Sunday, October 31, 2021

15590: Returning To The Office—And Returning To The Exclusivity.


Digiday reported on results of a survey showing disagreements between senior executives and employees over returning to the office. The story also spotlighted another survey that exposed opinions on the lack of dedication to DE&I initiatives—as well as the failure of people with hiring authority to actively and deliberately engage in progressive change. So, the folks who do decide to return to the office will find the same old White people dominating the halls.


Why senior execs and employees are disagreeing on returning to the office and how DE&I initiatives fit into plans


By Tony Case


Imagine the office just as we left it at the onset of the pandemic: Our lonely desk and chair, which have so patiently been waiting for our return. The kitchen. The conference room. But instead of being populated by our coworkers, all we see around us are our bosses.


In a recent survey of more than 10,000 workers globally, the future-of-work initiative Future Forum found that nearly half (44%) of executives currently working remotely want to return to the office full-time, whereas only about one-fifth (17%) of nonexecutive staff do.


Executive satisfaction is 62% greater than non-executives, driven by flexibility (51% higher), sense of belonging (52% higher) and work-life balance (78% higher), according to the report. Executives also score 114% higher when it comes to “feeling good about stress and anxiety.” Male executives report the highest scores among experience indicators, including “sense of belonging,” “level of access to resources,” “ability to focus on work” and “overall satisfaction with the working environment.”


The report also suggested that as executives plan the return to the office, the Great Resignation shows no sign of letting up. More than half of employees polled (57%) said they were open to looking for a new job in the next year — while for those unsatisfied with the level of flexibility they have in their current jobs, the number jumps to 71%.


At San Francisco’s FCB West — which, as the smallest of FCB’s U.S. agencies, functions as a creative boutique — its leadership, as with that of other agencies, has been experimenting with allowing people to work when, where and how that suits them best. It ran surveys and spoke to everyone individually, and what was overwhelmingly and obviously clear was that everyone has different wants and needs.


“Some people are eager to get back into the office, others tell us they do their best work from home, and some moved to different cities. They know where they do their best work, and our job is to accommodate that. We want people to be their creative best, so if that’s in a log cabin in the woods working into the night, so be it,” said Simon White, president and CSO of FCB West, which has marketed brands including Levi’s and Ghirardelli.


As a small, close-knit team, the agency has been able to pivot to a remote work environment. It now has people working from Los Angeles, Seattle, Toronto, New York and elsewhere. “One thing we’ve learned is that no one size fits all,” White said. “People do their best work when they are most comfortable.”


Flexibility has become not only an essential element of workers’ happiness but also a significant factor in the feelings of underrepresented groups.


In the U.S., for example, people of color and working parents are especially dissatisfied with their current work situations, according to the Future Forum survey. Sixty-six percent of Hispanic employees, 64% of Black workers and 63% of Asian staffers said they’re interested in looking for other opportunities, compared to 56% of white employees. Sixty-two percent of working dads and 60% of working moms are open to a job switch, compared to 56% of female employees and 51% of male employees without kids.


The desire for flexible work is strongest among women, working parents and people of color. Eighty-seven percent of Asian respondents and 81% of Black respondents want flexible or hybrid work, compared to 75% of white respondents. Eighty-five percent of women currently working fully remotely want flexible or hybrid work, compared to 79% of men.


Meanwhile, in a recent survey of 1,000 workers in the U.S. by the human resources support firm Workhuman, employees shared their views on how employers have worked to improve diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in recent months. The survey found that 40% of people of color said their employers had not made noticeable progress around DE&I in the last year. Sixty-six percent stated that their companies’ DE&I plans/status impact their feelings about longevity at the organization.


And despite the emphasis on corporate DE&I initiatives and the ongoing battle for talent, recent data from the global recruitment platform Hireutal indicates that 85% of candidate searches are not looking for diverse talent when seeking to fill software engineer positions.


Data from more than 31,000 searches highlights a core weakness in diversity hiring strategies, according to the firm — and when searching for software engineers, most don’t even try to find diverse candidates.


Hiretual found that recruiters and hiring managers are failing to use available tools to help them source candidates from underrepresented groups, including women and Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American professionals. “The technology is there to help find and hire diverse candidates,” said Steven Jiang, CEO at Hiretual. “Companies now have the option to make a difference — there are no more excuses.”


Danielle Sherman — director of people and culture at New York advertising agency Organic, which does work for brands like Carter’s children’s wear and El Pollo Loco — noted that last year the firm established a Career Coaching employee resource group (ERG) in partnership with professional development firm Sayge to support underrepresented talent and accelerate their career paths. The program, which includes mid- to director-level employees nominated by their managers, is focused on skill building and career development. It served about a dozen Organic employees in its inaugural year and tripled in size this year, Sherman reported.


It is one more example of how marketing agencies have doubled down on delivering results on DE&I by way of ERGs and other initiatives.


“Coaching is proven to help people fulfill their professional and personal potential,” she said. “It is a way to invest in and support the growth and continued development of Organic employees.”

Saturday, October 30, 2021

15589: Four Recruiters, Four Stooges.


Adweek published a report titled, “4 Recruiters Explain How Agencies and Creatives Should Navigate the War for Talent.” Are recruiters really qualified to explain anything? At this point, most recruiters are essentially serving as temp agencies. Sorry, these are not the type of people to rely on for navigation in a war—even one as trivial as the war for talent.


Friday, October 29, 2021

15588: Delayed WTF 51—Say It Ain’t So, Jo!


MultiCultClassics is often occupied with real work. As a result, a handful of events occur without the expected blog commentary. This limited series—Delayed WTF—seeks to make belated amends for the absence of malice.


After getting skewered in sensationalistic style by the Daily Mail, Wunderman Thompson Creative Director Jo Wallace sought to defend herself on Channel 4 News—yet may have talked her way into more trouble. Surely, the PR department at her White advertising agency can’t be happy to hear her protestations.


One of the White men who succeeded in the discrimination lawsuit against JWT had remarked, “I remember feeling like I just had a target on my back. I remember thinking, if I was a Black 24-year-old woman I’d be fine. If I had been gay, even better.”


Wallace shot back, “I feel sorry for him that he felt he had a target on his back and I can massively relate to that right now, given all the coverage about myself. … In terms of being better off had he been a Black young woman and a gay one at that, we just return to the statistics, because they show that if he had in fact been that, he probably would have never even been given an opportunity to begin his career.” And she went on to declare, “…in reality, the current rate of change means that women will receive equal pay in at least 100 years…”


Okay, but the statistics and current rate of change means whiny White women like Wallace will experience equality waaaaay before Black and Brown people.

Thursday, October 28, 2021

15587: The Academy Is, Well, An Academic Affair.


Advertising Age reported on The Academy, a “new” advertising school from Goodby Silverstein & Partners that feels deceptively like an old heat shield. While the story hyped the alleged attempt to create a breakthrough enterprise, a closer look shows the White advertising agency is regurgitating a standard diversity ploy: educate kids of color. Sorry, but fabricating a racial and ethnic pipeline is usually a pipe dream. The tuition-free angle probably translates to a tax break for GS&P. Not surprisingly, the guys behind The Academy appear to be White men—including a ≈20-year advertising school veteran. One guy described the other’s contributions to the scheme as “100 pounds of gasoline thrown on a match.” Um, somebody explain to the co-genius that gas isn’t measured in weight.


Oh, and students will be tutored in San Francisco versus Sweden.


Goodby Silverstein & Partners’ New Advertising School Aims to Fix Industry Problems


The Academy at GS&P is now accepting applications for the class of 2022


By Parker Herren


Zach Canfield, director of talent at Goodby Silverstein & Partners, has been visiting advertising programs for nearly a quarter of a century. For many years, his school visits were done in the company of other agency recruiters, but he’s noticed a shift recently. Now, not only are agencies reaching out directly to students, but in-house brand teams have joined the recruitment rush.


“There’s a lot more people and, frankly, there aren’t a lot more students at the schools,” Canfield said. “You could see that the well was drying up a little bit.”


That’s why, for the last two and a half years, he’s been developing The Academy at GS&P, a year-long, tuition-free, in-house school to train the next generation of marketers. Hosted at the GS&P headquarters in San Francisco, The Academy will train young people and marketing newcomers the basics of advertising, without the fluff.


“We’ve done an incredible amount of surveys and data and digging on people who graduated from school,” Canfield said. “Asking them what were the most important classes they took? What were the classes that weren’t a good use of their time? What do they wish they had learned more of in school? What were they not prepared for?”


On top of teaching copywriters how to write and designers how to use Adobe, the program is able to offer students access to GS&P’s roster of creatives and facilities. Students will have access to the agency’s motion animation group, musicians and editors, as well as classes taught by agency partners Rich Silverstein, Jeff Goodby, Margaret Johnson and a host of guests. Plus, Dan Balser has stepped in as the school’s director, after nearly two decades at the Creative Circus, a two-year ad school in Atlanta.


Canfield describes Balser’s contributions to the program as “100 pounds of gasoline thrown on a match.” In addition to a decade on the creative side at agencies like Ogilvy and Publicis, Balser has spent the past 18 years as a program director at the Creative Circus, mentoring nearly 2,000 marketers who have gone on to top-tier gigs at agencies like Droga5, TBWA\Chiat\Day, BBDO New York and GS&P.


“The opportunity here is an agency that’s committed to doing this in a way that allows us to meet the students where they are, meet the agency where they are and the industry where it is,” Balser said. “So, it’s an opportunity to redefine what a junior or student portfolio looks like, to really look towards the present and the future versus looking at the way things have always been done. It’s a thrilling opportunity to be able to do that.”


But the team isn’t just trying to build portfolios for a small cohort of future ad workers — it’s trying to repair a tear they see in the industry. As agencies and clients recognize the need to give voice to representation, marketing schools aren’t keeping up with the demands of the industry, according to Canfield. The Academy at GS&P is what he and Balser hope is the beginning of an abundance of accessible learning opportunities for creatives from other big agencies.


Balser recalled his days working for Fuji Film and described how not a single company meeting passed without mention of its rival, Kodak. He says the same mindset is present in advertising schools: competitive scorn for peers. Balser and Canfield want the opposite for their new wave of training.


“We want to change education. I want more schools like [The Academy] to happen. I think this is a model of what the future of advertising education should look like,” Balser said. “To me, honestly, this is the beginning of an evolution."


Canfield added that “the school is our little attempt at trying to help make the industry better.”


Applications for The Academy at GS&P are available now on the program’s website. The school will open its doors to its first class in February 2022.


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

15586: ¿Entiendes A Las Mujeres?


Advertising Age reported the ANA extended its SeeHer/#WriteHerRight heat shield to integrate Latinas, creating a guide to improve Latina representation in marketing and entertainment. The new edition is a multicultural muchacha to the Black women’s guide produced earlier this year. It’s highly unlikely that either set of instructions will improve racial and ethnic female representation in Adland. But expect an Asian version to join the girlfriend guide get-together soon—and maybe a single-page flyer for Native American women.


New Guide Aims To Improve Latina Media Representation


NBCUniversal, Telemundo and SeeHer team up to produce Latina character guide


By Sydney Gold


NBCUniversal and Telemudo have partnered with the Association of National Advertisers’ SeeHer initiative to release a guide aimed at improving Latina representation in marketing and entertainment.


“Latina Characters: Authentic Representation and Storytelling Guide” will be introduced Tuesday at the 2021 ANA Multicultural Marketing and Diversity Conference. It offers users a series of guiding questions in scripting Latina characters, and is the latest push in the #WriteHerRight campaign.


Some of the questions include: Are there any Latina heroines? Have the artists portraying the Latina characters been invited to share their own experiences, in their own words?


“Latinas are integral to the fabric of the American story, so they have a right to be fully seen, heard, and reflected in the content we create and consume,” Dr. Knatokie Ford, an executive advisor for SeeHer, said in a press release. “It is a tremendous disservice to exclude them or reduce them to tropes, stereotypes and caricatures. There is no singular Latina story — there are infinite stories. So, we should endeavor to paint more vivid pictures of Latinas to illustrate the fullness of who they are, where they have been, and even where they hope to be.”


The focus on Latina representation is not just morally imperative, but also savvy business, according to Mónica Gil, executive VP, chief administrative and marketing officer for NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises.


“Nearly 1 in 5 women in the U.S. are Latinas influencing a large part of the $1.9 trillion in Hispanic consumers’ purchasing power, so it is important for brands and content creators to connect with them authentically and accurately to fuel their businesses’ growth,” Gil said.


Marc Pritchard, Procter & Gamble's chief brand officer and a SeeHer co-chair, also voiced his support for the effort. “We see a lot more diversity in ads and programs today, but we need to ensure that Latinas are accurately portrayed in a real, respectful and genuine way that truly reflects who they are,” Pritchard said in a statement.


This is the second SeeHer writing guide. The first debuted earlier this year in collaboration with the Oprah Winfrey Network and was centered around the representations of Black women in advertising and entertainment.

Tuesday, October 26, 2021

15585: Wieden + Kennedy Creates Clichéd Cultural Competency Commitment.


AgencySpy posted that Wieden + Kennedy hired the former R/GA Global Director of Culture and Operations to serve as its Global Director of Culture and Operations. Of course they did. It’s a wonder the executive didn’t receive a bump from “Global” to “Galactic.” AgencySpy categorized the announcement under the “Revolving Door” banner. But given all the shifting of minorities in these heat shield roles, a more suitable label would have been “Musical Chairs.”

Monday, October 25, 2021

15584: At Deloitte Digital, Nathan Young Is 1 & Rising…


Advertising Age reported Deloitte Digital launched a new offering—Ethos—to help businesses create equity, justice and sustainability heat shields. Leading the charge as Head of Strategy for Ethos is none other than Nathan Young. Hey, if the initiative experiences extraordinary success, Young could land an ADCOLOR® trophy.


Nathan Young, Former 600 & Rising President, Heads A New Brand Purpose Initiative At Deloitte Digital


Ethos builds on the promise—and pitfalls—of his former organization


By I-Hsien Sherwood


Nathan Young, co-founder and former president of advocacy non-profit 600 & Rising, has a new plan to help the world—at Deloitte Digital.


After the murder of George Floyd, 600 & Rising galvanized racial justice sentiment in the advertising industry, but the original initiative collapsed just a few months later, its plans no match for institutional inertia, management missteps and the often daunting logistics of running a non-profit.


“When you’re powered by a team of volunteers, for all your good intentions you are having to balance what you're trying to do in that space with your day job,” Young said. “You just can’t get as far as you want as fast as you want.”


Young has learned from that experience. At Deloitte Digital he is now head of strategy for Ethos, a new offering from the consultancy that will help businesses develop internal and external programs to address equity, justice and sustainability issues. While chief marketing officers want to do the right thing, he said, they don’t know how to.


“They understand how their audiences feel about their brand, but they don’t have a really good understanding of how they feel about social issues,” Young said. “It’s not just about the relationship between the brand and the customer. It’s about the relationship between the brand, the customer and society, culture writ large.”


Ethos soft-launched earlier this year and has been working with more than a dozen Fortune 100 companies. (Deloitte declined to name any of those companies, citing confidentiality agreements.) One undisclosed brand with a predominantly white employee base had surveys lauding its positive work culture and high job satisfaction. But when Ethos specifically asked Black, Indigenous, people of color, disabled and veteran workers about their experiences, they uncovered brewing discontent that had been washed out in the averages. The Ethos team then helped the brand develop new human resources programs to help elevate those underrepresented voices.


The resources afforded by an organization as large as Deloitte “allow us to move beyond manifesto, beyond powerful campaigns and actually make up something that fundamentally changes the way that companies work,” Young said, “more in the service of benefiting the planet, benefiting the people that reside in it and being in balance and harmony with society.”


If Young’s rhetoric seems less combative than last year, it is. A sabbatical after his resignation from Periscope in August 2020 helped him channel the urgency he felt about fixing things. “This is going to sound kind of obvious, but it’s relatively easy to point out what’s wrong,” he said. “It’s a lot harder to find a solution for what you’ve perceived to be wrong out there.”


Sunday, October 24, 2021

15583: Overreaction Of The Week.


Bug-eyed—how much is too much?

Saturday, October 23, 2021

15582: JCPenney Seasonal Fall Fail.

Fall-elujah?! Oh hell no.

Friday, October 22, 2021

15581: The Great Migration To Streaming.


Advertising Age reported Blacks are increasingly abandoning traditional TV in favor of streaming. Look for White advertising agencies and advertisers to use the trend as an excuse to further marginalize multicultural firms by taking away targeted TV assignments and cutting crumbs.


Black Households Increasingly Ditch Linear TV, Study Finds


While Black Americans hung on to traditional TV, it now seems they are moving at a faster rate to streaming


By Ethan Jakob Craft


While Black consumers have traditionally been loyal cable and satellite TV subscribers, these households are increasingly cutting the cord at a faster rate, according to a new study from market research firm Horowitz.


Black households had been shedding cable at a slower rate than the overall market, but Horowitz data shows that over the past four years pay-TV penetration among Black households has declined from 88% in 2017 to 61% in 2021. And at least half of all cord-cutter Black households in the U.S. have done so in the past three years. A Pew Research study released earlier this year found that in a cross-section of the general market, an average of 56% of all Americans still watch traditional linear TV.


Black audiences “should not be taken for granted,” said Adriana Waterston, Horowitz’s chief revenue officer and insights and strategy lead. “Many companies are late to the game, only now focusing on the Black audience in the context of BLM and new diversity mandates.”


One consideration that likely shapes how Black Americans watch content is the availability of culturally relevant programming, with 60% of Black consumers saying they watch content that’s specifically geared to Black audiences at least weekly.


“To not be viewed as simply pandering, companies who hope to serve the Black audience must make meaningful and sustained investments, not just in programming and marketing, but in community outreach and support, in order to earn this valuable audience’s trust,” she continued.


This year’s study found that just 33% of Black households are considered “content omnivores,” a catch-all describing viewers who watch varied genres across both TV and streaming services. In addition, almost four-in-10 rely on combinations of streaming services, digital antennas, or virtual MVPD services to access TV content, while about 25% rely only on traditional TV providers and do not stream video at all.


Income and age also play important roles in Black Americans’ platform choices, with at least 80% of Black cord-cutters believing that abandoning traditional TV is a money-saving move. Older Black viewers are at least eight percentage points more likely to subscribe to MVPD services and to still use antennas than younger viewers.


Irrespective of cord-cutting, the majority of Black audiences in the U.S. still place great value on traditional TV mainstays such as local broadcast news and live sports content, the Horowitz study found.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

15580: Talk To The Groping Hand.


This campaign from Germany seeks to expose the prevalence of sexual abuse experienced by athletes. Hey, Germans have hands-on experience with the topic…


Wednesday, October 20, 2021

15579: FCB UK Puts The ASS In Glass.


FCB in the UK is responsible for this United Kingdom for Arts Emergency campaign, designed to build awareness for the lack of racial and ethnic minorities in creative fields. Hey, FCB has direct experience with the topic—as perpetrators.