Chief Brand Officer Marc Pritchard, who encouraged his peers to “put pressure on” White advertising agencies to boost White female representation. According to Adweek, Pritchard also “said he had a ‘discussion’ with P&G’s agencies, which include Publicis and WPP’s Grey New York, about what they are going to do to increase the number of women and people of color on their teams.” Of course, Pritchard didn’t share specifics on how the shops responded, opting to hype #SeeHer instead. Prediction: White women will continue to get promoted and Pritchard will collect more ADCOLOR® trophies—and there will be zero significant progress for people of color. Plus, Pritchard will go on assigning cultural projects to White advertising agencies, ignoring minority firms.

Newly Appointed ANA #SeeHer Co-Chair, P&G’s Marc Pritchard, Sets Goals for Increasing Diversity by 2020

He’s encouraging marketers to put pressure on agencies to accomplish this

By Lindsay Rittenhouse

Procter & Gamble chief brand officer Marc Pritchard has raised the bar once again for the advertising industry at the Association of National Advertisers’ #SeeHer event in New York on Friday, setting new goals to increase diversity by 2020. Pritchard, along with AT&T chief brand officer Fiona Carter, were named #SeeHer’s new co-chairs of marketing for the 2019–2020 year earlier in the day.

The ANA initiative was founded three years ago to eliminate unconscious bias and increase diversity in programming, advertising, marketing and media. They succeed former #SeeHer marketing chair Stephen Quinn, the former Walmart chief marketing officer who retired at the end of 2018.

“We have a responsibility to make a difference,” Pritchard said to a room of client-side marketers, agency executives and media personnel. “So what can we do?”

He then laid out several initiatives #SeeHer would champion under his and Carter’s direction, which includes, firstly, encouraging every company and brand to promote the hashtag #SeeHer. Out of the 1,800 companies in the world, only 70 have committed to the #SeeHer movement. “If you haven’t joined already, ask yourself why,” Pritchard said.

Pritchard said #SeeHer will also be launching new iterations of its Gender Equality Measurement tool, which has now been used to evaluate more than 60,000 ads for unconscious gender bias in 14 countries. The new tools will now evaluate race, sexuality, ability and age and “will be as rigorous as the [measurement tool] is for gender.” He added that they will also expand to 25 countries.

He noted that out of the 60,000 ads evaluated, 71 percent fairly represented women and that he aims to get that to 100 percent by 2020.

Pritchard said #SeeHer has also partnered with Free the Bid, the initiative founded by director Alma Har’el, who was in the audience, to increase the number of female directors in advertising and film. Pritchard said only 7 percent of ads, 4 percent of Hollywood movies and 17 percent of TV shows are directed by women, which he called “unacceptable.”

Lastly, he encouraged every client-side marketer and agency to increase diversity within their own staffs.

“If you are client-side, ask your agencies where they stand,” Pritchard continued, “like we did just yesterday.” He said he had a “discussion” with P&G’s agencies, which include Publicis and WPP’s Grey New York, about what they are going to do to increase the number of women and people of color on their teams.

“These actions can and will make a difference,” Pritchard said.

As the top marketer of one of advertising’s biggest spenders (P&G has a budget of $7.1 billion), Pritchard has championed diversity and equality through the company’s brand messaging. Most recently, he stood by Gillette’s “The Best Men Can Be” campaign from AOR Grey New York, which raised awareness to toxic masculinity and faced a firestorm of backlash from some men who felt the campaign challenged what it means to be a man. Of note, the ad addressed such issues as cyberbullying, sexual harassment and misogyny.

“As the largest trade association with all the leading marketers, we were in the unique position to bring scale to the movement from the outset,” ANA CEO Bob Liodice said in a statement. “#SeeHer is good for business and good for society. With Marc’s and Fiona’s expertise and personal commitment, we will certainly reach, and likely exceed, our goal for 2020.”

Carter sits on the ANA and Women in Sports boards and was named chief brand officer of AT&T in 2015. An agency veteran, Carter was previously chief operating officer of advertising, branding and research for Omnicom and managing director for BBDO New York before that.

“Many marketers have their own gender equality programs,” Carter said in a statement, “but the full force of our industry dwarfs anything we can do individually. We are determined to make that clout count so that girls and women everywhere—be they mothers or chemists, artists or business owners—see themselves accurately reflected in the ads and programming that reach millions of people every day.”

According to ANA president and chief operating officer Christine Manna, Carter and Pritchard have been instrumental in the growth of the #SeeHer movement.

“Fiona and Marc have been with us every step of the way, educating their own organizations and serving as dynamic spokespeople for positive change,” Manna said in a statement. “This is simply formalizing roles they have been playing.”

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

14626: Confessions Of A Diversity Pimp…?

A recent installment of The Confessions series at Digiday spotlighted an “agency diversity exec”—or diversity pimp, as Sanford Moore once categorized such individuals—discussing the state of affairs in adland. Actually, the confessor is described as “a black agency employee who has led diversity initiatives within agencies,” which probably means the person is not a Chief Diversity Officer. And the confession reads like an insider gripe from someone who has been delegated diversity versus an inside look from someone charged with diversity duties and in charge of a diversity budget. Nonetheless, it’s an entertaining—albeit familiar—perspective worth perusing and pondering.

Confessions of an agency diversity exec: ‘The needle hasn’t moved’

By Kristina Monllos

Much has been said about the lack of diversity at agencies. Still, even with all that talk, change hasn’t been obvious or transparent. For this edition of confessions, in which we exchange anonymity for candor, we spoke to a black agency employee who has led diversity initiatives within agencies who says that there is a lack of transparency when it comes to agency diversity initiatives.

There’s a lot of lip service from agencies around diversity initiatives. What would you say the actual state of things is?

There are initiatives out there. But too much of the weight of diversity initiatives is all about bringing talent in and not about cultivating the talent that we already have. By cultivating the talent that we already have, it can give this talent the opportunity to actually be successful and move up in the ranks in this business. You name the agency and you go to the leadership page [of the agency’s website] and it either looks like the Backstreet Boys or the Spice Girls. There are very few leaders of color from all of these agencies. It’s almost like there’s no shame in that. That’s the part that I find most discouraging as an employee of color is that there’s absolutely nothing that’s aspirational for me. I can’t see myself in the straight-white-man leader or the straight-white-woman leader. That’s not aspirational.

So even if some agencies do have employees of color, they aren’t often leadership positions?

Agencies can say, “yeah, we’re pretty diverse,” but then [it changes] when you try to get them to break down percentages of people of color, percentage of black people, this percentage of Latino people, Asian American. If we’re talking about women, how many women of color? How many of them are in major decision-making roles? You saying, “Oh well, you know the office is about 55% women.” That’s great. But how many of them are actually calling the shots?

Is that where you think there’s a real lack of transparency, in sharing specific numbers?

There’s a huge lack of transparency. Those percentages that I just told you about? No agency gives those out for public consumption. That’s why the advertising industry is losing so many people to the technology industry. The technology industry, Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Google, even smaller tech companies, they are so transparent to their diversity dilemma that they put their numbers out there for the world to see. I personally respect that because at least they’re like, look, this is how bad it is and we’re going to work on this.

What do you think the agency world should be doing about it?

Transparency is just the start. You put all this information out there. Now come the action and the execution. Agencies are so good at the lip service, at pointing out the problem, but when it comes to actual action to fixing the problem? It’s very slow if it’s happening at all. Agencies need to be dissecting exit interviews. They need to look at why people are leaving. Let’s figure why they are leaving so the next person that we bring in won’t have those reasons to leave.

Many agencies have added chief diversity officer positions. Is that helping?

You would think with as many great programs and initiatives that are out there that the needle would have moved. The needle hasn’t moved. The number of young people of color who want to be in this industry has never been higher. They all want to be in advertising, even despite the fact that they don’t see anyone that looks like them in the upper echelons of leadership, they still want to do it. When they get in, then it’s this huge culture shock because they have no one who can empathize with their journey, no one who can sympathize with their journey.

Why is transparency so important to drive change?

It’s that hard sometimes to get people to understand the importance of all of this. This is not a matter of “oh, we want white men or white women out the way.” No, no, no. We just want to share the space. We’re just saying there’s enough sunshine for all of us to feel it on our faces.

Monday, May 13, 2019

14625: Is Anyone Completely Innocent In The Diet Madison Avenue Affair?

Adweek reported on the latest Diet Madison Avenue drama. A defense attorney representing “NY Doe 1”—the first person facing accusations of “defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other violations” from ex-CP+B CCO Ralph Watson and his lawyer—moved to have the lawsuit against his client dismissed. According to Adweek, NY Doe 1 insists he/she “never had access to the DMA Instagram account … and has no idea who did.” A court letter from NY Doe 1’s attorney claimed, “NY Doe 1 does not know Mr. Watson, has never had a professional relationship with him and had no role in writing or publishing the subject posts to the Diet Madison Avenue Instagram account or any other platform.” Gee, if that’s true, it only underscores the obscenely corrupt nature of the DMA crew and their tactics. After all, the anonymous Instagram team apparently targeted people without legal evidence—and now it looks like even uninvolved citizens are experiencing the collateral damage. On the other hand, it seems a tad bizarre—and wildly hypocritical—if Watson and his lawyer are making unfounded claims in a court of law. Why would they attack individuals purporting to be nothing more than DMA visitors who occasionally left comments? That’s quite a shotgun approach to seeking justice. Can’t help but wonder, incidentally, if one of the Does might be Cindy Gallop. At this point, it’s tough to identify any innocent parties in the scenario.

Defendant’s Attorney Moves to Have Diet Madison Avenue Defamation Lawsuit Dismissed

‘NY Doe 1’ claims she has no idea who ran the account

By Patrick Coffee

This week brought the latest development in the labyrinthine legal case surrounding Diet Madison Avenue, the anonymous social media entity that captivated the ad industry last year when it named men accused of sexual harassment and related offenses on Instagram and Twitter.

Attorney Errol F. Margolin of Manhattan firm Margolin & Pierce filed a letter with Judge John G. Koeltl of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York on Wednesday seeking to have all complaints against his client, “NY Doe 1,” or Jane Doe 1, dismissed. Doe 1 was the first in a series of five unnamed defendants accused of defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other violations in a suit filed on Jan. 17 by Michael Ayotte, the attorney representing former Crispin Porter Bogusky chief creative officer Ralph Watson.

In the letter, which is embedded in full at the bottom of this story, Margolin wrote that his client never had access to the DMA Instagram account that accused Watson of “being an unrepentant sexual predator” and has no idea who did.

Attorneys for both Watson and Jane Doe 1 have not responded to requests for comment. Diet Madison Avenue directed all queries to its primary lawyer, A. Louis Dorny, who declined to comment on the group’s behalf.

Watson lost his job in February 2018 after a series of Instagram posts claimed he had “targeted and groomed” young women. Three months later, his lawyer filed suit in Los Angeles County against DMA as well as two Jane Does he believed to be behind the account. That suit called all of DMA’s claims false and stated that Watson “has never sexually harassed anyone.” It also subpoenaed Instagram, Facebook and Google for information regarding the identities of the people running the account.

The onetime creative leader then sued his former agency and parent company MDC Partners for wrongful termination and “reverse sex discrimination.” The holding company has consistently said it “stands by its decision to terminate Mr. Watson’s employment.”

More than a month ago, Ayotte requested that Koeltl delay an April 22 hearing by 60 days, claiming he would be receiving identifying information about the people behind Diet Madison Avenue from Facebook and Instagram “within the next week” after the judge in the California case lifted a stay on the subpoena.

The judge granted Ayotte’s request, but it is unclear whether the attorney has acquired any identifying information.

“We respond to valid legal requests but don’t comment on specific cases,” an Instagram spokesperson said in April when asked whether the platform would be providing any information to Watson’s attorney.

“NY Doe 1 does not know Mr. Watson, has never had a professional relationship with him and had no role in writing or publishing the subject posts to the Diet Madison Avenue Instagram account or any other platform,” Margolin wrote in the letter filed this week.

The letter goes on to claim that Jane Doe 1 has no idea who posted the stories in question and “has no association with the Diet Madison Avenue account” beyond following it and leaving comments on some of its posts, none of which related to Mr. Watson.

“[Watson] may have met his burden of stating a legally sufficient cause of action against Diet Madison Avenue,” the letter reads, but he has failed to establish a connection between the group and Jane Doe 1. Ultimately, Margolin wrote, Watson cannot support “the inference that NY Doe 1 (or anyone else) knowingly defamed him.”

The next hearing in the New York case is scheduled for May 29.

Sunday, May 12, 2019

14624: Mentioning Mentors For The Marginalized. Meh.

Advertising Age published a perspective by Hill Holliday Chief Innovation Officer Mike Proulx, who revealed, “Why mentorships matter for the marginalized.” Um, haven’t initiatives like MAIP recognized such an obvious point for over 40 years? And technically, mentorships benefit everyone—regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, age, creed, class, political affiliation and any other category. Indeed, White people have dominated the industry by tapping like-colored mentors. One doesn’t need a Chief Innovation Officer to uncover a commonly known fact. Or maybe the culturally clueless do need innovative—albeit basic—enlightenment.

Why mentorships matter for the marginalized

A study shows the benefits of not going it alone

By Mike Proulx

We all know the discouraging stats when it comes to underrepresented groups in corporate leadership roles. Only 5 percent of the S&P 500 CEOs are women. There are just three black CEOs at Fortune 500 companies, the lowest figure since 2002, and only three CEOs from the LGBTQ community as of last July, according to the January 2019 Fortune 500 list.

As a gay C-suite executive, I consider myself lucky to work in an environment that celebrates diversity and inclusion. But I didn’t get here alone. Having strong mentorship early in my professional development helped propel me and prepare me for leadership in a way I couldn’t have designed for myself. One mentor, the late Don Harley, who had worked at the University of New Hampshire while I was a woefully unconfident sophomore there, gave me sage perspective whenever I failed, and kept me humble when I achieved. His fundamental faith in my nascent abilities ignited a self-reliance that laid the foundation of my career. And while I’ll always be a work-in-progress, I’m a far better leader because of the mentors, like Don, I’ve had along the way.

I’ve always believed in the old adage that success happens when preparation meets opportunity, and mentorship plays a big role in that formula. I was curious whether any correlation existed between feeling successful as an underrepresented leader and being mentored, so I worked with our in-house research organization, Origin, to field a study of more than 2,600 working Americans. After segmenting the results into various underrepresented groups (women, people of color and LGBTQ), a clear pattern emerged.

Women with mentors are more likely to hold senior leadership positions: In the study, 25 percent of female respondents who have had a mentor hold C-suite or senior management roles, versus only 10 percent of women who have never had a mentor. More women who have had mentors find purpose in their work (71 percent versus 58 percent of women who have never had a mentor) and feel accepted at their jobs (75 percent versus 59 percent). Additionally, 70 percent of women who have had a mentor believe that they matter at work, versus 53 percent of women who have never had a mentor.

People of color with mentors tend to believe their talents are being used:

Sixty-five percent of people of color who responded to the survey and have had a mentor agree that all of their talents are being used at work, compared to 45 percent of those who have not been mentored. They are more likely to believe management is concerned about them, feel they receive recognition for a job well done, and say their wages are good. In fact, 20 percent of people of color surveyed who have had mentors reported earning a salary above six figures, compared to only 8 percent who have never had a mentor.

LGBTQ employees with mentors feel more successful overall: Seventy percent of LGBTQ employees who have had mentors feel successful at work versus just 47 percent of those who haven’t been mentored. More say they receive more promotions (74 percent versus 49 percent) and feel valued at work (67 percent versus 45 percent). In fact, 38 percent of mentored LGBTQ employees hold C-suite or senior management roles, versus just 17 percent of those who have never had a mentor.

No matter how the data gets cut, underrepresented employees benefited from having had mentors, which highlights the need for companies to invest in mentorship programs that embrace diversity and inclusion.

Make it authentic

Yet despite good intentions, in my experience corporate mentorship efforts tend to fail if they’re overly fabricated, rigid or mandatory. A serendipitous mentor-to-mentee relationship is arguably far more effective than a forced one. And that’s why companies aren’t the only ones on the hook for this.

Some of the most authentic mentoring relationships happen when they’re organically initiated, either by the mentor or the mentee. Potential mentors should use their past experiences to nurture instinctive mentee matches by reaching out to underrepresented high-potential employees. And with a little courage, simply asking a respected leader to mentor them is the best tool for mentee hand-raisers to find their perfect match.

If ever the scales of representation in corporate leadership roles are to get balanced, it has to start with underrepresented leaders-in-the-making believing in themselves. And that’s why mentorship is so important. As my mentor, Don, once told me decades ago, “People need to believe that they matter. The good leader makes people transcend the feeling that they are just a cog in the wheel or a brick in the wall—they matter as part of the team.”

Saturday, May 11, 2019

14623: The Next-To-Last Straw.

The Last Straw was not the last straw. Here’s yet another anti-straw advertisement featuring turtles. Are all these hacks working from the same lame brief?

Friday, May 10, 2019

14622: The Last Straw.

Looks like everyone is jumping on the anti-straw bandwagon.

Mickey D’s and 7-Eleven, however, seem oblivious to the cause.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

14621: Benefiting From And Taking Advantage Of A Bone-Crushing Crisis.

Advertising Age reported The Martin Agency CEO Kristen Cavallo declared “she hopes every company experiences ‘a bone-crushing crisis,’ because ‘you won’t show the courage to change’ without it.” Does that mean Cavallo must have her bones crushed before she’ll make good on her “We’re on it” pledge for true diversity? Cavallo’s admission is pathetic when considering the number of women allegedly abused for decades at The Martin Agency. Sorry, but that kind of institutionalized insanity doesn’t qualify as a crisis—rather, it’s a cultural cancer. For Cavallo to recognize that “the really sad part of this whole thing is that none of what we did required a crisis” underscores the unconscionable lack of ethics and integrity at her White advertising agency. After all, the late Mike Hughes confessed, “We’ve done a pretty poor job on diversity as an industry and we’ve got to do better.” Yet Cavallo has done no better than Hughes—despite the fact that both live/lived in a region where Blacks comprise over 50% of the population. Sorry, but folks like Cavallo put the “Me” in MeToo.

The Martin Agency CEO and Nike VP discuss the benefits of undergoing a MeToo scandal

Kristen Cavallo and Mel Strong say they needed crisis to change their organizational culture

By Lindsay Rittenhouse

The Martin Agency CEO Kristen Cavallo says she hopes every company experiences “a bone-crushing crisis,” because “you won’t show the courage to change” without it.

Speaking on a panel at VentureFuel’s first Rogue Women event on Tuesday, Cavallo spoke openly about taking the helm of the Interpublic Group of Cos. agency following the high-profile ouster of former Chief Creative Officer Joe Alexander in late 2017 due to sexual harassment claims made against him.

“I should start by saying I never had the ambition to be a CEO,” Cavallo told the audience. “I actually aspired to be No. 2. I rationalized it to myself like a chessboard. I thought the king on a chessboard can only move one square at a time. The queen can go in every direction, as many squares as she wants. So I thought that’s my goal.”

She continued, “But I got the top job, I’m not going to lie, because I’m a woman who lived in the city, who enabled them to change a narrative overnight and I’m upfront and honest about that.”

Cavallo was U.S. chief strategy and growth officer for MullenLowe before becoming the first female CEO of Richmond Virginia-based The Martin Agency. Under her direction, she appointed the first female chief creative officer, Kristen Costello. Cavallo doubled the number of female executives on The Martin Agency’s board. She added the first person of color to the executive team. She closed the wage gap. She tripled the agency’s paternity leave.

“The fun part of taking over a branding crisis, which is really not fun, is you have permission to burn lots of bridges,” said Cavallo, who was also recently named Ad Age’s Executive of the Year. “We did probably 75 things last year. We just burned everything. And the really sad part of this whole thing is that none of what we did required a crisis.”

Melanie Strong, VP and general manager of Nike’s global skateboarding division, speaking on the same panel as Cavallo, said that she “woke up on January 1 this year praying for a recession,” because historically during recessions, the athletic apparel and footwear company undergoes a reorganization.

Strong almost left Nike in 2017 due to its widely-reported toxic culture but decided to stay. She helped lead the group of women at Nike’s Beaverton, Ore.-based headquarters that surveyed their female colleagues and unveiled countless stories of sexual harassment and gender discrimination that led to the departure of several of the company’s top male executives.

“We were terrified, honestly,” Strong said. “That fear was a predominant element of our culture at that time. Fear is a powerful motivator. Short-term, you can get a lot out of people. Long-term, it’s devastating.”

Over the course of a couple months that culminated at the end of 2017, Strong said the group gathered about 500 stories to present to Nike President, Chairman and CEO Mark Parker, ranging from “bullying and toxic bias to a lot of sexual harassment … so then we got more scared.”

Strong said she believes without those allegations coming to light, campaigns like the recent “Just Do It” spots with Serena Williams and Colin Kaepernick wouldn’t have happened.

“We lost accounts because of that campaign [with Kaepernick], specifically our golf Nike accounts, which may not surprise you,” Strong said. “We said, ‘Cool, see ya.’ When you put a flag down on your values as a company, you’ve got to walk the walk. We continue to put pressure on ourselves to not just do unique campaigns but to walk the walk.”

She did, however, admit that her biggest concern now is that “we’re sliding back into old muscle memory” because although Nike fired certain executives and initiated certain training around diversity and unconscious bias, the company did not undergo a company-wide reorganization. “You’re still probably reporting to the same person and sitting in the same department,” she said.

Cavallo and Strong were among a room full of female marketing leaders who attended and spoke at the first Rogue Women event at which VentureFuel introduced a dedicated fund to back female-led companies.

“We wanted to create an environment to connect dynamic women from across large corporations, startups and investors to facilitate new relationships and encourage the next generation of change agents,” VentureFuel founder Fred Schonenberg said. “I was thrilled at the diversity of thought and raw, authentic sharing from each of the speakers. The whole day felt like a master class in how to drive change for your career, business and culture overall.”

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

14620: Talking Bullshit About Speaking English.

This campaign from Brazil feels kinda racist, declaring you’ll stand out when you speak English. The visuals also seem culturally clueless with the crowds of light-skinned Brazilians. Then again, if you’re a light-skinned Brazilian who speaks English, you’ve got a great shot of landing a job in a U.S. advertising agency.

Tuesday, May 07, 2019

14619: Does Antonio Lucio Want To Give Facebook A Marketing And Multicultural Makeover?

Advertising Age reported on the latest escapades of former HP CMO and current Facebook CMO Antonio Lucio, who just launched a new advertising campaign to reinvent the social network as a friendly and diverse place. “What you’re going to see from us from now on is much more of a regular beat on all the progress that we are making,” declared Lucio. “We need to make sure that we are participants in the way that our story is told and not just on the receiving end.” That sounds like marketing mumbo jumbo from a world-class con artist. Hey, Facebook recently took heat from the NAACP for civil rights abuses—so the solution is to hand the propaganda reins to a guy whose patronizing stunt admittedly failed to bring racial progress to the advertising industry…? And is it a clever coincidence that the Ad Age article was illustrated with a photo of a Black family (depicted above)? Ad Age wrote, “The fight against abusive accounts is one of the main pillars of Lucio’s messaging strategy. Facebook needs to ‘eliminate white supremacists and nationalist groups’ content from the platform,’ [Lucio] says.” That’s a tall order, given that Lucio couldn’t even curb cultural cluelessness in a handful of White advertising agencies.

Facebook CMO Antonio Lucio plans to rebuild trust, starting with an ad campaign

New marketing chief looks to restore a sense of positivity

By Garett Sloane

Facebook’s new CMO Antonio Lucio is on the offensive against the offensive. The social network is about to embark on a feel-good marketing campaign to restore a sense of positivity around the company’s future, but first it has to extinguish the hate.

Lucio joined Facebook in September during a time of upheaval at the social media giant: The company was embroiled in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, there were investigations from Washington to Brussels into privacy lapses, and there was an aura of toxicity around the platform amplifying the most offensive voices. Those issues are all still ongoing, but in a rare interview since joining the company, Lucio says the plan to rebuild “trust and value” in Facebook starts with reclaiming the platform and message.

“What you’re going to see from us from now on is much more of a regular beat on all the progress that we are making,” Lucio says. “We need to make sure that we are participants in the way that our story is told and not just on the receiving end.”

On Friday, the first advertising component was unveiled with TV commercials, online videos and billboards, all with a focus on Groups, the niche communities that are now central to the platform. The slogan of the campaign is “More Together,” and it highlights the community-building aspects of Groups, which bring together like-minded people around shared interests like fatherhood, cars and barbecue.

Before debuting the fluffy campaign, though, Facebook first had some dirty-work to handle.

On Thursday, the company banned notorious instigators Paul Joseph Watson, Laura Loomer and Milo Yiannopoulos, who represent some of the vitriolic accounts that have turned Facebook, and much of social media, into a combat zone. The timing of the bans, coinciding with the saccharine ad campaign, shows that Facebook is trying to retake control of how it’s talked about publicly.

“People are a bit tired of the fast-paced, loud, hyper-polarized environment in which we’re living around the world,” Lucio says, speaking just days in advance of the purge. “They want to find a common ground, things that they share with people.”

The fight against abusive accounts is one of the main pillars of Lucio’s messaging strategy. Facebook needs to “eliminate white supremacists and nationalist groups’ content from the platform,” he says.

Earlier in the week, Facebook had another message at its F8 developer conference, which brings together its most ardent supporters for a showcase of new products and updates. It was at F8 that CEO Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a redesign to the main Facebook app and discussed the company’s new mission—a refreshed look to go with the refreshed strategy.

Zuckerberg talked about the new focus for his company: building encrypted messaging so communication remains private. He talked about impermanence, creating products like video Stories, which disappear so they don’t haunt users later in life. He also talked about “interoperability,” unifying the apps in the ecosystem—Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp—so that people can communicate across all of them.

As for the redesigned main app, it lost its signature blue banner, it is more airy with whitespace and modern. There is also a new emphasis on Groups, which will be clear from the marketing campaign that starts rolling out on Monday.

“What happens with Groups is that you are in a small audience that is more relevant to something that you want to talk about,” says Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook app. “We see a lot of people talking about things in Groups that they wouldn’t talk to their friends about in private.”

The ad campaign to promote Groups will serve as a public relations tool, too, showing off the more positive side of Facebook. Wieden & Kennedy, Freuds and Facebook’s internal team, Creative X, developed the marketing plan and creative strategy, which features “real people, real stories,” from among the 400 million people who use Groups, Lucio says.

“When they talk about their experience within the platform it is the experience that we all should have,” Lucio says. “This is the place where Facebook is at its best, where information is shared, joy is spread, problems big and small are solved, and even small businesses are born.”

Monday, May 06, 2019

14618: Adweek Is Visibly Clueless About The Culture At Cannes.

Adweek is teaming up with InVisible Creatives to shame advertising agencies into sending “rising female talent” to Cannes. Meanwhile, the true invisible creatives who manage to land at Cannes can expect to be mistaken for hotel help and hookers.

Adweek and InVisible Creatives Call on Agencies to Send Rising Female Talent to Cannes

Copywriters, designers and acds deserve more visibility and opportunity at advertising’s biggest event

By Adweek Staff

Few major events in the advertising industry offer more opportunities for professional development than the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, and yet it’s rare to see agency talents there who have not already reached the senior leadership ranks.

While Cannes has made strides in diversifying its speaker roster and jury pools, the audience still skews largely male, with relatively few women in the industry being given the opportunity to celebrate their best work and learn from their peers.

To help more women get access to the professional-development benefits of attending the Cannes Lions, Adweek and global advocacy group InVisible Creatives are joining forces with a call for agencies and in-house studios to honor the women who work on top-tier campaigns by sending them to the festival.

It’s a win-win for agencies, with Adweek and InVisible Creatives offering these selected employees VIP access to Cannes events and ongoing mentorship opportunities with some of today’s top brand marketers.

InVisible Creatives, founded in September 2018, aims to boost and celebrate women in creative roles such as copywriter, art director or associate creative director. The organization regularly shares its members’ portfolios and career ambitions on Instagram, and now it hopes to help make these women more visible at the Cannes Lions as well.

“We aim to give women more visibility at Cannes and put them in the spotlight,” says Maddy Kramer, a co-founder of InVisible Creatives and associate creative director at Anomaly New York. “We want more female creatives on stage and being protagonists of a festival that’s still predominantly male.”

To join this effort, simply fill out this online form to let Adweek know which female, non-executive creatives your agency is sending to Cannes. If you’re not yet sending any, we encourage you to consider it and let us know via the form once you’ve booked their travel.

Women who attend Cannes as part of this initiative will receive:

• VIP access to Adweek events throughout the week, including presentations by many of today’s top brand marketers and creative icons

• Invitations to customized mentorship events tailored to rising female creative talent

• Hands-on training on public speaking and interacting with the media

• Networking opportunities with Adweek editors and brand marketers

• Agency acknowledgment via and Adweek’s social channels

• Companywide Adweek membership discounts for participating agencies

• Discounted tickets to future Adweek professional development events

“At its best, the Cannes Lions is about two things: celebrating creative excellence and developing your professional skills alongside the world’s top talent,” says Stephanie Paterik, Adweek’s managing editor. “Women who are rising through the ranks of creative departments deserve those opportunities, and they have crucial insights to add to the conversations happening at the festival.”

This opportunity is open to women of any age or career background, as long as they are currently in creative positions below the higher leadership levels most often seen represented at Cannes.

“It’s important to note this isn’t just about young talent,” Paterik says. “There are women of all ages in roles like copywriter, senior art director or associate creative director, yet many of them have never had the chance to attend a key event like Cannes. We’re hoping to see a wide range of experience levels represented at this year’s festival and not just the usual C-suite crowd.”

Beyond the benefits being offered to participating agencies through this initiative, the inspiration and mentorship sparked at Cannes will have a long-term positive impact on both the agencies and the festival itself.

“To start accelerating the change, it’s paramount to start seeing more female creatives on stage, not hidden in the credits,” says Laura Visco, InVisible Creatives co-founder and deputy executive creative director at 72andSunny Amsterdam, “because these creatives and their fantastic ideas are the ones junior creatives will look up to and get inspired.”

If your agency is already sending rising female creative talent to Cannes or now plans to do so, be sure to fill out this form so that Adweek and InVisible Creatives can follow up with more detailed information about the opportunities ahead.