Friday, June 30, 2023

16303: Overreaction Of The Week.


When Roe v. Wade was overturned in 2022, White holding companies and White advertising agencies immediately issued responses, offering special healthcare benefits, posting angry divertorials, and more—mostly to show support for White women in Adland.


When the Supreme Court ruled against race-conscious admissions programs at elite schools—effectively dealing a serious blow to affirmative action—how did Adland react? Crickets. The exclusive majority of mythical Madison Avenue continued performative Pride promotions, enjoyed post-Cannes highs, and settled in for an extended holiday weekend.


For those who missed it, here’s a report from The New York Times


Supreme Court Strikes Down Race-Based Admissions at Harvard and U.N.C.


In disavowing race as a factor in achieving educational diversity, the court all but ensured that the student population at the campuses of elite institutions will become whiter and more Asian and less Black and Latino.


By Adam Liptak


The decision is likely to reshape college admissions at elite schools. Here’s what to know.


Race-conscious admissions programs at Harvard and the University of North Carolina are unconstitutional, the Supreme Court ruled on Thursday, the latest decision by its conservative majority on a contentious issue of American life.


Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., writing for the 6-3 majority, said the two programs “unavoidably employ race in a negative manner” and “involve racial stereotyping,” in a manner that violates the Constitution.


However, he added, universities can consider how race has affected an applicant’s life. Students, he wrote, “must be treated based on his or her experiences as an individual — not on the basis of race.”


Justice Sonia Sotomayor summarized her dissent from the bench — a rare move that signals profound disagreement. The court, she said, was “further entrenching racial inequality in education, the very foundation of our democratic government and pluralistic society.”


The decision could have far-reaching effects, and not just at the colleges and universities across the country that are expected to revisit their admissions practices. The decision could prompt employers to rethink how they consider race in hiring and it could potentially narrow the pipeline of highly credentialed minority candidates entering the work force.


Here’s what to know:


• The opinions in the case — including concurring opinions from Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Brett M. Kavanaugh and another dissenting opinion from Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson — total 237 pages. (Justice Jackson recused herself from the Harvard case because she had been on the university’s board of overseers.)


• The two cases were brought by Students for Fair Admissions, a group founded by Edward Blum, a legal activist who has organized many lawsuits challenging race-conscious admissions policies and voting rights laws, several of which have reached the Supreme Court.


• In the North Carolina case, the plaintiffs said that the university discriminated against white and Asian applicants by giving preference to Black, Hispanic and Native American ones. The case against Harvard has an additional element, accusing the university of discriminating against Asian American students by using a subjective standard to gauge traits like likability, courage and kindness, and by effectively creating a ceiling for them in admissions. The universities both won in federal trial courts, and the decision in Harvard’s favor was affirmed by a federal appeals court.


• The 6-3 decision on Thursday reflects the country’s division over affirmative action, which breaks along racial and political lines.


• In 2016, the Supreme Court upheld an admissions program at the University of Texas at Austin, holding that officials there could continue to consider race as a factor in ensuring a diverse student body.

Thursday, June 29, 2023

16302: 50 Years Of Hip-Hop, Infinite Years Of Hijacking Culture For Branding.


Sprite celebrating 50 years of hip-hop sorta makes sense. But Ford too?


Then again, it just underscores how White advertising agencies and brands love hip-hop.



Wednesday, June 28, 2023

16301: Have A Dream To Decolonize Cannes? Dream On.

Now that 2023 Cannes International Festival of Creativity is over, it’s time to repeat routine rants.


Seeing all the stereotypical images of exorbitant exclusivity—elegant yachts, swanky parties, lavish events, celebrity appearances, rock star entertainment, stylishly sponsored spaces, uber haute couture, decadent cuisine, overflowing booze, etc.—underscores the self-absorbed privilege of Adland.


Keep in mind, annual Cannes soirees generate over $80 million in revenue. It’s a safe bet that the average White advertising agency’s award show budget waaay exceeds its diversity budget.


It’s also clear that White men and White women waaay outnumbered attendees of color—although Adland citizens will count the representation of White women as a DE&I victory.


Can’t help but think the judging process demonstrates Caucasian cronyism of the highest order. It’s not a jury of peers—it’s a jury of pals. Hey, there are parallels between a Grand Prix and a Grand Wizard.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

16300: Who’s On First—And Who Really Cares?


AgencySpy posted on the latest CEO musical chairs at Dentsu and IPG, replete with revolving doors, resignations, returns, and rejiggering. That the news appeared in AgencySpy sorta indicates the importance and interest value of the events—that is, no one really gives a shit.


The commoditization of talent fueled by holding companies—whereby bodies are viewed as generic, interchangeable, and replaceable drones—has reached the C-suite.


Coming soon: CEO via AI.

Monday, June 26, 2023

16299: The Whiteness Of Cannes.


AgencySpy posted on Ogilvy hosting a lunch at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity featuring White Lotus creator Mike White and a bunch of industry female marketers and leaders. Based on the accompanying photographs—and in keeping with the Ogilvy tradition—the event appeared to be predominately White.


Ogilvy Hosts Lunch With White Lotus Creator Mike White


By Kyle O’Brien


There are plenty of swanky gatherings at Cannes, but some of the best meetings happen over good food and colleagues.


Amidst the vibrant celebration of creativity in Cannes this week, Ogilvy global CEO Devika Bulchandani and global chief creative officer Liz Taylor hosted a lunch that brought together over a dozen female marketers and leaders from across the industry. The women were joined by White Lotus creator Mike White, who Taylor interviewed in the Palais earlier. For the two Ogilvy leaders, it was a unique moment to create a sense of community and connection.


“As if sharing the stage with Mike White wasn’t enough, breaking bread with him and a truly awe-inspiring group of women was one of the highlights of the week. It was a unique opportunity to give many of our clients a unique look into the creative process with a multihyphenate creative mind,” added Taylor.


Sunday, June 25, 2023

16298: A Summer Sunday Treat.


Summertime is the perfect season to reminisce about Edy’s Pie—formerly known as Eskimo Pie.


According to Smithsonian Institution archives, the dessert was invented by Iowan Christian Kent Nelson in 1920 and originally called “I-Scream Bars.” In 1921, Nelson entered into a joint partnership with chocolate maker Russell C. Stover, and an agreement was made to market the product with the “Eskimo Pie” name.



Over time, co-ownership of the brand transferred from Russell C. Stover to Reynolds Metals Company (supplier of the Eskimo Pie wrapper) to Nestlé and its Dreyer’s division. The Edy’s brand name is a nod to Joseph Edy, a founder of Dreyer’s.


Throughout it all, there appears to be no evidence of involvement from Eskimos—a term that many Inuit, Yupik, Aleut, and others deem unacceptable and even racist.


Bon appétit!


Saturday, June 24, 2023

16297: WPPride Or WPPrejudice Or WPPatronizing…?


Ogilvy Italia and WPP produced this patronizing Pride campaign that declares, “Where others see only colours, we see the fight.” Feigning a colorblind perspective is typical bullshit delivered by the culturally clueless and deceptively racist. Also, save for one potential Puerto Rican, the advertisements lack LGBTQIA+ individuals of colour.


Friday, June 23, 2023

16296: Overreaction Of The Week.


Advertising Age reported that the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity honored Publicis Groupe for its “Working With Cancer Pledge,” handing the White holding company a shiny Health Grand Prix for Good. Hey, don’t most creative people insist that good is the enemy of great?


Regardless, the spectacle warrants critical commentary, especially since the award was presented on the same day that celebrates Juneteenth.


First, it’s rather outrageous that the man who banned his White advertising agencies from participating in award shows like Cannes in 2018—in order to fund the creation of an AI doodad—did not hesitate to enter his pet project for a trophy. Did the wondrous Marcel assemble the creative teams behind the “Working With Cancer Pledge” concept? Doubt it.


Second, and related to the first point, did the oh-so-philanthropic Caucasian conglomerate ponder diverting the exorbitant amount of money spent on award show entries and related events—as well as the award-winning campaign—to make a charitable donation to cancer research, where it would have done far greater good? Doubt it.


Third, while Publicis Groupe CEO Arthur Sadoun’s personal battle with cancer certainly deserves sympathy and compassion, leveraging the experience to hatch promotional propaganda arguably demonstrates the pinnacle of White privilege.


After all, it’s common knowledge that cancer adversely affects people of color at much higher rates than Whites—and White millionaires. What’s more, people of color with cancer face a double whammy via limited access to biased and substandard healthcare. Oh, and there’s the triple whammy of being crippled by lesser employment opportunities—as evidenced by their dismal underrepresentation in Adland. This segment of global society doesn’t enjoy the luxury of encountering unfairness at the workplace based on their condition. In short, the larger number of people stricken with cancer do not hold the political power and class clout to do what Sadoun did. To clarify for the culturally clueless and simply ignorant, power and class are at the root of systemic racism.


Did any of these facts ever cross the minds of Sadoun and his creative crew? Doubt it.


Fourth, did anyone at Publicis Groupe consider applying similar effort and resources to address DE&I? When the head honcho gets cancer, it’s all hands on deck. But confronting the inequality that has ravaged the industry like a cancer for decades only receives heat shields and crumbs. Does anybody employed by Publicis see the bullshit hypocrisy associated with the self-absorbed stunt? Doubt it.


Sorry to overreact, but it’s sickening to see professionals play their race-based privilege card to launch maneuvers such as “Working With Cancer Pledge”—while consistently failing to make good on diversity, equity, and inclusion pledges. Of that there is no doubt.


‘Working With Cancer Pledge’ By Publicis Wins Cannes Health Grand Prix For Good


The initiative created a global cross-industry coalition to end the stigma of cancer in the workplace


By Tim Nudd


“Working With Cancer Pledge,” an initiative to end the stigma of cancer in the workplace, originally inspired by Publicis Groupe Chairman and CEO Arthur Sadoun’s own fight against the disease was honored with the Health Grand Prix for Good at Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity on Monday night.


Sadoun had surgery in 2022 to remove a cancerous tumor in his neck and underwent preventative radiation and chemotherapy. He worked through his treatment and told the world about his diagnosis, but soon realized not everyone feels empowered to do the same, and decided to take action.


Supported by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Macmillan Cancer Research and the Gustave Roussy Institute, the initiative challenges companies around the globe to pledge to build open, supportive and recovery-forward work cultures for their employees. Sadoun launched the pledge in January at Davos in partnership with the World Economic Forum, inviting some of the world’s most influential companies to join and outline their own commitments to cancer patients in their organizations at


The campaign is credited to a number of Publicis agencies, including La Foundation Publicis in Chicago, Publicis Conseil in Paris, Le Truc in New York, Digitas in New York, Saatchi & Saatchi Health in New York and Publicis Groupe UK in London.


The initiative quickly garnered the support of global organizations such as Bank of America, Disney, Google, L’Oréal, LVMH, Marriott, McDonald’s, Merck, Meta, Mondelēz, Nestlé, Omnicom Group, PepsiCo, Sanofi, Toyota, Unilever, Verizon and Walmart.


“If those guys are capable of signing the pledge immediately it means that they’re already doing a lot of things for people with cancer, but people within their own company don’t know it,” Sadoun told Ad Age in January. “We’re trying to tackle a very big challenge, which is the stigma of cancer in the workplace, with a pretty simple solution, which is only to change perception.”

Thursday, June 22, 2023

16295: Confronting Chronic Catcalls At Cannes…?


Adweek published a lengthy perspective from TBWA\London CEO Larissa Vince, who boldly advocates for confronting sexual harassment at Cannes. Um, why not start at the source—White advertising agencies?


Sure, White women might find themselves experiencing unwanted advances, inappropriate propositions, and worse behavior at the ultra-exclusive French soiree. But—like everything else in life—they don’t have it nearly as bad as women of color.


Of course, White women and White men will not hesitate to turn the scenario into a Cannes crisis, creating a smokescreen to avoid earnestly addressing systemic racism in Adland.


Confronting Sexual Harassment at Cannes


It’s on us to ensure our people feel supported, protected and able to fully immerse in the joy of the festival


By Larissa Vince


It’s that time of the year again: the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. A time for us to come together and celebrate all the outstanding creative work of our peers from the past year. A time to reconnect with the people who inspire us and give us the fuel to keep creating well into next year. It’s also, unfortunately, a time for us to reflect on an ongoing, real problem of sexual harassment at the festival.


An unwanted and scary advance in a restroom. A proposition in a cab, initially offered in good nature. A display of an unmentionable part of the anatomy. These were three stories of sexual harassment at Cannes that were fired off in less than a minute in conversation with a colleague. With the recent All In Census revealing that the number of people experiencing sexual harassment in adland has dropped from 5% in 2021 to 2% in 2023, these stories serve as a stark reminder that this behavior still exists. And that while this is progress, until that number is zero, we all still have work to do.


While this goes on at every industry conference, the “away from home,” “drunken fun in the sun” element of Cannes makes it a breeding ground for this behavior—when in actual fact, it should be a proving ground. The five-day festival is the largest gathering in the creative marketing community; it can be the litmus test of how far we’ve come, home to not just the best creative in the world but also the most up-to-date thinking on the most important issues of the industry. We need to become ambassadors of change, inspiring others to follow suit and collectively work toward eradicating sexual harassment.


Get educated and trained


One of the first steps is to complete the timeTo training—I have taken it and would encourage all senior leaders to do the same. TimeTo is an initiative set up by NABS, The Advertising Association and a few other senior industry figures in the U.K. to help tackle sexual harassment in advertising. It provides regular, interactive and educational training for agencies and employees, delivered by an expert trainer in a two-hour session, that gives practical guidance on stopping sexual harassment and increases understanding on what is and isn’t acceptable in the workplace. Completing this training means we can be equipped to navigate complexities, recognize signs of potential harassment and take immediate action to address and prevent it, in Cannes and beyond.


But the work should have started long before anyone has even thought about packing the sunscreen. As senior leaders we need to demonstrate a commitment to creating a safe and respectful workplace culture all year round. This starts from our own actions: We need to model appropriate behavior, adopt an open culture and address any reports of harassment promptly and impartially. This requires ongoing commitment, awareness and active engagement from all people in leadership positions.


This also means looking outside our own businesses at what we can offer and looking at supporting and utilizing resources like timeTo and NABS: These organizations provide education as well as confidential support to individuals who experience and witness sexual harassment. We should be sharing this information with staff, letting them know the training is available, and everyone should have this education as well as the knowledge that there’s support and it’s important to seek help when needed.


Once you have done the above, you can start providing resources and educational materials that raise awareness about sexual harassment, consent and bystander intervention. Offer guidance on how to recognize and respond to potential harassment situations.


Create a safe space for safe talks


It is vital that you encourage open dialogue; without this, people will continue to be too confused or too scared to come forward. Create opportunities for open conversations about workplace culture, boundaries and respectful conduct. Ensure employees feel comfortable discussing their concerns or seeking guidance without fear of judgment and regularly communicate your commitment to maintaining a safe and inclusive work environment.


This has to run though the entire business and cannot be a top-down approach. Empower HR teams to enforce your sexual harassment policy. If this isn’t joined up, it quickly falls apart. Ensure HR professionals are equipped with the necessary resources, training and support to handle complaints effectively and impartially.


Be an advocate for employees


One of the biggest issues and drivers around sexual harassment is alcohol consumption, which is high on the list at Cannes. Acknowledge that alcohol consumption can sometimes contribute to situations where boundaries are crossed or harassment occurs. Encourage responsible drinking and remind employees of the importance of maintaining personal boundaries, consent and respectful behavior while attending social events or parties during the festival.


Remind staff to not let their guard down simply because it’s Cannes. Encourage them to do the opposite and be more vigilant; this includes not walking home alone, prearranging home transport and getting taxis. Empower your people to look out for others who may be in distress. Encourage them that if they see something that’s not right, report it and help people if they look like they are in an uncomfortable situation by simply asking if they are OK.


Similarly, teach setting personal boundaries. If they feel even slightly uncomfortable in any situation, reassure them they can remove themselves without the worry of creating awkwardness or upsetting others, especially senior people. As leaders, we have to acknowledge everyone has different comfort zones and levels for what is and is not acceptable.


We hold the power to shape the work environment. This can significantly impact our people. It’s on us to ensure all the measures are in place and that our people will feel supported, protected and able to fully immerse themselves in the joy of Cannes. Together, let us practice a culture of respect and inclusivity, making Cannes a celebration of safety and empowerment in the advertising industry as well as a celebration of great work.

Wednesday, June 21, 2023

16294: Google Doodle & Oodles Of Noodling For Juneteenth.


The Google Doodle commemorating Juneteenth posted this week, along with the standard links to related holiday content. Oddly enough,—a website dedicated to the event—does not appear among the top results when searching for Juneteenth.


Regardless, one can’t help but wonder how many Chief Diversity Officers at White advertising agencies will present company-wide emails, blog posts, and lunchtime talks this month, explaining the holiday to culturally clueless Caucasian staffers. Indeed, developing the performative PR will likely require conducting Google searches for information, insight, and inspiration.


It’s also a safe bet that Adland will pay waaay less attention to Juneteenth than Pride Month. Or Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. Or Flag Day. Or Global Wind Day.

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

16293: WFA WTF—2023 Global DEI Census States The Obvious.


The World Federation of Advertisers released results of the 2023 Global DEI Census, which look remarkably similar to findings of any related survey conducted over the last century.


The data displayed high acknowledgement of industry efforts, but no progress on diversity, equity, and inclusion. In short, people hear the industry talk the talk—yet don’t see anyone walk the walk.


While not specifically probed by the poll, it’s likely that crumbs, heat shields, and performative PR continue to rise—although other sources report that DE&I budgets and Human Heat Shields have taken a hit.


It’s almost insulting how the survey listed age, gender, and family status as “the greatest forms of discrimination.” This demonstrates that in Adland, White men and White women dominate, define, and dictate the DE&I discussion. Indeed, it would have been interesting to learn the racial and ethnic breakdowns of respondents.


The World Federation of Advertisers included quotes delivered by various “leaders” whose opinions ranged from pollyannaish to cultural cluelessness to outright ignorance.


Analyzing the 2023 Global DEI Census details can probably be summarized in a single sentence: The worldwide industry is poisoned by systemic racism.


Wave II of Global DEI Census shows high recognition of industry efforts, but no improvement on inclusion


Despite one in two saying things are improving, inclusion scores remain the same as in 2021. The greatest forms of discrimination are still on basis of age, gender and care-giving status. Disabled respondents report the worst lived experiences.


Nearly one in seven members of the global marketing industry say they would leave our industry on the back of a lack of diversity, equity and inclusion, according to responses to the 2023 Global DEI Census.


The picture is even worse among certain groups, with 16% of women (almost 1 in 6), 17% of LGBQ+ (1 in 6), 22% of ethnic minorities (more than 1 in 5) and 24% of disabled respondents (almost 1 in 4), say they are likely to leave. Younger professionals (25-34 years) and caregivers are also slightly more likely to leave than the global average (18% vs 14%).


The overall one in seven figure remains the same as that found by the first Global Census on DEI in 2021, despite all the efforts that companies have made to increase diversity, retain talent and improve their appeal to potential employees around the world.


Those efforts are recognised, however, with nearly three in four (72%) respondents globally acknowledging industry attempts to improve the lived experiences of key groups. The numbers vary widely by country though peaking in Canada (87%), the USA (87%) and Singapore (86%), but are significantly lower in Japan (49%), Slovenia (51%) and Poland (54%).


Half the respondents to the survey (50%) said things have improved but three in ten (30%) said things were the same as in 2021. Again, responses varied by country. Seven in ten agreed that things had improved in Spain (70%) and Brazil (69%), but only three in ten agreed in Sweden (30%), Japan (32%) and Poland (32%). In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), 9% respondents said things had got worse. Globally, those in senior positions were more likely to report that things have improved (58%) compared with managers (49%) and junior staff (42%).


The overall level of inclusion, calculated on the basis of answers to questions about a respondent’s sense of well-being, an absence of discrimination and a presence of negative behaviours was almost identical to 2021. The global DEI inclusion index was 64% last time (69% for men and 61% for women) and this year it is 63%, and still 69% for men and 61% for women. For LGBQ+ respondents, the Index has fallen two points from 60% to 58%.


The three countries to record the biggest improvements were New Zealand (up 10 percentage points to 71%), South Africa (up seven points to 61%) and Ireland (up six points to 68%), while the biggest three declines were recorded in Hong Kong SAR (down six points to 61%), The Gulf Cooperation Council (down four points to 57%) and the Netherlands (down four points to 63%).


The most common forms of discrimination reported are still around age, gender and family status. 41% of women, 42% of parents and 39% of caregivers feel that family responsibilities hinder one’s career. 12% of 18-24 year-olds and 17% of 55-64 years said they personally experienced age discrimination compared to an overall global average of 8%.


Women, LGBQ+, ethnic minority and disabled respondents still have worse experiences than their counterparts. Men reported living better work experiences (69%) than women (61%). Disabled respondents reported living the worst work experiences (45% versus 67% non-disabled). Women, disabled and ethnic minority respondents are all more likely to say they are unfairly spoken over (30% of women versus 21% men, 39% of disabled versus 25% non-disabled and 30% for ethnic minority respondents respectively versus 26% for ethnic majority respondents), undervalued compared to colleagues of equal competence (31% for women versus 23% men, 42% for disabled versus 26% for non-disabled, 33% for ethnic minorities versus 26% for their majority counterparts), bullied or made to feel uncomfortable in the workplace.


The results are based on nearly 13k responses from 91 countries, providing a detailed insight into people’s lived experiences from across the industry globally. The initiative is supported by a coalition of 10 global marketing and advertising organisations – WFA, VoxComm, Campaign, Kantar, Advertising Week, Cannes Lions, Effie Worldwide, IAA, Global Web Index (GWI) and Adweek – as well as more than 160 organisations at a local level making it the marketing industry’s single biggest collaboration to date. It is also backed by leading companies from across the marketing and advertising ecosystem, including Bayer, BP, Danone, Diageo, Dentsu, The Estée Lauder Companies, Haleon, Havas, KraftHeinz, L’Oréal, McCann, Meta, Philips, Reckitt, Sanofi and WPP.


Women and ethnic minorities also report being under-represented in senior positions. Analysing function by gender, women are more likely to be in marketing/PR and account management. Female respondents are dominant in junior positions (64% W vs 36% M) and male respondents are twice as likely to be in C-Suite positions (21% M vs 11% W). 36% of women who took parental leave in the last five years think it has put them at a disadvantage in their career compared with 8% of men.


Additionally, nearly half of respondents still feel that promotion or hiring decisions can be discriminatory with only 55% agreeing with the statement “Senior management does not discriminate when it comes to hiring or career advancements of those that report into them”. This drops to 52% for women, 51% for ethnic minorities, 49% for LGBQ+ and just 43% for disabled respondents. The 2023 number represents a slight improvement on the 51% scored on the same question in 2021, but Japan is currently the worse scoring market with just 34% agreeing.


Key groups are also less likely to agree that there are people like them in senior positions in their company, highlighting a lack of role models. Women’s scores are three points down on men with 58% agreeing, ethnic minority respondents are 13 points down on ethnic majority at just 48%, LGBQ+ respondents are 13 points down on heterosexual respondents at 47%, while disabled respondents show the biggest gap of all, 16 points down on non-disabled at 46%.


Mental health is also an important concern with 42% respondents saying they feel stressed and anxious at work. This peaks in Italy at 52%, which coincidentally is also the market with the lowest percentage of respondents agreeing that their company is open about mental health issues (31%). The Netherlands (26%) report the lowest percentage of respondents who are stressed or anxious at work. Overall, one in two say their company is open about mental health issues, with the Philippines scoring best at 67%.


Other key findings include:


• LGBQ+ respondents report worse lived experiences at work than their heterosexual counterparts, with an Inclusion Index score of 58% for LGBQ+ vs 65% for heterosexuals.


• The number of disabled respondents has improved compared to 2021 (10% vs 7%) and is closer to the global benchmark of 15%. Their responses, however, suggest that they are having a tough time with an inclusion index score of 45% compared to 67% for non-disabled respondents.


• 27% of respondents agree that “my work is having a negative physical impact on health and mental health”. Mental health worries peak at 40% in Poland with 42% in Poland also noting the impact on their physical health. Brazil is the best place for physical health, with only 18% agreeing that work has a negative impact while Finland is the best place for mental health, with just 17% citing it as a concern.


Census organisers are now busy delivering country specific reports, which will be used to update country-specific action plans and focus resources on the most pressing local challenges.


The findings will also be analysed by members of the WFA DEI Task Force, so that global organisations can ensure that they are best targeting their resources appropriately in order to address key challenges, and manage and retain much-needed talent.


“We should see this as glass half empty – and half full. We are not greatly surprised to see no measurable change across the global industry in just two years, because the challenges are so deep-rooted and systemic in society. They take time to address and overcome. But the first step is building awareness of the problem. We may not have meaningfully moved the needle globally, but industry efforts are increasingly visible. Now is the time to double down and stay the course because ultimately our efforts will be rewarded with more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplaces where the best talent will flock”, said Stephan Loerke, WFA CEO.


“First, I want to thank to every single person who has contributed to the Census. Thanks to you, we can see that progress is being acknowledged, which means we are going in the right direction. However, the ongoing discrimination faced by women, LGBQ+, ethnic minorities and people with disabilities shows that there is still a long way to go. These revealing figures are a vital opportunity for our industry – we must respond with purposeful action, weaving diversity and inclusion into the very heart of our organizations, to create a nurturing environment where each person is embraced, valued, and empowered”, said Tamara Daltroff, EACA CEO and VoxComm President.


“At its best, advertising can be a positive force for change, but we must live the values we ‘sell’. These results don’t illustrate the change we hope to see. As the WFA’s strategic partner for sustainability and inclusion and the home of The Inclusion Index, Kantar calls on the marketing community, once again, to move beyond rhetoric and take the positive steps needed to create a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for all our colleagues”, said Ed Gemmell, Global Corporate Affairs Director at Kantar.


"The results of this most recent Global DEI Census show how vital this project continues to be. Without an ongoing concerted campaign to shine a light on this topic, we risk falling into the trap of thinking that progress (although maybe too slow) is somehow baked-in and inevitable. It simply isn't. Any progress is hard won and requires monumental levels of effort year in year out. Campaign continues to be proud of our association with this huge project. Thank you to WFA and all other partners”, said Jessica MacDermot, Global Portfolio Director at Haymarket Media Group.


“As marketers, we have the power to make a difference by actively working towards creating a more equitable and inclusive world, and addressing critical issues. Let's transform concern into meaningful action and work together towards a brighter, more inclusive future”, said Ruth Mortimer, Global President, Advertising Week.


"This data reinforces the need for organisations to align DEI more closely to their business strategy. An industry underpinned by inclusive practice is possible if we work together and commit to consistent actions whilst holding ourselves accountable. We all want to see a fairer world without discrimination, and, if we accelerate equitable outcomes for the historically marginalised, we can work towards achieving that objective", said Frank Starling, VP Diversity, Equity & Inclusion, LIONS.


“There’s not a lack of people recognising the importance of DEI in the industry, it’s about the level of action needed to really impact change. And this is something we see as a trend in global data with important topics people clearly care deeply about, such as DEI and climate change. What’s challenging is converting that concern to the work and change needed across the industry and beyond to make a difference. And this includes each and every one of us adapting and being willing to take part in that change”, said Jason Mander, Chief Research Officer GWI.


About the 2023 Global DEI Census


The results are based on nearly 13k responses from 91 countries, providing a detailed insight into people’s lived experiences from across our industry globally. Responses were completed between March 15 and April 30 via an online questionnaire. The sample includes 63% women, 37% men, which reflects a slight skew in the industry towards women (major agency holding groups report higher proportion of women over men with WPP, Dentsu and Havas all reporting a higher proportion of women over men – 56%, 53%, 57% women, respectively).