Wednesday, July 31, 2019

14710: Procter & Gamble Gambling On Gillette Is Not Paying Off.

Advertising Age reported on Procter & Gamble announcing its best quarterly and fiscal-year sales growth in a decade. However, the financial gains were cut by the following admission:

Despite the strong top-line—up 5 percent organically for the full year—P&G recorded a net loss of $2.12 per share, due largely to an $8 billion non-cash writedown of the value of the Gillette shave business. P&G said that move reflected—in order of impact—currency devaluations, a long-term trend toward men shaving less in developed countries, and increased price-focused competition over the 14 years since P&G acquired the business in a $57 billion deal.

Or maybe men in developed countries simply aren’t buying the bullshit of divertisements that ultimately insult them. Don’t look for The Look to turn things around, Marc Pritchard.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

14709: T-Mobile Takeover Of Sprint Is An Obscene Call.

Business Insider reported on the T-Mobile $26.5 billion takeover of Sprint. First of all, the move is hardly surprising, given that Sprint has been a telecommunications train wreck for years. Expect chaos in the months ahead as the transition process leads to reorganizations, resignations and redundancies—that is, there will be rampant terminations. Here’s hoping the first casualty will be the former Verizon “Can You Here Me Now?” character who defected to Sprint.

It’s official—T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion takeover of rival Sprint was just approved, despite fears of higher prices and job cuts

By Tali Arbel and Marcy Gordon, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. regulators are approving T-Mobile’s $26.5 billion takeover of rival Sprint, despite fears of higher prices and job cuts.

Friday’s approval by the Justice Department and five state attorneys general comes after Sprint and T-Mobile agreed to conditions that would set up satellite-TV provider Dish as a fourth wireless company, so the number of major U.S. providers remains at four.

Dish is buying prepaid cellphone brands such as Boost and Virgin Mobile and some spectrum, or airwaves for wireless service, from the two companies. It will also be able to rent T-Mobile’s network for seven years while it builds its own. The Justice Department’s antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, said the settlement sets up Dish “as a disruptive force in wireless.”

Sprint and T-Mobile combined would now approach the size of Verizon and AT&T. The companies have argued that bulking up will mean a better next-generation “5G” wireless network than they could make on their own.

The two companies tried to combine during the Obama administration but regulators rebuffed them. They resumed talks on combining once President Donald Trump took office, hoping for more industry-friendly regulators. The companies appealed to Trump’s desire for the U.S. to “win” a global 5G race with China as this faster, more reliable wireless is rolled out and applications are built for it.

Meanwhile, the Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission agreed in May to back the deal after T-Mobile promised to build out rural broadband and 5G, sell its Boost prepaid brand and keep prices on hold for three years.

But public-interest advocates complained the FCC conditions did not address the problems of the merger—higher prices, less wireless competition—and would be difficult for regulators to enforce.

Attorneys general from 13 states and the District of Columbia then filed a lawsuit to block the deal. They say the promised benefits, such as better networks in rural areas and faster service overall, cannot be verified, while eliminating a major wireless company will immediately harm consumers by reducing competition and driving up prices for cellphone service.

They may not be satisfied with the settlement and choose to press ahead.

A judge must also approve the Justice Department’s settlement.

Monday, July 29, 2019

14708: Mickey D’s Hints We Are Unlimited Has A Limited-Time AOR Status.

Advertising Age reported We Are Unlimited likely has a limited time remaining on its AOR position with Mickey D’s. This should not be surprising, as the White advertising agency is responsible for the worst Mickey D’s campaigns in the last few decades at least. If the fast feeder launches an account review, look for Wendy Clark to recruit Ted Royer for the pitch. A Mickey D’s spokesperson claimed, “For some time, the McDonald’s U.S. marketing team has been evaluating an agency model that mirrors the significant transformation in the U.S. market.” Of course, that statement does not translate to the McClient looking beyond White advertising agencies for its roster.

McDonald’s re-evaluates agency model

DDB’s We Are Unlimited faces new threats on the account

By E.J. Schultz

McDonald’s is re-evaluating its agency model, putting more pressure on We Are Unlimited, the agency that Omnicom’s DDB created in 2016 to handle U.S creative for the restaurant chain.

“For some time, the McDonald’s U.S. marketing team has been evaluating an agency model that mirrors the significant transformation in the U.S. market,” a spokesman said in a statement. “An internal process to identify the model that is best for our business and for our customers is underway and nearing completion.”

McDonald’s recently put a significant project out to bid with Wieden & Kennedy New York and TBWA\Chait\Day Los Angeles emerging as finalists, according to multiple people familiar with the matter. McDonald’s has worked globally with TBWA for more than three decades and recently expanded its relationship with TBWA in the U.S., including for work on creative and design assignments, including for McCafe.

If W&K triumphs in this major assignment, it would add a new threat for We Are Unlimited. Still, W&K must navigate potentially thorny conflict concerns since it handles KFC from its Portland office. The chicken chain is a major W&K client and one with which the shop has enjoyed creative freedoms to pump out highly regarded work around the KFC’s Colonel character.

KFC representatives did not return messages asking about conflict issues.

Asked if McDonald’s has selected a winner in the pitch, a spokesman referred back to the company’s statement that the process is “nearing completion.”

We Are Unlimited was formed after a major creative agency review that saw the end of the fast-feeder’s 35-year relationship with Publicis’ Leo Burnett. The creation of the bespoke agency was spearheaded by then-DDB North America CEO Wendy Clark, who has since been promoted to CEO of DDB Worldwide. It was formed under the direction of then-McDonald’s USA Chief Marketing Officer. She left in 2017 and was replaced by Morgan Flatley, who had been chief marketing officer for PepsiCo-owned Gatorade, which has long used TBWA.

We Are Unlimited has seen notable changes of late, with the departure of CCO Toygar Bazarkay earlier this month.

McDonald’s on Friday reported that same-store sales grew 6.5 globally in the second quarter, which according to Bloomberg marks the chain’s biggest sales gain since 2012. U.S. sales shot up 5.7 percent, with the company attributing the rise to “successful national and local deal offerings, including the 2 for $5 Mix and Match deal.”

Contributing: Ann-Christine Diaz, Lindsay Rittenhouse

Sunday, July 28, 2019

14707: Kicking Sand In The Face Of Suffering Patients.

This advertisement from India demonstrates again that pharmaceutical advertising sucks worldwide. It looks like the cardio-diabetic patient is being awoken with a sand shower. The responsible creative team should have been told to restart the sand clock and search for a better idea—or for a new job.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

14706: Just Due It—Miles Nadal Pays Huge Sum For Sneakers.

AgencySpy posted about former MDC Partners CEO Miles Nadal paying $437,500 for rare sneakers. Meanwhile, MDC Partners can barely afford to buy a pair of shoelaces, as the White holding company continues to operate on a shoestring budget.

Friday, July 26, 2019

14705: Whitewashed And Brainwashed Over Diversity Efforts.

Adweek published a protracted perspective from Electronic Arts Head of Global Marketing Intelligence Belinda Smith, who seemingly discovered divertsity, likely after getting run over by the White women’s bandwagon. Smith offered 5 ways to enhance diversity initiatives, apparently not realizing heat shields are deliberate duplicity designed to perpetuate exclusivity. Somebody tell Smith that such PR (patently racist) schemes are whitewashed because Whites are doing the washing—except in cases where hired minorities handle the dirty laundry. In the advertising industry, “diversity efforts” is an oxymoron. That is, Whites are not making any effort to promote progress.

Diversity Efforts Are Often Whitewashed and Dulled Down. Here Are 5 Ways to Improve These Initiatives

Advertising has rebranded the term, and it isn’t a positive change

By Belinda Smith

As we round out July, I am taking refuge in the fact that we’ve survived another round of the International Festival of Press Releases, sometimes referred to as Cannes Lions.

This year’s festival followed the patterns of years past. The biggest spending, hottest and most powerful of the advertising industry went to France to ensure they beat their chests about the things that are critically important to them, things they talk about once a year at Cannes. C-suite and svps took to LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to show themselves holding microphones and waxing poetic about the on-trend topics. In many ways, this year was largely about diversity.

Following along from home, I saw a slew of new and renewed initiatives aimed at tackling diversity in advertising. And what I mean by that is I saw many high-ranking white men and white women making the case for why it’s a grave issue that there are not more women in advertising and the advertising industry, especially in leadership roles. A statement I don’t necessarily disagree with. The Female Quotient showed up again, promoting conversation around the GEM score (gender equality measure) and spoke about diversity with leaders of the industry’s biggest brands. The ANA’s #SeeHer came back for another year, also with support from big entertainment brands. The UN Women’s Unstereotype Alliance garnered a lot of ink, especially with their executive director being awarded the Cannes Lion Heart.

Being black, I’ve always been excited to hear companies commit to diversity. It is the singular initiative in many companies that directly relates to me. As an industry, we don’t talk about black people—or the lack of them—or why we need to include them or why we should make products for them or advertise to them or acknowledge them, unless we’re specifically talking about diversity. So, in theory, I would have been very excited for the programming at Cannes this year, except for one thing: Diversity has now been co-opted to simply mean “women,” and most often to mean “white women.”

The ad industry has rebranded diversity, and while I’m furious about it, I can’t say that I’m surprised. It’s as sad as it is clever. Now companies can commit to diversity by championing a non-minority population. They can go to Cannes and say they are committed to facing the hard conversations about representation, inclusion and belonging without having to acknowledge racial, ethnic or socioeconomic minorities. The saddest part is that many of the initiatives I mentioned above do touch on intersectionality (that is to say, women of color), but when their panels, messages and hashtags spread widely, that nuance is lost.

You know what sucks? Being the only black person in a company, building, department or team and feeling incredibly out of place, isolated, devalued and misunderstood every day. It sucks to be in that situation and to get excited when someone unveils a new diversity initiative before realizing that these diversity efforts are not aimed at acknowledging you but instead will be considered successful if their outcome is getting more white women into leadership positions.

In the rarer places where diversity is used more broadly, it often focuses on entry-level talent or new job applicants. It’s a game to increase numbers or percentage points that can be shown in an annual report without thinking through the experience minorities will have when they come to work each day. It ignores if they are fairly compensated and given high-visibility opportunities to succeed and be promoted. It doesn’t show if they are able to access mentors and champions, have their voices heard or impact the business in a tangible way. It is incomplete.

But hope is not lost. Here are five ways we can fix our diversity problem.

Hire racial and ethnic minorities at the highest levels of your organization

In many organizations, change comes from the top. Executive leaders set the culture of the organization, play a big role in recruiting and developing talent and, most importantly, are empowered to make decisions about the business. We need to stop focusing on entry-level talent who are not empowered to affect change.

What if H&M, Gucci, Pepsi and others had minority leaders who were able to make decisions on their products and advertising? Would they have found themselves in such compromising and seemingly tone-deaf positions that left us to question their commitment to diversity? Having a diverse workforce is not meaningful if your diverse employees don’t have a say in the decisions that are made to run the business.

Assign high-visibility and impactful work to your minority employees

Minorities lack the powerful networks, mentors and champions that propel careers forward. Let’s acknowledge that by assigning some of your most crucial, valuable and important work to minority candidates. This gives them an opportunity to gain exposure and experience across the organization so they can be seen, heard and receive feedback from important stakeholders. It’s a way to develop and nurture talent without having to create another mentorship program.

Identify where decisions are made and increase minority representation there

This could be newsroom meetings, oversight or review committees, leadership councils, etc. Having a diverse array of representation in these places makes the work and outcomes of those meetings and committees more diverse. Just how initiatives like Free the Bid improve representation and portrayals of women when women are involved in the production and decision-making process, the same is true for minorities.

Promote the minorities that already work for you

Diversity doesn’t have to always be about hiring. It is equally important to show your commitment to empowering the diverse voices that already exist in your organization. Why bring in new talent if they don’t have leaders they can look to about how to grow and advance. If focusing on hiring is talking the talk, then promoting the people you already have is walking the walk.

Bring compensation for minorities up to par with white counterparts

Many companies or hiring managers explain differences in pay between people at the same level by saying the candidates have different experience. That may be true, but if two people are hired to do the same type and level of work, then they should be compensated according to the job. Otherwise you could be penalizing minorities for lacking access. Access to the best schools, ability to take unpaid internships, recommendations from or relationships with the C-suite and the ability to afford executive coaches or be assigned coveted projects. Paying someone less for systematic exclusion from opportunity only serves to perpetuate the cycle.

The fact is there is a lot we can do today to address these issues. There is a lot we can do without kicking off a new campaign, project, education series, mentorship program or other things that are high in visibility and low in impact. If there were an award category, panel, case study or even yacht party around the companies that were able to make significant progress against these five issues, I would certainly reconsider my Cannes-never policy.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

14704: Inappropriately Praying To Win Awards In Advertising.

This campaign from Israel presents another example of awards show advertising that is hardly worthy of awards. And the work is offensive to boot. Jesus.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

14703: Shameful Indian Campaign Is Clearly Wrong. Or Rong.

Why does this campaign from India shame people for speaking in imperfect English? Seems like the lingering effects of colonialism—just saying.

14702: Cindy Gallop’s Act Is Getting Obscenely Old And Tired.

Campaign reported on the latest self-promotional stunt from Divertsity Dame Cindy Gallop, who posted a disruptive divertisement for her porn hobby. If a male advertising executive publicly promoted such a venture, it’s a safe bet that Gallop and Diet Madison Avenue would call for his execution. The hypocrisy only underscores Gallop’s thorough lack of character and credibility. Looks like Kevin Roberts was spot on when saying of Gallop, “I think she’s got problems that are of her own making. I think she’s making up a lot of the stuff to create a profile, and to take applause, and to get on a soap[box].” Gallop’s got more soapboxes that Procter & Gamble and Unilever combined. And somebody needs to wash her mouth out with soap.

Here’s why Cindy Gallop projected social sex on NYC buildings this weekend

By Lindsay Stein

The diversity and inclusion advocate launched a guerilla marketing effort to fight censorship.

Cindy Gallop has had it with the strict rules and increasing limitations around adult content on social platforms and in advertising, so the CEO and founder of MakeLoveNotPorn decided to take matters into her own hands over the weekend.

On Friday and Saturday night, Gallop launched a guerilla marketing effort for MakeLoveNotPorn (MLNP) in New York City to tackle current censorship taking place across advertising channels. The outspoken diversity and inclusion advocate projected films and images to promote and help recruit for MLNP — a user-generated social sex video-sharing platform — on buildings in the city, including 14th and Broadway, 14th and 8thAvenue and Houston & MacDougal.

Gallop launched MLNP about 10 years ago to help drive healthy conversations around real sex and erase harmful myths and stigmas put into society by the hardcore porn industry.

Throughout her journey with MLNP, Gallop has struggled — like many sex tech companies — to promote her company through advertising, whether with traditional spots, billboards or social placements.

Without the option of using traditional OOH buys, Gallop teamed up with Jane Wayne Productions on her guerilla marketing effort to raise awareness of censorship issues as well as her company.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

14701: Havas Halloween Harassment Hush-Hush.

Why were there no follow-up reports or reprimands for the inappropriate sexploitation at the Havas Halloween debauchery and depravity? Just wondering.

Monday, July 22, 2019

14700: In Advertising Industry, Unconscious Bias Is Unconscionable BS.

Adweek published a pathetic perspective from Forsman & Bodenfors New York Talent Experience Director Genevieve Robles, who opined, “How Agencies Can Fight Against Unconscious Biases When Hiring.” Gee, didn’t the White advertising agency already solve the global problem with its Grow Your Circle heat shield? Robles unintentionally exposed the industry’s ignorance by spotlighting common practices that perpetuate exclusivity and prevent progress. Sorry, but any advertising executive with hiring authority who suffers from unconscious bias should be relieved of his or her recruitment duties—or relieved altogether. It’s time to call out—and throw out—the people who put the con in unconscious bias.

How Agencies Can Fight Against Unconscious Biases When Hiring

Because otherwise the problem will just get worse

By Genevieve Robles

No one starts their hiring process by saying, “Today I’m going to make some biased hiring decisions.” But those decisions happen every day, and the advertising industry—despite some agencies’ best efforts—remains far too homogenous, with some groups significantly underrepresented.

One reason bias is so pervasive is that it’s part of human nature. It’s a byproduct of the way people form categories and make sense of the world. But in the workplace, bias is like a disease, and it’s only going to get worse unless companies take deliberate steps to address it.

Here are three areas where unconscious bias has the biggest effect on hiring decisions and how agencies can fight back.

Referral programs

In theory, referral programs are a powerful hiring tool. They give agencies critical information about applicants, and they reward current employees for networking. But all too often, referrals become a way for agencies to keep hiring people from the same social circles.

Instead, hiring managers should treat referrals as one part of a broader approach to building a talent pipeline. This means that even if you have a great referral come in, you should still conduct comprehensive, formal job searches and openly post official job descriptions for available roles. Explain to employees that referrals should be considered a way to welcome underrepresented people into the industry. When you ask them to send in candidates, remind them of the agency’s goal to increase the representation of key groups. Increasing diversity in recruitment pipelines should be everyone’s shared responsibility.

Interview feedback

We’ve all been there: A candidate comes in for a series of interviews, and after they leave, every person who met with them gathers in the conference room to offer their review. Cue the group dynamic. The loudest voice in the room dominates, most people stay silent, and soon, everyone else is nodding along.

To get objective, honest feedback on candidates, check in with interviewers individually. Some organizations do it via email, while others use applicant tracking software. Either way, every interviewer should provide feedback about the candidate independently without creating an opportunity to be swayed by their colleagues. Use the qualifications described in the job description as a standard of measurement, and make sure all of the interviewers base their feedback on those qualifications. That doesn’t mean you can’t leave room for unique experiences and diverse skill sets, but be sure all of the feedback relates back to the candidate’s ability to do the job at hand.

Starting salary

Starting salary is the biggest driver of the pay gap in the U.S., and unconscious bias is often reflected explicitly in starting salaries. Asking prospective hires for their salary history often perpetuates the gender pay gap (and in many areas, including New York, is also illegal). It’s fine to ask for salary expectations, but even that shouldn’t be your only criteria when you’re considering making an offer. Instead, you should establish a clear salary structure with bands for each role that factor in things like tenure and specific qualifications. Agencies should also gather as much intelligence about industry-wide salary levels as possible, keeping in mind that some of those sources may themselves reflect biases in pay levels. You could also consider HR analytics software, which can help you track pay disparity across the company.

For all three parameters, the strategies vary but the ultimate objective is the same: fairer hiring decisions and a workforce that looks less like the advertising industry of a decade ago and more like society at large.

Sunday, July 21, 2019

14699: SAG-AFTRA & BBH Not BFFs—Just BS.

Adweek reported BBH lost its battle against SAG-AFTRA, which featured reprimands for the White advertising agency from A-list celebrities including George Clooney, Tom Hanks and Octavia Spencer. Guess Sir John Hegarty’s alleged resemblance to Clint Eastwood didn’t help.

Ad Agency BBH Loses Fight Against Actors Union SAG-AFTRA

Strike attracted celebrities including Tom Hanks and George Clooney

By Patrick Coffee

Publicis Groupe’s BBH agreed today to abide by recently renegotiated commercial contracts and cast only union actors in its ads, ending a nearly two-year battle with actors union SAG-AFTRA.

The announcement followed a May 15 decision in which administrative law Judge Kenneth W. Chu of the National Labor Relations Board ruled against BBH, finding the ad agency had violated two sections of the National Labor Relations Act when it decided in November 2017 to stop recognizing the union as the exclusive collective bargaining representative of commercial actors.

Nearly one year later, the agency released a statement confirming its plans to withdraw entirely from the contract that shapes relationships between the companies that produce ads and the talent that appears in them. At the time, BBH argued it was “not well-served by a contract that was designed for a traditional media landscape” and newer shops that never signed on operated at an advantage in an era when clients increasingly want digital content produced more quickly for less money.

In his decision, Chu wrote that BBH violated the section of the Labor Relations Act that covers bargaining in good faith with employees’ union representative when it refused to negotiate a new contract in December 2017.

BBH argued that “the union does not enjoy majority support because no permanent employees exist in November 2017,” therefore it did not have to recognize the contract that had applied since the agency opened its first U.S. office in 1998. But Chu ruled against the company, finding that BBH “employed numerous [actors] during the material time with an average of more than one employee in each production” and should remain bound by the contract, which is generally renewed every three years.

Chu’s ruling orders BBH “to recognize and bargain with the union [and] notify the union in writing of any changes made in the unit employees’ wages, hours and other terms and conditions of employment after Nov. 21, 2017.” He also ruled the agency must “restore all benefits, wages, hours and other terms and conditions enjoyed by the unit employees prior to Nov. 21, 2017.”

“Our goal from the start was to produce high-level, cutting-edge creative work for our clients on a level playing field in a fast-evolving industry,” said BBH New York managing director Brett Edgar in a statement. “We lost the battle, will respect the ruling, and move on. We thank our clients for their unrelenting support throughout this process.”

This development comes three months after SAG-AFTRA and the ad industry, as represented by the Association of National Advertisers and American Association of Advertising Agencies, reached a new agreement on contracts that they said is a better fit for the digital age.

When discussing the new contracts, Lori Hunt, SAG-AFTRA executive director of commercials, corporate/educational and non-broadcast contracts, told Adweek, “Our concern is focused now on BBH because they illegally withdrew.”

The union staged protests at BBH’s offices in New York and Los Angeles, and the cause drew the support of celebrities including George Clooney, Tom Hanks, Bryan Cranston, Octavia Spencer and Jennifer Aniston, who united under the hashtag #AdsGoUnion. Union groups also picketed a BBH Samsung ad shoot in Brentwood, California earlier this year to protest the use of non-union actors.

The fight also grew personal, with SAG-AFTRA targeting BBH chairwoman Sarah Watson by calling her “hypocrite of the week” for serving on the Time’s Up Advertising board while her agency was “depriving [actors] of union guarantees of safety [and] healthcare.”

“We’re pleased that BBH has returned to their longtime status as a SAG-AFTRA signatory. Since the inception of our relationship nearly 20 years ago, we have partnered effectively to provide the best talent in the world to BBH clients while ensuring fair compensation and safe working conditions for SAG-AFTRA members,” SAG-AFTRA president Gabrielle Carteris said in a statement. “Now, with our new 2019 Commercials Contracts, we are thrilled that BBH can take full advantage of the transformative compensation models in this groundbreaking agreement to better compete in the constantly evolving advertising industry.”

Spokespeople for BBH and SAG-AFTRA declined to comment beyond the quotes in today’s release.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

14698: Agent Is A Model Of Bullshit.

This banner from Agent looks like the model is being abused by the stylists. At the website, Agent touts its dedication to diversity. Plus, the model doesn’t appear too happy with her sexist and exploitative gig.

Friday, July 19, 2019

14697: Stereotype Like An Egyptian.

This Egyptian campaign imagines how things would look if popular social media platforms came from Africa—and winds up perpetuating stereotypes. No likes here.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

14696: Now There Are Even More Con Artists And Crooks At 72andSunny.

Adweek reported 72andSunny added a page to its diversity playbook by establishing a partnership with ConCreates, an advertising agency comprised of currently and formerly incarcerated folks. Hey, it’s a natural coupling, given that 72andSunny is in the MDC Partners network, which was once led by a bona fide crook. Plus, 72andSunny is run by culturally clueless con artists. Somebody should throw the book—and playbook—at the shifty scumbags. Strangely enough, ConCreates appears to be an enterprise honestly dedicated to change and progress. 72andSunny, on the other hand, not so much.

72andSunny Partners with ConCreates, an Agency Staffed by Current and Former Prisoners

MDC shop’s New York office will serve as adviser and creative partner

By Minda Smiley

As the advertising industry continues to grapple with diversity, agencies are increasingly trying to find talent outside of the usual recruitment pipelines.

One agency in particular is offering up creative solutions from a population whose vantage point is distinctly unique: former and currently incarcerated people.

The idea for ConCreates came to founder and CEO Vincent Bragg in 2014 while he was serving time in federal prison for running a drug empire. Bragg said he was locked up with the founder of an underwear company, and during their time together, the two would “host think tanks” for the brand. It was through that experience that Bragg began to think he could do this for other brands as well, so he started to pull together a network of incarcerated people who were also interested in this type of creative thinking.

“As a way for me to show the world the creativity behind bars, I started a company and really dedicated my life to this,” he said. After being released from prison in 2016, Bragg joined a prisoner entrepreneurship program called Defy Ventures to get ConCreates off the ground.

“They helped me flesh out the structuring of the company and things like that. One of the things that was really great about that program was the mentorship,” he said, and it was one of his mentors who introduced him to Tim Jones, executive strategy director at 72andSunny New York.

72andSunny New York, which is owned by MDC Partners, has now established a partnership with the ConCreates network that currently spans 436 men and women in prison and 319 who’ve been released, according to Bragg. ConCreates has also built out its leadership team, which includes co-founder and chief innovation strategist Janeya Griffin, who grew up watching her parents struggle to find work after being imprisoned.

As adviser and creative partner, 72andSunny will help craft the agency’s positioning, proposition and visual identity, as well as consult on key client projects.

“When I met these guys, I was blown away by their vision and story,” said Jones. “We have multiple initiatives running to expand and diversify the creative class, but one of the key ways I think we can be most powerful in this space is helping to set up companies like ConCreates, who share the same mission.”

ConCreates operates as a crowdsourcing platform, meaning employees of the agency are sent briefs and asked to respond with their ideas. All who participate are compensated, with employees receiving additional payment as their ideas continue to advance (by making it into a client presentation, for instance). Ideas that actually end up going into production are ones that get rewarded the most.

Much of this correspondence happens via email and snail mail.

“We’re able to be nimble like a startup with a crowdsourced model,” said Bragg, who noted that 10% of ConCreates is owned by the entire company, so staffers also benefit from profit sharing.

Bragg said ConCreates has mostly done work for startups so far, but is now looking to collaborate with “brave brands looking to break the mold” who see the value in what this unconventional creative team has to offer.

He believes the skills needed to pull off crimes are often the same ones that creatives tap into for client work every day; for example, Bragg said one of the original “ConCreators,” who once successfully robbed 27 banks, was basically using the same thought processes as a strategist when coming up with his plan.

“We believe that creativity without opportunity is criminality,” he said. “We look at drug dealers as entrepreneurs. We look at graffiti artists as art directors.”

The hope is that by channeling these skills and talents into something positive, these people will get a chance at building a new life.

“Not only can we help people who’ve committed crimes become beneficial members of society again by learning these kinds of skills, but our hope is that these people become icons to perhaps others who are at that crossroads in life,” said Jones.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

14695: Toy Story—Adding To The Unlimited Resignations At We Are Unlimited.

Adweek reported Toygar Bazarkaya resigned from his Chief Creative Officer role at We Are Unlimited. Hey, Wendy Clark is probably checking Ted Royer’s availability. A spokesperson at the White advertising agency gushed, “Over two years and thousands of pieces of content, Toygar has been instrumental in shaping the McDonald’s brand story and We Are Unlimited as an agency.” Two years? We Are Unlimited should install a drive-through exit for employees, as the place deals with more turnovers than the Pillsbury Doughboy. Also, the statement should have read, “…thousands of pieces of caca.”

We Are Unlimited Chief Creative Toygar Bazarkaya Leaves to Join Optimist as Global CCO

Derek Green and John Hansa will serve as co-executive creative directors for Omnicom's McDonald's-dedicated unit

By Erik Oster

Toygar Bazarkaya is leaving his role as chief creative officer at We Are Unlimited to join Optimist as the agency’s first global CCO.

Derek Green and John Hansa will assume creative leadership of We Are Unlimited as co-executive creative directors, reporting directly to DDB North America CCO Ari Weiss.

“Over two years and thousands of pieces of content, Toygar has been instrumental in shaping the McDonald’s brand story and We Are Unlimited as an agency. We appreciate all he’s done to create business impact and award-winning work on this iconic brand and wish him the best in his future,” an agency spokesperson said in a statement. “We are pleased to have Derek Green and John Hansa step up as co-ECDs reporting to Ari Weiss, CCO of DDB North America who will be leading the creative vision.”

Bazarkaya first joined We Are Unlimited as CCO in April of 2017, a month after leaving Havas, where he served as CCO, Americas, as Weiss’ first major hire since arriving as DDB North America’s first CCO that February. We Are Unlimited opened in Chicago in November of 2016 to service the McDonald’s account Omnicom won in August of the previous year, following a lengthy review process. As of this January, it appears We Are Unlimited is no longer working exclusively with McDonald’s.

Bazarkaya joins Optimist as its first-ever global CCO.

“We are supremely excited to welcome Toygar at Optimist to unify all creative functions under his leadership. Now we are able to expand our progressive communication solutions to modern brands that want to change the game, not just ride mid-stream,” Optimist CEO Juergen Dold said in a statement. “Culture forward, always authentic, experientially rooted, channel agnostic, socially digital and always innovative—those are the qualities that our work will be measured on. We are a good fit for global brands with a strong desire to break down what’s not working and embrace what’s possible today, and Toygar will help us continue to deliver on this promise for clients.”

The brand experience agency launched in Los Angeles a decade ago and has since expanded to a team of over 150 with offices in New York, London, Hamburg, Amsterdam, Berlin and Prague. The agency counts Nike, Google, Target and Red Bull among its client roster. Last November, Volkswagen-owned Czech auto company Škoda selected Optimist as one of its two global creative agencies of record, following a review, and this year Uber Eats also named the agency as its brand experience partner.

“Experiences make us feel something and they stay with us. Experiences can be anything, and Optimist is one of the best at creating them for brands,” Bazarkaya said in a statement. “A brand experience has to have a strategic fit, have a great idea at its core and be able to express itself in any form, environment or platform, that’s what I love to do and take pride in. Great brands understand the importance of it, the team at Optimist are the best at it and I am excited to part of it.”

Monday, July 15, 2019

14693: Multicultural McDivertisement Deserves Receiving The Finger.

Advertising Age spotlighted a divertisement from Mickey D’s to celebrate National French Fry Day. The patronization and hypocrisy are escalated by We Are Unlimited being identified as the creators.

Diverse hands become the Golden Arches in McDonald’s National French Fry Day campaign

Mark Seliger shot the minimalist campaign from We Are Unlimited

By Ann-Christine Diaz

To celebrate National French Fry Day, which took place this weekend on Saturday, July 13, McDonald’s released a series of minimalist, photography-driven ads that show consumers uniting in the act of sharing its fries.

Striking images shot by Mark Seliger depict diverse pairs of hands—two men, two women, man and woman, old and young, each of different skin tones, set against a golden yellow backdrop. As they are about to dip into Mickey D’s signature offering, the hands come together to form McDonald’s iconic arches, with no official logo in sight.

The campaign, titled “Share the Love,” was created out of We Are Unlimited and appeared in out of home ads, social media and on a billboard above McDonald’s flagship restaurant in Times Square.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

14692: Confessor Calls Out Cultural Cluelessness Coming From Clients.

The latest installment in the Digiday confessions series spotlighted a “minority marketer” confessing over client-side cultural cluelessness. Wouldn’t be surprised if the anonymous complainer works at Procter & Gamble, HP, Verizon, Gillette, NIVEA, Honey Maid, Unilever or Papa John’s.

‘People are scared to speak up’: Confessions of a minority marketer

By Seb Joseph

Being an ethnic minority at a predominantly white workplace creates its own kind of stress.

In our latest Confessions, in which we exchange anonymity for honesty, a minority marketing professional discussed how they saw non-white colleagues favor white staff and limit people of their own color as a way to get ahead in their careers.

Excerpts lightly edited for clarity and flow.

How does the advertising industry compare to others you’ve worked in when it comes to racial prejudice and unconscious bias toward ethnic minorities?

In all my roles, I have always noticed a degree of prejudice and bias, but I did not expect it in a not-for-profit organization. The advertiser I worked at put across this image of being inclusive, yet some of the staff they hired didn’t hold those values. You could clearly see minority members of staff being talked down to and ignored in meetings. There was a feeling of superiority from some of the white team members, even new grads.

What made you feel like you didn’t fit in?

Being excluded from meetings, having my suggestions ignored and job duties like building influencer partnerships — core to my role — were allocated to other white members of the team who had less experience. I wasn’t the only one who noticed this as other non-white members were overlooked for promotions while recent grads came in and had their development fast-tracked through the marketing team.

Has this impacted your own progression?

My progression was non-existent and part of the problem. Sometimes it’s better to leave than constantly butt heads with clueless people.

How did you and other non-white colleagues react to that behavior?

Sometimes people make it through the door and forget where they came from. Too many people are accepting of things that aren’t right so long as they don’t have to get involved, which is sad. There is a nervousness about speaking up because they could be labeled as troublesome and consequently, limit their own progression. There’s this misconception that if you behave a certain way, then you’ll be accepted. What’s sad is you have to be a certain way and be cool with opinionated cliques when you’re from a minority background, which isn’t for everyone as people are all brought up differently.

Give an example.

I’ve seen marketers who are from ethnic minorities ignore suggestions from colleagues who look like themselves only to accept the same suggestions from white members of staff. It’s also common for minorities to be ignored or even told to be quiet. Unacceptable really. People are scared to speak up because they feel they will be labeled as playing the race card but why should people be made to feel like this?

Did you speak up when those instances happened?

I spoke up about it while I was at the charity, but it all got brushed under the carpet. And then you have a few meetings where they ensure you speak, but after a while, it goes back to normal. It’s a token gesture. The workspace should be somewhere that’s inclusive and where people can voice their opinions without feeling threatened, isolated or bullied. I’ve seen it really affect people and have a negative effect on their mental health because they were ostracized.

Do internal diversity groups help or hinder the problem?

Groups like that need full support right from the top of a business. In this organization, the so-called diversity group had one annual meeting and guess what: The founding members were all white with an agenda to push sexual equality. While this is also very important, it left race nowhere to be seen. If you want diversity and equality, you have to support all the issues that people are faced with.

How did the HR team react when you raised the issue with them?

HR teams can be the make or break of an organization. But things are swept under the carpet and not always taken seriously enough. In cases where I spoke to HR, they weren’t qualified or properly equipped to handle my issues or complaints. You end up with things being “investigated” but with no action being taken because they can’t substantiate.

Saturday, July 13, 2019

14691: Demonstrating For Divertisements To Fake Diversity.

Advertising Age published a paltry perspective from M&C Saatchi LA Executive Creative Director Maria Smith, who appeared to be making a case for producing divertisements. Of course, Smith’s place of employment features a leadership team that looks like the average White advertising agency. Smith opined, “Advertisers who practice diversity have the power to change the world.” Yeah, but not if advertisers continue to partner with White advertising agencies.

Advertisers who practice diversity have the power to change the world

A whole generation of kids who don’t fit into the traditional mold deserve to see themselves acknowledged as an important part of brands’ stories

By Maria Smith

Historically, people of color haven’t received much advertising screen time. As a Filipino American mom to biracial children, I want to change that reality. My kids, and a whole generation of kids who don’t fit into the “traditional” mold, deserve to see themselves represented, their existence acknowledged as an important part of brands’ stories.

Only a generation or two ago, my views would have held outlier status. Now, they are firmly in tune with society’s realization that diversity simply makes sense—not just for business, but for the bottom line. Even investors have seized upon this previously unrealized opportunity, putting money into more than a dozen funds focused on supporting businesses that live by the inclusion mantra.

These investors are tapping into the steady stream of dollars being spent by consumers who demand more of businesses than just a transactional relationship. It would serve the ad industry well to keep this more tuned-in consumer top of mind and follow suit.

A shifting advertising landscape

Until very recently, boutique and specialist agencies whose outreach focused on people of color occupied a niche space. That’s no longer the case. Consider Hispanic agency LatinWorks, which recently changed its name to Third Ear. The decision grew from a desire to appeal to more English-language clients with Hispanic backgrounds. Third Ear understands its agency is not separate from the mainstream—it’s fundamental to what the world needs today and tomorrow. In just 40 years, the Hispanic population is expected to make up 28% of the total U.S. population. Third Ear is simply anticipating this need.

More and more household brands are successfully incorporating diversity into their ads. Gatorade’s Sisters in Sweat piece, for example, features Serena Williams speaking to her baby daughter. The ad does a beautiful job of being inclusive without checking off boxes. Rather than coming off as a way to lump together people of color, Sisters in Sweat feels authentic, empowering and emotional.

In clear contrast, though, BuzzFeed’s recent “27 Questions Black People Have for Black People” nailed the pandering button on the head. BuzzFeed had to backpedal on Twitter after pushing out stereotype-laden content that might have cost it the trust of some users. What BuzzFeed discovered is that people of color may appreciate humor but don’t appreciate being lumped together as a single group.

These are the kinds of stumbles brands and agencies can make when they create content without careful and thoughtful upfront consideration. Before my team begins any project, we ask, “Who isn’t in the room who should be?” It’s a question that keeps us honest and guides our next move. When there is an important point of view that we need to consider, we ensure that someone with that pointz of view is part of the process. Otherwise, our work might come across as flat—or worse, as singling out a specific audience.

Making diversity a priority

This isn’t rocket science, it’s logic. How can you make sure the right people are in the planning room if they aren’t already in the building? Advertising teams must put forth more effort to bring more people of color into the fold, bucking the legacy status quo that says all ad industry execs must look like Mad Men’s Don Draper.

If people of color believe this stereotype, then they’ll likely look for alternative career paths. However, if they begin to notice that people who come from similar backgrounds and ethnicities are not just contributing to agencies but leading them, they might feel encouraged to do the same. And the benefit will be stronger, more innovative businesses, according to a Financial Management study on the outcomes of workforce diversity.

Advertisers are uniquely positioned to shape the diversity conversation. We thrust ideas, images, and videos into the world, content seen by mass viewership on unprecedented levels thanks to digitization and social sharing. Let’s use our power to generate work that tells people of color what they deserve to hear: “I see and value your contributions. You belong.”

Friday, July 12, 2019

14690: All White Adpeople Look Alike…?

Not sure what this campaign is trying to say—that all people in Adland look the same? Surely it didn’t require producing advertisements to make such an obvious point. Also, Sir John Hegarty is closer to resembling Walt Kowalski than Clint Eastwood.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

14689: Hungary (!?!) Salutes American Racism…?

Why does this Hungarian campaign for the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination only use iconic American images of discriminatory racism? Plus, if viewers should “leave color differences only for clothes,” why is the characters’ clothing colorless? Oh, and why does Hungary feel qualified to pontificate on racial harmony?