Thursday, September 30, 2021

15559: Slowing The Spread Of COVID-19 Themed Ads.


After nearly a year, the crappy, contrived, clich├ęd COVID-19 Themed Ads collection only increased from 555 to 559 entries. Did the subject matter achieve herd immunity…?

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

15558: Papa John’s Is A Soul Man…?


Papa John’s in the UK is hyping its latest marketing move as follows:


Packed with full flavour that make your soul sing, Papa John’s new fresh soul range is here to serve up the good times for one and all. Cue the music.


Somebody cue John Schnatter for color commentary


Tuesday, September 28, 2021

15557: Ad Age Presents Stock Solution For Diversity.


Advertising Age published a perspective titled, “Tokenism Versus Diversity: What Does Genuine Inclusivity Look And Feel Like?”—and illustrated the piece with the most tokenistic, nongenuine iStock photo imaginable. Brilliant.

Monday, September 27, 2021

15556: WPP SEC WTF.


Advertising Age published a Bloomberg News report stating WPP paid $19 million to settle SEC allegations that the White holding company violated anti-bribery laws. Somewhere, Miles Nadal is sneering, “Amateurs…”


WPP Pays $19 Million To Settle SEC Claims It Broke Bribery Laws


The industry’s biggest holding company neither admitted nor denied the SEC’s findings


WPP Plc, the world’s largest agency holding company, agreed to pay more than $19 million to settle U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission allegations that it violated anti-bribery laws.


WPP acquired majority interests in firms in high-risk markets without ensuring that these subsidiaries implemented WPP’s internal compliance controls, according to a Friday SEC statement. Founders and CEOs of the acquired entities exercised wide autonomy and out-sized influence. For example, a subsidiary in India continued to bribe Indian government officials in return for advertising contracts even though WPP had received seven anonymous complaints about the conduct.


“A company cannot allow a focus on profitability or market share to come at the expense of appropriate controls,” said Charles Cain, head of the SEC enforcement unit that handles violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.


Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, WPP agreed to pay $10.1 million in disgorgement, $1.1 million in prejudgment interest, and an $8 million fine.


“WPP’s new leadership has put in place robust new compliance measures and controls, fundamentally changed its approach to acquisitions, cooperated fully with the Commission and terminated those involved in misconduct,” a WPP spokesperson said in an emailed statement.


—Bloomberg News

Sunday, September 26, 2021

15555: Can’t Beat The Real Unnecessary Thing…?


This “advertisement” appears to state that when it comes to a waste of money, Coke is it!

Saturday, September 25, 2021

15554: Smoking Sex & Stereotypes.


Big Tobacco has historically shown ignorance with Native American imagery—and even compounded the cultural cluelessness with sexual stereotypes.



Friday, September 24, 2021

15553: Can’t Beat The System—Or Systemic Racism.


Advertising Age published a lengthy report titled, “What to Expect As Coca-Cola’s Massive Agency Review Comes To An End.”


Um, expect that Coke’s branding campaign will be handled by a bunch of White advertising agencies in a White holding company, while minority shops receive classic crumbs…?

Thursday, September 23, 2021

15552: Reading Mark Read Bullshit…


Campaign published an interview with WPP CEO Mark Read that was likely written and/or reviewed by the White holding company’s PR and legal departments. When asked about the JWT sex discrimination lawsuit, Read coughed up the following:


CAMPAIGN: JWT, now part of Wunderman Thompson, lost a recent employment tribunal case which found that two male creative directors were unfairly made redundant “because of their sex”. What has WPP, the parent company, learnt from this case and do you really plan to appeal the ruling as Wunderman Thompson has said?


READ: The events did take place three years ago at JWT since when we’ve merged the agency and changed the leadership. I am not going to comment on the specifics of that case but I would reiterate that we seek to run our business in a way that doesn’t discriminate against anyone in the company on any basis and that would be my commitment.


CAMPAIGN: Jo Wallace, a creative director, who got caught up in the JWT case but was not directly involved, gave an interview to Channel 4 News after the tribunal in which she talked about how it might take 100 years to close the gender pay gap. And if we look at WPP’s published gender pay gap figures for the UK, some of them do seem to have moved very slowly (median gender pay gap was 17.5% in 2020 vs 17.6% in 2019). This is relevant because you talk in these results about how diversity, inclusion and sustainability metrics are now part of the compensation scheme for senior leaders at WPP. So how do you drive change faster?


READ: It’s important to me and to our board that we’re clear on our expectations for our leaders that we expect them to build an inclusive culture in their company and the make-up of our workforce should reflect the societies in which we operate.


I think about it in two ways: Representation – do we represent the society in which we live in terms of gender, race and other metrics? – and belonging – do the people who work for us feel they belong in our company?


Both representation and belonging are things that we are increasingly measuring and we seek to put them in our people’s incentive plans to remind them it’s important and to reward and motivate them to make progress. I think we have to do that and can do that without discriminating on any basis.


If you look at the gender composition of our workforce, we’ve made very good progress on Hampton Alexander metrics [for senior female leaders] and we have some progress on the ethnic make-up of our workforce in the US and the UK – but we recognise we’ve got more to do on both.


Wow, that’s some pretty slick dodging on Read’s part. To distance himself by claiming “the events did take place three years ago” is pathetic. After all, Read orchestrated the merger between JWT and Wunderman. Did he believe that combining two White advertising agencies—historically dominated by White men—would create a DE&I Nirvana?


Read’s dual objectives—representation and belonging—spotlight the abject failure of the CEO and board. Regarding gender and racial equality, he admits “we recognise we’ve got more to do on both”—despite having been with the corporation when it proclaimed that the staffers “represent perhaps the most diverse example of diversity of any single organisation.”


Most outrageous is Read’s contention that belonging—which he defined by asking, “[D]o the people who work for us feel they belong in our company?”—is being measured. It would be interesting to learn exactly how the measurement is executed and recorded.


The easiest thing to measure is the increasing amount of bullshit excreting from Read’s mouth.

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

15551: New Pine-Sol Campaign Is Lame AF.

Did The Pine-Sol® Lady get demoted? She’s not visible in the latest campaign. That’s rude AF, baby.



Tuesday, September 21, 2021

15550: Priceless Hypocrisy From Mastercard.


Mastercard claims that for Black women business owners, it all starts with respect. For Black women at the White advertising agencies partnering with Mastercard, not so much.

Monday, September 20, 2021

15549: Overreaction Of The Week.

Adweek spotlighted a Gain commercial hyping how the detergent turns people into “Gainiacs”—which seems culturally clueless and insensitive to people with mental health issues, no?

Sunday, September 19, 2021

15548: Holy Shit.

The hacks responsible for this Abbot Ale campaign need creative direction and spiritual direction.


Saturday, September 18, 2021

15547: No Serious Side Effects For Big Pharma…?

When pharmaceutical companies advertise their products, the copy is strictly scrutinized and dictated by FDA regulators. Yet for self-promotional messages, it seems like any propagandistic puffery flies.

Friday, September 17, 2021

15546: You Deserve A Fast Break Today.


Nice to know that Mickey D’s in Egypt will break all speed limits to deliver Big Macs and Fries. Perfect.


Thursday, September 16, 2021

15545: Definitely Not A Flash Of Brilliance…

The promotion of this Brook campaign raising awareness for cyberflashing only presents advertisements featuring male cyberflashers—likely because the concept was hatched by a predominately female creative team…?


Wednesday, September 15, 2021

15544: Smoke Signals & Stereotypes.

American Spirit is hardly original in its culturally clueless use of a peace pipe-puffing chief. Big Tobacco has a long history of misappropriation of Native American culture and cigarettes. Why, there’s even a research paper on the topic—check it out.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

15543: FYI UM CDO BS.

Adweek reported Universal McCann elevated an employee to Chief Diversity Officer. Of course they did. The article opened by stating the new CDO “knows that in a client-driven business, real change in workplace culture can only come when employees are specifically paid to do just that.” In other words, the role is not a pro-bono volunteer gig like too many other examples of delegating diversity in Adland. Or maybe he’s referring to bonuses for executives with hiring authority who meet diversity goals…? Regardless, it would be interesting to see how the CDO salary compares to the compensation for, say, the CCO. Does the C stand for crumbs?

Monday, September 13, 2021

15542: Sir Martin Sorrell Adds Color To His Monastery.


Sir Martin Sorrell diversified S4 Capital by acquiring Cashmere and folding it into the Media.Monks enterprise.


Sorrell gushed, “We are delighted to welcome [Cashmere leadership] and their colleagues to Media.Monks. Their ability to translate contemporary culture into compelling content and reach diverse audiences is a rare talent and something we want to integrate at the heart of our content practice. It is particularly relevant, given the changes we see taking place around diversity and purpose, not only in the United States, but beyond.”


“…[G]iven the changes we see taking place around diversity and purpose…?” The changes being that clients are demanding inclusivity from their vendors? Amazing how Sorrell managed to seed the announcement with key words including diverse, integrate, relevant, diversity and purpose. Expect Sir Peanut to soon proclaim his growing empire is comprised of drones that “represent perhaps the most diverse example of diversity of any single organisation.”


Why, they might have to change the company name to Multicultural.Monks.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

15541: Is American Spirit Naturally Stereotypical…?


Hey, why is the American Spirit chief still puffing away on his peace pipe? Shouldn’t he join the vanishing tribe?


Saturday, September 11, 2021

15540: Not So Sure About This Patronizing Promotion…


Wunderman Thompson in the UK—working for Sure deodorants and anti-perspirants—seeks to raise awareness for people with disabilities via a print advertisement…? What about people with visual impairments? Actually, those folks are being spared experiencing the awfulness of this lame design.

Friday, September 10, 2021

15539: Feel The Alcoholic Alps…


Edelweiss appears proud to promise inducing hallucinatory experiences. But flying under the influence seems like unsafe and irresponsible behavior.