Monday, August 31, 2020

15127: Clio Awards Salutes Colored Awards. Sort Of.



Oh, look! There’s a new collection at Ads of the WorldADCOLOR®: Ad of the Year Nominees and Winners. Whoop dee damn doo. It’s unclear why an awards show is spotlighting an awards show. Not surprisingly, most of the entries came from White advertising agencies. Also peculiar is the hype that claims the organization “is the largest, most recognized cross-discipline diversity and inclusion initiative for creative industries…” Really? ADCOLOR® is bigger than MAIP or Mosaic?


Sunday, August 30, 2020

15126: The New Black Will Not Include Blacks.


Digiday declared: ‘Contextual targeting is going to be the new black’: As IDFA restrictions loom, advertisers brace for the fallout—and illustrated the story with an image (depicted above) devoid of any Blacks. Perfect.

Saturday, August 29, 2020

15125: Truth In Advertising On Diversity.


The clichéd, contrived and culturally clueless perspectives symbolized by the image above inspired the image below.

15124: A Break From Stereotypes? Gimme A Break.

This campaign from India is hyped as follows:


Women are judged all over the world for their looks, be it the colour of their skin, their features or body type. These print ads are made to break such stereotypes. To show the world that each woman is beautiful in her own way. That real beauty lives within. That it’s important to love yourself and embrace your flaws, for all of it together is what sets you apart.


Huh? How is this work not objectifying women in the most stereotypical fashion? Worse yet, why is such patronizing pap coming from India?

Friday, August 28, 2020

15123: The 4As Adds 5.

The 4As named five people of color to its Board of Directors. Of course they did.


(Congratulations to Walter Geer III, Vann Graves, Ashley McGowen, Sara Porritt and Renee Jennings.)

Thursday, August 27, 2020

15122: The Young And The Restless.



Researching the previous post on Nathan Young uncovered the image of a slightly younger Young depicted above, which led to an organization called SVP Seattle that proclaims:


“We are people for whom improving our community is part of our life’s journey—whether we work in the nonprofit or corporate world.”


An associated profile reads as follows:


Nathan Young is a digital marketing expert with a strong advertising background and a sharp hairline. As the founder and Principal at Tencount, a boutique digital strategy agency, Nathan leads a multi-disciplinary team to develop strategies, build out campaigns and drive lead generation for mid-market and enterprise B2B tech companies. Over the past 8 years, he has had the opportunity to help top brands handle tough digital marketing challenges including Microsoft, Concur, AXS, and


Nathan is a staunch advocate for diversity and inclusion, and works with American Advertising Federation’s Mosaic program and HERE Seattle to promote diversity in the advertising, marketing, and tech industries. Nathan also serves as Director of Programming for the Seattle chapter American Advertising Federation and is tremendously excited to join SVP.


In short, Young’s inspiration and dedication to diversity didn’t happen suddenly—or as a spur-of-the-moment reaction to recent civil unrest. He has been an activist and change agent—as well as a top-flight professional—for many years, which makes his departure from adland especially disturbing.


All the best to Young and his family.

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

15121: Nathan Young Resigns Again—As Black Opportunities In Adland Are At An All-Time Lie, Er, High.



Advertising Age reported Nathan Young, former co-founder of 600 & Rising, is now former group strategy director of Periscope—plus, Young remarked, “I had to step down from everything and I’m honestly not sure I’m going to come back to advertising.” While it will surely be lost on the ADCOLOR® fanatics, Young’s statement represents the ultimate irony. That is, a true champion of diversity in adland has chosen to remove himself from the underrepresented, effectively lowering Periscope’s EEO-1 data and leaving a hole in the global community. At a time when Young should be inundated with offers from White advertising agencies desperately seeking to create an illusion of inclusion, the industry loses an allegedly-ever-elusive qualified minority. Meanwhile, the bland plays on, composed of a minority membership completely divorced from reality that sells the story that progress is being made on diversity in advertising and buys cover for holding companies.


Bonus irony: 600 & Rising is now reassessing its strategy without a strategy director at the helm.


Nathan Young Resigns From Periscope, ‘Not Certain’ He’ll Return To Advertising


By Lindsay Rittenhouse


Nathan Young, the former president of the 600 & Rising organization he founded alongside Bennett D. Bennett to tackle systemic racism in the advertising industry, tells Ad Age he also quietly resigned from his role as group strategy director of Minneapolis agency Periscope.


“I had to step down from everything and I’m honestly not sure I’m going to come back to advertising,” Young says.


Periscope confirmed Young’s departure in a statement.


“We are grateful for the work Nathan has done with our team and wish him well as he takes some time to focus on his family and his future,” a Periscope spokesperson wrote. “Nathan helped to push the industry—and our own agency—to have important and often difficult conversations about diversity, equity and inclusion. Those conversations are not over. Periscope and Quad continue on our journey to invest in and remain committed to our DEI efforts. We say goodbye to Nathan with sincere thanks for his contributions to this journey and best wishes for his future.”


Young announced his resignation from 600 & Rising on Twitter earlier this month, noting how “Splitting time between my day job and this movement in the middle of a pandemic has placed enormous stress on both me and my family.” Young tells Ad Age he quietly stepped down from Periscope that same day, for the same reasons.


He says he “could not be more grateful for the support Periscope has shown me and continues to show me with my departure.”


“Periscope is home to some of the most brilliant, brave and kind talent I’ve ever encountered in the industry,” Young says. “Together we overcame an incredible number of obstacles and it saddens me that we won’t be able to finish what we started together.”


He says he is currently prioritizing his family. “That’s the only thing that matters to me right now.”


Young’s departure from 600 & Rising came after he tweeted criticism about the ADCOLOR awards, the advertising fete that has long celebrated the achievements of diverse industry professionals as well as work that has promoted diversity and inclusion.


“@ADCOLOR is an awards ceremony completely divorced from reality that sells the story that progress is being made on diversity in advertising and buys cover for holding companies,” Young wrote.


600 & Rising said at the time of Young’s resignation that it was dissolving its current structure and would be “taking the next 30 days to reassess, with the intent that 600 & Rising becomes an advocacy community led by the signatories—Black talent and non-Black allies—that works for the interests and with the input of all involved, moving forward.”


Young says that he since “regrets” that tweet and notes that “there needs to be more collaboration and less competition to tackle the “enormous” issue of racism in the industry.


He had served as a group strategy director for Periscope since March. Young previously was a managing director for Aux Creative in Seattle, Washington. He’s also held stints at other Seattle-area agencies including Crown, Tencount and Creature.


In July, Young led an agency walkout at Periscope to protest parent company Quad/Graphics’ actions regarding social justice. The company had acquired Periscope for $132 million in 2019. The complaint which Young and his colleagues had launched against Quad centered largely around what he says was the company’s aversion to using the phrase “Black Lives Matter” in messages addressing the current unrest.


This story has been updated to include a statement from Periscope.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020

15120: Crappy Campaigns Can’t Contain COVID-19.


The crappy, contrived, clichéd COVID-19 Themed Ads collection continues to spread, approaching 550 entries. The self-absorbed assholes responsible for the work seem oblivious to the growing number of coronavirus cases and casualties—as well as the slow, multi-phased approaches that White holding companies are implementing to return staffers to offices—which kinda indicates all the shitty ads are wildly ineffective too.

Monday, August 24, 2020

15119: The Curious Consultancy Case Of Brad Jakeman.



Advertising Age reported on the latest move for Brad Jakeman, who joined Boston Consulting Group as a senior advisor. The trade journal speculated that Jakeman, “who is well-connected with some of the industry’s most influential CMOs, will be charged with tapping into those networks to get Boston Consulting Group more embedded with key decision makers.” Plus, Jakeman may be involved with “helping marketers bolster their in-house marketing teams, which by itself could prove to be a long-term threat to agencies, which have been contending with the so-called in-housing trend in recent years.” Okay, so Jakeman will be engaging in cronyism and leveraging his experience with the failed Creators League and the ultra-failed Pepsi commercial…? Plus, the pseudo diversity defender is now part of a global firm whose leadership does not appear to be very diverse. Perfect.


Boston Consulting Group Hires Ex-PepsiCo Exec Brad Jakeman As It Bolsters CMO Outreach


By E.J. Schultz


Boston Consulting Group has hired former PepsiCo executive Brad Jakeman as it moves to bolster outreach to chief marketing officers that are taking on broader roles inside large corporations.


Jakeman, who comes aboard as a senior advisor, left PepsiCo in late 2017 after seven years to start his own consultancy. He had served as president of the company’s Global Beverage Group, giving him purview over strategy, brand building, design, advertising, marketing and innovation for brands including Pepsi, Mtn Dew and Gatorade across more than 150 countries. Previously he held marketing roles at Activision Blizzard and Macy’s.


Jakeman, who is well-connected with some of the industry’s most influential CMOs, will be charged with tapping into those networks to get Boston Consulting Group more embedded with key decision makers. Jakeman will “strengthen our efforts toward building an actively-engaged CMO community, and ...further build out our external marketing strategies and approaches,” Boston Consulting Group Managing Director and Senior Partner Mark Abraham stated in an internal memo announcing the hire. He called Jakeman a “global operating executive with a marketer’s heart.”


CMOs have emerged as a key target for management consultancies in recent years as their roles have expanded to cover a lot more than traditional advertising. “Marketing is moving from this megaphone-to-everyone approach to a more targeted and personalized approach,” Jakeman said in an interview today. As a result, the “role of the CMO has never been more complex than it is right now. The CMO today is expected to be part chief innovator, part chief storyteller, part growth officer, part data specialist, part consumer advocate, part technocrat.”


But with that complexity comes more opportunities for management consultancies, which are increasingly competing with agencies. Firms like Accenture and Deloitte have sought new ins to the C-Suite by building out their creative service offerings—often via acquisitions—that are sometimes used as an entry to bigger projects.


Boston Consulting Group is part of the elite trio of management consultancies—along with McKinsey & Co. and Bain & Co.—that are considered the most-prestigious players in the consulting world. The three firms have deep strategic consulting practices that cover a range of business areas including marketing.


The three firms, collectively known as “MBB,” in some ways operate on a different plane from fast-growing major consultancies in the marketing space that have or had historic ties to accounting firms: Accenture Interactive (part of Accenture’s Accenture Digital); Deloitte Digital (part of Deloitte’s Deloitte Consulting); and PwC Digital Services (part of PricewaterhouseCoopers’ PwC Advisory).


Jakeman will join BCG’s Marketing, Sales, and Pricing (MSP) practice, whose offerings include consultation on data-driven marketing, personalization and customer experience, technology stacks, and organizational change, according to its website.


“I wouldn't say BCG is taking on agencies,” Jakeman says. “I imagine we will be working alongside a lot of agencies but will be doing things that are very different.” But that could include helping marketers bolster their in-house marketing teams, which by itself could prove to be a long-term threat to agencies, which have been contending with the so-called in-housing trend in recent years.


At PepsiCo, Jakeman led the creation of the marketer’s in-house content creation arm, called Creators League Studio, which sought to leverage the power of PepsiCo’s brands with branded and unbranded content, including scripted series, films and music recordings. It had many hits, including backing the 2018 film “Uncle Drew,” which was based on a character played by National Basketball Association star  Kyrie Irving who began appearing for Pepsi as “Uncle Drew” in a 2012 campaign that went viral.


But Creators League was also behind Pepsi’s widely mocked Kendall Jenner ad from 2017. In a candid conversation about the experience, Jakeman in an interview during an Ad Age event that year called the backlash “the most gut-wrenching experience of my career.”


As he joins Boston Consulting Group, Jakeman will continue serving as founder and managing partner of Rethink Food, described in his new employer’s internal announcement as “a social impact venture fund with the mission of providing accessibility to more nutritious food and beverages to more people by investing in innovative business models in agriculture, technology, processing and consumer packaged goods.”


Contributing: Bradley Johnson

Sunday, August 23, 2020

15118: Multicultural Pharmaceutical Advertisement Is Ill.



Diversity in clinical trials? Okay, but the image looks like the patient suffered serious side effects.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

15117: Equity Bosses Promote Exclusivity.


At More About Advertising, Stephen Foster ponders the latest “‘equity’ bosses”—aka Chief Diversity Officers—being hired by White advertising agencies and White holding companies to bring ever-elusive diversity to the field, which Foster acknowledges is “a challenging role” to assume. That’s an understatement. And it underscores another type of unconscious bias-unconscionable BS in adland. After all, firms have been appointing Chief Diversity Officers for well over a decade with arguably nothing to show for it. Why continue to recruit human heat shields—or pimps, as Sanford Moore labels the executives? Delegating diversity perpetuates inequity.


Dentsu’s DAN follows BBDO with C-suite diversity leader


By Stephen Foster


There are new leaders stalking the upper reaches of big agencies, “equity” bosses charged with ensuring these notoriously un-diverse, largely white, organisations change for the better.


Now Dentsu Aegis Network (DAN) has appointed Christena Pyle (above), former executive director of campaigning group Time’s Up and before that at Omnicom, as its first chief equity officer (equity, presumably, standing for fairness as opposed to dishing out share options.) Pyle reports to Americas CEO Jacki Kelley. DAN globally is now helmed by a woman, Wendy Clark joining from DDB.


Pyle’s appointment comes hard on the heels of Omnicom’s BBDO Worldwide appointing Jason Rosario as chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer. Rosario brings over 14 years of experience in the sector. Presumably the other holding companies and bigger indies will follow suit.


Pyle says: “I’m a true believer in the power of DE&I (diversity, equity and inclusion) and the impact it can have on a company’s culture, values, and business growth. Having a diverse mix of talent who can take on the challenges and opportunities a business faces, now and in the future, is a critical factor in any company’s success and resilience.


“In spending time with the Dentsu team, it’s clear that this is a group of people who place the value of caring—for their people, their communities, their customers, and each other—at the forefront of the decisions they make.”


Dentsu hasn’t always had such a reputation of course; there was a big scandal a couple of years ago in Japan with Dentsu accused of driving an employee to suicide with over-work.


All the ad holding companies have release their diversity info for the US and, basically, there isn’t any. So this a challenging role for Pyle, Rosario and their peers.

Friday, August 21, 2020

15116: Now Presenting Another Amazing Black Person Hired To Lead…


It’s interesting to see all the White advertising agencies pumping out press releases to display their latest Black hires in senior-level roles, special consultant positions, Chief Diversity Officer slots, etc. Guess all the Whites with hiring authority—who claimed for decades that there was a lack of qualified Black talent available—are exposing their career “unconscious bias” and unconscionable BS.

Thursday, August 20, 2020

15115: The Martin Agency Elevates Danny Robinson To CCO.



Advertising Age reported The Martin Agency turned Chief Client Officer Danny Robinson into Chief Creative Officer—extending his Jackie Robinson-like status at the White advertising agency. That is, Robinson was the first Black man to elevate to the shop’s C-suite as Chief Client Officer, and now he becomes the first Black man to hold the Chief Creative Officer role. No doubt that Robinson is right—and even overqualified—for the latest promotion. Yet it’s odd that his elevation is groundbreakingly unique in Richmond, Virginia, where the metropolitan area boasts the 20th largest Black population in the U.S. Such inclusive figures, however, have never impacted the dismal diversity of the advertising industry.


The Martin Agency Names Danny Robinson Chief Creative Officer


By Lindsay Rittenhouse


Interpublic Group of Cos.’ The Martin Agency has named Danny Robinson chief creative officer. Robinson was previously chief client officer and replaces Karen Costello, who on Tuesday announced her decision to return to IPG sibling Deutsch Los Angeles as its chief creative officer.


Robinson has been with The Martin Agency since 2004, when he was poached to be a senior VP and group creative director by Mike Hughes, who served as president and chief creative of the agency from 1995 to 2013. Hughes passed away from lung cancer at the age of 65.


“Other than I love it, the thing that keeps me here is the same thing that brought me here,” Robinson says, which is the opportunity to step into and shape any job he wants.


Robinson recalls how Hughes attempted to entice him to move from New York—where he was serving as chief creative officer of the agency he co-founded, Vigilante—to Richmond, Virginia, to join the The Martin Agency’s creative team. He says Hughes asked him: “‘What will it take to get you to come to Martin?’”


Hughes was looking to poach Robinson after his award-winning campaigns for Johnnie Walker Black Label, Major League Baseball, Snapple and Heineken caught his attention. So did a famous brand activation Robinson helped orchestrate while at his New York agency: The giveaway of 276 Pontiac G6 cars on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” that gifted the world with the iconic phrase: “You get a car!”


Robinson laughs when he remembers that iconic Winfrey brand activation, noting how some “myths” have since surrounded “how that came together” including that a partner of Vigilante pitched it on a plane to Gayle King, the media personality and an editor of “O, The Oprah Magazine.”


He says the truth of the matter was that Pontiac was a client of Vigilante’s and the agency decided to “spend all the money they had, the whole budget, on one idea to give away cars.” He notes that Winfrey “pretty much owned it” as she came up with the “You get a car!” phrase.


Since joining The Martin Agency, Robinson is credited with helming the agency’s largest win in history: Walmart. He is also praised by the shop for his acclaimed work on accounts such as Chevrolet, Hanes, Tic Tac and Oreo. The Martin Agency CEO Kristen Cavallo says Robinson was “the logical choice” to replace Costello “for so many reasons.”


Making history


Robinson made history as The Martin Agency’s first chief client officer and first African American to join the shop’s C-suite when he was appointed to that role in 2018.


Now, Robinson becomes The Martin Agency’s first Black chief creative officer, taking over from Costello, the agency’s first female chief creative officer. Cavallo, who is the agency’s first female CEO, notes how “skeptics might suggest this is a symbolic choice, and they said the same thing when I became CEO and appointed Karen to CCO.”


“It’s fascinating that the misfits, those who are a minority by gender or race, have to defend they are qualified,” Cavallo says. “I believe in [Robinson] and I believe in our friendship. I have always fought for him. He fights positively with a paintbrush and words. But I also think there was a moment where life gave us a chance to do the right thing. We’ve never sacrificed greatness for fairness.”


Robinson says The Martin Agency has been working for the past three years—since the public ouster of former Chief Creative Officer Joe Alexander over sexual harassment allegations—to “make this agency a model of business and example of how companies should operate.”


“It’s a proud moment for me,” he says. “It makes sense for me to be the next logical choice, and not just because I’m a Black man but because I’m homegrown and people in the agency know me. We’ve been putting in the work and people are paying attention now that we have.”


The Martin Agency has achieved several notable feats in the past few years including doubling the number of women it has on its executive board; appointing the first person of color to the board; and even closing the wage gap.


While cross-overs between client officers and creatives are unusual, Robinson, who has been doing stand-up comedy in his downtime for the past decade, says it makes sense. “We’re in this to solve problems for clients with great creative.”