Tuesday, August 31, 2021

15529: One School @ One Year = One Photo Op.


Adweek reported One School—hatched in partnership with Spotify and The One Club—celebrated its inaugural year by training 84 Black creatives and recording an 80% hiring rate for graduates. Considering that One School is a free 16-week portfolio school, the results seem extraordinary.


Then again, recruiting entry-level minorities is a slam dunk routinely executed by even the most mediocre players. Why can’t The One Club leverage its privileged influence to ignite an employment spike for mid- and senior-level Blacks?


And how do the figures from One School compare with the success rates of MAIP, High School for IAM, BrandLab or other education-based heat shields? The retention numbers will mark the true measure of progressive victory.


Check back in one year…

Monday, August 30, 2021

15528: Dear Great White Hope… (Or Dear White Hypocrites)


Advertising Age reported on patronizing propaganda produced by IPG DXTRA, the Anti-Defamation League, We Are and the Ad CouncilDear White Parents—seemingly designed to serve as a Caucasian companion to Procter & Gamble’s The Talk. Sorry, but IPG DXTRA and the Ad Council need to look in the mirror—then create Dear White Adpeople


‘Dear White Parents’ Shifts The Burden Of Talking About Race To Families With The Privilege To Ignore It


A short film from IPG DXTRA, the Anti-Defamation League, WE ARE and the Ad Council follows the conversations of four white families


By I-Hsien Sherwood


P&G’s 2017 ad “The Talk” introduced many white viewers to the conversations about race that all Black families have, often starting when children are young. The ad’s power hinged on a simple insight: Race is a life-or-death issue for Black families, but white families can ignore it altogether.


So when news breaks of the latest victim of racial violence, Black parents must explain it to their children, while white families can choose whether or not to engage in difficult or uncomfortable conversations about systemic racism and white privilege. Historically, most opt to not. Nearly two-thirds of white adults surveyed say their parents rarely or never spoke to them about race or racism.


A new short film, “Dear White Parents,” encourages them to do just that. Created by IPG DXTRA with support from racism education non-profit WE ARE, the Ad Council and the Anti-Defamation League, the 11-minute film follows four white families as they navigate tough conversations about race and racism with their children. It is narrated by anti-racist educator Dr. Ronda Taylor Bullock, executive curator of WE ARE.


Kevin Wilson, Jr., nominated for an Academy Award for his short film “My Nephew Emmett,” directs.


“I was six years old when I was called the n-word for the first time. It was a devastating experience and I remember it vividly,” he said in a statement. “The weight of these discussions has fallen on Black and Brown parents for centuries. We want to encourage and equip White parents to share in this responsibility.”


Rather than continuing to place the onus on Black families to warn their kids of the obstacles they’ll face because of their race, white parents can take on the burden themselves to make their children aware of their privilege and the consequences of inaction.


In an industry where CDOs are usually tasked with reviewing creative near the end of the process, after most of the important decisions have been made, this project stands out: the creative concept originated with IPG DXTRA’s chief inclusion and diversity officer, Margenett Moore-Roberts.


“After days of watching multi-racial crowds around the world protest the murder of George Floyd, I started wondering what kind of impact we could make if we were able to encourage and equip more white families to discuss race with their children early and often, in a similar way that Black families have been doing for generations,” she says. “Could we bend the 400-year-old trajectory of racism and create a new reality around race for the next generation?”


A website houses the full film, along with a discussion guide created by the ADL and anti-racism workshops for families. The Ad Council is including the film as part of its Racial Justice Series, and it will run in donated media placements.


A team drawn from IPG DXTRA agencies collaborated for several months to create the platform, including strategy and creative and film production from The Brooklyn Brothers, content development, earned and social media and comms from Golin, website development from Hugo & Cat, media from Resolute Digital, influencer engagement and talent from R&CPMK and creative consulting from Weber Shandwick.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

15527: Credit Card Craftiness.


These credit cards are money…? Like money from a Mafioso loan shark.

Saturday, August 28, 2021

15526: Overreaction Of The Week.


A free book explaining who Jesse Owens was—in every box of Kellogg’s Chocolate Frosted Flakes…? Sorry, that’s not gr-r-reat!

Friday, August 27, 2021

15525: Talk To The Hand, Tiger Cub Enthusiasts.


Whoever thought this was a good idea should be slapped with lots of hands.

Thursday, August 26, 2021

15524: Exclusivity And Systemic Racism Are Viruses At IPG.


Advertising Age published a report that asked, “Can My Employer Require Me To Get The COVID Vaccine?” The article noted IPG is mandating that all employees be vaccinated. Yet, despite its patronizing DE&I gobbledygook, the White holding company can’t mandate that managers with hiring authority select and promote people of color. IPG leaders just won’t give racial and ethnic minorities a shot.

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

15523: The Economics Of Exclusivity.


Current Affairs published a perspective by Bertrand Cooper that expressed the following:


A closer look at the economics of Black pop culture reveals that most Black creators (outside music) come from middle-to-upper middle class backgrounds, while the Black poor are written about but rarely get the chance to speak for themselves.


The notion could arguably be applied to Blacks in Adland too, although there is probably no data to prove it. In short, this may indicate the pointlessness of recruiting exclusively from underserved communities in the hopes of improving diversity in the field.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

15522: David Droga Adds Australian Accent To Accenture.


Advertising Age reported David Droga is abandoning his own White advertising agency to assume the lead role at Accenture Interactive. Droga succeeds another White man, which poses questions about Accenture’s alleged commitment to inclusion and diversity. Hell, Accenture likely mirrors the Droga5 patronizing promotion of equality. Meanwhile, former Droga5 drone Ted Royer is probably polishing his digital chops for freelance opportunities.


Why David Droga Jumped To Accenture—And How The Industry Is Responding


Droga5 founder leaps to head $10 billion company just behind WPP, Omnicom and Publicis


By Judann Pollack


With his ascension to CEO of Accenture Interactive, David Droga will run the world’s fourth-largest agency company behind WPP, Omnicom Group and Publicis Groupe.


That vaults Droga from operating an agency with estimated revenue of $200 million before it was purchased by Accenture two years ago to helming a global behemoth with revenue of $10.6 billion, sharing the same rarefied air as Mark Read, John Wren and Arthur Sadoun.


“He’s moved from running a mid-range agency to running one with billions in revenue,” said one agency consultant. “That’s a big jump even for a guy as smart as David Droga.”


Industry reactions


Industry reactions ranged from “puzzling” and “curious” to “surprising.”


“Dave Droga’s appointment shows that Accenture is trying to show the outside world, their internal staff, and potential acquisitions that they ‘get’ creative,” says Simon Francis, CEO at Flock Associates. “But Droga, wonderful though he may be, is just one person. I’m personally quite interested in why he would do the role, surely it’s a very different challenge than he has tackled before, in a very different environment and culture.”


“I am certainly surprised. I didn’t see him as a big company kind of dude,” says Sarah Hofstetter, former CEO of 360i and current president of e-commerce analytics firm Profitero. “When you’re a founder and when you have the name on the door there is a certain amount of permission and power that may not translate to a bigger company.”


Accenture declined to make Droga, who begins his new post Sept. 1, available for an interview.


While Droga’s creative chops are unquestioned, running an operation such as Accenture Interactive requires a different skillset, said a second consultant. “To run a [consulting] company is different than running creative insights and creative inspiration. The industry is filled with people who are fabulous at the craft and they get promoted into a role where they don’t have all the skillsets. So you become a CEO. Do you know how to run a P&L?”


Yet those who have worked with Australian-born Droga say his abundant charisma and dynamism will go a long way when it comes to competing with holding companies and attracting clients. “Would you rather work with Mark Read or Arthur Sadoun?” says a former Droga exec. “Most of those companies are run by bankers and stiff suits without a creative person in front.”


There is a huge challenge in taking a global behemoth the size of Accenture Interactive with its myriad units and pulling them into a cohesive whole, said Avi Dan, who runs search consultancy Avidan Strategies. That said, he adds: “I wouldn’t sell David Droga short.”


“People asked if Accenture would change Droga5,” David Droga has said. “I said we would change them.”


Wither Whipple?


Droga is succeeding Brian Whipple, a former Rapp and Hill Holliday executive, who the company said is retiring after 10 years of running Accenture’s agency business. At press time, Accenture had not responded to a request for Whipple’s age.


“I would like to thank and recognize Brian Whipple for his foundational role in building Accenture Interactive’s strong business, driving its rapid growth and for pioneering a disruptive business model that will continue redefining the industry,” said Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture in the announcement of Droga’s appointment.


Much of Accenture Interactive’s creative firepower seems to have stemmed from Droga5, Ad Age’s 2021 Agency of the Year, which has been generating a steady stream of wins and work for clients including Petco, Kimberly-Clark, Luluemon, Allstate and more. The other 30-plus agencies within AI’s marketing services network include Karmarama and Fjord, both in London; Shackleton in Madrid; Matter in San Francisco; Reactive Media in Australia and Rothco in Dublin.


That last agency recently lost a notable global creative account—White Claw—two years after the shop first landed it. The loss of the top-selling hard seltzer brand came less than six months after Rotcho created White Claw’s first big global campaign, “Let’s White Claw,” which leaned into the brand’s carefree image. But as beer trade pub Beer Marketer’s Insights notes, the campaign has “not led to improved trends,” with White Claw’s U.S. sales in stores down 12% for the 12 weeks ending Aug. 8, according to data from Evercore ISI cited by the publication.


New path for consultancies


Some people believe the appointment ups the ante for Accenture’s competitors—which have long taken a knock for not being very creative—to put their own creative leaders at the helm. “It’s a positive move to see a creative practitioner take the lead at a consultancy,” said Greg Paull, co-founder and principal at R3. “David will bring a totally different perspective to past management and with his global experience, he will also be the best candidate to connect up some of the other Accenture Interactive acquisitions in the UK, Germany, Japan and Australia. This move signifies Accenture’s ambition to become a truly creative-led consultancy where innovation and ideas have just as an important seat at the table as effectiveness and efficiency.”


But following that path won’t be easy, he says. “Deloitte has been hampered with some false starts and PwC and KPMG have only a few pockets of excellence in this space. They have a lot more ground to make up.”


“I’m not sure that the appointment of Dave Droga to Accenture Interactive leader signifies any seismic shift in the industry one way or the other. In the same way any agency creating a consultancy department or role doesn’t directly threaten Accenture or Boston Consulting Group, this move by Accenture does not imply any increased threat to agencies,” said Flock.


Plans for Droga5


With the agency’s namesake stepping into his new role, Droga5 has not announced whether anyone will move into the creative chairman post, though Droga5 watchers believe that is highly unlikely. The agency’s founder has long asserted how his company’s strength comes not just from him, but from the deep bench of talents it has assembled and nurtured over the years. Following the departures of longtime execs of Neil Heymann, former global chief creative officer, and Jonny Bauer, former global chief strategy officer, the agency did not fill those posts directly but turned to existing leaders, including New York Chief Creative Officers Tim Gordon and Felix Richter, London Chief Creative Officer Dave Kolbusz and Chief Brand Strategy Officer Harry Román-Torres to continue to run the show.


“One of the remits from the very start, even when we were a small organization was—whoever was in leadership roles—your primary task is to lead the department to make a quality grade. But your secondary task was to build a team so that you have people below you that can take over for you,” Droga told Ad Age earlier this year. “I say it to my creative leads, and I’ve said it for a long time—if you are not planning to overthrow me, you’re not the creatives I thought you were.”


Contributing: E.J. Schultz, Brian Bonilla, Bradley Johnson, Ann-Christine Diaz

Monday, August 23, 2021

15521: Antisocial Distancing.


This Amnesty International campaign from VMLY&R in Colombia is explained as follows:


Thousands of Central American migrants leave their countries in search of a better future, even during the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the language of “Social Distancing”, we show the parallel between the distance that saves some people’s lives, and how for the migrant population of Central America, two meters are not enough.


It’s more likely that the creators were simply producing a scampaign, attempting to position themselves in closer distance to an award…?


Sunday, August 22, 2021

15520: Loans, Moans & Groans.


You’re covered for the whole school year—and in debt for your whole life.

Saturday, August 21, 2021

15519: Bigots Putting Themselves In Jeopardy!


Clue: Culturally clueless comedian who lost TV gig


Answer: Who is Mike—or Michael—Richards?

Friday, August 20, 2021

15518: Confessing That Exclusivity Can Lead To Extra Work…?


The latest Digiday confessions series installment presents an alleged advertising agency exec from a holding company whining about work overload, tying it to the “war for talent” being waged between ad shops, client-side enterprises and tech companies. The exec claimed, “There’s a lot of people leaving agencies to go to tech companies and clients. The pipeline to backfill those roles can’t keep up with the demand.” Perhaps it’s the perfect opportunity to expand the pipeline with non-White candidates…?


‘They’re shouldering a lot more work’: Confessions of an agency exec on how the war for talent is impacting existing staffers


By Kristina Monllos


There’s a “war for talent” in advertising right now. With hiring freezes mostly over, agencies are competing with each other as well as clients and tech companies for top talent as the industry looks to fill positions that have been left open over the last year-and-a-half.


For our latest edition of our Confessions series, in which we exchange anonymity for candor, we hear from a holding company agency exec about the difficult environment he’s seeing in hiring now and how that’s impacting talent. This conversation has been edited and condensed for clarity.


Tell us about the difficulty in hiring you’re seeing right now.


There’s a lot of people leaving agencies to go to tech companies and clients. The pipeline to backfill those roles can’t keep up with the demand. Also, once someone’s been given an offer they don’t just start the next day [so roles are empty for a while]. And anyone who’s half decent in this industry has lots of offers to mull over.


People leaving agencies for tech companies or clients isn’t a new problem. Is it getting worse now?


It’s the same. It might be a bit more pronounced now with more people hiring [to fill roles once hiring freezes due to the pandemic lifted]. Agencies are like talent nurseries for these other companies where people might get a better offer.


Why do you think agencies are feeling the talent crunch so much right now?


We all just went through a once in a century crisis. Every company is fighting to preserve all jobs, not to lose too much money, not to damage cash flow, not to hurt the balance sheet. Hiring is a massive cost. Property and hiring are the two biggest costs for any company. So hiring has gone on freeze for a lot of companies — it’s not just an agency problem — and the demand has not gone down for talent. All of those jobs need to be backfilled. There’s more competition and choice.


With roles being left open for a long time there must be a lot of pressure on the employees still at agencies to pitch in and take on more work.


It puts more pressure on the people who’ve kept their jobs and stayed because they’re shouldering a lot more work while they are trying to backfill those roles. That’s where the trouble is. Imagine having to do [the work of] four or five people, think about what that’s doing to your brain. I don’t think a lot of people who may be in leadership teams really have an understanding of, or empathy for, what it’s like [to have to take on that work load].


What should agencies do to be more competitive in this environment?


It’s difficult. There’s competition from all sides. I don’t have a good answer for that. But something has to change. Lumbering people with more work than they’re paid for — people get paid for one job, and no matter how big that title is or what they’re paid they’re paid for one job, not ten or twenty. That’s a big issue [for people] right now, especially if you’re on a demanding account with a lot of high volume work.

Thursday, August 19, 2021

15517: CBD WTF BS.


Gumdrop-shaped serenity? Is this not the moral equivalent of candy-flavored cigarettes?

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

15516: Divertsity Doubleheader For VMLY&R.


Adweek reported VMLY&R appointed its first Health Practice Lead and Chief Strategy Officer for VMLY&R Health, North America. Of course they did. Hey, the place has to earn its 3% Movement certification. Of course they do. And the Chief Integration Officer will probably mark the appointment as a diversity move. Of course he will. Actually, it’s a divertsity doubleheader.