Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

14074: Defensive Is Offensive.

Campaign published a perspective titled, “We need to call out adland’s defensiveness about diversity.” Actually, it would be better to call out how adland delegates, diverts and denies diversity. The advertising industry is currently calling out sexual harassment and expelling the alleged violators. Yet the White men and White women who have consciously and unconsciously dismissed diversity dance away scot-free. Damn.

Oh, and Campaign is hardly in a position to pontificate on diversity.

We need to call out adland’s defensiveness about diversity

By Nicola Kemp

Justin Tindall was bored with diversity, Paul Burke is bored with the backlash, and all the while nothing really changes.

Have you heard the one about the creative director who lost his job because of sexual harassment allegations only to spring up at another agency to work on a gender equality campaign? Or the female leader publicly extolling the virtues of part-time and flexible working, while berating staff for wanting to get home a few times a week in time to see their children? Hypocrisy has long been at the heart of the criticism of adland’s long-running, but ineffective, diversity debate.

The gap between public show and private behaviour is one that fuels the defensiveness that surrounds the advertising industry’s approach to diversity. It is in the ecosystem that fuels the kind of “whataboutery” (when someone responds to a difficult issue or question with a counter issue or question that completely derails the question) evident in Paul Burke’s latest column.

The equality myth

The notion that the advertising industry is in the midst of W1A-levels of political correctness, which have effectively called a halt to decades of diversity, is without basis in statistical fact.

As Ali Hanan, the chief executive and founder of Creative Equals, explains eloquently: “Without a seat at the table and facing huge barriers to entry, diverse voices haven’t been heard or equally represented. Media, shaped by a community who are 88% white men, has — at best — type-cast and stereotyped and — at worst — neglected whole sections of society and objectified women.”

Despite Burke’s argument, the advertising industry has never had a “random selection process, which always seemed to throw up a varied cast of unusual and original thinkers, who were then allowed the freedom to express their thoughts without fear of reprisals.”

Cindy Gallop, the founder and chief executive of MakeLoveNotPorn, explains: “Our industry has had a gated selection process filtered through the approval lens of white men, who have historically been the only non-varied cast perceived to be ‘unusual and original thinkers’ and the only ones ‘allowed the freedom to express their thoughts without fear of reprisals’. Ask any woman, person of colour, disabled person, anyone considered ‘other’ in our industry.”

Therefore in place of this “Whataboutery”, she says the gatekeepers of our industry need to actively welcome in not “other” opinions in general, but “other” ideas, input and creativity where it really matters — in the actual work. And to do that, they need not to concern themselves with political or life views, but with consciously admitting to themselves that “other” people are just as talented if not more so than I am. She explains: “They’ve got what it takes to do far better, more innovative and creative work than we’re doing at the moment, and so I need to hire, promote and give as many of them as possible the opportunity to do the work and to shine doing it.”

The paradox of tolerance

The notion that there is a “wrong” side of a political and cultural paradigm which effectively silences diversity of thought is also inherently problematic. Ete Davies, the managing director of AnalogFolk, says that while “diversity of thought” is vital to creativity, as an industry we should be creating environments whereby we’re able to debate and interrogate differing views or opinions.

He adds: “I completely agree with Paul, that a more diverse workforce leads to greater creativity and more divergent thinking, through the mix of different life experiences, backgrounds, and personalities that diversity provides.”

However, he argues, there must be a “’Paradox of tolerance’ to managing ‘diversity of thought’, which is how it’s balanced against views or behaviours that are genuinely socially unacceptable, demeaning or derogatory to others. Which is, of course, not an easy task; but a necessary one.

“Values do have an important role to play because it’s through these values that we create inclusive environments that support and encourage ‘diversity of thought’ towards a shared end goal – better, more interesting ideas,” Davies continues.

The defensiveness penalty

Defensiveness is the enemy of change, the very antithesis of progress. A stance evident when Burke states: “How will you defend that much-lauded new Nike ad to an Asian kid from Tower Hamlets who sees his own community seemingly airbrushed out of it?” Now, I can’t speak for Wieden & Kennedy, but why assume the agency’s knee-jerk response would be simply to default to defensiveness? All of us benefit from having our world view challenged, to reconsider our own output and be aware of our own privilege. When you start from a position of openness it is much harder to suffer from the affliction of believing you have nothing left to learn.

The fact is defensiveness is part of being blind to, or at worst upholding, systems which have effectively excluded diverse talent from both the work itself and the industry at large.

Diversity of thought doesn’t work when you aren’t really listening. If one foot always remains in the past, defending the status quo, then moving forwards is impossible.

Monday, March 19, 2018

14073: The Biggest Business Bullshit.

Campaign reported on the latest grandstanding goofiness from pseudo-provocateur Cindy Gallop, whose proclamation depicted above proves she’s an out-of-touch idiot. Gallop has made the statement before, although it looks like she’s refined it via collaboration with a culturally-clueless committee. Her updated upchuck deserves dissection.

The opening line—“The single biggest business issue facing our industry is not diversity.”—is actually true. In fact, diversity has never been “the single biggest business issue facing our industry.” Hell, it probably hasn’t cracked the average CEO’s top ten list, as evidenced by the perpetual exclusivity in the field. The attempts to position diversity as a business imperative have failed in adland, probably because there’s no way to verify the advantages of inclusion in a consistently pro-White environment.

To follow through by declaring sexual harassment is “the single biggest business issue facing our industry” displays stupidity too. Again, while sexual harassment has gained notoriety in recent months, does the average CEO honestly view it as the numero uno business issue? Doubt it. JWT Worldwide CEO Tamara Ingram, for example, appears more concerned about tampons. Why, diversity and inclusiveness are Ingram’s top agenda items, not sexual harassment.

Gallop’s rationale that sexual harassment “prevents gender equality, diversity and inclusion from ever happening” because it blocks women from gaining the leadership and power to push for progress is patently pathetic—and just plain offensive. Sorry, but White women have been co-conspirators, actively working alongside White men to thwart diversity in the advertising industry. Just as the 1913 Women’s Suffrage Parade saw White women insisting that Black women march at the back of the gathering, White adwomen haven’t exactly been equality advocates supporting Black adwomen—or anyone else besides themselves. And a Cannes study confirmed divertsity has not benefited women of color.

To believe White women would effectively lead the charge for true gender equality, diversity and inclusion is the equivalent of thinking President Donald Trump will help the underrepresented. And to consider Gallop as a guru on the general topic is simply insane. Sorry, the woman’s perspectives don’t make her a thought leader, but rather, a thoughtless leader.

Cindy Gallop turns fire on WPP over gender equality

By Emily Tan

Cindy Gallop, the champion of gender equality in the ad industry, has criticised WPP as part of a speech on the way the industry treats women.

Speaking at The Guardian Changing Media Summit on Thursday, Gallop picked up on the holding group’s gender pay gap report, published last week, and particularly on what it revealed at JWT.

J Walter Thompson UK Group had the biggest median pay gap out of all of WPP’s agencies [though only those that employ 250 or more people are covered], which was 45% in favour of men.

Gallop joined this detail with criticism of WPP’s continuing employment of Gustavo Martinez, the former JWT global chief executive who is fighting a sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit brought by a senior JWT staffer.

The fact that WPP continues to pay Martinez “a large amount of money to hold a public leadership role” [he is currently WPP’s country representative for Spain] despite the unresolved lawsuit, shows “this is not an industry that says we welcome and we respect women”.

“It’s the complete opposite,” Gallop said.

Her comments had added bite for being delivered just a couple of hours before WPP chief Sir Martin Sorrell took the same stage to be interviewed by journalist Jane Martinson.

Pressed on the WPP pay gap, Sorrell acknowledged that “we all know the reasons behind [it] … [it’s] wrong and has to be fixed”.

WPP employs a smaller proportion of women in its best-paid quartile than in the other quartiles, where the male-female ratio is roughly equal, according to Sorrell.

“Our top quartile is one-third women. The answer therefore is to promote more women. And this will be achieved by encouraging people through qualitative means, quantitative means, quotas, training programmes and bias training — we’re doing all these things,” he added.

When asked if he thought sexism was a problem for the industry, Sorrell sidestepped the question by responding that he has always believed women to be more effective than men.

“They have better EQ, organise their time better… women take on more responsibility than men and have more to do than men so they spend less time on watercooler talk,” Sorrell said.

“Then why haven’t you promoted more?” Martinson interjected.

“I have been promoting more,” Sorrell said.

“Not effectively enough then,” Martinson argued.

“It’s not satisfactory,” he acknowledged.

Beyond her criticism of WPP, the whole industry is very much “not satisfactory”, Gallop had argued earlier.

She again talked about the response she has had after she reacted to the Harvey Weinstein scandal by inviting from women in advertising to write to her if they had suffered sexual harassment.

“I am shocked, horrified, appalled and disgusted by what I’ve seen in my inbox. I knew it was bad, I never knew it was this bad,” Gallop said.

“Historically, I’ve said that diversity was the biggest issue facing our industry. It’s not. It’s sexual harassment.”

She said the women told her about incidents ranging from inappropriate comments to outright violent rape, and the common refrain was “I left the industry because this happened”.

“Our industry harbours many rapists who have never faced their crimes. They are protected by their companies and by the NDAs we sign,” Gallop said.

Supporting women and gender equality is not just morally right, she suggested, but is good business.

“Women challenge the status quo because we are never it. We would bring different thinking to how the industry can reinvent itself for the future, but we have never had the opportunity to do so,” Gallop said.

She also believes that in its current shape, the industry is doing a poor job of marketing products to a consumer base whose purchasing power is dominated by women.

“I’m tired of that hoary old term that sex sells. Well, we have not even begun to explore what can be achieved if we used sex through the female lens to sell,” the founder of IfWeRanTheWorld and MakeLoveNotPorn said.

“If we were marketing in a world where sex was for everyone and it was healthy and normal, then why are cars — so frequently the resort of people without private spaces – still not designed for having sex?

“Why are mattress manufacturers focusing all their research on sleep? And how about kitchen counters? What’s the optimal height for sex? There’s a lot of potential to make money that we’re ignoring.”

Gallop also called for the industry to abandon the shorthand stereotypes that don’t reflect humanity or reality anymore.

“We rely so much on the stereotype where the man is the big strong breadwinner and the women is the warm nurturing homemaker. We have to change this. Today both halves of the partnership work. There are not enough aspirational relationships role models represented in popular culture of today’s relationships,” Gallop said.

She called for the industry to change rather than talk about change. “Don’t create campaigns or stunts about diversity. Don’t make compelling content about diversity. Be diverse,” she said.

Finally, she related how at the Oscars ceremony earlier this week, Best Actress winner Frances McDormand introduced the term “inclusion rider”, inviting actors and actresses to make inclusivity a part of their contracts.

“I want everyone to include an inclusion rider. Put that clause in your brains,” Gallop said. “You will make an absolute goddamn fucking shit-tonne of money and do a lot of social good if you do all this.”

Sunday, March 18, 2018

14072: Time’s Upchuck.

Adweek reported 180 female agency honchos launched “Time’s Up Advertising,” described by the trade journal as “an official ‘vertical’ aimed at discussing and addressing the industry’s pervasive problems with sexual harassment and gender inequality.” Okay, but does the Time’s Up organization realize the advertising industry has bigger pervasive problems with general inequality? Time’s Up Advertising vowed to “drive new policies, practices, decisions and tangible actions that result in more balanced, diverse and accountable leadership; address workplace discrimination, harassment and abuse; and create equitable and safe cultures within the advertising industry.” Look for a steep increase of White women promotions and whistleblower hotlines. But don’t expect to see a significant rise in racial and ethnic diversity—that would require too much time.

180 Female Agency Leaders Launch ‘Time’s Up Advertising’ to Address the Industry’s #MeToo Problem

Top execs are working to end harassment and discrimination

By Lindsay Rittenhouse

Today, a group of 180 female CEOs, chief creative officers, chief strategy officers and other top agency executives announced the launch of Time’s Up Advertising, an official “vertical” aimed at discussing and addressing the industry’s pervasive problems with sexual harassment and gender inequality.

Time’s Up Advertising said in a statement it will “drive new policies, practices, decisions and tangible actions that result in more balanced, diverse and accountable leadership; address workplace discrimination, harassment and abuse; and create equitable and safe cultures within the advertising industry.”

Specifically, the group said it is committed to fixing policies “that have failed us,” leveraging the experiences of industry leaders with diverse backgrounds and adopting employee training to make the ad industry more inclusive and safe.

The initiative began at the end of January with a group of just 14 C-suite women, Time’s Up Advertising explained in a letter today that began with the phrase, “Hey, sisters, we know.” The letter states that one night of open discussion turned into “more meet-ups and phone calls, and hundreds of emails. Many hundreds of emails.”

According to the letter, the group quickly grew from just 14 executives to 180.

Those leaders include Alyson Warshaw, chief creative officer of Laundry Service; Debby Reiner, CEO of Grey New York; Andrea Cook, president of FCB/Six; Andrea Diquez, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi New York; Kirsten Flanik, president and CEO of BBDO New York; Kate Weiss, executive vice president of human resources and partner at Universal McCann; Sarah Thompson, global and New York CEO of Droga5; Wendy Clark, global CEO of DDB Worldwide; Carla Serrano, chief strategy officer of Publicis Groupe and CEO of Publicis New York; and Kristen Cavallo, the CEO of The Martin Agency who was appointed in December after the agency’s former chief creative officer Joe Alexander departed amid a wave of sexual harassment allegations.

“We don’t for a minute believe we found all the answers,” Time’s Up Advertising wrote. “As women in senior leadership positions in advertising, we’ve agreed that we have the power to change this business we love until it looks more like the industry we want to lead.”

The group is calling on every agency, women-run or not, to join the effort by keeping up with the goals listed on its website. Time’s Up Advertising will also raise funds for the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which provides subsidized representation to individuals bringing up a sexual harassment or abuse case.

According to the announcement, the group will host its first community meeting on May 14 in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Representatives for both Time’s Up Advertising and the larger Time’s Up organization declined to comment for this story.

The organization’s launch comes less than a week after the industry’s latest controversy came to light. Last Thursday, Adweek broke the news that Hyundai’s Innocean Worldwide and its chief creative officer Eric Springer had been sued for sexual harassment, discrimination, retaliation and wrongful termination by Victoria Guenier, a former executive who claims she was forced out of her job last year.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

14071: More JWT BS.

JWT Worldwide CEO Tamara Ingram went from tampons to douchebags, announcing the elimination of the Worldwide Chief Creative Officer role, effectively sending Matt Eastwood to enjoy “continued success in his future endeavors.” It doesn’t look like Eastwood will land a sweet gig in WPP like former JWT Worldwide CEO Gustavo Martinez. Eastwood once cautioned Martinez about using the word “rape” during agency meetings, but it looks like Eastwood is the only guy who got screwed.

JWT Eliminates the Worldwide Chief Creative Officer Role

Matt Eastwood is leaving the company after holding the position since 2014

By Lindsay Rittenhouse

J. Walter Thompson Co. today announced that it is eliminating the position of worldwide chief creative officer. Matt Eastwood, who has held that position since July 2014, will leave to “pursue other interests,” according to the agency’s statement.

“We are reimagining the future of the agency,” Tamara Ingram, JWT Worldwide CEO, said in a statement. “This was a structural decision that will allow us to be more agile, leverage our collective global bench strength and encourage the burgeoning diverse ‘maker culture’ growing within J. Walter Thompson. We would like to thank Matt Eastwood for his contributions and wish him continued success in his future endeavors.”

In an internal memo to employees and obtained by Adweek, Ingram expanded: “Creativity remains at the very core of our business, but today it is an even more collaborative process. It is borderless. It is broadly focused. We are increasingly relying on the people who are closest to making and creating the work.”

Ingram said in the memo that JWT’s Worldwide Creative Council “will evolve to better reflect the needs of the agency,” incorporating “a fluid roster of talented individuals with myriad skill sets.”

“I am committed to protecting, supporting and developing the creative community and culture within JWT,” Ingram concluded in the memo. “I am looking forward to sharing more specific information soon. For now, it’s business as usual and we will keep the trains running as we head into Cannes.”

This isn’t the first time JWT has gone without a global CCO.

The position had been vacant from 2009 to 2014. The last global creative chief, Craig Davis, left the agency in 2009.

Prior to joining JWT, Eastwood served as chief creative officer of the New York office of DDB, working on campaigns such as “Yeah, that kind of rich” for the New York Lottery and “Hashtag Killer” for Water is Life.

Friday, March 16, 2018

14070: Taxing Divertsity Campaign.

No, it’s not an early April Fools’ Day joke. Campaign published a period piece—literally—by JWT Worldwide CEO Tamara Ingram, calling for people to rally against the “Tampon Tax” that financially penalizes women. Sorry, but this is a peculiar cause coming from an advertising leader who declared, “Top of my agenda is diversity and inclusiveness. Not only is it going to be top of my agenda, it’s going to be top of all my executives’ agendas and top of every country manager’s agenda.” Indeed, it feels like a pretty unique divertsity directive. And the move is awkward and hypocritical, considering that JWT is promoting itself as an advocate for womankind while embroiled in the most notorious sexual harassment and discrimination lawsuit currently out there. Also, if a major advertising agency is allegedly embracing diversity and inclusiveness, is it proper to take a public stance with strong political components? Hey, there might be conservative staffers who support taxing tampons.

Why women shouldn’t be taxed on feminine products

By Tamara Ingram

Periods are not a luxury period, says J. Walter Thompson’s worldwide CEO.

As we welcome March, the month to celebrate women’s history and international women’s day on the 8th, it is important to recognize and celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

We must remain vigilant. As it has been said, “never confuse movement with action.”

As the head of a global communications company, I know there are immediate issues we can address just by signing a single petition. Our collective action can create change.

We need to reimagine the future. A future where women aren’t financially penalized with added government taxes. A future that doesn’t consider tampons a “luxury” item. Let’s harness our collective passion by abolishing sales tax for feminine items.

Many U.S. states tax tampons and other menstrual supplies as “luxury items,” as if access to these supplies were an indulgence rather than a necessity. Fortunately, governments are beginning to be held accountable.

As of Nov. 2017, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania abolished sales tax on things like tampons and pads (non-taxed menstrual items vary from state to state).

You can add Oregon, Montana, Delaware, Alaska and New Hampshire to the list, but only because they did not have sales tax to begin with. For the remaining states, pads and tampons are still regarded as “luxury” items, which means all the tax money associated with their cost goes back to the state. In 2016, California estimated it would lose $20 million in local and state revenue if it lifted the tax on menstrual products.

Men’s products such as Viagra, an erectile dysfunction medicine which is a prescription drug, isn’t taxed in any state except Illinois. Rogaine, a product for male hair loss, is exempt from taxes in eight states because it is an over-the-counter treatment and doesn’t require a prescription. (Four states have qualified exemptions for nonprescription medications that Rogaine does not appear to qualify for.)

This is just the start of a conversation about the unfair “pink taxes” women face as they buy products priced higher than similar ones marketed to men or, in this case, as they must spend on products that men do not.

To shed light on this unfair and discriminatory practice, we partnered up, an established law and policy activist group. The nonprofit is dedicated to advancing menstrual access, affordability and safety. Together, we launched a tongue-in-cheek campaign last year that lampoons the tax by featuring diamond-encrusted jewelry pieces that are actual tampon holders.

The tampon tax is just one of many ways in which women are financially penalized. On top of that, women’s versions of gendered products tend to be more expensive, and women pay more for healthcare, largely due to the high cost of birth control and pregnancy. Women in the U.S. generally end up facing more financial burdens than men.

To put this into context, some non-taxed “necessities” include: donuts, cowboy boots, marshmallows and tattoos. Things that US states have considered “non-necessities” include: cigarettes, alcohol, diamond jewelry, luxury clothing and…tampons!

It begs the questions, why on earth are we taxing women for being women?

Visit and find out how you can abolish the tampon tax in your state.

Tamara Ingram is the Worldwide CEO of J. Walter Thompson.

Thursday, March 15, 2018

14069: John Winsor’s Still Irrelevant.

Adweek published a too-painfully-long-to-repost perspective titled, “5 Ways to Save Agency Holding Companies From Becoming Irrelevant.” The author is John Winsor, a bona fide expert on becoming irrelevant. ‘Nuff said.

14068: Hip Hop? Please Stop.

Adweek spotlighted Chase Zreet, a copywriter from Dallas who landed a job with Wieden + Kennedy by communicating his obsession to write for Sprite via a homemade rap video. Sprite has a long history tied to hip hop, ignited by campaigns birthed at Burrell. The work from the Black advertising agency was authentic and original. In contrast, Zreet’s brainchild is a contrived piece of shit. But it was good enough to earn him a position at the White advertising agency. Now that’s fucked up.