Thursday, May 19, 2022

15828: Woe v. Wait (Wait In Line, That Is).


WPP, IPG and Publicis Groupe pledged to pay travel costs for U.S. employees seeking abortions. White advertising agency CEOs declared that overturning Roe v. Wade will impact every part of Adland. Advertising Age launched a special section to track White shops’ and White brands’ reactions to the legal event.


It’s another example of aborted diversity—and contorted divershitty.


The industry is loading into the White women’s bandwagon and accelerating the rah-rah rhetoric.


Why are White holding companies acting as if they’re purpose-driven defenders of humanity? Aren’t travel costs for medical-related treatments standard healthcare coverage? It’s not as if employees will be asked to provide detailed expense reports.


Ironically, there’s plenty of evidence to show the inequities that people of color—particularly Black women—face from the healthcare system’s systemic racism. Yet they won’t benefit from Adland’s patronizing privileges, as they remain woefully underrepresented in the field.


Sorry, but stereotypical White advertising agency executives are more like philistines than philanthropists.


Wednesday, May 18, 2022

15827: Networking For Extra Credit And Cultural Points.


Looks like AMC is seeking to boost its multicultural GPA with ANA


Tuesday, May 17, 2022

15826: ANA Report Cards Grade A Bullshit…?


Advertising Age reported on report cards—the first Cultural Inclusion Accelerator Report Card issued by ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing. The evaluating event graded top networks in terms of multicultural programming. Receiving ‘A’ ratings were Univision, Telemundo and BET. On the other end of the scale, networks landing ‘D’ marks were AppleTV and Showtime. For how long will ANA continue to acknowledge the underrepresentation, underspending and underwhelming divershitty performances of its membership? An Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing executive stated, “We see more progress in Hollywood than we are seeing among advertisers.” Somebody please ask Will Smith to visit Adland…


Inclusive Programming Has Made Small But Hopeful Progress, ANA Finds


ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing releases its first Cultural Inclusion Accelerator Report Card


By Parker Herren


In tandem with this year’s Upfronts presentations, ANA’s Alliance for Inclusive and Multicultural Marketing released its first Cultural Inclusion Accelerator Report Card, scoring multicultural sentiment for top networks’ programming.


The report card scores each network with a letter grade based on survey responses from over 68,000 viewers across six demographic segments—Asian, Black, Hispanic, LGBTQ+, People with Disabilities and White Non-Hispanic—evaluating 700 titles based on their inclusivity of cultural values, representation and celebrations, pride, respect, identification, authenticity, unbiased, respect, positive role models for each group.


Multicultural representation has been a front-of-mind issue for the media and marketing industry, especially since the rise of movements including Black Lives Matter and Stop Asian Hate over the past years.


As audiences grow to expect on-screen representation beyond stereotypical tropes, the report serves in part to rank networks, streamers and content with the greatest reach among diverse consumers, with top-scored shows upping viewer preference for brands 1.6 times that of those at the bottom, said Carlos Santiago, co-founder of AIMM and partner in Cultural Inclusion Accelerator.


“It is important to advertisers because they are interested in matching highly relevant content with their highly culturally relevant and accurate portrayals in their ads,” Santiago said.


The Cultural Inclusion Accelerator Report Card found that while progress has been made in inclusive programming, it has been slow overall. The report’s entire “A” tier is made up of networks such as Univision, Telemundo and BET, which cater specifically to underrepresented audiences, while many traditional linear channels—CBS, ABC, NBC—lie in the “B” grade. Besides Peacock and Disney+, which reside in the “B” tier, a majority of top streamers including Netflix, Hulu, Paramount+ and Amazon received “C” ratings. The lowest score, “D,” was given to just AppleTV and Showtime.


“The grades give us a sense of how well those networks are curating creators’ content,” said Santiago, specifying that the measure includes upcoming programming and the cultural relevance of current shows. CBS represents a highlight case study from the list. The channel progressed from a “C-” rating in 2021 to a “B+” on the current list.


CBS is an example that “general networks have the ability to really transform themselves to more accurately bring in and embrace all consumers in the U.S.—not only diverse consumers, but all consumers,” Santiago said. While the numbers still aren’t in step with cultural desire for diverse representation, averaging a small increase of 3 points since last spring on average, he said any growth is still a cause for hope, even for the lowest ranking networks.


Santiago noted that AppleTV and Showtime have had successes in representation before, such as “Ted Lasso” and “The L Word,” and to bring up their scores, they should “bring that same sense of very intentional curation of what is available from creators ... They can do it. They’ve done it before.”


The Cultural Inclusion Accelerator Report Card listed specific shows that ranked highest among individual demographics for cultural relevance. Hulu’s “Killing Eve” ranked highest for Asian audiences, “Abbott Elementary” on ABC for Black viewers and Netflix’s “House of Flowers” among English-speaking Hispanic watchers. LGBTQ+ audiences gave top scores to HBO Max’s “Legendary,” while People with Disabilities chose “Deaf U” on Netflix and White Non-Hispanic people went with “Ghosts” on CBS. The winner among the general population was “All Rise,” which was canceled by CBS after two seasons and will continue on OWN this summer.


Despite the small progress from the entertainment industry, Santiago offered a reality check for marketers: “We see more progress in Hollywood than we are seeing among advertisers,” he said. “The fact that at a time when consumers’ expectations are rising, even though we saw just 3 points [growth], that signals that there is progress, that there is movement in the right direction.”

Monday, May 16, 2022

15825: The Powerlessness Of The U.S. Hispanic Consumer.


Adweek published content sponsored by TelevisaUnivision titled, “The Power of the U.S. Hispanic Consumer”—which delivers the standard data pitch on the audience, its value to brands, how to engage with authenticity and the missed opportunities to tap a growing market.


Question: Why must this (stereo)type of presentation be regurgitated annually for every non-White consumer segment?


Answer: Because the power of the U.S. fill-in-the-minority Consumer is trumped and trounced by the power of U.S. Whites—especially the Caucasians ruling Adland.


It all boils down to who gets the cash versus who gets the crumbs. There is no US in U.S.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

15824: Go Sell It On The Mountain.


Sad that Paramount is proud to declare itself leaders in streaming advertising. Sadder still that a hack copywriter wrote, “Shout It From The Mountain Top.”


Saturday, May 14, 2022

15823: Student Work Is McDepressing.


This Mickey D’s campaign was created by students at an ad school connected to S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. Wow, if these advertisements reflect the school’s quality of instruction, the students can look forward to more assignments for the Golden Arches—as restaurant crew members.


Friday, May 13, 2022

15822: First Dates, Meet Worst Dates Ever.


Advertising Age published a fluffer, er, fluff piece titled, “Win Your Next Pitch By Treating It Like A First Date.”


Um, this advice would not work well with certain White advertising agency executives. Certain White advertising agencies, however, have been known to overuse the suggested move. And does the stock photograph illustrating the content (depicted above) imply interracial dating…?

Thursday, May 12, 2022

15821: Bugged By World Malaria Day.

It stings a bit that World Malaria Day probably receives more advertising than Black History Month.

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

15820: Workers And Cheap Labor.


For Workers’ Day, it looks like the unsung heroes were saluted by an unpaid—and untalented—illustrator…

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

15819: Dentsu Hearts Divershitty—With A Huge Asterisk And Disclaimer.


Dentsu help wanted ads (example depicted above) invite candidates “from diverse or underrepresented backgrounds”—then drop 100+ words of Equal Employment Opportunity legalese:


Employees from diverse or underrepresented backgrounds encouraged to apply. Dentsu (the “Company”) is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and will not discriminate against an applicant or employee of the Company, on the basis of age, sex, sexual orientation, race, color, creed, religion, ethnicity, national origin, alienage or citizenship, disability, marital status, veteran or military status, genetic information, or any other legally-recognized protected basis under federal, state or local laws, regulations or ordinances. Applicants with disabilities may be entitled to reasonable accommodation under the terms of the Americans with Disabilities Act and/or certain state or local laws. A reasonable accommodation is a change in the way things are normally done that will ensure an equal employment opportunity without imposing an undue hardship on the Company.


Now, that’s presenting a welcoming workplace. Is this an example of Dentsu Global CEO Wendy Clark’s restless ambition to bring divershitty to Adland? Clark does dump dungy drivel at the agency website:


“It is the diversity of our perspectives, lived experiences and life journeys that we contribute to make our collective thinking and work representative of the total marketplace for our clients and society.


Research finds empirically that diverse teams outperform and out deliver across a range of metrics, from financial performance to innovation. We owe it to our teams, our clients and our company to harness this competitive advantage.”


Gee, if Clark succeeds with divershitty at Dentsu like she did at DDB—ie, she wasn’t successful diversifying DDB—she should add the legal disclaimers to her personal patronizing and pontificating pap.

Monday, May 09, 2022

15818: Happy Hairy Mother’s Day.


LaserAway offered a hair removal sale for Mother’s Day. Seems like a bush league gift…

15817: Presenting A New Oxymoron: Havas Ethics.


Adweek reported that Havas Media Group is partnering with the Institute of Advertising Ethics to offer a free advertising ethics certification course to over 9,000 staffers and clients. Um, at least two gentlemen in the Havas network will not be eligible for the program.


Sorry, but Havas doesn’t deserve ethics-related accolades in any category. The place is certifiably unethical.


Havas Media Group Offers Free Ad Ethics Certification to Over 9,000 Global Staff and Clients


It's the first network to partner with the IAE to deliver this training at scale


By Olivia Morley


Today Havas Media Group announced it will offer an advertising ethics certification course to over 9,000 of its employees and clients. It’s the first network to partner with the Institute of Advertising Ethics (IAE) to roll out an independently-administered ethics certification.


The IAE, which is an educational foundation dedicated to the advancement of ethical advertising practices, developed the certification course in collaboration with the University of Creighton Business School and the University of Austin at Texas. The Certified Ethical Advertising Ethics (CEAE) is the first ethics certification the industry has ever seen.


Media networks are increasing their knowledge of and commitment to ethics, as the global spotlight turns toward data compliance, privacy violations and the media’s role in funding misinformation. Until now, there hasn’t been a formal ethics certification available for advertising professionals. The result of this has been a widespread lack of understanding and of established principles that agencies can fall back on for ethical guidance.


“Our industry, astoundingly, is virtually the only professional industry—unlike law, medicine, architecture, engineering, et cetera—that doesn’t have any sort of industry code of ethics or certification for ethics,” said Andrew Susman, founding chief operating officer at the IAE, noting that this will now change.


Ethics give agencies an edge


HMG’s commitment to media ethics is not new, evidenced by its investments in other initiatives. It was the first media network to join the Conscious Advertising Network, created the Meaningful Marketplace and launched the Social Equity Marketplace to promote minority and LGBTQ+-owned businesses. Within its Havas University education platform, the agency, like many others, has already been educating its employees on GDPR compliance and responsible advertising. What it was missing was a real framework that could streamline that education for employees and account for more of the complexities.


Offering the certification provides tangible proof of an organization’s commitment to producing advertising ethically.


As both consumers and brands become more invested in social good, they want to work with media partners whose values reflect their own.


“There’s a lot of interest from clients and increasingly from new business and procurement interest in this as well,” said Ben Downing, global managing director, ethical media and strategic partnerships at Havas Media Group. Downing also serves on IAE’s advisory council.


Havas plans to have most of the network in North America certified by the end of the year.


It doesn’t stop at Havas


Ethics, according to Downing, can extend to many things. Some include issues of brand safety and ensuring that clients are not using discriminatory ad filters that impact minority creators. For example, putting “LGBTQ+” on a blocklist.


The digital course includes three video lecture modules and an assessment and is available to HMG staff through Havas University. Clients will be able to access the course in the coming week. is administering the CEAE certification, making it possible for individuals to carry the credential with them should they leave the agency.


“These individuals are being gifted by Havas with the certification, which will be their own personal certification and which will travel with them wherever they go,” said Susman. Within a year or slightly more, the IAE estimates it will have certificates at virtually every large network.


Marketing and communications students will soon be the next generation of practitioners, said Susman. For a small fee, HMG’s support will also allow students, apprentices and those new to the industry to earn the certification. It’s not discipline-specific, making it applicable to employees and students at all levels and in all advertising roles.


The outcome of this initiative will raise “the professional identity of the advertising professional, so that when people come in the frame is more positive,” said Susman, noting that the threshold of acceptable behavior will be higher. “Right now you have people inside of agencies, and they have zero reference point, nothing to even grab on to.”

Sunday, May 08, 2022

15816: Who’s The Boss, Baby?


Um, it looks like she’s the worker who handled the Photoshop compositing for this advertisement too.

Saturday, May 07, 2022

15815: A Violation Of Right Work.


Wow, Georgia—shame the victims of workplace discrimination and cast them as criminals for not speaking out…? This concept—and perhaps the creative team responsible for it—should have been terminated.

Friday, May 06, 2022

15814: Last Tango In Havas Paris…?


Adweek reported on shenanigans at the Paris office of Havas, where official investigations are underway, prompting two leaders to step aside. While the Adweek story offers vague details, another source was more open:


“…[T]he two men are accused of having sought to ‘kiss’ or ‘touch’ on multiple occasions collaborators, sometimes trainees, in the premises of Havas Paris or during external events. … [One executive] is a brilliant guy but he has the sexuality of a teenager. (…) Under cover of being drunk, after two drinks, he jumps on anything that moves. … ‘Comments on all the clothes, hands on the shoulder and the waist, kisses very close to the mouth, I avoided him and only feared one thing, finding myself in front of him,’ says an ex-collaborator…”


The alleged scandalous behavior was exposed via anonymous accusations left at an Instagram account. Has Diet Madison Avenue gone global?


Havas Execs Step Aside as Internal #MeToo Investigation Begins


Julien Carette and Christophe Coffre will not lead the Paris-based agency while allegations are looked into


By Stephen Lepitak


Vivendi-owned advertising network Havas has begun an investigation into allegations made against members of its leadership in Paris leading to two executives stepping aside.


Julien Carette and Christophe Coffre, CEO and creative director, respectively, have both stepped down while the investigation is conducted following the anonymous accusations made on the Instagram account Balance Ton Agency (Balance Your Agency).


The account, which states that it “reports abuse in advertising”, currently has 338,000 followers and has highlighted the actions of two individuals from Havas—cited as “JC” and “CC”—with testimonies published about their behavior.


The page was started by Anne Boistard in September 2020 as a response to her own professional burnout as well as the #metoo movement and growing accusations across the advertising sector of inappropriate conduct.


“These people have been at the head of the group for years and allegedly abused their power over young women but also over a journalist from a specialized press magazine,” outlined a comment from the moderators of the page in response to one post that went live last week.


The message also outlined further individuals, both men and a woman, from across Havas and its agency network including BETC while revealing that the company’s management had decided to undertake an investigation prompted by the online posts.


Investigation underway


A Havas Group spokesperson confirmed the investigation adding, “We take allegations of this nature very seriously indeed and do not tolerate discrimination or abuse of any kind at Havas. We will act on any and all findings from the enquiry.”


The statement went on to outline that both Carette and Coffre will step aside while the investigation takes place.


These are not the first advertising executives in France to face scrutiny in recent years over similar allegations. In 2019, creative agency Herezie parted way with its creative director Baptiste Client over accusations of inappropriate behavior. That same year, a blog post also alleged sexism against Marcel’s chief executive Pascal Messim, while the founder of Buzzman—another Havas business—Georges Mohammed-Cherif also faced accusations following an investigation by French newspaper Le Monde.


At the helm for ten years of the agency of which they are now co-presidents, the two men are accused of having sought to “kiss” or “touch” on multiple occasions collaborators, sometimes trainees, in the premises of ‘Havas Paris or during external events.


“JC is a brilliant guy but he has the sexuality of a teenager. (…) Under cover of being drunk, after two drinks, he jumps on anything that moves. Same for the DC (creative director) d ‘Havas Event. I remember to warn interns not to approach them during agency evenings,’ according to one of these testimonies.


International Women's Rights Day: “A new page has opened with #MeToo”


“Comments on all the clothes, hands on the shoulder and the waist, kisses very close to the mouth, I avoided him and only feared one thing, finding myself in front of him,” says an ex-collaborator about by Christophe Chest.


Others remember about him a gesture simulating a sexual act, and inappropriate remarks.