Monday, October 31, 2022

16012: It’s Hard To Advance Progress While Lounging Around…


Advertising Age reported on an Advertising Week panel held at The Female Quotient’s Equality Lounge. Based on the event photograph depicted above, the organization—despite the images on its corporate website—has a limited definition of equality, and maybe an exclusive view of female too (i.e., White women rule).


Advertising Week Insights: Creating A More Joyful Workplace


By Laura Mitchell


At the recent Advertising Week New York, The Female Quotient’s Equality Lounge convened thought leaders to discuss timely topics and share inspiring stories. Female Quotient founder and CEO Shelley Zalis moderated panels that supplied smart solutions for keeping employees engaged with their work and provided a blueprint for recovering from burnout and reinvigorating employees’ professional purpose.


One panel explored the topic of “quiet quitting,” that is, doing the minimum requirements of one’s job and putting in no more time, effort, or enthusiasm than absolutely necessary.


“I credit our fascination with quiet quitting to alliteration—it rolls off the tongue,” said Emily Goligoski, head of research and SVP at Charter. “But the meaning is wide ranging. If you’re doing the minimum at your job, you might argue that it’s lazy, but on the other hand that it’s actually healthy to have boundaries around your work.”


Goligoski said she feels that employers aren’t doing enough to proactively keep people interested in their roles. “Charter surveyed 500 business leaders across the country, and I was really shocked to find only half of these organizations conducted employee engagement surveys,” she said.


Ashley Reichheld, principal, customer and marketing leader at Deloitte, believes that employers are part of the problem.


“Less than half of employees don’t trust their employers, and that has serious implications,” she said. She noted that many employers are busy measuring productivity with mouse clicks and other methods to make sure people are doing what they’re supposed to do in a hybrid environment. But she added, “Ultimately that also erodes trust. Micromanagement is not going to help your people thrive.”


By contrast, she said that 80% of people who do trust their employers are motivated to work.


On reimagining an employee-centered workplace


Zalis asked, “How do we re-envision the work place?” Jamie O'Banion, founder and CEO of BeautyBio, said, “We’re so focused on productivity we forget the human side. I try to be deliberate in listening and making people feel seen.”


For her part, Goligoski shared a method used at Chart for new employees, asking them to create a user’s guide. This can include things that drive them crazy or the times of day when they have the most energy. “It’s about intentionality and not expecting that a work culture just develops,” he said.


Jennie Blumenthal, founder and CEO of Corporate Rehab, noted that she saw a need to detox from the hustle culture.


“For 10 years, I’d had a little voice inside me saying, ‘I don’t know that I’m really supposed to be doing this but I’m getting all this success from it.’” she said. “The pandemic made me stop and listen to the voice.”


As a result, she launched a company to train executive women about how to get to the next level in their careers without losing themselves in the process. In her new book, “Corporate Rehab: Ditch the Hustle Culture and Thrive Again,” she supplies actionable steps and inspiring stories of “300 other women who left the workplace when they just couldn’t take it anymore.”


One of these women, Jaime Ellis, executive coach at JE Coaches, told the Equality Lounge about her own burnout: “I started having these fantasies of getting fired and realized it was my mind signaling to me that it was over.” She’s now writing a book about what she calls “achievement dysmorphia” in women. “Our brains tend to misconstrue our successes,” Ellis said. “We need to look back frequently at our accomplishments to remind ourselves how far we’ve come.”


On discovering your purpose and rewriting the rules


Pavi Siva Dinamani, cofounder and CEO at MisFit Communications, had her “snap” moment as the only female chemical engineer at her company. Today she heads a company that provides visibility to women.


“We produce video bios of women entrepreneurs that showcase their superpowers,” she said. “It’s important to create a strong personal brand—you never know who’s watching your content.”


The fact that women spend an extra 20 hours a week in caregiving at home contributes to burnout. Zalis and Blumenthal are joining forces to help leaders of Fortune 500 companies rewrite the rules, so that, for example, men are encouraged to leave work to take time off to help with their children and relieve the responsibilities typically carried by their partners.


“A new generation of dads wants to be there for their kids,” Blumenthal said.


Working through the pandemic provided a new perspective on professional lives and an opportunity to re-evaluate what we want and need from our careers. The conversations at Advertising Week’s Equality Lounge sessions yielded actionable strategies to address these challenges, and give us reasons for optimism.

Sunday, October 30, 2022

16011: Culturally Clueless Circle Jerk From VaynerMedia.


The VaynerMedia creative team responsible for this Durex video is clearly a bunch of ignorant dicks. Word.



Saturday, October 29, 2022

16010: Overreaction Of The Week.


J.P. Morgan wants you to see how tokens can supercharge your subscriptions—with what looks like a royalty-free stock photograph of token employees.

Friday, October 28, 2022

16009: Clowning Around At WPP.


Adweek completed the trio by spotlighting the third stooge—WPP CEO Mark Read—who declared the White holding company has grown beyond advertising into a tech firm. Um, WPP is no Amazon and Read is no Jeff Bezos—he’s actually closer to Bozo.


Bozo claims that WPP is “a company where technology ‘underpins’ all of the services” provided by its agencies. Perhaps Bozo was misquoted—he probably said WPP is a dysfunctional circus where technology “underwhelms” all of the mediocre services shat out by its shitty outhouses.

Thursday, October 27, 2022

16008: More Award-Winning Lyin’ From Cannes Lions.


Advertising Age reported on proposed—albeit nontransparent and undisclosed—changes for the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity allegedly intended to foster industrywide DE&I progress.


For starters, Cannes Lions CEO Simon Cook pledged to “evolve our jury selection process and our criteria to ensure that our juries fully reflect society, rather than the industry.” Okay, except the exclusively White industry remains the award show’s main client and source of revenue, meaning diversifying the juries is a performative gesture that doesn’t address the real problem.


Cook also claimed, “All of our entrants will be asked to provide information that outlines the DEI agenda and composition of the teams behind the camera.” Okay, except anyone with integrity knows damn well that the average White advertising agency’s “DEI agenda” is a deceptive heat shield, a checkbox exercise typically drafted by powerless Chief Diversity Officers or resident committees of color.


Additionally, all submitted documentation that provides “composition of the teams behind the camera” should be scrutinized to confirm the actual roles and authority of each teammate—as White advertising agencies are prone to falsifying such credits with the inclusion of mailroom attendants, security personnel and janitorial maintenance crews.


More importantly, how will Cannes use the collected information? Will entrants who fail to meet the undefined criteria be disqualified? Does “teams behind the camera” cover agency teams and production vendors? Will there be open distinctions between White women and truly underrepresented segments?


Sorry, but it sounds like inspiration for new forms of scam campaigns.


Cannes Lions Adds New Criteria On Growth, Sustainability And Diversity For 2023 Awards


New judging criteria announced at ANA include C02 emissions and diversity behind the camera, plus promise to ‘evolve’ jury makeup


By Jack Neff


The Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity award entries for 2023 will have new requirements to address the impact work has on growth and the environment as well as disclosures about the diversity of teams creating the work, Cannes Lions CEO Simon Cook said Wednesday at the Association of National Advertisers Masters of Marketing Conference in Orlando.


Cannes will also address continued criticism about the diversity of its juries, Cook said, promising to “evolve our jury selection process and our criteria to ensure that our juries fully reflect society, rather than the industry.”


He did not provide specific targets for jury composition or for the new judging criteria, but Cook did express confidence that the changes can make an impact. “We’re in a position to be able to provide the platform to set the industry agenda,” Cook said.


The initiatives are an outgrowth of input from closed-door meetings starting last year at Cannes with the ANA’s CMO Growth Council and other groups, Cook said. And they spring from the belief that Cannes can change the industry by changing how awards get dished out—pointing to the results of Madonna Badger’s efforts in 2017 to bar ads that objectify or stereotype women from receiving awards. 


The new guidelines go beyond efforts such as creating the Glass Lions and Sustainable Development Lions to apply criteria used in those categories to all award entries.


“From 2023, with the help of the global councils, Lions will take things a step further by encouraging all submissions to demonstrate progress across three critical areas,” Cook said.


Regardless of category, all entries will be asked to demonstrate impact on growth and sustainability, he said. On the latter, that means entrants will be asked to provide information on CO2 emissions from the work’s production process, using tools like those provided by the industry Ad Net Zero group that was formed last year at Cannes, Cook said


“All of our entrants will be asked to provide information that outlines the DEI agenda and composition of the teams behind the camera,” he said.

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

16007: IPG Paid Publication, Performative Propaganda, Promotional Poop.


Adweek spotlighted sponsored content—accent on ‘con’—about DE&I in Adland from Matterkind, which is part of Kinesso, which are both in the IPG network. The white paper—accent on ‘White’—purportedly presents the latest DE&I research, which regurgitates the oldest DE&I research, which ultimately shows that Adland is rife with cultural cluelessness, unconscionable bias and systemic racism.


The contrived and clichéd exposition concludes by suggesting that brands fabricate a holistic marketing ecosystem promoting diversity, equity and inclusion. Of course, the research-based, data-driven drivel does not include recommendations that advertisers stop partnering with places like Matterkind, Kinesso and IPG—where DE&I is delegated, diverted, deferred and denied daily.


In short, Matterkind/Kinesso/IPG paid to publish propagandistic poop—what’s more, the organizations will gleefully check off a box to deceptively demonstrate DE&I dedication.


New Research Identifies Why DEI in Advertising Requires a Holistic Approach


A new era for responsible marketing is here


The importance of diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in advertising isn’t new, but it’s never been more important than it is now. Consumers expect it, and marketers need to ensure diversity is reflected in all aspects of their advertising, not just creative.


Based on exclusive research, Matterkind’s “Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Advertising: A Holistic Approach” explores how consumers feel about DEI in advertising, what advertisers are doing to take action, as well as how to take a holistic approach to creating diverse, equitable and inclusive campaigns that resonate.


Insights include:


• DEI commitment: More than 90% of the advertisers said that reducing bias and discrimination in marketing is a priority.


• Consumers expect diverse representation: 44% of people said they wouldn’t engage with a brand they felt wasn’t taking diversity and representation seriously.


• Room for improvement: Only 22% of people felt the advertising they had seen recently was “very representative” of age, gender, ethnicity, sexuality and disability.


It’s time to drive meaningful change in the industry.

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

16006: Ad Council DEI Strategery.

Advertising Age published another perspective from Ad Council Chief Equity Officer Elise James-DeCruise, providing instructional advice titled, “How To Add A Career-Accelerator To Your DEI Strategy.” Um, most White advertising agencies don’t have a legitimate “DEI Strategy”—besides delegating diversity to resident minorities, fabricating embryo recruitment schemes and hyping heat shields for self-promotional purposes. All of which appears to be the contrived and clichéd maneuver that Ad Council is executing here—right down to having the fluff piece illustrated by a royalty-free stock photograph (depicted above).


How To Add A Career-Accelerator Program To Your DEI Strategy


By Elise James-DeCruise


Last week, the Ad Council launched its first cohort of our new Emerging Leaders Fellowship Program, which aims to provide recent BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) graduates with in-depth experiences, mentorship and targeted training across a range of business functions that will help them advance in their new careers.


The five-week program reflects the Ad Council’s diversity, equity and inclusion commitments to not only become a truly equitable organization at every level, but also to create industry-leading programs for the marketplace and community.


Building a program like this is a powerful way to uplift members of marginalized communities, address representation, diversify the pipeline and build bridges all at once. If you’re considering launching a similar program for young professionals within your own organization, here are four recommendations to consider.


1. Use a six-pillar approach to programming.


Our initial three-pillar approach to programming quickly grew to six: mentoring sessions, speakers, “Ask Me Anything” conversations, group projects, professional development education and time for structured reflection.


The last pillar is important. While each section offers powerful resources for fellows to take into their careers, building in time and structure for reflection along the way encourages them to understand that taking the time to process is a critical component of taking action.


2. Your DEI strategy should go beyond the walls of your organization. This is one way to do it.


At the Ad Council we look at DEI initiatives through four lenses: the workforce, the workplace, the marketplace and the community. Your workforce is about eliminating bias in your hiring practices, and workplace efforts focus on culture and retention. So, what about those last two? Building programs such as this are a great way to reach out, lift up and give back.


3. There are no competitors, only partners.


Programs like this are only possible with the support of a wide network of partners. They take everything from securing financial support at the organizational level to finding people who commit their time and resources to show up as educators and supporters. 


And, of course, there are all the people behind the scenes, and the outreach that must be done to build the programming and find the participants who would benefit from the support. A program like this is no small feat, but the ripple effect it can have on a career—and even generational wealth—is immeasurable. In other words, there are no competitors here. When we come together to support historically marginalized groups, everyone wins.


4. Use the initiative to examine your own practices.


You’ve built the program, you’ve found your fellows, everything goes well—roll credits, right? Not exactly. Take the time to ask yourself and those around you: Would one of these fellows have been considered for a position at your organization? If not, why not?


The tools you’ve used to build a productive program are the very same tools you can use to dismantle institutionalized practices that may be biased, inequitable or racist, and these are the tools we must continue to use as we work together to build a truly equitable workforce where everyone can thrive.

Monday, October 24, 2022

16005: Advertising Week Is Weak.

Did anything interesting happen at Advertising Week 2022? The featured speakers spotlighted lots of celebrities, including Elmo and Tango. It appears, however, that there were minimal DE&I events, which perfectly reflects Adland’s diminishing interest in racial and ethnic equality. At this point, Muppets trump multiculturalism.


As always, Advertising Week compensates by hiring recording artists of color to entertain the Caucasian crowds—this year, Ludacris served as headliner for the wrap party.


In short, Adland—and Advertising Week—exhibit almost zero progress in terms of racial and ethnic diversity, equity and inclusion since 2006 at least. Now, that’s ludicrous.


Sunday, October 23, 2022

16004: Menopause Benefits—The New Divershitty Cause.

Digiday published a lengthy report on the dire need for menopause benefits in the workplace. Wow, White women sure know how to advocate for themselves. Too bad they don’t apply such determination to bring racial and ethnic diversity to Adland. Expect the usual suspects like Kat Gordon and Cindy Gallop to march for menopause before people of color.


Why menopause benefits need to become common in workplaces


By Cloey Callahan


Employers have been falling over themselves to improve benefits packages as part of smart talent-retention schemes, but there is one cohort of employees whose needs remain woefully underserved: women undergoing menopause.


Women between the ages of 45 and 55 years old face significant challenges in the workplace, due to menopause. Headaches or migraines, muscle and joint pain, insomnia, palpitations and hot flushes are just some of the physical symptoms of menopause. Plus fatigue or “brain fog” as some women have described it, can result in additional anxiety for women who feel they have to hide their symptoms from colleagues at work, or risk facing ridicule or being sidelined.


And yet – for all the talk of improving the balance of experienced female talent in senior positions within companies – the stigma around the topic has meant that very few employers are even considering how to offer support to women in this stage of their lives and careers.


The North American Menopause Society found that an estimated 1.1 billion women worldwide will have experienced menopause by 2025, with millions more going through perimenopause – the period of transition before menopause. A survey from Carrot Fertility, a global fertility healthcare and family-forming benefits provider, of 1,000 U.S. workers experiencing perimenopause or menopause found that 79% describe working during menopause as challenging, more than other common life stages including starting a new job or family. With that, most women also reported the need to take time off and 54% have encountered at least one menopause-driven work challenge, like the loss of work time and job security concerns.


Yet, most women surveyed were unfamiliar with workplace menopause benefits and that it could even be an option. “A lot of women take time off for symptoms associated with menopause, but never talk about it,” said Brooke Quinn, chief customer officer at Carrot Fertility. “I doubt women are going to their leaders and saying they need to take time off because they’re going through menopause.”


There have been large strides in the workplace for women, nonbinary and trans individuals, like working towards closing the pay gap with pay transparency for example. However, the stigma around topics like menopause, similar to menstrual leave, means conversations about how to provide benefits for those undergoing it, are extremely rare.


“It will be a little bit like the mental health argument,” said Kathy Abernethy, director of menopause services at digital health app Peppy. “You were worried you were going to make things worse or stir things up. We now know we need to encompass the whole mental health agenda. That’s what we need to do with menopause.”


According to the Carrot Fertility survey, 77% of respondents shared that they’re uncomfortable talking with executives about menopause and 63% feel uncomfortable talking with their HR department.


Across the pond, the U.K. is a little further ahead than the U.S., and employer conversations around how to better support this began a few years ago. One in four women in the U.K. has considered giving up work due to menopause because they feel like they aren’t able to manage it. Abernethy said it is now more common for U.K. employers to include menopause in benefit offerings and educate employees about it.


“In the U.K. you don’t draw your state pension until you’re 67 and you’re likely to continue working much longer, so most women now experience menopause whilst still at work,” said Abernethy. “That’s a change from a generation ago.”


However, since the pandemic, more and more employers are considering how they can retain their employees. Menopause-related benefits could be one way to retain female workers who are in senior-level positions. Including these benefits also shows that an employer is being inclusive of all employees’ needs.


“It’s all about retaining staff and keeping your high-quality women of an age which are going to stay with you,” said Abernethy. “If you look after them in their 50s, they’ll stay with you until they retire.”


“I can understand that in certain cases the people who are determining benefits at their companies don’t always know how to tackle this,” said Julia Cartwright, president of fitness app P.volve. “The first thing is to listen and learn.”


“Menopause is coming out of the backroom of conversation,” she added. “We’re trying to squash the taboo. It takes leadership to be thinking about these things and we need to also be advocates for ourselves.”


Menopause benefits can take shape in many different ways. It might look like time off or having access to educational materials and the right healthcare providers, but it can depend on the needs that individual employees express. Cartwright suggests conducting confidential surveys to help learn what a specific workforce needs.


“Women are constantly bounced around the healthcare system, trying to find access to care, trying to find a specialist that can actually help them with the symptoms that they’re facing,” said Quinn. “That can be incredibly taxing from a time perspective.”


Carrot, for example, offers benefits of improved access to providers through a specialist network, clinically supervised education and group support. Meanwhile, P.volve offers a “Moving with Menopause” program, a fitness and education program created to support women through menopause. Peppy, which works with over 250 leading U.K. employers, connects employees to menopause health experts.


Cartwright suggests that HR departments should also measure progress after implementing a menopause benefit, including anecdotal information and how many paid sick days are taken for it when that information is shared. Aside from offering access to care, experts also say building a sense of community in the workplace can be beneficial, which might take the shape of employee resource groups.


“That’s normalizing the conversation and bringing women together that are going through common situations and symptoms,” said Quinn. “We have a lot of work to do.”

Saturday, October 22, 2022

16003: KFC WTF Brainwave Bucket BS.


Edelman in China is responsible for this thoroughly irresponsible KFC Brainwave Bucket bullshit described as follows:


Stress and overthinking is pervasive in the chaotic 24-hour metropolis. Recent studies indicate Hong Kong is one of the most stressful cities in the world and ranks #1 in the stress index of employees all around East Asia. However, scientific findings have shown that comfort food relieves the stress response in the brain. KFC is encouraging Hong Kong’s overthinking citizens to think less and indulge more with Finger Lickin’ Good fried chicken.


Therefore we created the KFC Brainwave Bucket — a brain-sensing helmet with a built-in headband that analyses people’s brain activity. The data from the helmet is connected to an app which provides real-time biofeedback showing how active the mind is. The helmet design, and the mind-detecting enclosure, is based on KFC’s iconic bucket. People are invited to sit inside the bucket-esque structure and wear the helmet on their head, after which they’re encouraged to switch off and think less with the help of some Finger Lickin’ Good chicken.


A fun and lighthearted way to bring the comforting effects of KFC to Hong Kongers, the event launch is being held at KFC’s flagship store on Oct 22 where customers are invited to try the experience for themselves. Those who embrace the comforting qualities of the Colonel’s signature chicken and stop overthinking are rewarded with more fried chicken!


In short, the campaign is encouraging stress eating—which has been shown in ‘scientific findings’ to trigger overeating, obesity and mental health issues. Somebody should examine the heads of the idiots involved with this promotional propaganda.