Tuesday, December 31, 2013

11669: MultiCultClassics Year In Review.

To kick off 2013, Marcus Graham Project Executive Director and Co-Founder Lincoln Stephens told everyone How to Solve Adland’s Diversity Problem. Twelve months later, there’s little evidence that anyone followed—or even read—the straightforward advice. In January, Translation Founder and CEO Steve Stoute was named Executive of the Year by Advertising Age. In June, Stoute’s shop was unceremoniously dumped by Bud Light via an act of cronyism that could be called Buddy Light. Michael Houston elevated to Chief Executive of Grey North America, becoming one of the few Blacks to land in the executive suites of White agencies without also being a recording artist like Alicia Keys, John Legend and honorary Clio recipient Will.i.am. The Richards Group—those wonderful folks who gave you talking vaginas—applied their cultural cluelessness to Dodge RAM and made farming look as exclusive as Madison Avenue. Speaking of exclusivity, Adweek’s Young Influentials of media, marketing, technology and consumer brands featured a single Black person who has never worked in media, marketing, technology or consumer branding. Of course, Donald Glover is a writer, actor, rapper, comedian and producer, which means he’ll probably become a brand ambassador in 2014. OgilvyCULTURE staged a Cross-Cultural Roundtable without a round table or cross-cultural participation (i.e., there were no Whites present). Laurence Boschetto’s declaration that by 2014 Draftfcb would be an agency that no longer used the term “diversity and inclusion” remains a dream deferred, as the visionary was discharged of his duties. The Anti-Defamation League asked us to Imagine a World Without Hate through a commercial imagined and executed by an agency whose leadership is virtually devoid of people of color. Mark LaNeve is still an asshole. The race discrimination lawsuit against IPG ended after the jury deliberated in 11 minutes—roughly the same amount of time IPG has dedicated to diversity since launching in 1960. White women whining increased a few decibels thanks to the ADC’s patronizing 50/50 initiative, alleged shock over the lack of female Cannes jurors and a lame letter containing womanly wisdom that included, “Don’t be a dick.” However, Goodby Silverstein & Partners Co-Founder Rich Silverstein engineered an elaborate search for an executive assistant, reeling in at least 4,500 applications before selecting a White woman. “Vive la Nepotism!” seems to be the motto of Paris-based holding company Havas. Cheerios served up a biracial bambino and Bee-Boys. Annie the Chicken Queen emulated Mary J. Blige by singing about fried chicken. Omnicom Overlord John Wren was inexplicably saluted as a Pioneer of Diversity. True advertising pioneer Bill Sharp passed away in July. The Publicis Groupe-Omnicom merger was unveiled with fanfare, festivities, figuring and fun. In contrast, the Cross Cultural Marketing and Communications Association started with an apathetic shrug. Where are all the Black people who thought it would be cool to have Cornel West preach at the annual (W)here Are All The Black People? Advertising Week allowed folks to feign interest in diversity for nearly one week. Blog Action Day allowed MultiCultClassics to view the industry’s dearth of diversity as a human rights issue. Total Market appears to be Total Bullshit. And finally, total bullshit is what New York City Comptroller John Liu has repeatedly received from Omnicom and Pioneer of Diversity John Wren.

Monday, December 30, 2013

11668: A Trend For Stupidity.

Advertising Age published the annual puffery predictions from JWT Director of Trendspotting Ann Mack and her Magic 8 Ball® team. If there’s one thing you can always accurately predict, it’s that the JWT crew will uncover insights readily available to any monkey with online access. “100 Things to Watch in 2014” is a cornucopia of common knowledge that will likely never be directly applied to billable assignments. Ad Age only bothered to print ten excerpts from the PowerPoint presentation. However, the trade journal’s link to the full document displays “100 Things to Watch in 2013.” Guess JWT’s all-knowing gurus weren’t smart enough to catch that.

11667: Tony Parker’s Latest Foul.

From The New York Daily News…

Spurs guard Tony Parker under fire for 'quenelle' gesture, alleged anti-Semitism

Just a day after soccer star Nicolas Anelka was criticized, French media outlets publish pictures of San Antonio guard doing gesture with comedian.

By Mitch Abramson / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

The Knicks and Nets both visit the San Antonio Spurs this week, where the story could be more serious than just a tale of two bad teams facing a title contender.

Spurs star guard Tony Parker came under fire on Sunday for his alleged use of an anti-Semitic gesture described as a “reverse” Nazi salute. Parker was asked by the Simon Wiesenthal Center to apologize.

French media outlets published a photo taken earlier this year of the Belgian-born Parker doing the “quenelle,” as it is known, at the side of Dieudonne, a comedian and accused anti-Semite who coined the gesture, according to The Algemeiner, a New York-based newspaper that covers Jewish and Israel-related topics. The Spurs host the Nets on Tuesday and the Knicks on Thursday.

“It’s the Nazi salute in reverse,” Roger Cukierman, leader of the French partner of the World Jewish Congress, told Reuters.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights group named after the Nazi hunter, urged Parker on Sunday to “apologize for his past use of the quenelle ‘Nazi’ salute,” according to the Algemeiner.

“As a leading sports figure on both sides of the Atlantic, Parker has a special moral obligation to disassociate himself from a gesture that the government of France has identified as anti-Semitic,” Cooper said.

Parker, 31, was photographed in September and October by French media outlets making the gesture backstage at Dieudonne’s concerts.

The NBA, along with the Spurs, had no immediate comment. Parker had 22 points in nearly 36 minutes in a comeback 112-104 win over the visiting Kings on Sunday night.

The Parker news came a day after French soccer star Nicolas Anelka was heavily criticized for his use of the same gesture following his goal for West Bromwich Albion in Saturday’s 3-3 draw at West Ham in the English Premier League.

Anelka was seen pointing his right arm down and laying his left hand near his right shoulder to make the gesture. Anelka tried to explain away the salute by saying it was nothing more than a homage to Dieudonne, his friend, but the action was condemned by French Sports Minister Valerie Fourneyron. And the European Jewish Congress requested that Anelka be disciplined by the English authorities, CNN reported Sunday.

Dieudonne has been fined for inciting racial hatred and hate speech on several occasions.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

11665: Nissan United’s State.

Advertising Age reported the recently assembled Nissan United is focused on brand positioning, working to create a consistent voice for the automaker. Oddly enough, the piece makes no mention of the Infiniti account review, which surely must be consuming the united attention of the new agency structure.

A Look Inside Nissan’s New Agency Structure

Automaker’s United Brings Together TBWA Worldwide Employees, Affiliated Companies

By Lindsay Chappell

Nissan’s newly created New York advertising shop, called Nissan United, has a lofty mission called “brand positioning.” But the office’s real mission is to influence virtually every aspect of the automaker’s marketing, be it positioning future models or choosing background colors for dealers’ TV spots.

The objective from one task to the next, in markets from Chicago to Shanghai, is consistency of message, Jon Castle, the longtime automotive ad agency executive who is president of Nissan United, told Automotive News. The central office was announced in October, bringing together people and functions from Nissan’s global agency TBWA Worldwide and its affiliated companies.

Nissan’s voice

“The strongest brands are the ones that have a significant amount of consistency wherever you go,” Mr. Castle said. “The internet means that when you create an ad or a press release or a public event in one part of the world, the rest of the world is also going to know about it. So if Nissan is doing something different in every part of the world, then what does the Nissan brand really stand for? What is Nissan’s voice?”

Nissan United will be a central command post for TBWA affiliates in media buying, market research, creative, PR and other disciplines. Mr. Castle will draw on the company’s offices around the world, including Japan, Europe and China, but operate with a Manhattan core staff of fewer than 50.

Nissan retains its in-house executive marketing staff, including Jon Brancheau as North American VP-marketing communications and media. The company also retains its national dealer ad agency, Zimmerman Advertising of Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Zimmerman is part of Omnicom Group, the marketing conglomerate that also owns TBWA.

Branding decisions

Mr. Castle said efforts are in progress to align Zimmerman’s dealer advertising with Nissan’s national and international branding decisions.

“Zimmerman’s work with dealerships in the last six to nine months has ever so slightly begun to edge closer towards our more consistent voice in storytelling, from a look and feel perspective, from a tone perspective,” he says. “It really doesn’t feel like there’s one spot to launch a new Nissan car nationally, and then a different entity conducting a tent sale somewhere. Brand work, tier-two retail work and event work—all of that will come closer together in tone and communication and voice.

“Everybody recognizes that a stronger brand image will help everybody, including our constituents at the dealerships,” said Mr. Castle, a Boston native who helped reintroduce the Volkswagen Beetle to the U.S. market earlier in his career.

Nissan United will report to Roel de-Vries, Nissan global head of marketing, brand and communications.


The Nissan brand had U.S. sales last year of more than 1 million cars and trucks for the first time. But the Japanese automaker is under new pressure to buff up its image with consumers around the world as the company pushes deeper into markets where it is less known, including China, Russia, India and the Middle East.

“There are a lot of different ways to tell a story,” Mr. Castle said. “Our mission is to determine the best way to express our tagline, ‘Innovation that excites,’ consistently around the world, so that consumers are clear about who we are.”

Lindsay Chappell is a writer for Automotive News

Friday, December 27, 2013

11664: Stock Shits.

Could the shitty photos in these banners ever be used to advertise anything besides a stock image supplier?

11663: Belated Gift Giving.

From The Los Angeles Times…

Saying thanks to onetime DJ for a favor done long ago

In 1968, rhythm and blues DJ Tom Reed, known as the Master Blaster, visited a church youth club in Altadena. A token of the youths’ appreciation took 45 years to deliver.

By Doug Smith

Master Blaster sounded a little put off when I called to ask if I could bring him a gift.

The gift was a Japanese robe that a reader had entrusted to me to give to him. It wasn’t the so much the robe itself — or the story behind it — that distressed him as it was my request to bring a photographer to record the event.

The Master Blaster informed me he didn’t do kitsch. “I’m just myself,” he said.

Only a few days earlier, I had written about Tom Reed, a.k.a. the 1960s rhythm and blues DJ whose broadcast name was the Master Blaster. After leaving radio Reed reinvented himself as a historian of black Los Angeles, especially its music.

At 77, Reed is still making the television documentaries that he proudly calls L.A.’s longest continuously running African-American TV production.

I knew that dedication to the story of black L.A. and to his documentary craft meant much more to him than a quaint story from the distant past.

But I finally persuaded him that the robe represented a duty I could only discharge in person.

The robe came to me from a man who had kept it for 45 years.

The story started at the First Presbyterian Church of Altadena in 1968. Though the church was largely Japanese American, the members of its youth club attended predominantly black public schools and listened to rhythm and blues broadcast over KGFJ.

Club president Gary Mikuni fulfilled a huge wish by club members when the Master Blaster agreed to speak to them.

Mikuni needed an appropriate gift. His mother, the owner of Yamato’s tourist agency, which still operates in Little Tokyo, came up with one. She had brought a robe back from a trip to Japan.

It was black with a yellow lining, embroidered in cobalt blue with scenes of mountains, streams, deer, birds, flowered trees and pagodas.

“It was too showy for a Japanese person,” Mikuni said. “We thought it would be good for the Master Blaster.”

On the day of the speech, Mikuni had the robe in his hands when he was called away on another matter. He doesn’t remember what it was. All he remembers is that when he returned, the Master Blaster was gone, and he was left holding the robe.

There are many ways of dealing with this situation. Mikuni chose what must be the least likely. He put the robe away, telling himself that one day an opportunity would arise to deliver it.

Through high school and college, Mikuni had too much else on his mind. Then came marriage and children. By then the Master Blaster had departed KGFJ. Mikuni had no idea where to find him.

Others in this situation might have found an opportunity to give the robe away, or even break it out and wear it. Not Mikuni. Even following a divorce he took the robe with him, still in its original plastic wrap.

Then, he read my article on Tom Reed. He emailed to ask if I could help deliver the gift.

Mikuni received me in his Pasadena condo. He spoke easily about his children, his amicable relations with his ex-wife, his mother’s refusal to give up work and even his grandmother’s bitterness about the relocation camps of World War II.

But he wasn’t particularly expressive about himself. He’s a semi-retired estate planning attorney. His clients won’t let him off the hook, he said.

He proudly showed me his framed class photo at Washington Junior High School — a few small circles of white and Asian faces among the rows of black ones.

I tried several times to get him to say why he had kept the robe so long with any realistic prospect for delivering it long lost in the past. The best I could get was that he was its custodian, not its owner.

“It’s your burden now,” he said as I left his condo.

I pleaded with Reed to meet me so I could close this circle of 45 years. As I handed him the robe, Times photographer Anne Cusack recorded the moment.

It was a bit awkward. Reed was clearly not comfortable with the forced nature of the event. In some way, the object seemed to be a connection to a period that he has put in his past.

I left unsure whether he would save it as a souvenir, wear it or give it to Goodwill.

That would be his choice. I had relieved Mikuni’s burden and also my own.

A few days later, I opened the trunk of my car. The belt that went with the robe had somehow slipped out of the plastic wrapper.

It sits on my desk.

11662: Mickey D’s Changes Its Mind.

Advertising Age reported Mickey D’s has removed the online McResource program advising employees to avoid eating the fast feeder’s food. A spokesperson stated the following:

We have offered the McResource program to help our valued McDonald’s employees with work and life guidance created by independent third party experts. A combination of factors has led us to re-evaluate, and we’ve directed the vendor to take down the website. Between links to irrelevant or outdated information, along with outside groups taking elements out of context, this created unwarranted scrutiny and inappropriate commentary. None of this helps our McDonald’s team members. We’ll continue to provide service to them through an internal telephone help line, which is how the majority of employees access the McResource services.

Telephone help line? Sounds like Mickey D’s is offering social services. Hey, maybe they can repurpose the ad below.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

11661: WTF TMZ.

From Ebony.com…

‘African American or N*gga?’ Asks TMZ

The gossip site poses an incredibly offensive question to its readers

TMZ, the gossip site which gained credibility as a reliable source of celebrity news by being the first to confirm the death of Michael Jackson (but then reported this past March that Lil’ Wayne was being read his last rites), has crossed a line from whence there is no coming back.

For reasons unknown, the site interviewed Suge Knight about the “N-word” and who has the right to use it, which led to him commenting that it’s more relevant to him than “African American,” as he’s “not African.” In tandem with this clip, TMZ ran a poll of it’s readers, asking just what should Black people be called: African American or n*gga. Really. This is a thing that happened.

(For those who are wondering, and we surely hope you won’t go give them any additional traffic, the results were 55% in favor of “n*gga” when we checked—and there were some 73,000+ votes. Not terribly surprising, as the comments section most often resembles a cyber-Klan meeting. Post-racial ‘Murrica!)

We’re done with TMZ and we hope that any self-respecting Black person who ever visited them for gossip or fun or folly or as a guilty pleasure will say the same. There is no coming back, no apology needed, no sensitivity training, nothing.

Bye, TMZ.

11660: Mickey D’s Admits It’s Bad.

From The New York Daily News…

McDonald’s workers advised to slow down on cheeseburgers, eat healthier, stay trim

The McResource Line has a section dubbed ‘Fast food tips,’ which illustrates how a burger, fries and soda is not as healthy as a sandwich, salad and water.

By Caitlin Nolan and Larry McShane / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

You deserve a break today — from McDonald’s.

A website for the fast food giant’s workers warned that a cheeseburger, soda and fries is an unhealthy choice for a meal.

The words of wisdom on eating healthy came from third-party content provided on the McResource Line site, where a recent posting urged folks to slow down on the fast food.

“While convenient and economical for a busy lifestyle, fast foods are typically high in calories, fat, saturated fat, sugar, and salt, and may put people at risk for becoming overweight,” the website advised.

Iris Harden, leaving a Brooklyn McDonald’s with her 6-year-old daughter Jayla, was surprised to hear about the online advice.

“Why would they do that?” wondered Harden, 38, of Red Hook. “I don’t see a lot of workers in there who are obese or anything. That’s funny.”

Kevin Reyes, 17, said the news that fast food posed potential health problems was hardly a revelation. “It’s not good for you, but everybody knows that,” said Reyes, who stops by the Golden Arches once a week.

A section of the McResource site dubbed “fast food tips” included a picture of a burger, fries and soda opposite a shot of a sandwich, salad and water.

Option one was dubbed “unhealthy choice,” while option two was labeled “healthier choice.”

“Although not impossible, it is more of a challenge to eat healthy when going to a fast food place,” the site advised. “In general, avoiding items that are deep-fried are your best bet.”

A McDonald’s spokeswoman said the fast food giant didn’t find the eat-healthy message hard to swallow.

“This website provides useful information from respected third parties about many topics, among them health and wellness,” said Lisa McComb of McDonald’s USA.

“It also includes information from experts about healthy eating and making balances choices. McDonald’s agrees with this advice.”

The venerable international business, once best known for its Quarter-Pounder and Big Mac burgers, now offers an assortment of menu items including oatmeal, grilled chicken, egg whites and real-fruit smoothies, McComb noted.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

11656: Another Sorry Tweet.

From The New York Daily News…

Steve Martin apologizes over tweet deemed racist

When asked by a Twitter follower, ‘Is this how you spell lasonia?,’ the ‘Father of the Bride’ star answered, ‘It depends. Are you in an African-American neighborhood or at an Italian restaurant?’


Steve Martin came across as a jerk.

The 68-year-old comic apologized after being labeled a racist after an attempted joke on Twitter went wrong.

Martin, who uses the social media site to engage in witty back and forth with fans, received a setup line from one of his 4.5 million followers:

“Is this how you spell lasonia?”

The “Father of the Bride” star’s answer?

“It depends. Are you in an African-American neighborhood or at an Italian restaurant?,” Martin tweeted.

Martin deleted the Tweet shortly afterwards — but not before retweets and screen grabs circulated all over the Internet.

To his credit, the Honorary Academy Award winner did face the wrath of his angry fans.

“I did apologize,” he tweeted back to a follower who accused him of “acting like that Tweet didn’t exist.”

“But again, a second later I realized what an offensive thing I’d done. Deep bow.

“My tweet was highly inappropriate.”

Monday, December 23, 2013

11655: Burn Notice.

We’re a tad tardy with the news, but the blogosphere just got more boring. AdPulp Co-Founder and Editor David Burn announced the end of his over 9-year run with the blog. Burn plans to devote more time to his paying gig as Copywriter, Creative Director and Brand Strategist at Bonehook.

11654: A Slave To Audiences.

From Carefree Black Girl.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

11653: Knock The Clueless.

The New York Times also posted about culturally clueless IAC Chief Communications Director Justine Sacco, and the piece included a tweet from Hadji Williams, author of Knock The Hustle.

11652: Cracker Barrel Supports Ducks.

USA TODAY reported Cracker Barrel reversed a decision to pull products associated with “Duck Dynasty” after complaints from customers. This should not be surprising to anyone.

Cracker Barrel puts ‘Duck Dynasty’ items back on shelves

Brian Wilson, The Tennessean

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store reversed course Sunday, putting back on its shelves the products it had removed because they were tied to a star of the cable hit “Duck Dynasty.”

In a statement on its Facebook page, Cracker Barrel said, “When we made the decision to remove and evaluate certain Duck Dynasty items, we offended many of our loyal customers. Our intent was to avoid offending, but that’s just what we’ve done.

”You told us we made a mistake. And, you weren’t shy about it. You wrote, you called and you took to social media to express your thoughts and feelings. You flat out told us we were wrong.”

The Lebanon, Tenn.-based restaurant company initially removed certain products made by Duck Commander, the business run by the Robertson family of the A&E show, “which we were concerned might offend some of our guests.”

The family’s patriarch Phil Robertson was suspended from the A&E program last week after he was quoted in a GQ article calling homosexuality sinful behavior in the same category as bestiality and other sins. The article also quoted him as saying he never saw mistreatment of blacks during his pre-Civil Rights movement childhood.

Robertson’s suspension has been blasted by many of the show’s fans and supporters, who said the family should not be penalized for their religious beliefs.

Cracker Barrel’s Facebook statement said, “We apologize for offending you. We respect all individuals right to express their beliefs. We certainly did not mean to have anyone think different.”

11651: White Suits Always In Style.

Campaign presented The Annual 2013, featuring Top 10 advertising suits. It’s U.K. diversity on display in living color.

11650: Justine Sacco Sacked.

The New York Daily News reported IAC Chief Communications Director Justine Sacco got sacked for her culturally clueless Tweet. But hey, she’s blond and White—so she’ll have no trouble quickly landing a new job on Madison Avenue.

IAC fires PR exec Justine Sacco over ‘racist’ tweet over AIDS

IAC’s Chief Communications Director Justine Sacco tweeted, ‘Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!’ on her way to Cape Town Friday. The single tweet has sparked what some are calling ‘rage donations’ to AIDS charities.


Sacco has been sacked.

Justine Sacco, the New York PR executive who sparked a global firestorm for her wildly insensitive tweet on AIDS, was fired Saturday by her bosses at media conglomerate IAC.

“There is no excuse for the hateful statements that have been made and we condemn them unequivocally,” said a rep for the company, which includes brands such as OKCupid, Vimeo, and the Daily Beast.

“The offensive comment does not reflect the views and values of IAC. We take this issue very seriously, and we have parted ways with the employee in question.”

Sacco, 30, tweeted Friday, “Going to Africa. Hope I don’t get AIDS. Just kidding. I’m white!” before taking off for South Africa.

But one web-savvy savant turned hate into opportunity, linking the website www.justinesacco.com to Aid for Africa, a group of nonprofits that have seen a serious spike in donations.

“There’s definitely an uptick of people giving to us since that happened,” Barbara Alison Rose, the executive director of Aid for Africa, told the Daily News.

“Certainly, a big increase over what we’d normally see,” she said, adding that the small, Bethesda, Md.-based nonprofit is seeing a steady stream of donations of about three per hour, versus the usual three per day.

The young blond’s ill-fated tweet has all but taken over social media networks, with the hashtag #HasJustineLandedYet trending on Twitter, and real-time flight statuses popping up when searching Google for Sacco’s name.

One Twitter user even claimed to have spotted Sacco with a friend at the Cape Town airport.

By Saturday afternoon, the IAC website was scrubbed clean of all traces of Sacco.

A Twitter account claiming to be Sacco emerged early Saturday in which a person claiming to be the PR exec apologized for her racist tweet. “I’m truly sorry.”

The account could not be independently verified by the Daily News.

Other parody Twitter accounts have sprung up mocking the PR exec, including “JustinePsycho” and “LOL Justine Sacco,” making light of the offensive tweet. One reads, “OMG is ‘Affluenza’ a thing in South Africa? If so, hand me a box of wine, some Valium, and the keys to a Prius!? LOL.”

Twitter user “TwittsMcGee” noted, “Justine Sacco is what happens when you watch too much Duck Dynasty.”

But Rose has more sympathy towards the small-minded Sacco. “I would hope it provides the opportunity for people — especially Justine — to understand that this isn’t funny,” she said.

“I’m so sorry for her, but she’s in PR. She should know better.”

Saturday, December 21, 2013

11649: Is Y&R A Sweatshop?

The New York Times published a story on the copywriter at Y&R Indonesia who died shortly after working a 30-hour shift. Are the global holding companies operating sweatshops in foreign lands? Not too hard to imagine.

After Death, Indonesian Ad Industry Scrutinized

By Kate Lamb

JAKARTA, Indonesia — The death of an Indonesian copywriter has generated a surge of anger in Indonesia, turning the young woman into an inadvertent symbol of the grueling, workaholic culture of the advertising world.

Shortly after working a 30-hour shift, Ananda Pradnya Paramita, 27, a copywriter for Young & Rubicam Indonesia, fell into a coma on Saturday at a South Jakarta pizzeria.

Ms. Paramita, who referred to herself as Mita Diran on social networks, was taken to a hospital, but died the following day.

Her revealing final post on Twitter, “30 hours of working and still going strong,” has prompted accusations that her agency pushed her over the edge with its work demands.

On a corporate message of condolence posted on Young & Rubicam Indonesia’s Facebook page, commenters accused the agency of exploitation and criminal negligence.

Geets Harris, an associate creative director at Ogilvy & Mather in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, joined the thread to criticize advertising executives for what she said was their myopic preoccupation with the bottom line. Her employer, Ogilvy & Mather, is owned by the British multinational advertising agency WPP, which also owns Young & Rubicam.

“Advertising culture must change,” she wrote, adding that she knows “many creatives who visit hospitals more often than they do the client.”

Ms. Harris later sent an open letter to Young & Rubicam and WPP in which she proposed an 11-point plan to improve conditions in the advertising industry. The creative director urged no more than two hours of overtime per day and the elimination of short deadlines.

Young & Rubicam Indonesia has stressed that the agency adheres to the country’s labor law, which prohibits more than three hours of overtime per day.

“Up until now, we’re still trying to find out what really happened internally,” said Sie Zin Lie, a Young & Rubicam spokeswoman. “We are deeply affected by the loss of Mita, and we pray for the family to have the strength to be able to get through this difficult time.”

Daniel Tjoe Sunaryo, 32, a former creative director who worked in a Jakarta ad agency for 10 years, said that in the industry, “whatever you do is never enough.”

Mr. Sunaryo recalled spending nights at the office to meet deadlines — he has since quit to become a yoga instructor — and said that within ad agencies there was a sense of pride about being a workaholic and pushing beyond the limits.

Ms. Paramita’s own Twitter feed paints her as a vibrant but sleep-deprived young woman who was also familiar with long hours. In her posts, she joked about moving her bed to the office and of her diet of coffee and energy drinks.

It is unclear whether the copywriter’s death was related to her workaholic lifestyle, but those in the industry say it is unlikely that she was forced to work 30 straight hours.

Cynthia Agustina, a commercial producer who has worked closely with advertising agencies for more than a decade, said that while all-nighters were an occupational hazard, conditions had improved in recent years.

“I don’t think she just pulled a 30-hour shift because she had to, but also because she wanted to,” Ms. Agustina said. “And I don’t know any company that says, ‘I don’t care what you do, just deliver.’”

11648: Black Dads Data.

From The Los Angeles Times…

Survey finds dads defy stereotypes about black fatherhood

By most measures, report says, black fathers are at least as involved with their kids as other men in similar living situations.

By Emily Alpert Reyes

Defying enduring stereotypes about black fatherhood, a federal survey of American parents shows that by most measures, black fathers who live with their children are just as involved as other dads who live with their kids — or more so.

For instance, among fathers who lived with young children, 70% of black dads said they bathed, diapered or dressed those kids every day, compared with 60% of white fathers and 45% of Latino fathers, according to a report released Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics.

Nearly 35% of black fathers who lived with their young children said they read to them daily, compared with 30% of white dads and 22% of Latino dads. The report was based on a federal survey that included more than 3,900 fathers between 2006 and 2010 — a trove of data seen as the gold standard for studying fatherhood in the United States. In many cases, the differences between black fathers and those of other races were not statistically significant, researchers said.

The findings echo earlier studies that counter simple stereotypes characterizing black fathers as missing in action. When it comes to fathers who live with their kids, “blacks look a lot like everyone else,” said Gretchen Livingston, a senior researcher at the Pew Research Center who has previously studied the topic. And in light of the negative stereotypes about black fathers, “that is a story in itself.”

In Watts, Bryan August-Jones battles the stereotype daily. Every weekday, he wakes his three sons before sunrise, gets them dressed, then ferries them to the baby sitter and to school. On weekends, he takes them bicycling or to Red Lobster, which his youngest son — “a little fancy guy” — prefers over McDonald’s.

His Latina mother-in-law and her family think black men cannot be good fathers, but “I prove them wrong all the time,” August-Jones said.

Worry about black fathers has been tied to a persistent fact: Black dads are especially likely to live apart from one or more of their children — and fathers of all races tend to be less involved in the day-to-day lives of their kids when they live elsewhere.

Yet the report also revealed that among American fathers living apart from their children, black dads were at least as involved as other dads not living with their kids, or more so, according to most measures. Among fathers living apart from older children, more than half of black fathers said that several times a week or more, they talked to their kids about their day — a higher percentage than among white or Latino dads living separately from older children, the report showed.

In Bellflower, Jason Franklin phones his young daughters daily during the week. The girls stay with him on weekends. Franklin remembers that when his own parents parted, his father sometimes skipped visits “out of spite.” He vowed not to do the same thing to his children when he and their mother split up.

“Even if I don’t see them every day, my role as a father doesn’t change,” Franklin said.

Nearly half of black fathers living apart from their young children said they played with them at least several times a week, 42% said they fed or ate with them that frequently, and 41% said they bathed, diapered or helped dress them as often — rates on par with or higher than those of other men living apart from their kids.

“People think they don’t care, but we know they do,” said Joseph Jones, president of the Center for Urban Families, a Baltimore advocacy group that works with African American fathers. “We see how dads are fighting against the odds to be engaged in the lives of their children.”

The report leaves it unclear if black fathers, on the whole, are more involved than other dads. Although the survey showed that black fathers not living at home are as involved with their children as fathers of other races in similar situations, the higher percentage of black dads absent from the home could drag down the average involvement for all black fathers, other researchers pointed out.

Earlier research has shown that after parents break up, fathers become less involved as time passes. Mothers may curb the time they allow an ex to spend with their children. Fathers sometimes struggle to stay as involved if they form another family.

However, Laura Tach and fellow researchers also found that black fathers were more likely than white or Latino dads to stay close to their children after having more kids with a new partner. Because it isn’t as rare for black fathers to live away from the home, their communities might have stronger expectations that fathers will stay involved outside the “package deal” of a wife and kids, explained Tach, a professor of policy analysis at Cornell University.

“Some men think when they lose a marriage, they lose the relationship with the kids,” said Marquette University sociology professor Roberta L. Coles. “For black men that doesn’t seem to be as true.”

Osborne Lopez, a black man with Belizean roots, said there was never any question he would stay connected to his kids after his divorce.

Almost every weekday, Lopez picks up his son and daughter from school and catches up with them over dinner or a snack. On weekends, they stay over and bond over his scrambled eggs or homemade chili, see the latest Disney movie or head to the beach. Years ago, he decided to leave the Air Force to avoid missing “those pivotal moments” in their young lives.

As a black father, “I don’t want to be part of the stereotype,” he said

Friday, December 20, 2013

11647: Total Toyota Is Total Bullshit.

Advertising Age reported Toyota has created “Total Toyota” (aka T2), a new team that aligns its White agency—Saatchi & Saatchi—with its minority shops. A Toyota wonk explained, “The [agencies] stay the same. They’re just now going to be working more as one team. There’s no merger, no acquisition, nothing like that. It’s still four separate entities. But working as one—for the total market.” However, the White agency is leading the team. Which means “Total Toyota” for the total market is total bullshit. Saatchi & Saatchi is angling to control the total marketing budget. The only racial harmony you’ll see here will come from pool outs of the infamous Cheerios commercial.

Toyota Aligns Multicultural Marketing Under T2 Umbrella

Saatchi & Saatchi Will Lead Team That Includes Conill, Burrell and InterTrend

By Michael McCarthy, Laurel Wentz

Toyota says the so-called multicultural consumer is the new mainstream, not a niche.

To do a better job marketing to these consumers, Toyota will announce today it’s aligning its disparate multicultural marketing agencies into a new team dubbed “Total Toyota” or T2.

Toyota’s longtime ad agency, Publicis Groupe’s Saatchi & Saatchi Los Angeles, will take the lead on T2, according to Jack Hollis, VP-marketing for Toyota Motor Sales USA in Torrance, Calif.

Linking up with Saatchi will be three sibling Publicis Groupe shops that already handle multicultural marketing duties for Toyota: Conill Advertising (Hispanic), Burrell Communications (African-American) and Zenith (broadcast and out-of-home media buying). InterTrend Communications, which specializes in Asian-American marketing, will also be part of the group.

T2 will become operational with the start of Toyota’s new fiscal year on April 1, 2014.

Said Mr. Hollis: “The [agencies] stay the same. They’re just now going to be working more as one team. There’s no merger, no acquisition, nothing like that. It’s still four separate entities. But working as one—for the total market.”

Hispanic advertising generally accounts for the bulk of marketers’ multicultural marketing budget. Toyota ranks as the No. 8 Hispanic advertiser. It spent $87.5 million on Hispanic media in 2012, according to Ad Age’s Hispanic Fact Pack.

Toyota plans to boost its multicultural media spending in 2014, said Mr. Hollis. But he’s still working out the details about how much. The changes are “about bringing it all together—and making it the mainstream.”

Based on its own vehicle registration data, Toyota claims to be the No. 1 auto brand among Hispanics, African-Americans and Asian-Americans.

The Toyota division sold 1,742,111 vehicles through the first 11 months of 2013, up 8% from the same period the year before, according to Automotive News Data Center.

That puts Toyota behind Ford Motor Co.’s Ford division (2,194,934, up 12%) and General Motors Chevrolet (1,793,632, up 7%) but ahead of American Honda’s Honda division (1,240,372, up 8%) and Nissan USA’s Nissan unit (1,035,439, up 11%).

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

11647: Campaign’s White Christmas.

Campaign asked top advertising executives what they would request if Santa was handing out clients as gifts. The bigger question is, are there no minority adpeople in the U.K. for Campaign to poll?

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

11646: 8 Chopping Days Till Xmas.

As comedians and commercials have noted, there appears to be a war on Christmas. Adland has joined the fray, with quarterly financial reviews leading to heartless downsizing—holiday spirits be damned. Grinches include Deutsch, mcgarrybowen, Y&R, Critical Mass, Hill Holliday, Grey and Goodby Silverstein & Partners. Plus, clients cut agencies and themselves—why, even media companies joined the fun. Talk about getting Scrooged.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

11644: A Four-Star First.

From The New York Post…

Historic promotion for Navy hero

By Kate Briquelet

She has fought pirates, commanded warships and was the first African-American woman to achieve a Naval rank of three stars.

Now, Vice Admiral Michelle Howard, 53, is set to become the first woman and first African-American in Navy history to achieve a fourth star, pending Senate approval.

President Obama on Friday tapped Howard to be Vice Chief of Naval Operations — a historic nomination that would make her the Navy’s second-ranking officer.

The 5-foot-2 hero is no stranger to breaking barriers. In 1999, she became the first African-American woman to command a Navy ship, the USS Rushmore.

“Men have the luxury of being average,” Howard told Time magazine when she commanded the USS Rushmore, a 15,000-ton assault vessel. “When you walk in as a woman, that assumption does not come with you — you need to prove yourself.”

Howard helped to rescue Capt. Richard Phillips, who was held hostage by Somali pirates, in 2009 when she was just three days into her new job as head of a strike force in the Arabian Sea.

From aboard the USS Boxer, Howard helped direct a Navy destroyer to the pirates’ lifeboat. She knew the captain would be done for if they reached Somalia.

“We were getting more and more concerned that … they might actually kill [Phillips],” she said.

After two days of failed negotiations, Howard called in a team of Navy SEALs to shoot the pirates and bring Phillips home.

Born to an Air Force sergeant and his British wife in Aurora, Colo., Howard dreamed of joining the Navy from age 12. At the time, federal law blocked women from military schools. Still, she graduated from the Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md., in 1982 and became the first graduate of her class to attain the rank of admiral. She’s been married to retired Marine Wayne Cowles for most of her storied career.

She served in the Persian Gulf War, during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, and was deployed to peacekeeping missions in the former Republic of Yugoslavia.

Last year, as she was promoted to three stars, Howard offered advice to female officers following in her footsteps: “You have to keep your sense of humor,” she said. “You have to develop stamina and you need to be adaptable.”

Saturday, December 14, 2013

11643: The Crazy Ones Is Getting Worse.

The latest episode of CBS series The Crazy Ones really showed why typical White advertising agencies are going down the toilet. That is, adpeople spend more time dealing with politics, cronyism, nepotism and sex than the billable work. The main characters are self-absorbed, mediocre hacks and/or world-class poseurs. Simon Roberts is a dinosaur, surrounding himself with past trophies to hide the fact that he hasn’t generated a single breakthrough concept since he’s been sober. The program’s creators have yet to come up with any big ideas too.