Monday, January 31, 2022

15701: Byron Allen’s $10 Billion McDiscrimination Lawsuit Moves Forward.


Advertising Age reported that the group of Black media moguls led by Byron Allen may advance the $10 billion discrimination lawsuit against Mickey D’s. A federal judge nixed the fast feeder’s latest attempt to have the suit tossed, although the McLegal team could refile its motion to dismiss. Meanwhile, Allen released a statement declaring, “We look forward to presenting our enormous evidence in court, which will prove the systemic racism at McDonald’s”—in addition to repeating his demand that the Golden Arches terminate CEO Chris Kempczinski.


In the past year, Mickey D’s has been hit by Allen’s discrimination lawsuit, Kempczinski’s cultural cluelessness and complaints of “systemic barriers” from the National Black McDonald’s Operators Association.


Gee, can’t wait to see the annual Black History Month promotion at the Black & Positively Golden® website section.


Byron Allen’s Discrimination Lawsuit Against McDonald’s Can Proceed


The complaint was amended to include additional detail after a previous version was thrown out in late November for lack of evidence


By Ethan Jakob Craft


A federal judge has cleared the way for Byron Allen’s $10 billion discrimination lawsuit against McDonald’s to move forward, denying the fast-food giant’s request to toss the suit after Allen’s earlier complaint against it was dismissed.


McDonald’s USA’s most recent motion was denied “for improperly referencing materials outside the pleadings,” U.S. District Court Judge Fernando M. Olguin wrote in his decision on Jan. 21, which directed McDonald’s to either respond to Allen’s lawsuit or refile its motion no later than this Friday, Jan. 27. The suit was dismissed in November on the grounds that it lacked sufficient evidence.


At the heart of the proceedings, which were brought in the name of Entertainment Studios and the Weather Group, two companies helmed by Allen, is the claim that McDonald’s engages in patterns of racial stereotyping and regularly refuses to conduct business with Black-owned media companies in its advertising business.


“We look forward to presenting our enormous evidence in court, which will prove the systemic racism at McDonald’s,” Allen, CEO of Allen Media Group, said in a statement.


McDonald’s responded to the ruling by calling it procedural and reaffirming that it “continues to believe plaintiffs’ claims are meritless.”


Allen’s original lawsuit, which was filed in May 2021, alleged that of its “approximately $1.6 billion annual television advertising budget, McDonald’s spends less than approximately $5 million each year on African American-owned media, and it has refused to advertise on Entertainment Studios networks or The Weather Channel since Allen acquired the network in 2018.”


The initial suit was thrown out by Judge Olguin in late November, who said at the time that the plaintiffs in the case had failed to present enough evidence to prove their claims, though allowed Entertainment Studios and the Weather Group to re-file.


Allen, in the statement, reiterated his stance that the restaurant chain’s board of directors should fire CEO Chris Kempczinski.


Allen, an outspoken critic of McDonald’s, last called out Kempczinski in November after text conversations between him and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, in which he appeared to blame some parents for the shooting deaths of their children, were made public; Kempczinski has since apologized for those remarks.


McDonald’s, the world’s largest restaurant company, reiterated plans announced last year to more than double its spend with minority-owned media companies, increasing the percentage of its national ad spend with such companies from 4% to 10% by 2024, with spending specifically directed toward Black-owned properties on track to rise from 2% to 5% over the same period.


On top of its enhanced media spending initiatives, McDonald’s also announced last year a series of diversity, equity and inclusion goals including aligning executive bonuses with goals to increase women and underrepresented groups in leadership roles.

Sunday, January 30, 2022

15700: The Red Carpet & The Dead Carpet.


The Academy Awards annually plays a video commemorating all the Hollywood figures who died in the previous year. Seems like the 2022 tribute might take up the majority of airtime. Ironically—at least during the somber segment—there will finally be equitable racial and ethnic representation at the Oscars.

Saturday, January 29, 2022

15699: Creative Stock Photography Is An Oxymoron.


iStock invites you to let your creativity bloom—with a contrived headline and generic royalty-free image. Perfect.

Friday, January 28, 2022

15698: Campaign Not Cutting It.

15697: Adweek Studies ADCOLOR® Study In Defective Ways.


Adweek apparently—and apparently because actually viewing the content is not worth the subscription fee—spun the ADCOLOR® study slightly differently than Ad Age. As the image above displays, “Adcolor’s Latest Study Reveals Effective Ways To Retain Diverse Talent.” Is it correct to use “Reveals” for stating common knowledge and common sense?


Ad Age listed the “Effective Ways” revealed by the ADCOLOR® study as urging White advertising agencies to: 1) provide mentors of color; 2) establish heat shields like ERGs and; 3) publicly publish diversity data. Um, ADCOLOR® Founder Tiffany R. Warren showed sycophantic support when her former employer—Omnicom—repeatedly refused to share EEO-1 data for years.


If ADCOLOR® really knew the secret formula for bringing DE&I progress to the industry, wouldn’t they have transformed Adland at least a decade ago?


Sorry, but the “Effective Ways” have historically proven ineffective—and ADCOLOR® continues to resemble the enterprise described by Nathan Young.

Thursday, January 27, 2022

15696: Unilever And Dove Cry, “Black Hair Matters!”


Advertising Age spotlighted the latest patronizing propaganda from Dove—and the report’s opening paragraph underscored the ignorance and hypocrisy:


“A new study from Unilever’s Dove has uncovered startling findings with respect to Black girls—from as early as the age of five, they experience hair-based discrimination at schools. That statistic comes to life in a heart-tugging new spot from Ogilvy and Swift.”


Okay, here’s a breakdown of the ignorance and hypocrisy.


First, why conduct a study to uncover common knowledge? Answer: Because Unilever and Dove are culturally clueless.


Second, why label the findings as “startling”? Answer: Because Unilever, Dove and Advertising Age are culturally clueless.


Third, why assign such a project to White advertising agency Ogilvy? Answer: Because Unilever and Dove are hypocritical piles of shit.


Fourth, why did White advertising agency Ogilvy partner with Swift? Answer: Because Unilever, Dove and Ogilvy (having abandoned OgilvyCulture long ago) are culturally clueless and hypocritical piles of shit.


Fifth, why does Swift boast about being female-founded and female-run with women comprising 80% of leadership, staffed by BIPOC-identifying workers comprising 40% of the team and certified by The 3% Movement? Answer: Because the Portland-based shop can leverage such data points to land gigs with Unilever, Dove and Ogilvy—plus, get promotional PR from Ad Age.


Sixth, this blog has been unimpressed by Dove since it launched the Real Beauty campaign—for reasons detailed in this 2005 post. If anyone needs further evidence that Dove’s campaign is thoroughly unoriginal, check this out. No, really, check this out now.


Finally, there’s no doubt that Unilever, Dove, Ogilvy and Swift will take full advantage of pumping the pathetic poop during Black History Month.


Dove Study Finds That Girls As Young As Five Experience Race-Based Hair Discrimination


Brand’s latest Crown Coalition effort includes emotional ad from Ogilvy and Swift following one girl’s disheartening hair journey


By Ann-Christine Diaz


A new study from Unilever’s Dove has uncovered startling findings with respect to Black girls—from as early as the age of five, they experience hair-based discrimination at schools. That statistic comes to life in a heart-tugging new spot from Ogilvy and Swift.


The ad follows one young woman’s hair journey through the years, opening on a scene of her as a girl. Her father lovingly spends time styling her hair in braids, only to see her turned away at school because her hairstyle doesn’t fit into the “strict hair policy.” In high school, her teacher cautions her against wearing braids during graduation, and as a young adult, she bolts out of a job interview when she sees that her bantu knots fall into the “banned” hairstyles at the company.


It ends on an uplifting note, however, with the young girl’s voiceover saying, “My dad always told me I should fight for my hair. So I am.”


The spot is the latest in Dove’s efforts supporting The Crown Coalition, the organization it established in 2019 alongside National Urban League, Color of Change and the Center of Western Law and Poverty in an effort to end race-based hair discrimination.


The new research, “Dove 2021 Crown Research Study for Girls,” found that 53% of Black mothers said their daughters experienced hair discrimination. Some of those experiences began as early as the age of five. The study also found that approximately 86% of Black teens who endured hair discrimination did so by the age of 12, while 100% of Black elementary school girls in majority-white schools who said they experienced hair bias said they did so by the age of 10.


Dove had co-founded The Crown Coalition following its previous research that uncovered how Black women are 1.5 times more likely to be sent home from work because of their hairstyles. It also found that Black women were 80% more likely to change their natural hair to “fit” into their workplace.


Since its founding, The Crown Coalition has been fighting to pass The Crown Act, local and federal legislation demanding protection against such discrimination at work and in schools. Currently, only 14 states (CA, CT, CO, DE, IL, MD, NE, NM, OR, NY, NJ, NV, VA, WA) and 34 municipalities have laws against race-based hair discrimination.


As part of its inclusive hair efforts, Dove also recently debuted its new “Hair Love” line of products. It was inspired by the Oscar-winning and Dove-backed short created by filmmaker Matthew Cherry, a Crown Act advocate.


“This new body of research illuminates the pervasive nature and deep impact hair discrimination has on Black girls highlighting the horrific multi-generational impact of narrow beauty standards in America,” said Esi Eggleston Bracey, EVP and chief operating officer Unilever North America, in a statement. “These biases continue to perpetuate unfair scrutiny and discrimination against Black women and girls for wearing hairstyles inherent to our culture. This is unacceptable and why it is imperative that everyone join the movement to make hair discrimination illegal nationwide through the passage of The Crown Act.”


Consumers can sign a petition and see more information on The Crown Act at

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

15695: Titanic Shit.


Is it odd that cruise line Seabourn is running an advertisement that looks like a passenger went overboard?

15694: Horizon Media’s ‘Industry First’ Is Actually Closer To The Industry Zillionth.


Advertising Age reported Horizon Media appointed a new Chief Equity Officer. Of course they did. The White media company also assigned the executive to serve as Chief Marketing Officer. Of course they did. The firm claimed that the newly created dual role of Chief Equity Officer/Chief Marketing Officer is an industry first. Of course they did—but it’s not. These days, many White enterprises are dumping DE&I duties on a person of color already covering other responsibilities—it’s called delegating diversity. Duplicity is an appropriate term too, as Horizon Media is being two-faced—or too-White-faced—with the patronizing PR promotion. The move declared an industry first is really an industry worst.


Horizon Media Names Essence Exec As Chief Marketing And Equity Officer


Latraviette D. Smith-Wilson takes newly created dual role


By Keira Wingate


Horizon Media, the largest U.S. media agency according to the AdAge Datacenter, has named Latraviette D. Smith-Wilson to the newly created role of chief marketing and equity officer, a position the agency claims is an industry first. Smith-Wilson will report directly to Bill Koenigsberg, the agency's CEO and founder.


Smith-Wilson will lead Horizon’s marketing along with its diversity, equity and inclusion and impact efforts, a blended role that would have traditionally been the domain of two executives: the chief marketing officer and the chief diversity officer. A key goal of fusing the two positions is to facilitate Horizon’s growth strategy via its people and culture, client value propositions and agency identity, according to Smith-Wilson. The CMO role was previously held by Steven Hall, who left the agency.


Fuel for business

On the marketing side, Smith-Wilson will help architect the future strategy of Horizon Media, from product development to expansion. From a DE&I perspective, she will lead the internal inclusion effort. “DE&I is still far too often seen as a complement to business rather than as fuel for business,” she said. “I want Horizon to be a model for transforming how DE&I is viewed at-large from a marketing lens, its value in the business and its role in driving growth.”


Koenigsberg says that diversity, culture, equity, fairness and behaviors are closely connected with marketing and believes that DE&I is a part of the agency’s DNA, so it “just made all the sense in the world to combine them.”


“As we were looking for a CMO, at the same time, we were looking for a CDO, and this unicorn came along,” said Koenigsberg. “We found that perfect fit in her.”


Enterprenurial bent

Before coming to Horizon Media, Smith-Wilson was the chief strategy and engagement office at Essence, where she led sales, marketing, content, creative, experiential, video and stakeholder engagement. Prior to that she did marketing PR for Edelman.


“As I consider the majority of my career choices, it is clear that I am drawn to entrepreneurial, innovative, go-where-I-can-do-things-never-done-before environments, and in that way, this move back to agency and with Horizon certainly fits the bill,” she said.


Smith-Wilson joins the company just weeks after it sold a minority stake to Singapore-based investment firm Temasek and New York-based investment and merchant bank LionTree. Koenigsberg says it’s too early to see any changes this has brought within the agency; it’s “just business as usual.”

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

15693: Why All Recruitment Firms Are Outdated Outhouses.


Adweek published a pile of bullshit titled, “Why You Can No Longer Take 3 Months to Make Hiring Decisions”—with a subhead that reads,Companies that continue to follow dated hiring timelines are finding themselves in a hamster wheel.”


What makes it a pile of bullshit?


For starters, the author is CEO of a second-rate “data-driven platform for marketing staff augmentation and services”—meaning the piece is self-promotional fluff from a wannabe. It’s no surprise that a recruiter does not want to wait three months—or even three hours—to collect a commission fee. (Those commission fees, incidentally, dramatically impact the final salaries and rates of worker drones. Plus, such charges are a turn-off to employers who prefer to avoid the middleman, even if the middleman is an online platform.)


Second, most places can no longer take months to make hiring decisions because everyone is desperately seeking instant help for projects already behind deadlines. So, job descriptions have become ultra-defined based on the projects’ specs—which are rarely included in the ambiguous briefs that new workers or freelancers receive.


Third, it’s no longer necessary to take months to make hiring decisions because—thanks to the commoditization of talent created by the White holding companies—almost all candidates are generic, round pegs getting hammered into remote, square holes.


Fourth, given today’s true employment climate, the field is flooded with a wide range of desperate candidates gladly accepting any amount of cash for a stint—and the lowest bidder usually gets the gig. Although they still collect more than crumbs.


Fifth, the workers are the ones finding themselves in a hamster wheel, as the average workplace is a rolling rodent trap.


Sixth, as DE&I has never been programmed into the typical recruiter’s placement algorithms, the final result is a perpetuation of exclusivity and systemic racism that has nothing to do with dated hiring timelines, but rather, with dated hiring practices—starting with the outdated use of recruiters in any way, shape or platform.


Seventh, the only person benefiting from the pile-o-shit perspective is the illustrator responsible for the royalty-free stock image (depicted above) embellishing the ca-ca, er, content. There’s always a market for pretty pictures to polish text turds.

Monday, January 24, 2022

15692: Menstrual Campaign Sucks. Period.


Here’s the official explanation for this campaign from India:


Menstruation and puberty solutions in India is not often spoken about. Brands normally tend to approach the subject of menstruation by being indirect and vague. The campaign was designed to bring these topics out in open and make it conversational. For a D2C brand, we needed to aid discovery of brand by being new age and sensitive.


Sorry, the attempt to be “new age and sensitive” about menstruation is a bloody mess.


Sunday, January 23, 2022

15691: C’MON WHITE MAN! Episode 58—Offensive Karma Sacks Aaron Rodgers.


(MultiCultClassics credits ESPN’s C’MON MAN! for sparking this semi-regular blog series.)


It’s too early to pick a winner for Super Bowl LVI, but it was a safe bet to call which team would not be hoisting the Vince Lombardi Trophy: The Green Bay Packers.


The prediction made last November was based on the theory of Offensive Karma, whereby a team’s display of offensiveness in the form of words or actions rooted in bigotry, discrimination and ignorance leads to the team’s ultimate demise in a championship tourney.


The Las Vegas Raiders couldn’t evade Offensive Karma, even after separating from racist, sexist and homophobic Jon Gruder—a triple threat in the bigoted arena.


In the latest NFL playoff picture, Packers Quarterback Aaron Rodgers deserved being named MVP—Most Vocal Prejudice.


The offensive penalties began when Rodgers defended blatantly lying about his COVID-19 vaccination status by quoting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


Oh, but it got worse. In recent days, Rodgers responded to President Joe Biden telling a Packers fan that he wished Rodgers would get vaccinated. The MVP QB snapped, “When the President of the United States says, ‘This is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,’ it’s because him and his constituents—which I don’t know how there are any if you watch any of his attempts at public speaking—but I guess he got 81 million votes.” Rodgers also tossed a bad pass by calling the Biden administration “a fake White House.”


To be clear, making fun of Biden’s “attempts at public speaking” when it’s common knowledge that the Commander-In-Chief has struggled with stuttering qualifies as bullying and biased bullshit.


Pushing the big lie of “a fake White House” underscores Rodgers’ politically incorrect stupidity.


The Green Bay Packers’ loss to the San Francisco 49ers—while playing at home in a snowstorm against a West Coast team—confirms the power of Offensive Karma. As well as the absolute ignorance of Aaron Rodgers.



P.S., Why is this guy still playing on the State Farm roster?