Saturday, October 31, 2009
From The New York Daily News…
Ancient false myths leave bewitching black cats shunned by some
BY Amy Sacks
Daily News Writer
Halloween this year has gone to the dogs, with pooches dressed as witches, hot dogs — even the Pope — competing for prizes in contests around the city.
Meanwhile, black cats still get a bad rap. For centuries, sleek black felines in Western cultures have been associated with witches and demons, and have been thought to bring bad luck to those who cross their paths.
“The superstition that black cats bring bad luck is true — only if you’re a black cat!” said Dr. Robin Brennan, a veterinarian at Bideawee, which is teeming with cats and kittens for adoption.
Sadly, the stigma causes people to shun them, leaving many black cats without adopters.
In addition, it has long been believed that shelters shouldn’t adopt out black cats around Halloween, so they can avoid being used for satanic rituals or other abuse.
But local shelter workers say the myth is just that - a myth that was debunked long ago by data and scientific studies that show black cats are not at risk during this time.
The ASPCA’s Humane Law Enforcement department has not encountered an increase in abuse of black cats around Halloween, said Gail Buchwald, who heads adoptions for the ASPCA, where 36 black cats are available for adoption, along with many other kittens and cats of all stripes.
“The Halloween myth is not” true she said. In fact, when shelters refrain from rehoming these cats around Halloween, it creates a pileup of black cats in their shelters, which further hurts the cats’ chances of finding homes quickly.
Black cats — and dogs, too — are often overlooked because they are too plain or ordinary for some people’s tastes. The stigma means these animals tend to stay in the shelters the longest.
Still, adoptions are done on a case-by-case basis, and some shelters and rescue groups may be more vigilant around Halloween.
At the Animal Care & Control shelters, 39 black cats are among the hundreds of cats and kittens in the shelter.
Greek mythology taught that a woman named Galenthias was turned into a cat and became a priestess at the temple of Hecate, the “Dark Mother,” and is sometimes called the mother of witchcraft. During the 12th and 13th centuries, accused witches in Europe were often found with their “familiars,” usually black cats, and were said to turn themselves into cats at times. During the witch-burning era of the 17th century, accused witches’ cats were put into baskets and burned alongside them.
In many European countries and in the U.S., black cats signify bad luck, while in England, Australia and Japan, black cats are considered lucky.
Helene Zinszner says there is nothing ominous about her affectionate black kitty Monkey Girl, despite the stigma attached to black cats in her native France.
“Everyone loves her,” said Zinszner, an AIDS researcher at NYU, who adopted Monkey Girl when she was a young kitten found in a Staten Island backyard. “She sleeps with me, purrs every time I touch her or even talk to her with intent, and follows me everywhere in the house .”
Still, because there are some evil-doers, cats can fall victim to pranks and in some cases cruelty during this season.
To be on the safe side, animal experts say it’s best to keep cats indoors. Apartment dwellers might want to keep the cat and dog in a separate room so the animals don’t run out when trick-or-treaters come knocking at the door.
Shelters are teeming with cats awaiting new homes. To adopt a cat, go to Petfinder.com or contact your local shelter or rescue group.
For a complete listing of pet-related Halloween events this weekend, go to www.newyorktails.com.
From The Los Angeles Times…
Top civil rights attorney promises increased enforcement of discrimination laws
U.S. Assistant Atty. Gen. Thomas Perez ushers in an era of ‘transformation and restoration’ with pledges to fight housing bias, hate crimes and predatory lending, among other things.
By Teresa Watanabe
The nation’s top civil rights attorney vowed Friday to step up enforcement of laws against housing bias, hate crimes, racially targeted predatory lending and other discriminatory acts in what he called a new era of “transformation and restoration.”
Thomas Perez, U.S. assistant attorney general for civil rights, also said during a keynote address to an Asian Pacific American civil rights conference in Los Angeles that he would “depoliticize decision-making” and work to restore trust between career attorneys and political appointees in the Justice Department.
Perez said attempts to replace career civil rights lawyers with conservative Republicans, as documented in a U.S. inspector general’s report this year, was the “most problematic” of the Bush administration’s policies on civil rights. Between 2003 and 2007, he said, 70% of lawyers left the department’s civil rights division.
But that era, Perez said, is over.
“The civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice is open for business,” he said to applause and cheers from hundreds of participants at the conference, sponsored by four leading Asian Pacific American organizations.
Perez lauded the Bush administration’s work on ensuring voter access to bilingual ballots, combating religious discrimination and cracking down on human trafficking.
But he said that too few cases were filed to challenge alleged discrimination in other areas, such as voting practices, voter registration procedures and what he called “toxic predatory lending” targeted at minority consumers.
Such lending, he said, helped exacerbate the foreclosure crisis as the federal government failed to use fair housing and equal credit laws to attack the practices.
In contrast, Perez said, the Obama administration planned to use all legal tools available to enforce all civil rights laws.
“There are no buffet lines. … We are not here to pick and choose which laws to enforce,” he said. “We’re going to enforce all of the laws.”
Perez said the Obama administration’s renewed emphasis on civil rights enforcement was reflected in a 20% proposed budget increase that would allow his office to add more than 100 new staff members. At present, more than 300 lawyers in the division enforce laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, religion and national origin. Lawyers also oversee voting-rights cases, which are likely to increase after next year’s census and the resulting redistricting.
Perez, a 48-year-old Dominican American sworn into office two weeks ago, worked for 12 years as a civil rights attorney under both Republican and Democratic administrations. He most recently served as Maryland’s labor secretary.
His address highlighted a two-day conference featuring workshops on labor, immigration, education, health and other issues. It was organized by the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Los Angeles, the Asian American Institute of Chicago, the Asian American Justice Center of Washington, D.C., and the Asian Law Caucus of San Francisco.
Friday, October 30, 2009
For a first anniversary, the traditional gift is paper and the modern gift is a clock. Julius Dunn and his Adversity program received both, as The One Club handed him a pink slip and announced his time was up.
An official insisted the program is not going away; rather, the partnership between The One Club and Adversity has ended for financial reasons. Apparently, any long-term commitment plan was written with a Gold Pencil. The One Club website has erased all evidence of Adversity, replacing it with the following:
The One Club is extending its outreach to provide college students and young professionals of diverse backgrounds an opportunity to learn first hand about the creative side of advertising, new media and design. Through workshops, presentations and exhibitions, The One Club is working to diversify the advertising industry.
First, The One Club should hire an award-winning proofreader, as firsthand is a single word. Second, how does The One Club intend to extend its outreach efforts while cutting its lead diversity initiative? Guess you need to be a Gold Pencil winner to figure out a creative answer. Third, “The One Club is working to diversify the advertising industry,” sounds remarkably like, “O.J. Simpson is hunting for Nicole’s killer.” There’s a certain insincerity here, especially given that the award organization’s historical lack of interest in minorities might warrant a name change to The One Old Boys Club. And Adversity could be renamed The One-Year Club.
What’s the most unfortunate part of this affair? The only source to bother reporting on Adversity’s demise was the ever-useless Agency Spy blog. That’s the equivalent of having your obituary run in a high school newspaper.
Anyway, good luck to Julius Dunn and the other staffers who lost their jobs. Welcome to the advertising industry.
Busting out the news in a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• Two Hooters waitresses in Brooklyn, New York filed a class-action lawsuit against the restaurant chain, charging they were forced to pay about $20 for their uniforms. The law in New York states that employers must provide workers with uniforms unless folks are permitted to wear regular street clothes. Streetwalker clothes would be welcome by most Hooters patrons too.
• Construction has been approved to begin working on the National Mall’s Martin Luther King Jr. memorial—about 11 years after originally approving the proposal. Wonder if the approval committee is also heading diversity efforts on Madison Avenue.
• Anti-Semitic attitudes are at an all-time low in the United States, according to a new Anti-Defamation League survey. The results showed only 12 percent of Americans are prejudiced against Jews. It would be interesting to see the survey questions that led to these numbers.
From Target Market News. It seems peculiar that this assignment would be handled by a White advertising agency. On the other hand, minority shops have been known to avoid Ad Council projects, as the not-for-profit efforts can literally be without profit—and ultimately costly.
Ad Council, U.S. government launch campaign promoting adoption of black children
The Advertising Council, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Children's Bureau and AdoptUsKids, announced today the launch of a campaign designed to encourage the adoption of African American children from foster care.
According to the Administration for Children and Families, there are currently 496,000 children in the foster care system and, of these, 130,000 are available for adoption. Thirty-one percent of the children in foster care waiting to be adopted are African American; African American children are overrepresented in the foster care population relative to their percentage in the U.S. general population.
“We are optimistic that this campaign will result in a significant increase in inquiries to AdoptUsKids by families who are interested in adoption, specifically the adoption of older African American children and youth in foster care in the United States,” said Kathy Ledesma, Project Director, AdoptUsKids. Created pro bono by kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners, the new multimedia campaign which includes television, radio, and print PSAs, is designed to help prospective parents realize that “You don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent.” It also aims to significantly increase awareness of the need to provide loving, permanent families for children in the foster care system.
The new PSAs illustrate to potential parents that children in foster care don’t need perfection, they need the commitment and love a “forever family” can provide. The PSAs direct audiences to visit www.adoptuskids.org, or call 1-888-200-4005 for more information on the adoption process.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with the Children’s Bureau and AdoptUsKids on this humorous and heartwarming campaign that has inspired thousands of Americans to consider adopting a child from foster care,” according to Peggy Conlon, President & CEO of The Advertising Council. “I am confident that these new PSAs will help increase the adoption of African American children.”
The new PSAs are an extension of the previously successful campaign, launched in 2004, which focused on the adoption of children from foster care. The need for adoptive homes for older children, sibling groups, and children of color is especially great and the campaign has therefore targeted prospective homes for those populations. In the first 18 months following the launch, calls to the AdoptUsKids toll-free number increased by 236%. Additionally, more than 11,000 children whose pictures and biographies were featured on the AdoptUsKids website have been placed with a “forever family.”
“The insight that you don’t have to be perfect to be a perfect parent is a great platform that continues to allow us to create both meaningful and entertaining work across all channels. The campaign is a classic for the agency yet we continue to evolve and find fresh ways to inspire prospective parents to take action,” said Izzy DeBellis, Managing Partner and Network Creative Director, kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners.
The new television, radio, print and Web banner PSAs are being distributed to more than 33,000 media outlets nationwide this week. Per the Ad Council model, the PSAs will run and air in advertising time and space that is donated by the media.
The Administration for Children and Families/Children's Bureau Within HHS, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) is the agency that is responsible for Federal programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. The Administration on Children, Youth and Families (ACYF) administers national programs for children and youth; works with States, Tribes, and local communities to develop services that support and strengthen family life; seeks joint ventures with the private sector to enhance the lives of children and their families; and provides information and other assistance to parents.
Many of the programs administered by ACYF focus on children from low-income families; abused and neglected children; children and youth in need of foster care, independent living, adoption or other child welfare services; preschool children; children with disabilities; runaway and homeless youth; and children from Native American and migrant families.
Within ACYF, the Children's Bureau (CB) plans, manages, coordinates, and supports child abuse and neglect prevention and child welfare services programs. CB is the agency within the Federal Government that is responsible for assisting child welfare systems by promoting continuous improvement in the delivery of child welfare services. CB programs are designed to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of all children, including those in foster care, available for adoption, recently adopted, abused, neglected, dependent, disabled, or homeless, and to prevent the neglect, abuse, and exploitation of children.
AdoptUsKids is a multi-faceted, federally funded project whose mission is to recruit and connect foster and adoptive families with waiting children throughout the United States. The project is managed through a cooperative agreement with the Children's Bureau of the Administration of Children and Families of the Department of Health and Human Services.
kirshenbaum bond senecal + partners is a leading integrated creative advertising and marketing services organization with $700 million in billings and 300 employees located in New York. Our dedication is to provide High Value Creativity that drives financial performance for our clients. The members of the kirshenbaum bond senecal+ partners group include kirshenbaum bond senecal advertising, Company C, Dotglu, LIME public relations + promotion, The Media Kitchen, Open Mind Strategy, and Varick Media Management. The Clients of the Group include BMW, Berkshire Hathaway/NetJets, Cablevision, Diageo, Delta, HomeGoods, Kao Brands Company (Jergens, Biore, Ban, John Frieda, Curel), Mohegan Sun, Panasonic, Starz Entertainment and Weight Watchers among others.
The Ad Council (www.adcouncil.org) is a private, non-profit organization that marshals volunteer talent from the advertising and communications industries, the facilities of the media, and the resources of the business and non-profit communities to deliver critical messages to the American public. The Ad Council has produced, distributed and promoted thousands of public service campaigns on behalf of non-profit organizations and government agencies in issue areas of health & safety, community and education.
Bernice King elected president of SCLC
Atlanta, Georgia (CNN) — Bernice King, the youngest child of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., has been elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, a spokeswoman for the group said Friday.
King, 46, was elected as the SCLC’s first female president, said Renee Richardson.
King’s father was SCLC’s first president. The organization was founded in 1957.
The other finalist for the post was former Arkansas Court of Appeals Judge Wendell Griffen, 57, who lost his recent bid for re-election.
Griffen, of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, is also pastor of New Millennium Church in Little Rock.
King is a minister at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, Georgia. She also is a motivational speaker and author.
“It is a destiny call,” she told the Atlanta Journal Constitution last week. “It is part of my father and mother’s legacy and a continuation of the legacy he started in the ‘50s and ‘60s through this organization. I believe that the hand of God is leading me.”
Her brother, Martin Luther King III, was president of SCLC from 1997 to 2004. They and sibling Dexter King were locked in a bitter legal battle over their parents’ estates until late September, when a judge ordered them to begin negotiations. The three were able to reach a settlement.
King succeeds the Rev. Byron Clay, who has been interim president since the Rev. Charles Steele Jr. resigned earlier this year.
CNN’s Debra Krajnak and Maria White contributed to this report.
Thursday, October 29, 2009
By Harry Webber at MadisonAveNew…
ISSUE 269: Wednesday, October 28, 2009
I had really fucked up this time. I think the first time I realized it was when the plane began its descent into the San Juan TCA and more than a few Puerto Rican ladies actually dropped to the cabin floor on their hands and knees and kissed off a hasty prayer. I had convinced the President of Compton Advertising, Milt Gossett, to give me a job in their San Juan affiliate to get me out of hot water with the head of Young & Rubicam, Edward L. Bond. It was Mr. Bond who had assured me one night while I was working on yet another all-nighter, “Young man, consider your advertising career to now be null and void,” and then walked away without ever looking back. Not my job, but my entire advertising career. If there was ever a Madison Avenue "black list," the name Harry Webber was now indelibly inscribed in blood.
Ed Bond was pissed. The day after our cryptic encounter, he had fired off a staff memo stating that henceforth and forever no employee would be allowed to talk to the press without the express permission of Mark Stroock, head of Corporate Affairs. My offense? I had been the first person to go public about Madison Avenue’s dirty little secret. In matters of equal opportunity for all, the advertising industry had seceded from the Union. Madison Avenue did not consider itself part of America when it came to liberty and justice for all. Only whites need apply.
Since I was only the second or third black person to be hired by a Madison Avenue advertising agency, I was certainly the last person anybody would expect to speak out. But this was 1969 and blacks were being beaten, bitten and bloodied in the streets of America. So when civil rights advocate and attorney Flo Henderson showed up with picket signs to protest a Clio Award for the Wells, Rich, Green campaign, “This is What Love is Like” for Love cosmetics, it drew a crowd. And since the Clios were being held at the New York Hilton across the street from the corporate offices of the CBS and ABC Television Networks, the press showed up. And they were greeted by posters that said “This is what Wells, Rich, Greene is Like,” showing a picture of a black uniformed man servant (one of six) hired by the agency to wait on the all-white staff of the prestigious advertising agency owned by the flamboyant Mary Wells Lawrence. At issue was the fact that WRG put them down as black professionals in their government mandated headcount. Oops.
Mrs. Wells-Lawrence was the wife of Braniff Airlines Chairman Harding Lawrence and a legitimate member of the Paris, New York and Dallas jet set. She lived in a series of amazing residences around the world including a castle in the South of France and an amazing hidden and totally soundproof “villa” behind the Braniff ticket counter at the Dallas airport. Black servants were a way of life for Mary Wells Lawrence. But not for the black folks who were being routinely turned away from the advertising industry. Those folk were offended that such behavior was being not just accepted, but being awarded by the advertising industry.
Just one month prior to this demonstration, I had been voted in as the new President of the Group for Advertising Progress (GAP), an advocacy group for promoting equal opportunity for minorities within the advertising industry. The government was demanding that advertising end its apartheid and several agencies with large government contracts had started training programs to raise their minority headcount. So as fate would have it, I was pointed out, while waiting to get in to the awards show, to the chairman of the Clios. The chairman swept me out of the line with a nervous request to address the assembled black tie, all-white assembly of the most powerful people in advertising. He figured I would be a better choice than the fiery Flo Kennedy who was already blasting Madison Avenue on the 6 o’clock News and was demanding to be allowed to address the attendees. So, against my better judgment I got up and spoke.
I spoke of the Booth Commission’s findings about employment practices and bias in the advertising industry. I mentioned that what was going on outside their awards show was much like what had gone on for Italian art directors and Jewish copywriters a decade earlier. That’s when the boos started, from the Italian art directors and Jewish copywriters who were highly offended that I would lump them in with Flo’s chanting masses that were now stopping rush hour traffic on Avenue of the Americas.
I went on but nobody heard. Nobody but the guy from Advertising Age. He got down every word. Along with my name and my agency affiliation. The whole sordid affair was published on page two the next day. Of course what I didn’t know was that along with the top brass of the ad business, the top brass bed of their clients’ businesses were also in attendance. And when they got wind of what was happening, they beat a hasty retreat for the rear door. The head marketing guy from Coke or Pepsi was not about to photographed by the press wading through a picket line of angry black folk from Bedford Stuy.
Later I was told that was exactly what happened at the Y&R table that night. Y&R had made itself famous by entreating New Yorkers to “Give Jobs, Give Money, Give a Damn,” for the Urban Coalition, a group of the Fortune 100 who were headquartered in New York City. This was a PR disaster in the making for the agency.
So that’s what got Edward L. Bond, Jr’s tights in a bunch 24 hours later. Mr. Bond was on a take-no-prisoners, burn-and-churn empire-building campaign for Y&R. It was not in his playbook to have his agency linked to such scandalous behavior from one of his company’s lowest of the low. I could certainly say whatever I wanted to say as Harry Webber, President of the Group for Advertising Progress. But as Harry Webber, Young & Rubicam, I should have known better and limited himself to “No comment.” I was out.
Being “out” is far worse than being fired. You know, all too well, when you are fired. When you are “out” it takes a little more time for your situation to make itself apparent. Right after Mr. Bond fired off his corporate gag order, I became persona non grata at the agency. My work assignments dried up, I was moved to an office at the end of a long dark hallway where nobody could possibly be infected by whatever had come over me. I was in Siberia.
The worst way you can punish a creative guy is to cut off his ability to do his work. People who make their living harvesting other people’s ideas know this all too well. And they use it to great effect. They use the pain of no work and the pleasure of great work to keep us rowdy “creatives” in line. I had seen this done to monstrous effect when I worked at Motown Records in Detroit, before coming to Y&R NY for the pay cut of the century. The Gordy family played their newcomers off their standard-bearers to fire off their non-stop stream of hits. Ad agencies and movie studios use the same management tactics to keep the ideas coming. Of course the ultimate effect is burnout: the lack of any desire or will to play any more. I was determined not to go out like that. I still am.
Drinking up the news in a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• Two Wisconsin men managed to win a $1.26 billion judgment against PepsiCo, insisting the soft drink company ripped off their idea to sell bottled water. Funny thing is, PepsiCo never responded to the charges, and didn’t even realize the case was being tried, because the paperwork was mishandled in the company’s internal processing system. Ironically, PepsiCo’s bottled water processing system has always been suspicious too.
• Sears is getting an early start with holiday sales, holding its first “Black Friday” event tomorrow—almost a month before the traditional after-Thanksgiving period. Gee, why not just have the after-Christmas sale on Saturday? Oh, and Sears probably celebrated Halloween in September. Sorry, kids.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
From The New York Post…
By James Covert
After years of lavish spending that took him to the brink of bankruptcy, Marc Ecko has been forced to give up control of his own trademark.
Confirming a Sept. 22 report in The Post, the hip-hop clothing kingpin yesterday signed over a 51 percent interest in the Marc Ecko brand to Iconix, a New York company that owns a slew of fashion brands including Joe Boxer, Candie’s, Rocawear and London Fog.
Scrambling to avoid yesterday’s defeat and keep creditors at bay, Ecko this year had laid off workers and auctioned off his watch trademarks and Avirex brand.
Sources said Ecko is still struggling to lease out pieces of his luxurious 280,000- square-foot headquarters in Midtown, which houses everything from a recording studio to a basketball court.
Still, in an exclusive interview with The Post, the debt-ridden designer took it all in stride.
“I’ve had a crazy, wild ride. I’ve done a lot of things that have been naive,” Ecko told The Post. “I’ll take my lumps for a lot of things that, in retrospect, were a little indulgent. Life happens. I don’t regret any of it.”
Ecko likewise noted that, with creditors breathing down his neck for the past year, losing the title to his brand name yesterday wasn’t such a big change.
“I’ve lived through a leveraged position,” Ecko said. “I don’t know whether, once you grow up your business like that, you have full control anymore anyway.”
Under the terms of his deal with Iconix, Ecko is surrendering majority control of his trademark in exchange for $63.5 million in cash plus $90 million in financing for a newly formed joint venture.
Iconix, which will keep Ecko as chief creative officer for the joint venture, projects between $42 million and $44 million in yearly royalties.
While critics say the urban styles that fueled Ecko’s growth have fallen out of fashion, Ecko said his designs are still evolving.
“Reports of my demise have been reported often and early,” he said.
“Kids are not wearing big, baggy things with logos on them—it just looks different now,” added Iconix CEO Neil Cole, noting that Rocawear’s sales are up recently. “I promise you these kids are not naked out there and they’re not wearing my father’s clothes.”
Still, Marc Ecko’s sales at Macy’s, the brand’s most important wholesale account, dropped by $18 million last year—more than 10 percent. No improvement at Macy’s is expected this year, Marc Ecko’s longtime business partner, Seth Gerszberg, admitted.
On the bright side, comparable sales at Marc Ecko’s overgrown retail chain are now up 7 percent from last year’s steep declines that had fueled big losses. Helped by even deeper cost cuts this year, the brand expects to swing back to profitability.
Elsewhere, Gerszberg and Ecko bristled at reports that they’ve been squabbling through their recent business woes.
Asked if they planned to keep the basketball court at their offices despite the cost cuts, Gerzberg said he was trying.
“What do you care?” Ecko chimed in. “You gonna come down and shoot? You got game?”
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
From USA TODAY…
Dallas police dismiss 39 cases of ‘driving without speaking English’
Dallas police say they will dismiss 39 cases from as far back as three years in which police officers ticketed motorists for driving without being able to speak English, The Dallas Morning News reports.
The ticketing procedure came to light after 48-year-old Ernestina Mondragon came forward to complain after being stopped for making an illegal U-turn Oct. 2.
In addition to the moving (and speaking) violations, Mondragon, who has been a legal U.S. resident since 1980, got a ticket for not having a valid driver’s license.
Her daughter, Brenda, says that her mother in fact has a valid license, but had left it at home in a rush to get a second daughter, 11 year-old Vanessa, to school.
She says the officer did not speak Spanish and Vanessa was not asked to translate, the newspaper reports.
Dallas police say the linguistic charge is on a menu of the police department’s in-house computers, but applies only to commercial operators like bus, truck and limo drivers, the newspaper says.
This weekend, Dallas City Council member Steve Salazar thanked the Mondragon family for raising the issue and also apologized for the incident.
“Dallas is a diverse city with many languages,” Salazar said. “This was a charge that should not have been in the system.”
Update at 7:50 a.m. ET: The Dallas News says that records show that at least 20 Dallas police officers from five patrol divisions were involved in wrongly citing motorists for not speaking English since 2007.
The paper says almost all of the 38 people cited were Hispanic. The News says the officers involved ranged from rookie to a 13-year veteran.
The newspaper quotes Senior Cpl. Glenn White, president of the Dallas Police Association, as saying the response from the public and the department is overblown.
“Now there is going to be a big internal affairs investigation into what?” he said, according to the newspaper. “They’ve corrected the problem; they’re going to make it go away or refund the money. It’s done.”
Can’t help but think this ad is an enigma, hidden in a paradox, wrapped in an irony and sprinkled with bullshit. First, candidates are encouraged to get a Master’s Degree in Internet Marketing via an online university. Next, the university is offering to make you a “Web Traffic Controller.” Sorry, the Web will not be controlled—anyone promising to teach you otherwise doesn’t know dick about the Internet.
Monday, October 26, 2009
The Advertising Age column below offers a smart perspective that actually points to more reasons why our industry lacks diversity. Agencies traditionally replace executives with like executives. Plus, there is an increasing obsession with hiring based solely on category experience. The exclusivity on Madison Avenue is often attributed to racism, sexism, nepotism, etc.—which allows those with hiring authority to vehemently (and even honestly) deny they are racist, sexist, etc. Yet other common practices and habits are just as destructive to equal opportunities, and these maneuvers ultimately create an end result that is identical to anything produced by racism, sexism, etc. Of course, Whites-in-charge will vehemently deny participating in such acts too.
Stop Hiring Based Only on Category Experience
The Best Person for a Job May Have Far More Important Skills
By Paul S. Gumbinner
There’s no question that there are far more job candidates than there are job openings. With advertising-industry unemployment at historically high levels, there are many excellent candidates available. Among them, agencies are being very selective, often hiring people only with similar category experience to their clients’ business. But are they hiring the best candidates? In a buyer’s market, employers can and should be choosy—they are able to bring in wonderful people at all levels and in all disciplines. But because most companies are limiting their candidate pool, they are missing out on some very good talent.
By hiring people who already have brand or category experience, agencies are screening for résumés rather than talent. In fact, during the past year, we have had jobs for advertising people with backgrounds so specific, it was a nearly impossible task. We have been asked to look for people with dog-food experience; a person with at least three years’ experience advertising GI tract medications to physicians, but who also has direct-to-consumer experience; a restaurant person who has worked on quick serve, but not fast food; a consumer-electronics person who has experience marketing package goods, computers and, possibly, appliances. Perhaps the most absurd job was for an agency executive, who had to have been an actual investment banker, but also had to have retail-banking advertising knowledge with 10 to 15 years of experience. If that weren’t enough, the job paid $125,000 (we turned down the assignment).
We understand that sometimes it is simply a matter of a client’s dictating who they want on their account. The fee system has put clients in full charge of their agencies so that clients can dictate how their accounts are staffed. But when clients leave the hiring open, many agencies often take the safe alternative and hire category experience anyway. There’s no question that bringing in someone who knows the brand or category has its advantages. Familiarity presumably shortens the learning curve. It also makes sense that clients often request new agencies to hire people who have previously worked on their account, which is totally understandable.
But this need for experience can get carried to extremes. We have had job orders for junior account executives and even assistants that require finding someone with category background. At this level, that makes little sense.
In trying to understand this situation, the clearest answer I have received was some years ago by Bob Berenson, former president of Grey Advertising. He once told me that hiring experience often occurs because of panic among mid-level account people when someone resigns. He called it “fear of client.” This fear leads a person to reassure the client that the departing employee, no matter how good, will be replaced by someone better who knows the category. Once said, hiring category experience becomes a mandate.
There is a paradox when hiring people with this line of thinking. For new accounts, the agency was probably hired because of the insights they developed during the pitch. The agency’s fresh thinking is what won the business in the first place. Hiring for a specific background is anathema. For established accounts, agencies should crave new thinking. Undoubtedly there will be people both above and below the new employee who will know the business; why duplicate what is already there?
However, it’s not the agency’s fault. I strongly believe this situation has been caused by the advertisers themselves. The fee system leaves little room for agencies to learn the nuances of their clients’ business. Rather, they are paid only to create ads and get the work out quickly. There is little time to learn the business, and fees have been cut to the point where there is no incentive or ability for agencies to spend the time learning their clients’ business. Understandably, they compensate by hiring people with a presumed shorter learning curve on the business.
While hiring someone with specific product experience is understandable and often necessary at senior levels, it should never preclude hiring the best person to do the job, regardless of background. If the job is specified correctly, category experience may be relatively unimportant and could be a short-term solution to a long-term problem. The best person for the job may not necessarily have brand or category experience, but may have other skills which are far more important to the successful running of the business.
With so many good people on the street it is time for agencies and their clients to work together to reconsider who they hire—and start opening their minds as to the best candidates to hire for the long term, regardless of background.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Paul S. Gumbinner is president of the Gumbinner Co., New York. Before starting his executive-search firm in 1985, he spent 20 years in advertising, as an account person in categories including package goods, cosmetics, broadcasting, financial services, publishing, retail and fast food.
For some odd reason, Advertising Age opted to delete a comment we posted at their site in response to the editorial below. Don’t recall the exact verbiage, but in reaction to the publication’s declaration for a different kind of online advertising creativity, our comment essentially read: It would be interesting to learn the results of the digital ads that appear at AdAge.com, as the overwhelming majority of them are completely devoid of creativity.
Online Advertising Needs a Different Kind of Creativity
An Ad Age Editorial
It’s become clear that those creating online ads need to step up the creative game. But before marketers and agencies rush to hire Cannes winners to lovingly craft a new crop of banner ads, they should perhaps redefine the word “creative.”
Last week, Dynamic Logic released a study indicating that it’s bad creative that makes online advertising ineffective. The study determined that creative factors such as persistent branding, strong calls to action and even human faces—and not super-targeted or high-profile ad placements—make for better ad recall, brand awareness and purchase intent.
But we’re not so sure branding, human faces and logos—the most traditional aspects of traditional advertising—are the sort of creativity needed in online advertising. That seems an extension of too much current online advertising, which is either bad direct marketing in ad form, or TV-ad thinking in a box online.
Creativity, in this case, should revolve around interactivity and utility. To get a consumer to engage with an online ad—an ad that will take her away from the content she is reading—marketers will have to find a creative solution to give the consumer something she needs. Give her tips, invite her to contribute her own thoughts. Offer her other online resources dealing with your brand.
Better yet, couple the creativity with courage—the courage to link comments or tweets about your brand (or the subject) at hand. Yes, even the bad ones. If a company so believes in its product or service, then why not also include links to product reviews at independent sites or objective professional reviews (which is not the same as cherrypicking quotes out of reviews). Perhaps a smart marketer could persuade Consumer Reports itself to let advertisers link to ConsumerReports.org reviews.
On the web, a marketer isn’t trying to entertain a passive couch-surfer. It’s interrupting an active user, ferreting around for information or entertainment. It may be harder to capture that user’s attention, but if you can hook into that consumer’s interest and passion, she may prove more valuable to your brand.
In short, when advertising online, there has to be a way to make your message less like advertising and more like content. And that’s the creative yardstick by which marketers should measure their efforts.
From The New York Times…
Southern White Teams Just Didn’t Play Black Ones, but One Game Ended All That
By Samuel G. Freedman
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — On a Saturday night 40 football seasons ago, just before kickoff of the penultimate game in his career, Coach Jake Gaither of Florida A&M strode toward midfield of Tampa Stadium. There he extended his hand to the opposing coach, Fran Curci of the University of Tampa, and they strained to speak above the din of a capacity crowd.
“Jake, this is bigger than I thought it would be,” Coach Curci recently recalled saying.
“Not me,” Coach Gaither responded.
Both men were trying to fathom the event they had set into motion, the first interracial football game in the South, a landmark in sports and civil rights that has gone relatively uncelebrated. It pit the Florida A&M Rattlers, long one of the dominant teams among black colleges, against the Tampa Spartans, a rising power that was overwhelmingly white.
What was at stake that night was twofold. The match-up would prove whether a black team with a black coach from a black school really could compete with a white one. And, in a city that suffered a race riot two years earlier, the stadium was divided racially into its Tampa and A&M rooting sections, and the spectators had to demonstrate that they could peaceably coexist.
Forty years later, the veterans of that game reunited here over the weekend as part of Florida A&M’s homecoming gala, during which the 2009 version of the Rattlers beat Norfolk State, 34-20, with the satisfaction of having succeeded on both counts.
Florida A&M won that 1969 game, 34-28, and despite the intensity on the field, with more than a thousand yards of total offense and the result in doubt until the last 30 seconds, harmony reigned in the stands.
Speaking to about 725 people gathered for the homecoming gala, Mr. Curci repeated the generous words he had spoken to reporters back on Nov. 29, 1969: his team had been outplayed and he had been outcoached. Jake Gaither was not there to hear them on Friday, having died in 1994 at age 90, but a number of his players were. The surviving member of his 1969 coaching staff, Bobby Lang, was M.C. for the evening.
“It was a gamble, and Jake took it,” said Eddie Jackson, a longtime administrator at Florida A&M who recently wrote a history of football there, “Coaching Against the Wind.” “If he’d lost, you know what everyone was saying before — ‘Jake’s a good coach, but he’s a good black coach.’ Jake said afterward he wanted to win that game more than any game he ever played.”
Read the full story here.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Adweek columnist Barbara Lippert wrote an odd piece on the New Yorker Festival panel titled, “Mad Men: Truth in Advertising.” To be clear, Lippert’s writing is not odd; rather, the event seemed peculiar. Moderator and New Yorker contributor Ken Auletta spoke with Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner, TBWA\Chiat\Day creative chief Lee Clow and Translation LLC founder and CEO Steve Stoute. Huh? What inspired someone to assemble this group? Weiner and Clow kinda make sense. But it’s unclear why Stoute would round out the trio. Lippert made zero references to him at all, except to list the dude as a participant. Another report on the event by The New York Times advertising columnist Stuart Elliott presented a few more sentences, yet offered nothing substantial from Stoute. If someone attended the soiree, please provide details. For now, it appears to be symbolic of the AMC series. That is, the minorities are bit players uncomfortably propped in the background. Too bad Sanford Moore is likely still recuperating from an auto accident. He would have made a more relevant and lively addition.
From Advertising Age…
U.S. Census Allots $145 Million to Reach Out to Minorities
Government Bureau Works With Ethnic Shops to Build Trust, Allay Fears
By Laurel Wentz
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Multicultural experts expect the 2010 census to boost ad spending toward minority groups as awareness of their numbers grows—but first, they have to be accurately counted.
To overcome immigration-status fears and general mistrust of the government, the U.S. Census Bureau is allocating the majority—estimated at $145 million—of its $300 million paid-media budget to multicultural audiences. It’s working with five ethnic shops, plus general-market agency DraftFCB’s Puerto Rico office to cover its territory. Their ad efforts to reach the hardest-to-count U.S. inhabitants will kick off in January
Separately, Spanish-language broadcasters Univision Communications and Telemundo have already started aggressive public-service campaigns with the theme “Be counted” and are integrating their own messages about the value of the census for the Latino community into all their platforms. Univision is building off its previous push to mobilize Hispanics to apply for citizenship—1.4 million did—and to register to vote last year, said Cesar Conde, president of Univision Networks. “We’ve put the gang together again [for the census campaign].”
Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas, part of the earlier effort, appears in Univision’s census ads explaining, “If they don’t count us, we won’t count.”
Don Browne, president of NBC Universal-owned Telemundo Communications Group, pointed out that Nielsen will use census figures to allocate its meters, adding more Hispanics where the Latino population is growing rapidly. “If you’re in the Hispanic media business, this will dramatically affect ratings and growth in Spanish-language media,” he said.
The census will also highlight demographic changes, such as U.S.-born Hispanics surpassing immigrants as the biggest source of Hispanic growth, and will encourage marketers to shift more dollars to target Hispanics, he said.
GlobalHue, the biggest multicultural agency, is handling census ads targeted at Hispanics and blacks. For multicultural audiences, agencies are picking from the five mind-sets identified by DraftFCB that are most relevant for their groups.
Luciana Gomez, the GlobalHue VP-group account director in charge of the Spanish-language census campaign, said Hispanics tend to fall into the “head nodders,” “insulated” and “unacquainted” categories. The last group consists mostly of recent immigrants unfamiliar with the census and suspicious of what the government will do with the information.
Ms. Gomez said copy testing indicated that a focus on children and their future, and how the census influences funding and helps their community grow would work best for all three groups. “Hispanics will go through a lot of sacrifice for their children, and we’re just asking for ten minutes of their time,” she said.
For the black community, “there’s knowledge of the census, they just haven’t seen evidence it makes a difference,” said GlobalHue VP-account director Damien Reid.
Another Hispanic shop, D Exposito & Partners, is responsible for local media, digital and PR for Hispanic audiences. The agency also came up with the creative concept for all audiences, including the general market, for the crucial phase when census workers go door-to-door in pursuit of non-responders who ignore the census questionnaire and follow-up mailing. That message is: “Open the doors to the census, and the census will open doors for you.”
Of the estimated $82 million destined for paid ethnic media—although those numbers could change—about $28 million would go to Hispanic media, $24.5 million to black media and $18 million to Asian-American media. Another $12 million would target other multicultural audiences, from American Indians to Arabic speakers. For the first time, the census website will be fully bilingual in English and Spanish, and will include assistance guides in 59 other languages.
Allied Media Group has a tough task in reaching speakers of Arabic, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Armenian and Farsi, many of whom fled their nations out of fear of the government, said Account Manager Paul Young.
But Asian-American agency IW Group’s job is the most complex of all the census agencies. Although Asian Americans only account for about 4% of the U.S. population, there are so many different language groups that advertisers often stretch their budgets by casting generic pan-Asian actors in ads and do voice-overs for different languages.
“We’re in uncharted territory,” said IW Account Director Charmaine David. Her agency is doing 24 TV commercials—one spot for each of the three census phases, in eight different languages, plus 36 radio spots in 12 languages and 39 print ads in 13 languages.
Skim the Advertising Age report below, followed by a brief MultiCultClassics perspective.
Quaker Awards $110M Account to Juniper Park
Capping Bad Day for Goodby, Incumbent Shop Loses Business After Just One Year
By Rupal Parekh
NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- Quaker Foods has shifted creative duties on its $110 million portfolio of brands—including Quaker Oats, previously handled by Goodby Silverstein & Partners—to roster shop Juniper Park, Toronto.
The news comes as Goodby today lost out on its bid for the $204 million Volkswagen account, which went to Interpublic Group of Cos.’ Deutsch, Los Angeles.
The move is the marketer’s second agency shift within a year, though it has remained within the Omnicom Group family of agencies. The holding company’s Element 79, Chicago, was founded in 2001 to handle the Quaker business, and the shop hung onto it until it shifted one year ago to sibling Goodby in San Francisco. Juniper Park is an offshoot of Omnicom’s BBDO Worldwide.
In a statement, Kirsten Lynch, chief marketing officer at Quaker, said the new agency brings “strong strategic skills, a deep understanding of our consumer, and a track record of outstanding creative for PepsiCo.” Representatives for Goodby and Juniper Park could not be immediately reached.
For Juniper Park, the win further solidifies its relationship with Quaker parent PepsiCo; the shop has been working with the beverage and food giant since 2007, handling work for brands under Pepsi’s Frito-Lay North America division, including Lay’s potato chips and the SunChips brand.
Earlier this year, Juniper Park picked up creative for a couple of Quaker Foods brands such as Rice-A-Roni side dishes and Quaker rice snacks. Now it will assume ad duties for the full portfolio, which includes the famous Quaker Oats brand, Cap’n Crunch and Life cereals, and Chewy granola bars.
PepsiCo spent more than $110 million in domestic measured media on its Quaker Foods portfolio in 2008, down from about $140 million in 2007, according to TNS Media Intelligence.
This scenario seemingly has ties to the recent Hadji Williams perspective on AORs, which pondered why minority advertising agencies face difficulty in gaining such status. Williams often charges White shops and clients with collusion, denying others the chance to even vie for business.
Omnicom has historically executed pretty slick tactics to keep major clients within the global network. Indeed, when pitching for the Quaker business in 2008, Omnicom stacked the deck with TBWA\Chiat\Day, DDB, and Goodby Silverstein & Partners—and the incumbent was Omnicom-owned Element 79. Now the $110 million account shifts to Omnicom’s Juniper Park, without any indication of a formal competition.
Quaker is clearly an active participant in the privileged proceedings. The company CMO declared Juniper Park displayed “strong strategic skills, a deep understanding of our consumer, and a track record of outstanding creative for PepsiCo.” Guess prior experience is the new mandate—although it didn’t appear to help Goodby in the long run. It should be interesting to see if the reassignment affects Quaker’s minority shops. They’ll likely be dealing with fresh White concepts to translate for their prospective audiences.
In the end, it’s all just another example of our industry’s exclusive selection processes.
From The New York Times…
CNN Special on Latinos Stokes Debate Over Dobbs
By Brian Stelter
Instead of being simply a draw for Hispanic viewers, CNN’s four-hour documentary, “Latino in America,” turned into a political rallying cry for activist groups who are calling on the cable news channel to fire Lou Dobbs, a veteran anchor with well-known views on immigration.
An array of minorities held small protests in New York and other cities on Wednesday, the first night of CNN’s presentation. They are trying to highlight what they say are years of lies about immigration by Mr. Dobbs, who anchors the 7 p.m. hour on CNN.
CNN, a unit of Time Warner, has not commented on the protests or covered them on its news programs. One of the activists featured in the documentary said she tried to raise what she called Mr. Dobbs’s “hatred” on one of the channel’s news programs Wednesday, but her remarks were cut from the interview.
The anti-Dobbs campaign has, however, drawn considerable attention in the Spanish-language press; the Thursday front page of the New York newspaper El Diario featured a red slash mark through Mr. Dobbs’s face and the word “hipocresia,” Spanish for “hypocrisy,” atop the illustration.
The hypocrisy, critics say, lies in CNN’s decision to woo Hispanic viewers with a prime-time documentary while still giving Mr. Dobbs a nightly forum. Roberto Lovato, a founding member of Presente.org, a Latino advocacy group, said in a statement, “We won’t allow the network to court us as viewers while, at the same time, they allow Dobbs to spread lies and misinformation about us each night.”
Separately, Mr. Dobbs is also the target of a “Drop Dobbs” campaign by the progressive groups NDN, Media Matters for America, and others. That effort started after Mr. Dobbs repeatedly raised questions about President Obama’s birth certificate.
There is no indication that the campaigns are affecting CNN’s revenue, but they are highlighting Mr. Dobbs’s status as an outlier at the channel, which has sought to position itself as a middle ground of sorts in the fractious cable news arena. Mr. Dobbs is known to be exploring an exit from CNN, and he is viewed as a potential hire for the Fox Business Network, an upstart channel owned by the News Corporation.
The Latino campaign’s Web site, BastaDobbs.com, features a video compilation of past comments by the CNN anchor, including his claim in October 2006 that “about a third of the prison population in this country is estimated to be illegal aliens.” He was apparently referring to federal prisoners, and he later acknowledged the claim was made multiple times in error.
As the timing of the prison comment indicates, there is nothing new about Mr. Dobbs’s controversial stance toward immigration, and CNN executives have argued that his hourlong evening program hews more closely to a newscast.
Privately, when some executives are asked about the Dobbs complaints, they sometimes cite the production of “Latino in America,” with the implication being that the channel presents many points of view. The documentary, which drew an average of about 900,000 viewers on Wednesday and Thursday, follows two editions of “Black in America.” It presented Hispanic activists with a new rallying point this fall.
Isabel Garcia, a civil rights lawyer who was featured in “Latino in America” and organized an anti-Dobbs protest in Tucson on Wednesday, said that CNN edited her comments about the anchor out of an interview.
She had expected a 15-minute conversation about immigration opposite Joe Arpaio, the sheriff of Maricopa County, Ariz., and a staunch supporter in immigration enforcement, on the prime-time program “Anderson Cooper 360.” During the taped interview Wednesday, she said she made several unprompted comments about Mr. Dobbs.
She said she called Mr. Arpaio and Mr. Dobbs “the two most dangerous men to our communities,” and said that “because of them, our communities are being terrorized in a real way.” She also asserted that CNN was “promoting lies and hate about our community” by broadcasting Mr. Dobbs’s program. The comments were not included when the interview was shown Wednesday night.
“They heavily deleted what I did get to say,” she said.
CNN said the segment in question was tied to “Latino in America.”
“As with all pre-taped interviews, they are edited for time and relevance to the topic of discussion,” a spokeswoman said. “The debate between Isabel Garcia and Joe Arpaio was no exception.”
From USA TODAY…
Football analyst Griese apologizes for ‘taco’ remark
By Michael Hiestand, USA TODAY
Saturday, veteran ESPN/ABC college football analyst Bob Griese did what any rookie sports announcer should know is absolutely forbidden in sports television: Refer to race or ethnicity.
During ABC’s Ohio State-Minnesota football game Saturday, there was an on-air promotion for the network’s NASCAR coverage Sunday. That led to a reference to Colombian driver Juan Pablo Montoya not being among the top five drivers in the NASCAR standings. Which led to Griese saying Montoya isn’t in that top five because “he’s out having a taco.”
While race and ethnicity is openly referred to across TV — from news shows to primetime sitcoms to TV channels devoted to reaching targeted ethnic groups — there is a long list of announcers over the years who faced criticism for making references to cultural stereotypes.
Whether such on-air comments seem intended to be negative, positive or simply banal, they simply aren’t allowed in the norms of TV sports. And it doesn’t matter what ethnic stereotype is involved: An announcer would be wise to quickly apologize for saying that, say, a big tackle named Dusseldorf enjoys bratwurst.
Griese, during the broadcast, wisely apologized for his comment and called Montoya one of the “best drivers” in NASCAR. ESPN’s Mike Soltys said Saturday afternoon that ESPN “is reviewing the matter thoroughly.”
At halftime of ESPN’s coverage of Florida-Mississippi State, Griese apologized again.
“Earlier today on our game I made an offensive comment regarding Juan Pablo Montoya as part of a NASCAR promo. It was regrettable and I should not have said it. I really enjoy NASCAR and I follow it closely and would like to take this opportunity to apologize to Juan, NASCAR and everyone else who heard my comment,” he said.
In a statement, ESPN called the remark “inappropriate.”
“ESPN has spoken to Bob and he understands that his comment was uncalled for,” the statement said.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Saturday, October 24, 2009
The following message was forwarded by Hadji Williams:
Cynthia Perkins at the Cable Advertising Bureau is leading an effort recruiting a number of companies to create a resource that promotes the cultural nuances, viability and value of the Black Consumer segment. The project is creating a website www.reachingblackconsumers.com
Currently she has (20) companies (agencies, research companies and market researchers) partnering on this project with the website scheduled to launch around November 2nd. The Adweek Group of publications has agreed to do a feature on the website in the their publications which will be distributed at the ANA “Masters of Marketing” Conference November 5-8 in Phoenix.
An important feature of the site will be a section that features Advertiser Case Studies and “Insiders’ Insights”. Cynthia is looking to have at least (10) of each of these when the site launches.
The “Case Studies” do not have to be elaborate and can feature the commercials associated with the campaigns.
The “Insiders Insights” are articles/essays that share insights or advice on various aspects of how to market to the Black Consumer Segment more effectively.
These (2) components are key to the success and usefulness of the site. If you can assist Cynthia in any way by forwarding a request to someone that you know, doing cyber-introductions or even submitting something yourself, I know Cynthia would be most appreciative. This information will go a long way to help us all to continually and kindly prove the African-American business case thus promoting the segment further.
Please contact Cynthia for additional information at 212.508.1233; email@example.com
You don’t know Jacko in a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• An Andy Warhol portrait of Michael Jackson is expected to fetch up to $700,000 in an upcoming auction. Was Jacko ever this popular when he was alive?
• The Chicago Tribune is offering Jacko templates for pumpkin carving. When lighting the jack-o-lantern, be careful not to set his hair on fire.
• An L.A. court commissioner dropped all charges against Kanye West for his 2008 confrontation with paparazzi at Los Angeles International Airport. However, the court commissioner declared West an asshole for his 2009 confrontation with Taylor Swift.
• Original Mother’s—a popular club in Chicago—is facing civil rights complaints for allegedly refusing to admit Black college students for wearing baggy jeans, while allowing White patrons with similar pants to enter. There’s a “Your Mother’s so racist…” joke here somewhere.
Friday, October 23, 2009
Portraits of discourage in a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• The Obama Family White House Portrait was taken by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz. Given her recent financial woes, Leibovitz likely asked President Obama for a bailout.
• Pepsi officially pulled its iPhone app designed to help men score with lame pick-up lines. The app was promoting Amp energy drink. Can’t imagine Amp does a better job of energizing than Pepsi’s other sister brand, Mountain Dew.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Can’t stand these types of help wanted ads. The agency insists they’re not looking for a “Copywriter” — rather, they seek an improv comedian, a kid at heart, a romance novelist, a party animal and much more. One look at the shop’s website tells the true tale. This place is not looking a “Copywriter” — they want a hack.
We’re not looking for a “Copywriter.”
We’re looking for an improv comedian, a kid at heart, a romance novelist, a party animal, a trusted authority, a mom you can relate to, a discerning social, “a guy’s guy” and everyone in between. At Marketing Drive, a writer needs to be a true chameleon, switching from voice-to-voice and finding a way to really engage a brands audience. We’ve seen copywriters. We’re waiting for YOU. Give us a call, or better yet, write!
Who Are You
• We’re looking for a mid-level to senior-level writer - hungry and talented and looking to grow
• Must have the ability to write in multiple voices; conceptual thinker a plus
• You’ll need at least 3 years experience, a great book of work that’s been produced and a propensity for writing
• Strong grammatical skills are required for this position
• Ability to work with both creative and account teams to deliver agency wide copy needs which vary from brand to brand and assignment to assignment
• Range of work includes, POS, Sales materials, collateral, concept write up, headlines, radio, and misc. promotional elements
• Past agency experience preferred; versatility is highly desirable
Some travel may be required.
Send us your portfolio, resume and a short explanation of why you’re the writer we really need.
Who We Are
“Realize your brand’s full potential” is more to us than a tagline. It’s what we strive to do every day for our employees, for our agency, and for our clients. We bring ambition, determination, energy, insight and imagination to everything we undertake in order to make that happen!
Whether it be increasing the value share of a brand, a brand’s share of category users or actually growing a category, it’s a mindset and approach that allows us to successfully partner with clients like Pernod Ricard, Novartis, ENERGY STAR, New Balance and Procter & Gamble.
We offer a competitive salary, plus excellent benefits including medical/dental insurance, retirement plan, vacation, personal time, and much more.
Doing hard time with hard news in a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• Lil Wayne pleaded guilty to felony gun charges, and he’ll likely spend a year in jail. The rapper will be sentenced in February, so he still has a lil time before doing time.
• The Obama administration is insisting top executives from companies that received federal bailouts must take 90 percent pay cuts. Plus, any executive seeking perks in excess of $25,000—like country club memberships and private jets—must first get permission from the administration. Of course, even with these measures, most of the honchos are still multimillionaires.
• KFC is planning to retry its grilled chicken giveaway, promising there will be no need for rainchecks. It’s the third time the fast feeder has promoted the new menu item in such a way. Which goes to show you they can’t even give the shit away.
• MSNBC anchor Contessa Brewer apologized for accidentally introducing Rev. Jesse Jackson as Rev. Al Sharpton during a broadcast. Sharpton will probably file a lawsuit.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
From The New York Daily News…
Ex-cop sues NYPD, claims race and sex bias, says boss didn’t like ‘women because they have babies’
By Thomas Zambito
Daily News Staff Writer
A former NYPD sergeant says her dream of rising through the ranks ended when she was assigned to a boss who didn’t take kindly to her showing up for work pregnant.
Tamara Golston-Green sued the NYPD and Capt. John Denesopolis for race and sex discrimination in Queens Supreme Court on Monday.
“‘I just don’t like women because they have babies,’” the lawsuit charges Denesopolis told Golston-Green shortly after she joined his staff in September 2004.
Golston-Green says she was forced off the job two years later after being assigned an overnight shift in a Queens housing unit while she had two young children at home.
“He was the one who made it impossible for my dream to continue,” she said during an interview on Tuesday.
The Springfield Gardens High School grad said in the seven years before working for Denesopolis she enjoyed every assignment she held.
Golston-Green, 36, has since moved from Queens Village to Texas, where she works in reservations for a major airline.
“Going to work was a nightmare which caused her to have panic attacks and be very emotional driving there,” lawyer Anthony Ofodile writes in the lawsuit.
“The torture just got worse,” he adds.
The lawsuit says Denesopolis became enraged at Golston-Green after scanning an entry log one morning.
“‘I am not going to hold your hand and sing ‘Kum-bah-yah,’” the lawsuit quotes Denesopolis as saying.
City attorneys declined comment because they had not yet seen the lawsuit.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
From USA TODAY…
In a switch, police invite scrutiny of racial profiling
By Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY
DENVER — By the time police Sgt. Robert Motyka responds to the disturbance call at a local hospital emergency room, the man at the reception counter is clearly agitated.
His speech is unintelligible. He becomes frantic as the officer slowly approaches, urging him to calm down. In a blur of flailing arms, the man reaches for something in his back pocket.
Motyka has no time to consider the possible consequences of one of the most potentially combustible scenarios in America: a confrontation between a black man and a white officer.
When the man pulls a knife and lunges forward, Motyka drops him with four quick pops from his 9mm Beretta. But there will be no public second-guessing of the 13-year veteran’s actions. No racially charged demonstrations by civil rights activists. No calls for a review of police dealings with minorities.
In this case, Motyka was reacting to a large-screen, video simulation designed to test officers’ judgment when using lethal force and scrutinize their dealings with minorities. In the end, the officer acted appropriately, according to his examiners.
The live-ammunition exercise, confined to the department’s shooting range, is part of a growing body of research and training in nearly a dozen law enforcement agencies across the country aimed at eliminating persistent racial profiling by police. Researchers are examining virtually all facets of police behavior, from officers’ interactions with new immigrants to car stops and the use of lethal force. More unusual, criminal justice analysts say, is that police officials are inviting the increased scrutiny, representing a generational change in law enforcement in a country that is now 34% minority.
If the July White House “beer summit” was supposed to offer a simple teaching moment after the high-profile arrest of a black Harvard scholar by a white Cambridge, Mass., officer, the research in Denver and elsewhere could provide some of the most instructive case studies on the intersection of race and law enforcement, some police analysts say.
“Law enforcement’s willingness to confront issues of race represents a huge shift in modern policing,” says Chuck Wexler, executive director of the Police Executive Research Forum, a law enforcement think tank. “I think you would be hard-pressed to find another institution in America more challenged by race than police. Coming out of the civil rights era, most departments were viewed (by minority communities) as occupying armies.”
Read the full story here.
Monday, October 19, 2009
From The New York Daily News…
Blacks slap SoHo club Greenhouse with $1B bias suit following snub of author Teri Woods’ guests
BY Michael J. Feeney
Daily News Staff Writer
It was supposed to be a big night for top urban fiction author Teri Woods, who had invited 175 people to party at a trendy SoHo nightclub to celebrate her new book.
But Woods ended up in tears when she found almost her entire guestlist being kept outside Greenhouse’s notorious velvet rope.
Now a $1 billion class-action suit says the partygoers were denied entry because they were black.
“They should have just put up a sign that said, ‘No Coloreds Allowed,’” fumed Kashan Robinson, 39, of the Bronx, one of the plaintiffs. “There was no reason for them to not allow us into that club, except for the color of our skin.”
Club owner Barry Mullineaux declined to discuss what had happened to Woods’ party beyond calling charges of racism “all pretty much bogus.”
Woods has text messages she says he sent that night showing he was barring people based on appearance. “Everybody looking at me like this ur people Barry???” read a text message. “I couldn’t let in 300lb girls.”
Asked if he remembered sending the messages, Mullineaux said, “Not word for word.”
Woods said, “I was clearly violated that night, and so were so many other people. … All I know is it had something to do with ‘your people’ and ‘fat.’”
A pioneer of the enormously successful urban or hip-hop fiction genre, Woods had planned a blowout on Aug. 6, complete with popular DJ Suss One, bottles of French Ciroc Vodka and gift bags with copies of her new book, “Alibi.”
Her party promoter printed up flyers for the Thursday night shindig at the “environmentally conscious” club on Varick St.
Greenhouse, which opened last year, already is known for its tough door policy and the long lines of clubgoers waiting to get in.
Woods, author of New York Times best seller “True to the Game,” said she arrived to find that all her black guests — some of whom had traveled from as far as Virginia — had been turned away without explanation.
“They left all of my friends and family standing outside,” she said. “I had really serious people out there: lawyers, doctors and people in the entertainment industry.
“I was embarrassed. I was just walking around in circles and in tears. They took my moment.”
A handful of her guests who were white lawyers were allowed in, she said.
“There was nobody out there who was fat, and even if there was a fat person, who cares?”
Robinson, the sister of rapper Queen Pen, said, “When I asked the doorman what was the problem, he just looked past us like we didn’t exist.”
Robinson is part of the suit filed against Mullineaux and another club owner.
Woods is mulling a separate action.
“We’re not talking about four people — we’re talking over 100 people,” said lawyer John Nonnenmacher, who filed the suit. “Our contention is Greenhouse didn’t let people in because of the color of their skin. Because they were black.”
Clubs can deny entry based on clothing but not race: The feds have gone after clubs in Virginia and Wisconsin that tried to keep black people out.
Sunday, October 18, 2009
Unidentified Flying Offenses in a MultiCultClassics Monologue…
• A California immigrants rights group asked Target and a costume company to stop selling an “illegal alien” Halloween costume. The costume is comprised of an alien mask, an orange jumpsuit and a green card. A group official called the costume “distasteful, mean-spirited, and ignorant of social stigmas and current debate on immigration reform.” No word yet from E.T.
• Rev. Al Sharpton is threatening to sue Rush Limbaugh over a Wall Street Journal editorial that the conservative talk radio host published last week. Limbaugh wrote that Sharpton “played a leading role in the 1991 Crown Heights riot (he called neighborhood Jews ‘diamond merchants’) and 1995 Freddie’s Fashion Mart riot.” A statement from the Sharpton camp argued Limbaugh “has the right to criticize Rev. Sharpton, but he does not have the right to accuse him of criminal activity.” Wish both of these guys would exercise the right to remain silent.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
At The Big Tent, the always provocative Harry Webber left the comment below…
By HarryWebber.com | LOS ANGELES, CA October 17, 2009 03:15:40 pm:
My name is Harry Webber. I have been working in advertising since 1960. I was 16 at the time and my first client was the once mighty Pennsylvania Railroad, the nation’s first billion-dollar corporation. My product was Employee Safety in the most dangerous business in America. I have been blacklisted and exiled from Madison Avenue as a result of my work in bringing equal opportunity to this industry. I am the poster boy for this issue. On Monday, October 19, 2009, I will turn 65. My advertising career will be at an end. On October 20, 2009, my new career will begin.
I will offer myself as plaintiff to the largest Civil Rights class action suit in the history of our great nation. Wish me luck.
Friday, October 16, 2009
From The Washington Post…
Racial Doubts At Va. College Homecoming
Controversy Simmers Over Non-Black Queen
By Jenna Johnson
Washington Post Staff Writer
HAMPTON, Va.—Nikole Churchill, a tall, thin woman with long, dark hair, was named homecoming queen at historically black Hampton University last week. The next day, she appeared with her court at the football game against Howard University, another historically black school.
All this would be unremarkable except that Churchill is the first homecoming queen at Hampton who is not black. That apparently did not sit well with a handful of people at the game, who heckled the senior nursing major.
This bit of unpleasantness, along with similar comments online, might have passed unnoticed except for what Churchill did next. She posted a public letter to President Obama on a Web site asking him to visit the campus and help with her predicament.
“I feel as though you could relate to my situation,” wrote Churchill, 22, who grew up in Hawaii and performed a hula as her beauty pageant talent. “I am hoping that perhaps you would be able to make an appearance to my campus, Hampton University, so that my fellow Hamptonians can stop focusing so much on the color of my skin and doubting my abilities to represent” the school.
Obama hasn’t responded, but the school, established in 1868 to educate freed slaves, has become embroiled in a discussion about race, the role of historically black colleges and alternatives to mainstream definitions of beauty.
Even those who had supported Churchill when she was crowned were angered and confused by her letter to Obama. Student body President Matthew Washington, 20, said he wishes she had let him know about her concerns before writing the president.
“There are always color issues: The light-skin/dark-skin thing. The long-hair/short-hair issue. But to issue a blanket statement like that?” said Washington, a senior economics major from Los Angeles. “It just really put the university in a negative light.”
The comparisons Churchill made between herself and Obama also angered some students: “We all had to go through a lot more racial intolerance than what she had to in a pageant,” said Brittany Riddock, 19, a sophomore public relations major from Atlanta. “There is no comparison at all between a black man becoming president and a white woman winning a beauty pageant at a black school.”
By Monday evening, Churchill found herself standing alone at the front of the student center theater, looking out at dozens of Hampton students who wanted to vent their frustrations and hear her explanation for the letter. This was her first introduction to many of the student leaders there. Churchill attends Hampton’s satellite campus in Virginia Beach, a handful of classrooms on the 10th floor of a high-rise, where about 90 students study nursing and hotel management or take education-certification classes.
Churchill, who has a white mother and an Asian father, explained how she was hurt by the comments hurled online and at the game and that she couldn’t believe she was being judged by the color of her skin, according to several students who were at the meeting. (Churchill did not respond to messages from a reporter via Facebook.) She told them she thought that reaching out to Obama would help the situation.
The debate encapsulates some of the changes sweeping across the campuses of historically black colleges. These schools still produce a disproportionate number of black college graduates, and they retain their social missions to bring higher education to poor students and those from deprived backgrounds. But they have been changing in ways that often carry a heavy symbolic weight: for instance, when Grambling fielded its first white quarterback, and that about half of Southern University Law Center graduates are white.
When the Hampton beauty pageant began that Friday night, the 10 contestants came swirling onto the wooden stage at Ogden Hall in black leotards, flowing skirts and coin-covered scarves, performing an Arabian-themed dance for the crowd of several hundred people.
The contestants took turns modeling swimsuits and ball gowns. They answered questions and explained their platforms. When the talent portion arrived, Churchill, dressed in a pink-and-white swimsuit, a skirt and thick necklaces made from yards of tiny white shells, performed a traditional hula. Huge pink flowers were tucked behind her ear.
As the two-hour pageant neared its conclusion, the women lined up under the stage lights to learn the verdict of the five judges—two professional pageant judges, two faculty members and a local bank vice president.
“It was obvious who was going to win” after the first runner-up was announced because the two women stood out, said Lapraya McCoy, 21, editor in chief of the weekly student newspaper, the Hampton Script, and who was at the pageant. “But it was kind of like there was this pause before everyone applauded. Everybody was just stuck, surprised this had actually happened.”
Churchill sat down as the jeweled crown was placed on her head, a white sash across her plum-colored gown. She posed for photos with the other contestants, and her family and friends who had driven in from out of town, according to her Facebook scrapbook. “It truly was the best night of my life!” she would later write to Obama.
That night, Facebook and Twitter were abuzz with the news. Some said she represented a step forward for the school. Several questioned why students don’t vote for the homecoming queen. Others argued that Churchill didn’t represent a typical Hampton student, not just because of her race but also because she doesn’t attend classes on the main campus.
“She doesn’t have the same experiences as we have,” said Arianna Griffin, 18, a sophomore political science major from Seattle. “She didn’t get a big brother or big sister her freshman year. … She doesn’t live in the dorms.”
“There were a lot of people who asked, ‘What message are you sending by picking her?’” McCoy said. “There are different reasons I think people decide to attend [historically black colleges and universities]. They know who goes here. They thought that was the playing field.”
Homecoming festivities begin Monday night with a car show and a “Hampton Idol” singing competition. Then a fashion show, step show, gospel concert, pep rally and parade. Miss Hampton University will be officially crowned the Homecoming Queen on Wednesday night. A concert Thursday night will feature hip-hop artist Fabolous; LeToya Luckett, formerly of Destiny’s Child; and rapper Jeremih. The homecoming football game Oct. 24 is against S.C. State.
Churchill has told organizers she plans to be at as many events as possible so she can meet the students she now represents.