Friday, April 30, 2021

15406: The Richards Group Delegates Diversity.


Advertising Age reported The Richards Group hired its first-ever Chief Talent and Culture Officer (pictured above). Of course they did. According to Ad Age, the CEO at the shop said the new role may be “the most important position we’ve created since the founding of the agency.” Of course it is. No word if Stan Richards thinks she’s too… oh, never mind.


The Richards Group Hires Chief Talent And Culture Officer


Former General Motors exec Nikki Wilson takes on post six months after founder’s racist remark


By Judann Pollack


Six months after The Richards Group was rocked by a racist remark by its now-departed founder, the agency has hired Nikki Wilson to fill what CEO Glenn Dady says may be “the most important position we’ve created since the founding of the agency.” Wilson will serve as the shop’s first-ever chief talent and culture officer.


Wilson, an 18-year veteran of General Motors, where she led human resources strategy in Arlington, Texas, will spearhead “the workforce plan vision for the agency’s changing culture and ongoing rebuild,” the shop said in a statement. She will also oversee leadership training.


“Nikki’s valuable experience in human resources, labor relations and DEI make her a crucial asset as your agency continues to rebuild—for now and for years to come,” said Dady in the statement.


Wilson is also charged with helping the agency change its culture, which suffered a blow within the industry and among a parade of clients who left following a remark by founder Stan Richards in an internal meeting that a campaign proposed for Motel 6 was “too Black” and could alienate the client’s “white supremacist constituents.” Since then, the shop has appointed an outside inclusion, equity and diversity counsel, Do What Matters, which it said “furthers the agency’s commitment to a broader and more diverse workforce and a core focus on its people—with inclusion-first management being top priority.”


“I’m excited to join The Richards Group at such an important time in their refounding journey,” says Wilson. “As the agency continues to deliver great content, we also want to deliver a great employee experience.”

Thursday, April 29, 2021

15405: Bird-Brained Bullshit From Grey Goose.


MullenLowe Group is responsible for this annoyingly concept-free Grey Goose Essences commercial featuring a woman apparently experiencing the hallucinatory drunkenness that the product offers.


Wednesday, April 28, 2021

15404: Ad Council PR BS.


On April 5, the Ad Council named a new Chief Equity Officer. Of course they did. On April 26, the Ad Council announced the appointment of 27 new members to its Board of Directors—undoubtedly checking off plenty of diversity boxes. Of course they did. Expect the extra-exclusive enterprise to continue creating hypocritical and patronizing pap, awarding projects via favoritism and cronyism. Of course they will.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

15403: Lost Interest In Most Interesting Old Man…?


Given all of the culturally clueless brand icons—including Annie the Chicken Queen—who have been erased in recent times, it’s a wonder no one protested the release of Dos Equis’ Most Interesting Man as an example of ageism.

Monday, April 26, 2021

15402: Glittering Generalities From General Motors…?


Advertising Age reported on General Motors’ “new framework” for greater equity in its spending with diverse media; that is, the automaker is increasing its allocation of crumbs. Interestingly, the Ad Age article and GM PR refer to the plan as transforming relationships with diverse media, while the group including Byron Allen insisted on distinguishing Black-owned media, recognizing that White women-owned vendors benefited the most from advertisers’ alleged dedication to diversity. GM CMO Deborah Wahl gushed, “We are grateful for the transparency and spirit of collaboration, which helped us frame this inclusive approach.” The transparency, however, does not include publicizing the specific dollar amounts—versus progressive percentages—earmarked for Black-owned media. Sorry, but the GM rhetoric is disturbingly familiar


General Motors Lays Out New Framework For Working With Diverse Media


Plans include hosting diverse media upfront and creating a $50 million incubation fund


By Jeanine Poggi


General Motors is revamping its model for working with diverse-owned and diverse-targeted media, including hosting its own upfront dedicated to these outlets, creating a new $50 million incubation fund and rethinking measurement criteria.


The new plan follows GM’s conversations with Black-owned media outlets led by the likes of Byron Allen among others, who called for the automaker to sit down with group after claiming the company had ignored such meeting requests in the past.


“This action plan will transform our engagement model with diverse media in a sustainable way,” Deborah Wahl, GM global chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “Over the course of several weeks, we met with many diverse-owned media organizations. We are grateful for the transparency and spirit of collaboration, which helped us frame this inclusive approach.”


Diversifying media spend will be a focal point for brands and agencies heading into the upfront selling season, when media companies look to secure a bulk of their ad commitments for the new season.


Several agencies like IPG have hosted “upfronts” tailored to minority-owned and targeted media companies in the weeks leading up to the presentations by media behemoths.


GM will host a dedicated upfront with diverse media owners on May 14, ahead of the traditional media marketplace. The goal of the summit is to encourage existing and potential partners to submit an overview of their business for consideration by GM for deeper engagement, including request for proposal. The process that will be used for the selection of media will be accredited by a third party to ensure fairness and transparency, according to the company.


The auto maker is also allocating $50 million over 10 years to help support and scale diverse marketing companies. This is incremental to GM’s media spend.


One challenge brands and media agencies have expressed in working with diverse-owned media companies is around measurement and scale. To help overcome some of these challenges, GM is establishing media criteria with input from diverse media to allow for more flexibility based on the size and scale of the media organization.


GM previously announced it would increase its overall diverse media spend, including doubling its commitment for spending with Black-owned media to 2% in 2021 and 4% in 2022, with the goal of reaching 8% by 2025.


“I applaud GM for taking the results of their thoughtful and robust discussions with a significant number of diverse media entities and then developing this thorough, bold and transformational plan to increase engagement with diverse media,” Alfred Liggins, CEO of Urban One, said in a statement.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

15401: Popeyes Presents The Real Deal, Honey.


Popeyes has a new campaign—Inside The Popeyes Kitchen—that features characters who appear to be actual restaurant workers, discussing how they prepare the greasy menu items. Huh? Isn’t Annie the Chicken Queen supposed to be cooking everything?

Saturday, April 24, 2021

15400: Toying Around In Thailand.


This campaign from WORKKIT in Thailand is undoubtedly a well-intentioned initiative. But next time, get together with a good translator and proofreader…

Friday, April 23, 2021

15399: Bathroom Prankster Hired At A New Toilet.


Advertising Age reported Nick Emery’s ass has surfaced to lead a new media division at You & Mr Jones. Hopefully, his new office has a private bathroom.


Nick Emery To Lead You & Mr Jones’ New Media Division


Former Mindshare CEO sets out to disrupt media buying by ‘putting brands in control’


By Jeanine Poggi


You & Mr Jones, the global brandtech group, is launching a new media division that will be led by former Mindshare CEO Nick Emery.


Emery, who was ousted from the WPP agency last year amid controversy, is joining as founding partner of You & Mr Jones Media. The group is setting out to “disrupt media buying and selling” by giving control to brand marketers by empowering them to take control of their first-party data and media technology, while increasing transparency and speed.


Emery exited Mindshare in October 2020 following what WPP called “a clear breach of the company’s code of conduct.” It was later reported that the incident in question involved what has been called a “bathroom prank.”


At You & Mr Jones Media, Emery will have a $300 million war chest to build a new media model for brands, according to the company.


“With privacy and rise of first-party data, media is too important to outsource,” Emery says. “You need to take more control of your strategy.”


Emery adds that the big media agencies “do a great job, but they were built, I know because I built one, they were built for scale, not for technology and automation.”


But bringing media in-house for brands can often seem overwhelming.


“When clients take media in house themselves they feel, correctly or not, like they miss out on volume discounts and don’t have access to technology,” says David Jones, who founded the company in 2015. You & Mr Jones’ media division is looking to help clients create those in-house media capabilities without feeling like they are missing out, he says.


The new division comes amid a shakeup in the media industry. As traditional TV ratings deteriorate and the ad world grapples with transparency and historical processes, brands are looking to be more efficient and precise with their media spend.


You & Mr Jones Media will look to make new acquisitions and work closely with the company’s current technology platforms and investments like AI-driven media planning company Elsy and content personalization business Jivox.


“We will make media the most creative, trusted and dynamic business to work in across everything from Marvel to Amazon, WeChat to Pinduoduo and Discord to Shopify,” Emery said in a statement. “Media is a fantastic business to be in and I am delighted to be joining You & Mr Jones who have the rare ambition to make that happen and put clients back in control, making media as it should be, different, fun, inventive and a key source of client growth.”


Emery says the ultimate success over the next two to three years would be if there are no more media pitches because brands are looking to take it in-house.


You & Mr Jones boasts clients including Adidas, Facebook, Microsoft, PayPal, Intuit and Unilever.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

15398: Earth Day 2021.


Happy Earth(a Kitt) Day.


Wednesday, April 21, 2021

15397: Google, April 21, 2021.

What? No Google doodle to commemorate the George Floyd trial verdict? Instead, Floyd is identified as an American hip-hop artist…?


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

15396: Google Sings The Praises Of Luther Vandross.


Google commemorates the late Luther Vandross’ 70th birthday with a Google video doodle and animated musical tribute.

15395: Getty Images Has History Covered—Black And White.

This campaign hypes Getty Images for its vast archive of historical images available for creative needs. Hey, for Black History Month, the hardest-working man in Black advertising gets a lot of usage.



Monday, April 19, 2021

15394: Adweek’s Flaccid Fluff Features.


Adweek has been publishing content under “Beyond the Pledge”—presenting promotional pap on equity, diversity and inclusion. It’s funny how various sources have adopted different acronyms for such heat shield initiatives. DE&I appears to be the most popular. No one has yet gone with DIE, as it has too many negative—albeit accurate—connotations. Adweek is utilizing EDI, which is also unintentionally appropriate, as these efforts display a high level of erectile dysfunction—or impotence, for sure.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

15393: Advertising Age Is Now Offering Weather Reports…?


Couldn’t help but notice that Advertising Age is running banners from The Weather Channel. Is Byron Allen—whose media empire includes TWC—pressuring the trade journal too?

Saturday, April 17, 2021

15392: El Tiempo Salutes Black Historical Moments With Hysterical Stupidity.


MullenLowe Group in Colombia is responsible for this El Tiempo campaign commemorating the month of the Struggle for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Ironically, the Blacks being used as invisible celebrity endorsers are almost certainly not being compensated—which further underscores discrimination. Brilliant. 


Friday, April 16, 2021

15391: GroupM DE&I BS—OMG OZY.

Advertising Age reported on the latest philanthropic PR and heat shield from GroupM, promoting the media company’s new partnership with OZY—a media and entertainment company providing connections to diverse audiences—designed to bring a “responsibility-focused approach” to GroupM’s business. It appears to be a twist on delegating diversity via contracting content of color.


GroupM Takes A Responsibility-Focused Approach To Media Buying


The media agency strikes a two-year deal with OZY to further its DE&I efforts


By Jeanine Poggi


As GroupM heads into the annual upfronts, making ad commitments worth millions of dollars on behalf of clients, the media-buying powerhouse is changing its approach to investment that focuses on social responsibility.


To this end, it has struck a two-year deal with OZY, a multi-platform media and entertainment company that boasts a connection with a diverse audience of 75 million people, most of whom are millennial or Gen Z.


GroupM has historically been revered for its ability to use its scale to drive better deals—including pricing—for its clients with media partners.


“Inside of GroupM there has been a conscious awareness that, as the media industry is evolving, you can’t do investment like we had in the past—leveraging our scale and buying power,” says Kirk McDonald, CEO, GroupM North America. “There needs to be more substance.”


The OZY partnership falls into GroupM’s “responsible investment” buying framework, which focuses on brand safety, data ethics, diversity, equity and inclusion, responsible journalism and sustainability. The goal, according to McDonald, is to make advertising work better for people and maximize media dollars through socially conscious buying to fund positive change.


This investment approach evolves valuation and measurement methods to account for social and environmental impact like a media placement’s carbon emissions, the diversity of audience makeup and a concerted emphasis on local journalism and credible news sources.


This comes as the ad world looks to course-correct its role in supporting systemic racism, both internal and in the ways it has done business. While GroupM’s efforts aim to support DE&I efforts, they also extend to other forms of social good.


“Socially-conscious media buying is really the only way to support so many of the initiatives our clients are talking about,” McDonald says. “We want to make sure the dollars they are using aren’t just driving businesses, but also doing good.”


The deal with OZY will include the creation of original video, audio and written series for GroupM clients, and consultation services on trends and what’s new and next. While OZY is perhaps best known for its morning newsletter, it also has podcasts, produces TV shows and an events arm with festivals like OZY Fest.


McDonald points to OZY as the type of media company GroupM will be looking to partner with more deeply moving forward—those that support and expose fresh perspectives and audiences, he says.


Responsible investment doesn’t mean GroupM will compromise its standards on where it places media, McDonald adds, noting that OZY is “hot.” Instead, they will implement new standards on top of the ones already in place that will force the team to work harder to find outlets that not only drive scale but make a difference.


GroupM is the latest agency to strike a long-term deal with OZY. Last month, Dentsu Media announced it had entered into a three-year partnership with the brand as part of its “meaningful media” investment strategy. The length of both the GroupM and Dentsu deals with OZY are notable, and speak to the media company’s efforts to create long-term relationships rather than one-off sponsorships.


“We want to strike partnerships that allow brands to work with us in creative ways, and doesn’t feel like we are doing a one-off,” says Carlos Watson, CEO and co-founder of OZY. “We want to build something that will have real value for clients and partners, both addressing their immediate needs and in the medium term.”


The entire industry plans to take a closer look at their media dollars heading into this year’s spring ad haggle to see how companies can shift more dollars into minority-owned and diversity-targeted media.


Media mogul Byron Allen is leading a call for brands to shift 2% of their media spend into Black-owned media. And other media agencies like IPG Mediabrands are looking to educate clients on these types of media companies through so-called “Equity Upfronts” and other similar types of programs that feature minority-owned and targeted media companies.