Friday, July 31, 2020

15094: WPP Giving A 2.2% Effort To Diversity.

Advertising Age reported on the latest memo—this one from WPP CEO Mark Read—revealing a White holding company’s dismal diversity data. For example, “2.2 percent of WPP’s U.S. senior and executive-level managers” are Black. This should silence the whining of idiots like Kat Gordon who hold up the false figure of 3 percent to protest the oh-so-terrible plight of White women.


Read reiterated the Caucasian cliché, “Despite the data’s limitations, the story it tells is clear enough: we have a huge amount of work to do…” Why do White leaders always get a free pass, constantly confessing there is “a huge amount of work to do” for consecutive decades? If any WPP employee toiled on a task for decades and only managed a 2.2 percent success rate—which, incidentally, is roughly less than 2.2 percent better than someone doing nothing to address a challenge—wouldn’t that be grounds for immediate termination?


Of course, Read is taking pseudo bold action in stereotypical style. That is, WPP is delegating diversity to a colored committee. Plus, there will be plenty of tax-deductible donations to organizations labeled as diverse (e.g., enterprises owned by White women). Keep in mind, WPP once boasted its staffers “represent perhaps the most diverse example of diversity of any single organisation.” Okay, but the competition is pretty fucking weak in this Anglo arena.


WPP Releases U.S. Diversity Data In Staff Memo From CEO Mark Read


By Lindsay Rittenhouse


WPP CEO Mark Read released the holding company’s U.S. staff diversity makeup data in an email to employees on Thursday and announced the appointment of an inclusion council and taskforce “to give particular focus to the challenges facing our Black colleagues and communities in North America.”


This comes as an update to the holding company’s previous commitment to taking “decisive action on each of the 12 points in the ‘Call for Change’” open letter from 600 & Rising. Announced on Juneteenth, WPP also said at the time it would be investing $30 million over the next three years to fund inclusion programs within the holding company and support external organizations fighting racism.


Read said in his Thursday memo that, “in the past, there has not been a single, consistent approach to the collection of this [diversity] data across our different agencies and markets, nor has it been independently audited—which typically we require of all data we report as a public company. We are working urgently on a more robust, centralized system of gathering and reporting ethnicity data (in those markets where we are allowed to collect it), which we will publish annually in our Sustainability Report,” he said.


“However, in the interests of transparency and timeliness,” Read said WPP is sharing “the information we do have for the U.S. now.”


According to Thursday’s memo, 2.2 percent of WPP’s U.S. senior and executive-level managers, 4.1 percent of all mid-level managers, 6.4 percent of professionals, and 6.2 percent of all employees are Black or African American. WPP reported 5.7 percent of U.S. senior and executive-level managers, 9.9 percent of mid-level managers, 15 percent of professionals and 11.7 percent of all employees are Asian.


Per the email, 5.8 percent of WPP’s U.S. senior and executive-level managers, 9.3 percent of mid-level managers, 8.7 percent of professionals and 9.4 percent of all employees are Hispanic or Latinx. WPP reported 85 percent of U.S. senior and executive-level managers, 74.8 percent of mid-level managers, 67 percent of professionals and 70.2 percent of all employees are white.


Read said in the email that those figures pertain to WPP’s “most recent submission to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” which was in 2018. He said that is because the EEOC “suspended the collection of 2019 data due to COVID-19, and it predates the sale of Kantar and much of the restructuring that has happened within the business in the last two years.”


“Despite the data’s limitations, the story it tells is clear enough: we have a huge amount of work to do to,” Read wrote. “We are starting to make progress on the actions advocated by 600 & Rising, alongside our wider commitments.”


He said, per the email, among the recent actions WPP has taken to tackle systemic racism are: “Reached out to a more diverse range of educational institutions and candidates who may not have taken a traditional route to our industry”; “Rolled out new mandatory anti-racism and inclusion training for all our HR people and leaders”; and “Engaged with our biggest clients to drive change together.”


“Various other workstreams are underway to ensure we address all of our commitments, and we will continue to update you on their progress,” Read said, adding a reminder to employees that WPP would be “matching employee donations to charities and nonprofits committed to fighting racism, up to $1,000 per person, to a total of $1 million.”


Read also explained the appointment of WPP’s new taskforce and inclusion council. The taskforce, he said, "includes WPP employees of different levels of seniority, based in cities across North America, and will have input from external organizations such as the 3 Percent Movement, the Advertising Club of New York and Fishbowl."


He said the taskforce will “be important partners to the Inclusion Council, which will help us to decide which initiatives to support as part of our financial commitment to fight racism.”


The members of the inclusion council are:


Ajaz Ahmed, CEO of AKQA
Mai Azmy, managing director of Wunderman Thompson Egypt
Karen Blackett, CEO of GroupM U.K. and WPP U.K. country manager
Yolanta Boti, a creative at Ogilvy U.K.
Jacqui Canney, chief people officer of WPP
HS Chung, president of H&K Asia
Brian Ellner, executive VP of growth and marketing at BCW North America
Michael Houston, global CEO of Grey
Demet Ikiler, CEO of GroupM EMEA and WPP Turkey country manager
Kevin Johnson, CEO of MediaCom Canada
Renee Lavecchia, executive director of VMLY&R Miami
Christina Mallon, global head of inclusive design and accessibility at Wunderman Thompson
Kyoko Matsushita, global CEO of Essence
Andre Passamani, CEO of Mutato
Lindsay Pattison, chief client officer of WPP
Lwandile Qokweni, CEO of Wavemaker South Africa
Stacey Ryan-Cornelius, global chief financial officer and chief operating officer of Geometry
CVL Srinivas, WPP India country manager
Selina Teng, president of Ogilvy Beijing
Stan Woodland, president and CEO of CMI



Thursday, July 30, 2020

15093: Corona Spreading Like A Computer Virus.

Hey, look who’s advertising again. And the hackneyed creators will probably add it to the crappy, contrived and clichéd COVID-19 Themed Ads collection—currently at 511 entries.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

15092: Whiteness White-Out Rewrite.

The National Museum of African American History and Culture took heat for posting the infographic above on its website, ultimately bowing to public outcry and removing the image. With a few revisions, the message directly applies to the advertising industry too.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

15091: Omnicom Is An Exclusive Group.

Adweek reported Omnicom President and CEO John Wren sent out a memo that included the White holding company’s EEO-1 data, displaying dismal figures “largely in line with those of the other major advertising holding companies that have released similar data.” In other words, the entire industry equally sucks at diversity and inclusion. Wren also presented an 8-part action plan, regurgitating many of the contrived and clichéd suggestions that have been integrated into D&I discussions for decades. The memo proclaimed the proposal is designed to “attain equal representation, development, support and retention of marginalized groups…” In short, Wren admits there is much work to do. So, let’s check the scoreboard. For starters, IPG—the self-proclaimed recognized leader in diversity and inclusion—recently confessed, “We must do better.” Now Omnicom—the enterprise headed by a Pioneer of Diversity and the industry’s first Chief Diversity Officer for a holding company—just displayed its shamefully low racial and ethnic minority representation numbers. It appears the most pseudo progressive firms are not generating significantly greater results than competitors doing little to nothing. And why the hell aren’t the trade journals asking Cyrus Mehri and Sanford Moore to offer perspectives?


Omnicom Releases US Workforce Diversity Data as Part of Broader Action Plan


Less than 3% of executives are Black


By Minda Smiley


Omnicom has released the makeup of its workforce in the U.S. as part of a broader plan to achieve “systemic equity” at the holding company.


In a staff memo, Omnicom CEO John Wren shared its U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) data, which is broken into three categories: executive managers, mid-level managers and professionals. According to the report, 2.7% of its executive managers are Black, 7.2% are Asian, and 4.9% are Hispanic.


At the “professionals” level, 5.5% of employees are Black, 11.1% are Asian, and 10.3% are Hispanic.

Its numbers are largely in line with those of the other major advertising holding companies that have released similar data. At Dentsu Aegis Network, IPG, Havas and Publicis, Black employees hold less than 3% of executive roles. WPP and MDC Partners have not released their workforce diversity data, although the former has indicated that it plans to.


“Understanding and providing transparency in where we currently stand is a necessary first step in committing to change and paving a path forward,” Wren said in the memo.


The staffing breakdown comes roughly two months after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25, which Wren called “tragic and heartbreaking” in an email he sent to staffers on June 1. In the email, he said diversity and inclusion are two of Omnicom’s “core values.”


In addition to revealing its workforce data, Omnicom has laid out an eight-part plan called OPEN 2.0 that Wren said will help the company reach systemic equity across the organization. According to Wren, it aims to “attain equal representation, development, support and retention of marginalized groups,” particularly in the U.S., for BIPOC employees.


The eight steps include:


1. Expand the OPEN leadership team: The Omnicom People Engagement Network (OPEN) encompasses its employee resource groups and diversity, inclusion and equity (DE&I) efforts, led by chief diversity officer Tiffany R. Warren and includes 15 other executives across its various agencies. According to Omnicom, the team will be “expanded and further supported.” Additionally, the CEOs of each network and practice area will have a diversity director as a direct report.


2. Attract and recruit talent: Omnicom’s agencies, which include BBDO, DDB and TBWA, will “promote our DE&I programs and initiatives,” though no additional information was provided.


3. Provide development opportunities: Establish a Talent Advocacy Program that pairs an individual with a mentor who can advocate for their mentee’s success and advancement.


4. Retain and grow employees: A new networking-focused Talent Advancement Program will allow HR and recruiting professionals to source talent across various agencies to “more efficiently and effectively provide career advancement.”


5. Update clients on progress: A new Client DE&I Communications Program will regularly update clients on initiatives and accomplishments. As part of this, Omnicom plans to expand supplier diversity programs.


6. Implement partnerships: Identify organizations that its agencies “enthusiastically support” to offer professional services on a pro-bono basis.


7. Expand training programs: Build training programs designed to “create awareness and sensitivity to issues regarding DE&I, such as global mandatory unconscious bias training.”


8. Establish accountability: Each agency “will have specified actions, with deadlines, to ensure advancement of DE&I initiatives,” with CEOs held accountable.


“We have always said our people are our No. 1 priority, and this plan puts our words into action. Small gestures, quick reactions and disparate efforts will never be enough to create the systemic equity we strive to achieve,” Wren concluded in the memo, adding that the plan was developed to maintain “energy and focus for years to come.”


Monday, July 27, 2020

15090: The Rants Of Sir Martin Sorrell Are Getting Old And Tired.

The Guardian spoke with Sir Martin Sorrell, who predicted he won’t retire until age 83 at least. He also seems to believe he’ll be in the business longer than the highlight of his career—WPP—and he continues to opine the White holding company should be dismantled. “I think [advertising holding companies] are past their sell-by date and not fit for purpose any more,” said Sorrell, “and the only way forward is break-up.” Um, at nearly 78 years old, the same line about being past a “sell-by date and not fit for purpose” could be applied to Sorrell himself. It’s a safe bet he’ll still be filled with resentment and vitriol for WPP in 2025. Also, how many WPP drones are permitted to work beyond age 65…? Ageism does not exist in adland’s uppermost echelon.


Ad mogul Sir Martin Sorrell: ‘I didn’t want to retire—I have a point to prove’



The former WPP boss on the economy, Facebook and why his S4 Capital is growing despite the coronavirus crisis


Sir Martin Sorrell’s headline-grabbing, acrimonious departure from WPP seemed set to mark an ignominious end to the global ambitions of the most powerful man in advertising. But two years on his new media venture, S4 Capital, has just reached a market valuation of £1.5bn, making it worth more than DMGT, the publisher of the Daily Mail and Mail Online.


Sorrell is now head of the UK’s sixth-biggest listed media company, with a value equal to a fifth of his bete noire WPP, and has continued to grow it even during the coronavirus pandemic.


Sorrell, 75, founded the business just months after resigning from WPP after an investigation into alleged personal misconduct. He has always strenuously denied wrongdoing, and departing as a “good leaver”—in the unusual position of not having a non-compete agreement—meant he was able to get up and running again at top speed.


Is Sorrell, who reckons he is still in with a “fighting chance” of achieving his pre-covid plan of doubling S4 Capital’s revenues and profits between 2020 and 2022, just a little bit smug about his rapid business bounce-back while firms such as WPP are now struggling?


“No, no,” he chuckles. “People ask me what motivates me, what drives me, why is it I didn’t retire. One reason is my mother’s genes, that’s a third of it, a third is I didn’t want to retire and play golf and do a portfolio job. And a third is that I have a point to prove.”


Sorrell feels that the business is performing in a “digital sweet spot” with two-thirds of revenues coming from creating digital advertising content, centred on the MediaMonks business, and one-third on automated online ad buying. Just more than half of total revenues come from creating campaigns and planning ad strategy for technology companies, which raises the question of what Sorrell thinks about the widespread advertising boycott of Facebook this month.


“At the heart of this issue is whether these platforms are tech companies or media companies, a publisher,” he says. “They all say they are tech companies. I’ve always held the view they are publishers and they must act like publishers and be responsible for their content. They can’t say they are digital engineers tightening nuts on digital pipes with digital spanners and are not responsible for digital content that flows through those pipes. They are.”


However, despite this belief he does not think that the ad boycott was the right approach to force Facebook to change. He says that since the last big ad boycott against YouTube in 2017, over issues including brand safety, the tech companies have “moved considerably”. He points to Facebook hiring tens of thousands of staff to monitor content, changes to algorithms, the rooting-out of offensive social media groups and the ban on political advertising, by Google and Twitter at least.


“I’m not of a view that a boycott is the right way to go,” he says. “The best way for advertisers to deal with this is to have that direct conversation with them. A threat is no good once it is exercised, a threat is only good if it is not exercised.”


He believes the impact of the coronavirus on the ad industry reached its nadir in April. Always fond of coining a phrase to describe the shape of an economic recovery, his latest prediction is that the world is likely to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic in a “reverse square root”.


Sorrell, who famously labelled last decade’s advertising recession as “bath shaped, says that while specific industry sectors will have their own recovery shapes—V, U, L and even “a chair”—the overall global economy is likely to reset at a lower level.


“If you invert the square root you drop, recover but not to the extent before,” he says. “Overall it’s the best thing I’ve come across to describe it.”


Sorrell remains one of WPP’s biggest shareholders, holding a £150m stake, and also its most vocal and vociferous critic. He believes it should be broken up, so has anyone approached him about making an offer for some of WPP’s digital ad assets?

“No, amazingly no one seems interested in trying anything,” he says. “I wish someone would have a go. I think [advertising holding companies] are past their sell-by date and not fit for purpose any more and the only way forward is break-up. I’m not bitter; I’d describe it as realistic.”


When Sorrell set up S4 Capital, in which he has to date invested more than £60m of his own money, it was with an initial five year plan to build the business. Will he feel his come back is complete and retire then?


“I actually said that at the end of the fifth year if people wanted me to stay on and I felt mentally and physically able, I’d do another five years,” he says. “I’ll be 78 at the end of the first cycle. If I can totter on until 83 I may do that. If you asked me at the moment to pin my flag to the mast I’d do another five years.”

Sunday, July 26, 2020

15089: Avon Calling Normal Is Normal Nonsense.

In the Philippines, Avon presents the #NudeNormal, but it looks like the old beauty standards and objectification of women.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

15088: A Global Pandemic Of Opportunistic Hacks.

A hackneyed agency from Italy is jumping on the new coronaviruscam bandwagon too.

Friday, July 24, 2020

15087: ANA Checks Box By Compiling List Of Minority Suppliers.

Adweek reported on the latest ANA PR BS involving compiling a list of minority suppliers in the hopes of boosting diversity initiatives with advertisers. Keep in mind, an ANA study unveiled earlier this year indicated companies would decrease engagement with diverse suppliers as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. Additionally, the advertiser club has acknowledged for decades that minority vendors are underrepresented and under-utilized. So now there will be an official list of diverse suppliers being dissed, denied and discriminated against daily. Hell, Adweek couldn’t even find an authentic image of industry minorities to illustrate the story, opting for the royalty-free stock photography depicted above.


ANA Launches List of Diversity-Certified Agencies


By the end of 2020, there will be no excuse for not being able to find a multicultural shop


By Mary Emily O’Hara


As brands increasingly look for diversity in the teams that create their marketing, the question is often whether the firm itself truly has a diverse makeup—or whether it just hired a few contractors to look more diverse for a project.


The Association of National Advertisers is trying to take some of the mystery out of the equation with a new supplier diversity list launched today. The initial list of over 100 marketing and advertising agencies will continue to grow, as the ANA asks the industry to contribute nominations.


“The ANA is resolute in its belief that supplier diversity offers many benefits to corporations,” said CEO Bob Liodice in a statement. “It provides opportunities for business expansion as new consumer needs emerge based on shifting demographics. Supplier diversity drives competition between existing and potential suppliers while promoting innovation, as diverse vendors can offer new products, services and solutions.”


The diversity-certified list comes out of an ongoing initiative sparked by the ANA’s AIMM (Alliance for Inclusive & Multicultural Marketing) in June. In a letter published by ANA/AIMM that month, dozens of major brands promised to “do better,” acknowledging that only 5% of ad spend targets multicultural segments, and the ANA’s own May report on supplier diversity showed that a majority of brands did not have plans in place to increase diversity in the marketing firms they contract with.


The list has been made available in a downloadable PDF, with 104 firms in a table showing one or more diversity certifications—each linked to proof of certificate. The certification bodies that ANA drew from for the initial list are:


NMSDC: National Minority Supplier Development Council

WBENC: Women’s Business Enterprise National Council

NGLCC: National LGBT Chamber of Commerce

WOSB: Woman-Owned Small Business

MBE: Minority Business Enterprise

MBC: Minority Business Certification

MWBE: Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprises

WBE: Women Business Enterprise

WEConnect: International Women-Owned Business

WMBC: Woman/Minority Business Certification

WMBE: Women/Minority Business Enterprise

SBE: Small Business Enterprise

SDVOB: Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business


Notably missing from the list are DOBEs (Disability-Owned Business Enterprises), which are currently certified through the organization Disability:IN. But the list is a living document; the ANA encourages submissions through its website.


While this is the ANA’s first attempt at a supplier diversity database, individual industry professionals had already created similar efforts to make finding multicultural agencies easier. Alma Har’el’s 2016 initiative Free the Bid expanded in 2019 with Free the Work, a curated platform for discovery of underrepresented creative and advertising talent.


In June, Lincoln Stephens and Larry Yarrell of Marcus Graham Project launched Locomotus, a new platform for discovering Black advertising talent. And just 10 days ago, another pair of well-known ad pros (Ron Lewis, vp and creative director at McCann Health, and Walter T. Geer III, svp and group creative director at TBWA Worldhealth) launched the free platform Diverse Creatives—a simple, searchable grid that takes viewers to the LinkedIn profiles of brand strategists, copywriters, creatives and more.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

15086: DDB Boosts Racial And Ethnic Diversity While Negating Gender Diversity.

Adweek reported DDB named a new Global CEO and North America CEO, essentially tapping two men—a White man and Black man—to replace one White woman. Neither man is a U.S. native. Technically, the replaced White woman—Wendy Clark—was not a U.S. native too. Regardless, DDB and Omnicom will undoubtedly claim all the hires and promotions demonstrate a commitment to diversity and inclusion, while continuing to hide EEO-1 data. Can’t help but think the DDB moves are more PR than D&I—and ultimately BS.


DDB Names New Global and North American CEOs


They take on responsibilities previously held by Wendy Clark


By Minda Smiley


Omnicom’s DDB Worldwide has filled its top executive roles with internal hires.


Marty O’Halloran has been promoted to global CEO, a role he takes on after a 15-year run as chairman and CEO of DDB’s Australia and New Zealand offices. Justin Thomas-Copeland has become CEO of the network’s North America region. He previously served as global CEO of OPMG Health, a division of Omnicom Precision Marketing Group.


Both take over responsibilities previously held by Wendy Clark, who left her role as global CEO of DBB in April to lead Dentsu Aegis Network. Clark served as North American CEO of DDB for two years before she was promoted to the global position in 2018.


Chuck Brymer, chairman of DDB, served as interim global CEO following Clark’s departure. In a statement, he said O’Halloran “has a remarkable track record and a relentless focus on adding value.”


Under OHalloran’s leadership, DDB Sydney took the runner-up spot for Cannes Lions’ 2019 Agency of the Year in the Pacific region. Rankings are calculated based on the number of Lions the agency has won as well as how much of its work made the shortlist. DDB Sydney won three Gold pencils at this year’s One Show for a campaign it worked on for media company Foxtel, which involved creating a graveyard for the many characters who had died on HBO’s Game of Thrones.


“With his guidance and leadership, DDB has become a creative force across Australia and New Zealand,” Brymer said. “Marty knows that creativity is the most powerful force in business, and has a reputation for delivering long-term success for our clients.”


Before becoming global CEO of OPMG Health in 2019, Thomas-Copeland led Rapp New York, a digital marketing agency that’s part of Omnicom. Earlier in his career, he spent a number of years at Wunderman (now Wunderman Thompson) in various leadership roles across Europe.


He joins DDB North America in the aftermath of a number of account losses, specifically at its Chicago office. Over the past few years, the agency has lost lead creative duties for brands including McDonald’s, Capital One and State Farm. However, DDB Chicago won the lucrative U.S. Army account at the end of 2018, and its New York office was named Kroger’s first agency of record last year.


John Wren, Omnicom’s chairman and CEO, said O’Halloran and Thomas-Copeland are “well known within Omnicom as transformative leaders with unique insight into creating successful global brand experiences” in a statement.


“At Omnicom, we place considerable emphasis on succession planning, which is why we continually invest in our talent,” Wren added. “With their leadership and commitment, I am confident that DDB is well-positioned for success.”


During Omnicom’s first quarter earnings call in April, Wren criticized Clark for leaving DDB “in the middle of a crisis,” referring to the coronavirus pandemic.

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

15085: WPP Ends Pay Cuts, But Will Likely Continue Job Cuts.

Campaign reported that WPP will end the temporary pay cuts imposed on roughly 3,000 top executives in response to the COVID-19 crisis. All the worker bees released as a result of the coronavirus-related revenue problems will remain unemployed. Hell, there’s still more downsizing required to execute the grand transformation plan hatched in 2019. But at least the overpaid in the ranks will be overcompensated. Think of it all as a political procurement pandemic.


WPP to end salary sacrifice for top agency executives


About 3,000 executives took pay reductions of up to 20% for three months.


By Gideon Spanier


WPP is to end voluntary salary sacrifice for about 3,000 of its senior agency executives after three months.


The agency giant announced temporary salary reductions of between 10% and 20% at the end of March “to protect profitability, where possible, from a decline in revenue” because of the coronavirus crisis.


Different WPP agencies implemented the pay cuts at various points during April and the reductions are due to be phased out across July, depending on when each agency first introduced them.


It is understood that a decision on whether to end salary reductions for board members, including Mark Read, WPP chief executive, is still under review.


A WPP spokesman declined to comment. However, a person with knowledge of WPP’s thinking said the company felt staff had worked hard during lockdown and “gone the extra mile” to help with cost reductions, and now deserved respite.


“Over 3,000 people with salaries above certain levels” agreed “to give up 10-20% of their salary for an initial three-month period”, the company said in April.

WPP: no decision yet on ending salary reductions for board executives


"While we continue to protect our people as much as possible from redundancy, as well as ensure our ability to serve clients and grow when markets recover, we have had to reduce headcount in certain areas," WPP said at the time.


WPP employs about 100,000 people.


The group's move to end the pay cuts after only three months will send a signal that the worst of the crisis is easing and could reassure talent.


Most agency groups have introduced some form of salary sacrifice, often in return for shorter working hours, for higher-earning executives.


Some rival groups plan to keep pay reductions for six months. 


John Wren, chairman and chief executive of Omnicom, announced in April that senior executives would give up one-third of salary and he waived 100% of his pay until September.


Arthur Sadoun, chief executive and chairman of Publicis Groupe, has taken a 30% salary cut and other top executives accepted 20% reductions for the second and third quarters.