Sunday, January 31, 2016

13039: It’s Not What You Mean.

It’s Not What You Say: How To Sell Your Message When It Matters Most by former Saatchi & Saatchi London Vice Chairman Michael Parker is like most of the work from Saatchi & Saatchi. That is, it’s a solid concept and decent execution, but nothing overly unique or breakthrough. Parker provides his presentation ponderings with plenty of alliteration—Principles, Preparation, Pitch, Performance and Perfect.

But what makes Parker so annoying are his references to Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, Maya Angelou and Desmond Tutu:

Parker wrote, “Martin Luther King Jr.’s speeches were eloquent enough in their written form, but inspiration leaps when we hear and see his performance of his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech—the words become spine tingling.” Yes, but not persuasive enough for White advertising agencies to embrace the dream.

Parker observed, “Nelson Mandela cultivated his likable image through every aspect of his appearance, not least his beatific smile.” Yes, and when minorities ask for a fair shake in adland, White advertising executives wink and smile.

Parker included the Maya Angelou quote that reads, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Yes, and minorities are left to feel like second-class citizens in the advertising industry.

Parker added the Archbishop Desmond Tutu quote that reads, “Don’t raise your voice. Improve your argument.” Yes, but White advertising executives have not improved their argument to explain the dearth of diversity.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

13038: The Racist Hypocrisy Of IPG.

Wanted to add commentary on the previous post detailing the firing of Campbell Ewald CEO Jim Palmer, which coincided with the news of a racist email sent last October by an employee from the C-E office in San Antonio. The news has spread beyond advertising trade publications and ad blogs to local Detroit newspapers and business journals, as well as national media properties like The Wall Street Journal. Not all of the sources are reporting the racist email influenced the decision to dismiss Palmer, citing Campbell Ewald has recently lost a bunch of high-profile accounts. Additionally, it’s not clear that USAA terminated its contract with the shop because of the racist email, despite the client announcing, “We will be searching for a new agency that aligns with USAA’s culture and core values." The insurance and financial client features the standard diversity and inclusion commitments on its website. Then again, so does Interpublic Group, the White holding company that owns Campbell Ewald—and it’s unlikely IPG will expel the advertising agency from the network.

If USAA cut ties with Campbell Ewald over the racist email, it marks a monumental moment in the history of the industry. After all, when has a client ever reprimanded a White advertising agency for biased behavior? So far, no other clients have joined USAA to protest the prejudiced professionals. Hell, clients won’t even demand that holding companies reveal EEO-1 data.

Yet the true hypocrite in the scenario is IPG. The White holding company declares it “is increasing diversity and forging a culture of inclusion.” Plus, IPG insists, “We take this commitment seriously.” The company boasts a list of “IPG Firsts” including being the first in the industry to hire a Diversity Officer. Sorry, but firing the original email author and CEO is not enough. Ditto coughing up charitable contributions to ADCOLOR®. It’s time to hold holding companies accountable for too many decades of displaying deliberate discrimination.

Friday, January 29, 2016

13037: Campbell Ewald Is So Ghetto.

Adweek reported Campbell Ewald CEO Jim Palmer was fired following fallout from a staffer’s racist email. Apparently, the email was sent last October, inviting associates in the San Antonio office to celebrate “Ghetto Days” with “Ghetto music, Malt 45s at lunch, and of course, drugs and prostitution are legal all day until close of business.” Adweek updated the story to reveal a major client—USAA—terminated its contract with Campbell Ewald to find “a new agency that aligns with USAA’s culture and core values.” However, it’s not clear if USAA was responding directly to the racist email, as White holding company IPG—parent to Campbell Ewald—announced plans to create a standalone agency to service USAA in order to retain the business. Plus, Campbell Ewald replaced Palmer with another White man.

MultiCultClassics has called out Campbell Ewald for its hypocrisy, as well as its diversity statement. The current agency website proclaims, “We’re a diverse bunch with one goal: Work with purpose. Everything we create—from presentations to campaigns to birthday memes—is something our mothers would be proud of. If you work the same way, go on and apply yourself…here.” Yo mama would be proud to celebrate “Ghetto Days” with Campbell Ewald?

Campbell Ewald’s CEO Has Been Fired Amid Fallout Over a Staffer’s Racist Email

Jim Palmer out after ‘Ghetto Days’ note came to light

By Patrick Coffee

In a two-sentence news release this morning, Interpublic Group announced it has terminated Campbell Ewald CEO Jim Palmer and handed leadership to agency President Kevin Wertz.

While the agency has not stated the reason behind the firing, the move comes just days after Adweek’s AgencySpy blog revealed that a white creative leader at the agency’s San Antonio office had sent an email in October 2015 inviting staffers to take part in “Ghetto Day.”

“Also please share with the teams that today is officially Ghetto Day in the SA, and we’re inviting our Big D homebitches to cycle in and pop a freak with us,” the email said. “Ghetto music, Malt 45s at lunch, and of course, drugs and prostitution are legal all day until close of business. Word, my cerebral gangsters.”

When the email was revealed Tuesday, CEO Palmer issued a statement saying: “This email is in no way reflective of who we are as an agency and what we stand for. We addressed this matter very seriously when it happened back in October. To those that were hurt and offended by this language, we sincerely apologize.”

The following day, sources told AgencySpy that the creative behind the email had been fired—months after it had first been spotted and addressed by executives.

Various sources have identified the employee who sent the “Ghetto Day” email as Jim Houck, who joined Campbell Ewald San Antonio as executive creative director in 2015 after working as a copywriter and creative director at CP+B, Saatchi & Saatchi and SapientNitro, among others.

UPDATE: After this story first ran, Adweek learned that insurance and financial client USAA has terminated its contract with Campbell Ewald in order to search for “a new agency that aligns with USAA’s culture and core values.”

IPG says it plans to spin off Campbell Ewald’s USAA team into a standalone agency in hopes of retaining the client.

Even before this week’s controversy, the Campbell Ewald agency network had lost several major accounts in recent years.

In 2010, General Motors sent its Chevrolet business to competitor Publicis after 91 years with Campbell Ewald. The agency later lost the U.S. Postal Service, Cadillac (which also went to Publicis) and, in 2015, the U.S. Navy business, which went to Y&R.

13036: H&R Block Party.

H&R Block is trying too hard to woo non-Whites. Patronizing. Pathetic. Poop.

13035: Degrees Of Exclusivity.

Campaign spotlighted three White advertising leaders who never went to college. See, in adland, even uneducated White folks land jobs ahead of qualified minorities.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

13034: Black Sheep, White Men.

Campaign reported diversity champion Sir John Hegarty promoted a White man to serve as BBH Worldwide Chief Creative Officer. “I fell in love with advertising because of a Levi’s ad that BBH created when I was a teenager,” said Pelle Sjoenell. “I’m delighted and extremely honoured to be taking the creative helm of this great agency. Only white sheep can be herded. To lead black ones, you have to be one.” Yes, there are plenty of self-proclaimed black sheep at BBH. Black people, not so much.

13033: Elephant Editorial.

Campaign published an editor’s letter on the dearth of diversity in adland titled, “New year, same old elephant in the room.” The headline should have qualified it as the same old White elephant. Of course, Cindy Gallop and Kat Gordon jumped all over it, advocating for more White women to be included too—ultimately herding the latest elephant into the room. At this point, the advertising industry is packed with more pachyderms than Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey meeting Joseph Merrick at a Dumbo convention. And minorities are left to clean up after the elephants.

Editor’s letter: New year, same old elephant in the room

By Douglas Quenqua

The visuals for Ad Age’s Agency A-List are a mostly white, mostly male reminder of the industry’s failure to adapt

When the Oscars once again nominated 20 white actors for performance of the year last week, Hollywood went ballistic. Black actors and directors called for a boycott, and social media rallied around #Oscarssowhite. To quell the outrage, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced it was rescinding lifetime voting rights, a move designed to increase diversity by forcing the old, white guard into retirement.

Yesterday, the ad industry dragged its own dirty secret into public once again. When Advertising Age revealed its 2016 Agency A-List, readers were greeted with a too-familiar site: a Top 10 picture of mostly white faces, belonging almost entirely to men.

Now we have to ask the question again: How long will we present this as the face of the industry elite?

There was very little outrage to greet yesterday’s imagery. Perhaps because Ad Age’s process isn’t solely discretionary — agencies must submit to be considered, and decisions are based in part on empirical data. Though there were certainly missed opportunities elsewhere in the package to feature non-white talent, it’s not Ad Age’s fault if the CEOs of the best-performing agencies are, to borrow a line from “30 Rock,” less diverse than a Wilco concert.

But as familiar as the image has become, it never gets any less embarrassing. The agency world is awash in chief diversity officers, diversity committees, diversity recruitment efforts, female leadership programs and perfectly well-meaning panel discussions. And the product in recent years has certainly become more diverse. Ads featuring people of color, LGBTQ people, empowered women (and girls), and non-traditional couples are not only common, they clean up awards shows and help clients sell more stuff.

But how many times must we see this same photo before somebody gets the picture? Advertising is a business built on connecting with the public. Yet every selfie we produce seems to send the same maddening message: Non-whites and females need not apply, particularly if you’re aiming for the top.

“The agencies on the A List are all greatly deserving of the honor,” said Nancy Hill, president and chief executive of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, via email. “The unfortunate reality for the industry is that the accompanying photos for the editorial show the complete lack of diversity that has become the norm in management levels of agencies.”

“While there has been some progress,” she added, “this photo array shows just how far we still have to go.”

Everyone who covers the ad industry has grappled with this problem. How do you compile a diverse awards jury or panel discussion when the industry’s exalted few are so very male and white? How do you encourage diverse points of view when the most celebrated players all look the same? Tokenism is never the answer, but neither is accepting the status quo, because that’s what got us here in the first place.

Yesterday’s picture is just the end result of a deeply ingrained dysfunction. Just as the Academy won’t solve anything by retiring older voters, adland won’t achieve diversity by taking better photos. But there is so much talent out there that doesn’t quite look like everyone else we keep celebrating. Both industries need to get better at getting them in front of the camera.

13032: I Have A Pipedream.

Campaign took a break from diverting diversity, switching gears to delegating diversity by publishing a Pollyannaish perspective from Omnicom SVP Chief Diversity Officer Tiffany R. Warren.

The essay opened with a question posed during a 2008 Advertising Week panel, where someone wondered if Barack Obama’s presidential victory would hurt diversity efforts via the assumption that the United States had reached some type of post-racial Nirvana. Warren stated inclusive initiatives were not adversely affected by Obama’s arrival into the White House, adding, “In fact, more positions dedicated to diversity were created (13 alone within Omnicom Group) and more resources were allocated immediately after Obama took up office.” Okay, but assigning “more positions dedicated to diversity” does not equal more diversity; rather, it means more pimps and smokescreens. Warren also failed to acknowledge that exclusivity has increased as minority representation has decreased. Of course, it’s difficult to positively confirm because White holding companies like Omnicom refuse to share EEO-1 data with the public.

Additionally, Warren declared, “As Obama takes his last lap as President of the United States, the hope and change we longed to see manifest in society is shining through in our industry.” This is semi-true in the work, as White advertising agencies are using diverse casting in patronizing ways. But it’s not true in the workplace. And isn’t that where Chief Diversity Officers should be making a difference?

“Today, I am not alone in making sure that balanced representation of diverse individuals in advertising, PR, Hollywood and tech industries continues to make significant strides,” proclaimed Warren. “It’s a common fight and, like MLK did, we all understand that change denied anywhere diminishes change everywhere.” Um, please provide evidence of the “significant strides” happening in advertising, PR, Hollywood and tech industries. Also, please stop referencing MLK. He would probably not approve of the alleged progress being made in the listed fields.

Hope and change: Did we win?

By Tiffany R. Warren

As Obama finishes out his last days in the White House, Omnicom’s chief diversity officer considers progress made

At an Advertising Week panel discussion in 2008 sponsored by The New York Times, Thomson Reuters and Time Inc., someone asked, “If Obama wins, do we lose?” Considering my role as Chief Diversity Officer of Omnicom Group, I took “we” to mean those of us who lead the diversity efforts in advertising — the champions, officers and directors.

Would Barack Obama’s victory create a false impression that America is post-racial? Would companies cut diversity programs altogether? This of course did not happen. In fact, more positions dedicated to diversity were created (13 alone within Omnicom Group) and more resources were allocated immediately after Obama took up office.

Now in 2016, America is divided more than ever. But, you wouldn’t know that from looking at the commercials, print ads and other marketing materials produced by our industry daily. From Apple, GAP, Honey Maid to Campbell’s Soup, Wells Fargo and the Ad Council, marketers seemed to have (knowingly or not) grasped the true meaning of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s credo: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.” Admittedly, there have been missteps, but our industry has come a long way from the days of using homophobia as a punch line or a homogeneous cast of characters to sell a product. We just will not accept that.

As Obama takes his last lap as President of the United States, the hope and change we longed to see manifest in society is shining through in our industry. But as MLK said in his now famous speech, “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.” A formidable reminder that we must continue to create advertising that will inspire the current and future generations of our nation.

I remember as a little girl watching “The Carol Burnett Show” and “General Hospital” with my grandmother in her kitchen after school. The commercials would come on and I was hooked but not for the reasons you might think. I was searching for anyone in those commercials who looked liked me.

I was often disappointed but always celebrated when I saw someone of color in a commercial, no matter how big or small the role. The feeling of elation was palpable and I am sure these moments were a pre-cursor to the work I do today. I truly believe these moments spent with my grandmother put a dream in my heart. I was given a dream to change the ratio of representation not only in front of the cameras but for those who are behind them as well.

Today, I am not alone in making sure that balanced representation of diverse individuals in advertising, PR, Hollywood and tech industries continues to make significant strides. It’s a common fight and, like MLK did, we all understand that change denied anywhere diminishes change everywhere.

If you are not a Chief Diversity Officer, you are an internal diversity champion. If you are not an internal champion, you are a mentor to a young professional or female creative. If you are not a mentor, you are speaking up for someone who can’t do it themselves. Be something to someone. To quote MLK one last time: “Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. … Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

According to a recently published article by Digiday entitled “2016 Year in Preview: Holding Companies Make Diversity Their Business,” 41.5% of overall management positions are occupied by women and 24.3% of the U.S. workforce is multicultural at the four big holding companies. Progress. Although several organizations closed shop once marriage equality was achieved, the numbers above would not shutter organizations like ADCOLOR, Catalyst, 3% Conference or GLAAD who are dedicated to keeping creative industries honest and sharing best practices.

I was once given a dream that one day I will live in a nation where I would not be judged by the color of my skin but by the constitution of my character. I still believe that may happen. But, until then, I will work tirelessly to make sure that little girl in her grandmother’s kitchen will never be disappointed again.

Tiffany R. Warren is senior vice president and chief diversity officer for Omnicom Group and founder of ADCOLOR.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

13031: IABullshit.

Advertising Age reported on the latest diversity smokescreen from the IAB, another educational training program targeting minorities and women in college. When it comes to diversity, those who can, do; those who can’t teach—or they offer minority internships and scholarships.

IAB Looks to Recruit Minorities, Women and Vets Into Digital Advertising With College Partnership

Program to Train, Certify and Help Place Participants

By George Slefo

The Interactive Advertising Bureau Education Foundation and its iDiverse initiative said Monday that they are creating an entry-level training, certification and job placement pilot program for college students. Classes are expected to begin this spring.

The effort, announced Tuesday at the IAB Leadership Summit in Palm Desert, Calif., reflects statements the IAB made last year, when the group called on its members to hire 10,000 people with underrepresented backgrounds, including minorities, women, disabled individuals and military veterans, by the year 2020.

Students who complete the course and gain certification will meet with recruiters for one-on-one interviews to be matched with potential employees among the IAB. If hired, students will work in advertising operations, data analysis, sales support and marketing, the IAB said.

“Training is the first vital step in generating a more diverse workforce across the digital media and marketing arena—but we’re making sure that the iDiverse initiative goes much further,” Michael Theodore, senior VP-learning and development, IAB, and general manager, IAB Education Foundation, said in a statement. “By bringing entry-level education together with benchmark testing and hands-on job placement, we’re expecting that this pilot program will lead to expanded efforts and a real move towards increasing racial, gender, economic, and cultural diversity in our industry’s workforce.”

The program’s four-month curriculum will be created in partnership with the San Mateo County Community College District, and Oasis Learning, a competency-based curriculum provider and technology platform, according to the IAB, which said it will also reach out to members to inform the effort.

Students can take the courses in person at San Mateo County Community College or online through Patten University. In addition, Oasis Learning will work with the IAB Education Foundation to license the curriculum to colleges around the country.

Once students finish their courses, they’ll be asked to complete the IAB entry-level digital advertising certification exam. The test covers a broad range of topics that include media mathematics, compliance standards, policies and basics regarding the digital advertising ecosystem such as executing and research a campaign, generating tags and troubleshooting discrepancies.

Students will be recruited through non-profit organizations such as The Mission Continues, Women in Technology, Marcus Graham Project and the Association of University Centers on Disabilities.

Lauren Wiener, president of buyer platforms at video ad network Tremor Video and the the newly appointed chair at the IAB, recently told Ad Age a more diverse workplace is beneficial for companies as it allows them to get better insight into the audiences they are trying to reach.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

13030: Why Droga5, Y?

Adweek spotlighted a new campaign for the Y by Droga5—and it’s offensive on so many levels. Here’s why. The campaign depicts underserved communities in unflattering ways. But what do you expect from Droga5, a diversity-adverse, culturally clueless White advertising agency? One spot features a voiceover saying, “I’m here, can you see me? Because sometimes it feels like I’m invisible, that this whole place is invisible.” Wow, that’s probably how a Black person might feel if they landed at Droga5. “A large part of the creative concept behind these spots is to recognize that mainstream media often does not focus on the positive aspects of communities similar to those shown in the ads,” explained Droga5 Executive Creative Director Kevin Brady. “We did hours of interviews during the shoot to get a sense of how people felt about where they live, what they wished was better, and what they thought the solutions could be. It was important for us to maintain a high level of authenticity when portraying the communities in the spots.” Um, Droga5 doesn’t recognize or focus on non-White communities—especially when seeking job candidates. But hey, they immersed themselves for hours, gaining enlightenment and feeling qualified to portray the ‘hood with authenticity, ultimately producing a patronizing pile of poop.

Monday, January 25, 2016

13029: Campaign’s Cultural Cluelessness.

Campaign columnist Claire Beale can add at least two more C-words to her title: culturally clueless. Beale’s latest perspective demonstrated extraordinary ignorance and insensitivity in roughly four paragraphs.

Two paragraphs touched on the dearth of diversity in adland, with Beale stupidly declaring, “Yet the IPA’s diversity study found that many agencies simply don’t monitor the ethnic background of their staff, so benchmarking how diverse we are right now is a challenge.” Um, is this woman completely lacking intelligence regarding the industry she covers? No one is expressing uncertainty about the exclusivity in UK advertising agencies. Forget the need for monitoring and benchmarking. Simply stroll the hallways of any shop for instant and indisputable data. Beale also displayed her idiocy when relating a scenario where the diversity of Campaign’s staff was questioned. “Fair enough, perhaps, but we’d never categorised our team like that, never thought of ourselves as anything other than great individuals,” explained Beale. “[A]nd the idea of trying to label everyone in order to make a point was discomforting.” Does Beale realize she underscored—with an exclamation point—why adland is a clannish country club for White men and White women?

The other two paragraphs examined the “wildly different” topic of creativity and awards, which Beale stated is “never far from the top of our agenda”—as opposed to diversity, which is rarely on anyone’s agenda at all. It’s amazing that Beale didn’t connect her essay subjects, recognizing trophies as symptomatic of the diversity dilemma. The columnist did acknowledge, “Awards also create a benchmark of excellence, inspire new creative ideas, attract, motivate and retain talent…” In short, the standards of the ruling White majority are applied to deciding who and what deserves accolades; additionally, the exclusive honors are used to “attract, motivate and retain talent” from a pool of like-minded clones. Creativity and awards are fuel for perpetuating the global problem. Of course, the creativity and awards enthusiasts would contend they’d never categorised their clique like that, never thought of themselves as anything other than great individuals.

We can do more to secure the industry’s future health. But it will be difficult to accomplish anything while the White majority continues to be afflicted by cultural cluelessness.

We can do more to secure the future health of adland

By Claire Beale

Two subjects dominate this week — wildly different but both important to secure the industry’s future health.

The first is the issue of ethnic diversity in agencies: tough to measure, difficult to address quickly. The industry finally seems to accept that we need to better reflect the rich diversity of our culture through a more diverse breadth of agency talent. Yet the IPA’s diversity study found that many agencies simply don’t monitor the ethnic background of their staff, so benchmarking how diverse we are right now is a challenge.

I can sympathise. Last year, Campaign ran a story about the Metropolitan Police issuing an ad brief. To illustrate the story, we used a picture from a famous Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO campaign showing a group of non-white guys. When the story went out on social media, stripped of context, the accompanying picture appeared to conflate crime with skin colour and promoted a pressure group to question if we were biased. The group demanded to know what the ethnic make-up of Campaign’s staff was. Fair enough, perhaps, but we’d never categorised our team like that, never thought of ourselves as anything other than great individuals, and the idea of trying to label everyone in order to make a point was discomforting. Nevertheless, had we been a bunch of white males, this is the sort of wake-up call that would have been long overdue — which is exactly why it’s crucial we keep asking the questions and tracking progress, however hard. So, again, thanks to the IPA for spotlighting such a desperately important issue.

The other subject that’s preoccupied us this week is creativity, though that’s never far from the top of our agenda. DDB’s global creative chief, Amir Kassaei, wrote about why his agency won’t be chasing every creative award going any more. The fact that the article has been the most-read story on Campaign sites around the world over the past few days reflects the growing concern over the proliferation of creative awards.

There’s no value in a big haul of low-calibre awards, particularly if you’re winning for the sort of scam work that undermines us all. Yet the right creative awards matter more than ever and, as a standard-bearer for creativity, they are another key to our future success. Studies consistently show that work that is brilliantly creative enough to win robust awards is also more effective; agencies that can demonstrate they have hit this sweet spot are likely to be better business partners for their clients. Awards also create a benchmark of excellence, inspire new creative ideas, attract, motivate and retain talent, and help clients understand what great creativity actually looks like. But, in awards, as with most things, quality beats quantity every time.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

13028: Oscars Seek Diversity.

From The New York Times…

Academy Board Endorses Changes to Increase Diversity in Oscar Nominees and Itself

By Michael Cieply

LOS ANGELES — Confronting a fierce protest over a second straight year of all-white Oscar acting nominations, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences said on Friday that it would make radical changes to its voting requirements, recruiting process and governing structure, with an aim toward increasing the diversity of its membership.

The changes were approved at an unusual special meeting of the group’s 51-member governing board Thursday night. The session ended with a unanimous vote to endorse the new processes, but action on possible changes to Oscar balloting was deferred for later consideration. The board said its goal was to double the number of female and minority members by 2020.

“The academy is going to lead and not wait for the industry to catch up,” the academy’s president, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, said in a statement. Ms. Isaacs referred to an often-repeated complaint that the academy, in its lack of diversity, reflects the demographics of a film industry that for years has been primarily white and male.

The most striking of the changes is a requirement that the voting status of both new and current members be reviewed every 10 years.

Voting status may be revoked for those who have not been active in the film business in a decade. But members who have had three 10-year terms will have lifetime voting rights, as will those who have won or been nominated for an Academy Award.

The academy’s membership is made up of roughly 6,200 movie professionals around the world, and it was not immediately clear how many would be purged from the voting rolls by the new rule.

The changes, and possible balloting adjustments, will not affect this year’s awards, which will be presented on Feb. 28.

In the short term, the new rules and processes may tamp down some of the criticism that resulted when no film focusing primarily on minority characters was among this year’s eight best picture nominees, and all 20 acting nominees were white.

Ava DuVernay, who was not nominated last year for her direction of the best picture nominee “Selma,” declined to comment on the changes, but tweeted the academy’s letter, and added, “One good step in a long, complicated journey for people of color + women artists.”

But the moves by the academy, which aims to replace older members with a younger, more diverse group, are certain to be met with some criticism, and perhaps resistance. Academy voting rights rank among Hollywood’s more coveted marks of status, not least because of the screening invitations and flattering attention that come with them.

“I’m squarely in what I would call the mentorship phase of my life,” said Sam Weisman, a member of the academy’s directors’ branch since 1998. While working steadily in television, he has not had a feature directing credit since “Dickie Roberts: Former Child Star” in 2003.

“I judge the Nicholl fellowships and the Student Academy Awards, but am I not qualified to vote?” asked Mr. Weisman, referring to academy mentorship programs in which he has been involved.

The academy will also expand its governing board by adding three new seats. Those are to be filled by the group’s president with an eye toward increasing the number of women and minorities on the board. Currently, about a third of the board members are women and Ms. Isaacs is its only African-American.

In a parallel move, the academy will add new members from diverse backgrounds to its various committees.

Stephanie Allain, a producer of “Beyond the Lights” (2014) and “Hustle & Flow” (2005) and a member of the academy, said she was elated, especially with the addition of three members to Board of Governors who, she assumed, would be women or people of color.

“The world is watching, basically, so what are we going to do?” said Ms. Allain, who is black. “Are we going to do the right thing? And I think that we have.”

Many in the industry say that especially in the studio world, opportunities have been slower to come to female filmmakers, an imbalance that the academy’s proposed expansion is unlikely to fix.

“The academy is the endgame,” Ms. Allain said. “But the beginning of the game is the industry responding to the curated talent that comes through programs like Film Independent, the folks that go through the Sundance Film Festival and the LA Film Festival. They just need jobs. That’s how we’re really going to solve the problem — not by more programs or committees, but by jobs.”

Without providing details, the academy’s statement also said it would “supplement the traditional process” by which members are recruited — an invitation process meant to focus on achievement — with “an ambitious, global campaign to identify and recruit qualified new members who represent greater diversity.”

One person briefed on the changes, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of confidentiality strictures, said the supplemental recruiting would be a year-round process, and would be heavily influenced by staff and officers rather than traditional membership committees. While Will Smith, who was overlooked as a nominee for his role in “Concussion,” has said he will not attend this year’s ceremony, Charlotte Rampling, who was nominated for best actress for “45 Years,” condemned much of the protest on Friday as being “racist against whites.”

“One can never really know, but perhaps the black actors did not deserve to make the final list,” Ms. Rampling said in an interview with the French radio network Europe 1 that was done before the academy made its announcement.

Still far from certain is whether the voting changes, and further possible tweaks to the Oscar ballot — for instance a return to the 10-film field of best picture nominees used in 2010 and 2011 — will restore the more diverse set of nominations that prevailed in the decade leading to the choice of “12 Years a Slave” as best picture in 2014.

In those 10 years, 24 of the 200 acting nominees were black, approximately matching the proportion of blacks in the North American movie audience and population, according to statistics compiled by the Motion Picture Association of America.

Black actors who won Oscars during that period included Octavia Spencer for “The Help,” Mo’Nique for “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire,” Jennifer Hudson for “Dreamgirls” and Jamie Foxx for “Ray.” When Mr. Foxx won, in 2005, he was also nominated for best supporting actor for his role in “Collateral.”

In 2014, Lupita Nyong’o was named best supporting actress for her role in “12 Years a Slave,” John Ridley won an Oscar for writing its adapted screenplay, and Steve McQueen, who is also black, was nominated as the film’s director, but lost to Alfonso Cuarón, who is Mexican. Last year’s best director, Alejandro González Iñárritu, is also Mexican.

Last year, however, along with Ms. DuVernay being left out, David Oyelowo was not nominated for his critically acclaimed role as Martin Luther King Jr. in “Selma.”

This year’s shutout of minority actors caused particular outrage among those who had believed Mr. Smith might be nominated, or perhaps Michael B. Jordan for his role in “Creed” or Idris Elba as a supporting actor for “Beasts of No Nation.” The director of “Creed,” Ryan Coogler, who is black, was also overlooked.

“Straight Outta Compton” faced a tougher climb in the acting categories, because its young cast was an ensemble, with no obvious leads. But the film has been nominated for a Screen Actors Guild ensemble award, and for a best film award from the Producers Guild of America.

“I think it’s completely ridiculous to bring in ethnicity to the evaluation of creative performances and filmmaking and acting,” said Kieth Merrilll, 75, who won an Oscar in 1974 for his documentary “The Great American Cowboy” and was nominated in 1998 for best documentary short. He also noted that he had an adopted black daughter and four black grandchildren. “We’re supposed to be evaluating talent in categories, and one of the categories is ‘What is their ethnicity?’ To make it one of the categories is ridiculous.”

The speed and breadth of the board’s Thursday night action surprised even some academy insiders, who at midweek were predicting no action until a regularly scheduled board meeting on Tuesday, and who were strongly playing down any steps to trim the voting rights of older members.

How the academy deals with the intricacies of “activity” in the film business may raise complex questions, said Mr. Weisman, the director. If, like Mr. Weisman, a director has had development deals that did not result in a film, will he be ruled inactive? Will writers who have generated scripts that were not bought, or made, likewise lose privileges? Might a cagey executive put a dormant publicist on low-cost retainer during Oscar season, protecting and perhaps influencing that member’s vote?

In its statement on Friday, the academy said those members who are moved to emeritus status because they have not met the new activity criteria would not pay dues, but would continue to enjoy the privileges of membership other than voting.

Cara Buckley contributed reporting from Park City, Utah; Rachel Donadio from Paris; and Lorne Manly and Melena Ryzik from New York.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

13027: Not Earning Her Pay.

Advertising Age diverted diversity by publishing a pile of poop titled, “It’s Time for Wage Equality in Advertising,” by Venables Bell & Partners Founder and Executive Strategy Director Lucy Farey-Jones. The author declared, “Teams comprised of more diverse backgrounds come up with more original thinking. Surely this is a no-brainer for our industry, given that we are in the business of ideas.” Of course, Farey-Jones made the point to fight for gender equality versus, say, racial and ethnic diversity. MultiCultClassics has already knocked her agency for its predominately White staff—which appears to be quite friendly to Caucasian females. Hopefully, Farey-Jones is using her authority as a founder to ensure the women employees receive fair and equal pay. She clearly isn’t doing shit to create an inclusive workplace for non-White people. Hey, it could easily be argued that Farey-Jones has failed to earn her unequal paycheck in that area of leadership accountability.

It’s Time for Wage Equality in Advertising

Why Gender Equality Is Good for the Advertising Industry

By Lucy Farey-Jones

This year, VB&P resolved to embark on a wage-equality audit. And with this column I’m calling on other agencies to do the same. Here’s why.

In October, I spoke at a conference. Nothing unusual about that, or so I thought. Months later the event stayed with me. My mind was well and truly blown by the agenda that Kat Gordon put together for 2015’s 3% conference.

I came away believing it should be named the 100% conference; the issues raised by the speakers and panelists are clearly issues that affect the whole workplace. Top of the agenda was the unequivocal truth that gender equality is good for business.

According to the leading voice in this area,, on average the return on equity for companies with the highest percentages of women board directors outperformed those with the least by 53%. In terms of sales, companies with the highest percentages of women board directors, on average, outperformed those with the least by 42%.

Teams comprised of more diverse backgrounds come up with more original thinking. Surely this is a no-brainer for our industry, given that we are in the business of ideas. Yet, just 11% of industry creative directors are female. And female founders such as myself are sadly few and far between. The onus has to be on the leaders of our industry, male and female, client and agency side, to model opportunities for women and other minorities. You can’t be what you can’t see.

It was 15 years ago that three other partners and I started VB&P. We have always lived by the mantra “do right by people” and have strived to give equal opportunities to all. In that time, I have noticed a marked change in my clients. It is more and more likely these days that I now face a female CEO or CMO across the table as the balance is subtly shifting.

But as we enter 2016 there is an adjacent issue that needs raising in our industry. And that is that across America, women’s median earnings are 83% of those of male full-time wage and salary workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest report.

JFK signed the equal pay act in 1963, yet 53 years later, we still have a massive gulf between the earnings of men and women. This is vividly demonstrated by Equal Pay Day, which shows how many days women will have to work after year end to catch up with the earnings of men. To match what men would have earned in 2015, women would have to work through April 12, 2016.

In fact, the World Economic Forum recently forecast that if the gender wage gap continues to narrow at this glacial pace, we will not see wage equality until 2133. I have two daughters ages 9 and 6 and, at the current rate of change, wage equality does not hit till my great-great-great-great granddaughter’s paycheck.

People who know me well know that I am not known for my patience.

Credit for this idea should go to Beth Rilee-Kelley, the COO of The Martin Agency, and my fellow panelists at the 3% conference. Understanding that you can’t be what you can’t see, she inspired the conference with her story of how she had instituted a wage-equity audit.

With this column, I am calling for all agencies who care about equality to do the same and change this industry. Tweet me if you would like to know how (Twitter handle below).

We are the change-makers, after all.

Lucy Farey-Jones is founder and executive strategy director at Venables Bell & Partners.

Friday, January 22, 2016

13026: IPA UK BAME BS.

The IPA presented its survey results on racial and ethnic diversity in adland, and the low numbers are not surprising. The survey designated non-Whites as BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic), but didn’t break the figures down further to reveal specific percentages for Blacks, Asians and other ethnic minorities employed by U.K. advertising agencies. As previously noted, the U.K. appears to mirror the U.S. in regards to diversity, including implementing a lot of the same clichéd solutions like minority internships and hand-wringing committees. However, Chief Diversity Officers seem to be unique to America. The IPA also announced an ambitious goal: non-Whites should account for 15% of leadership positions within four years. Hey, Draftfcb couldn’t even deliver on the vow to eliminate the term “diversity and inclusion” from its corporate lexicon within two years. Too bad the IPA has zero authority to mandate anything.

IPA reveals ethnic diversity of adland’s biggest agencies

New BAME figures released today (21st January) by the IPA reveal the ethnic diversity representation within the UK’s biggest agencies*. The IPA has also set an ambitious target for member agencies: by 2020, 15% of people in leadership positions should be from a non-white background. This is in addition to the IPA’s existing commitment to help the industry recruit 25% of new joiners from BAME backgrounds by 2020.

Survey highlights on ethnic diversity representation:

• Employees from a BAME background account for 13.1% of agency staff.

• At 14.5%, media agencies have a slightly higher percentage of BAME employees than creative agencies, at 12.3%.

• 8.0% of those at the top end of the seniority scale (Chair, CEO, MD) are from a non-white background. This is higher in creative agencies at 10.8% than in media agencies at 2.9%. In FTSE 100 companies, 3.5% of senior executives are from a BAME background (source:

• The percentage of employees from a non-white background is highest at the junior level. Overall 14.9% of those in an executive/assistant position are from a non-white background, 13.4% of which are in creative agencies and 18.3% are in media agencies.

This second set of figures have been gathered as part of President Tom Knox’s ‘Here for Good’ agenda to reassert and secure for the future advertising’s role as a culturally, social and economically enriching force for good.

View the full set of diversity figures, along with the gender figures here.

In commenting on the figures Tom Knox says: “13.1% BAME representation isn’t going to be good enough in the future and the fact that only 8% of the most senior people in our biggest agencies come from a non-white background concerns me. If we are to realise our goals, we need to do much more to promote the proven business case of diversity in leadership teams which will require us to come together as an industry and re-think our strategies.”

The IPA will support its member agencies in meeting these targets by continuing to promote and develop a wealth of programmes including AdMission, Creative Pioneers and The Great British Diversity Experiment. This Monday (25 January) the IPA is hosting a 44 Club diversity debate ‘Playing the BAME game’.

The first part of the survey, on gender representation in the industry’s biggest agencies, was revealed last week (14 January).

This survey is in addition to the IPA’s annual Agency Census which will be published on the 28th January.

*The IPA’s biggest agencies either have a gross income above £20million or more than 200 employees.

13025: How White Women Succeed.

Campaign diverted diversity by publishing “How to succeed as a woman in advertising”—featuring Grey London ECD Vicki Maguire and Hanson Search Founder and CEO Alice Weightman. The interview included references to diversity, but mostly in regards to the success of White women in adland. You go, girls!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

13024: Ogilvy Extends Exclusivity.

Adweek reported on the White male succession at Ogilvy, where former Global CEO Miles Young is handing the title to John Seifert. From a diversity perspective, the move is stereotypical of White advertising agencies. Plus, Seifert has consistently admitted his shop sucks at addressing exclusivity—and his promotion perfectly perpetuates the problem. Bravo!

Ogilvy Has Named a New Global CEO

John Seifert succeeds Miles Young after months of speculation

By Noreen O’Leary

The speculation about a successor to Miles Young is over: John Seifert is the new Ogilvy & Mather worldwide CEO, effective immediately. Young will continue as worldwide chairman until Sept. 1, when Seifert also assumes that role.

The 57-year-old Seifert will retain his duties as chairman and CEO of Ogilvy North America, but the agency expects to name a replacement for him in that job.

Last June, when word leaked about the Young’s decision to leave advertising for a top administrative post at his alma mater, Oxford University, the news came as a surprise. Since then, Ogilvy parent company WPP has worked with Young, to consider both external and internal replacement candidates.

A leadership shift back to NYC

When the Englishman was tapped to replace Shelly Lazarus as Ogilvy’s global CEO in 2008, the move was seen as a break from the more traditional power corridors at Ogilvy New York headquarters.

Young’s career was forged outside America, first in London, then in Europe and later in Asia, where he built those agency operations into the largest and most successful in the region while also working on WPP initiatives. His choice as CEO was perceived as a sign that a larger global view, emerging-market dynamism and new forward-thinking about technology and business growth would inoculate O&M’s larger global culture.

Now with a return to a New York-based American Ogilvy executive—Seifert joined the agency as a summer intern and has spent all 37 years of his career at the agency—the move is a reinforcement of the high importance of the agency’s American operations and headquarter execs like Seifert who have honed close relationships with multinational clients like American Express and BP.

Ensuring a continuity in Ogilvy leadership was a deciding factor in the CEO, according to Young. “The reason we chose John was he epitomizes the classic Ogilvy values.The critical thing about this brand is the culture behind it. (I’ve told Seifert:) ‘Don’t skimp on that.’”

Seifert, who has been part of Ogilvy’s worldwide executive committee since 2009, says he’ll be sticking with that group’s “very robust agenda”. More specifically: “Nothing is more important than the work. In this new digital age we need to build client business plans as they relate to the modern business environment. … I wouldn’t trade O&M’s assets for those at any other company. The trick is to manage with agility so we can stay focused on the future and be prepared for what’s coming.”

Expanded roles for Heath, O’Donnell, Tham

One thing Young has said he’s learned over the past seven years is that running the $2.7 billion Ogilvy multidisciplinary network is too big a job for one person. As part of the new management changes at the O&M, the network is expanding the responsibilities of Ogilvy’s two regional directors: Paul Heath, chairman, CEO of O&M Asia Pacific, and Paul O’Donnell, who holds the same title in Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) have been named worldwide executive directors.

Heath’s focus will be on global business development and O’Donnell, agency transformation, which includes looking at new operating structures, ways of working and new specialist opportunities. Heath has been based in Hong Kong, but will be spending more time in the U.S., with a possible move there, and O’Donnell will remain in London.

After he joins Oxford in September, Young will continue to work with key agency and WPP clients in a non executive role. But as he prepares for that transition, the agency also sought to underscore the importance of his longtime ally, worldwide chief creative officer Tham Khai Meng, who will now become co-chairman of Ogilvy’s worldwide board.

The two worked together for eight years in Asia, with Tham relocating to New York with Young and assuming global creative duties. During Tham’s time in that role, O&M’s global creative profile has boomed. In 2015 the network was named Network of the Year for the fourth consecutive year at the Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity.

While Seifert doesn’t have the same hands-on managerial international experience as his predecessor, he was responsible for a portfolio of 25 global clients totaling nearly $1 billion in revenue before taking on the leadership of O&M North America in 2009. He has been responsible for clients and held general management positions in Los Angeles, Chicago, Bangkok, and Singapore.

Seifert went back to New York in October 1992 and spent the next four years traveling for American Express about 70 percent of the time. He led the reengineering of American Express internationally when it became centralized in New York and London and launched BP globally in 2000.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

13023: Mickey D’s Diverted Diversity…?

This Mickey D’s commercial from Leo Burnett in South Africa for the Big Flavour Trio is triple awful: Terrible. Trite. Trash. Oddly enough, the responsible creative team appears to be comprised of White women. Looks like an example of diverted diversity taken to a bizarrely obscene level.

13022: Amusement Park’s Big Deal.

Check it out. Jimmy Smith and Amusement Park co-produced the song and created this music video for Damian Lillard.

13021: Directing Diverted Diversity.

Is even Vimeo jumping on the White women bandwagon?

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

13020: Diverted Diversity Extended.

Campaign diverted diversity by publishing a story titled, “Women of Tomorrow awards extends deadline for entries.” This notice warrants column space? Extra! Extra! The Women of Tomorrow awards offer a few additional tomorrows to patronizing procrastinators. Hey, it’s never too late to jump on the White women bandwagon.

Monday, January 18, 2016

13019: MLK Day Diversion.

As the nation celebrates MLK Day, it’s worth wondering how Martin Luther King, Jr. might react to the way advertising agencies have diverted diversity by jumping on the White women bandwagon. That is, the alleged gender gap—focused on the woes of White women—has hijacked the conversation around the lack of minority representation on Madison Avenue and beyond. The 3% Conference receives more hype than ADCOLOR® Awards these days—and both serve as smokescreens to avoid an honest and thorough examination of the invisibility of non-White people in our field. Yes, there was evidence of sexism in the Civil Rights Movement. At the same time, it’s generally agreed that White women have benefited the most from things like affirmative action. It doesn’t help that White women and White men marching for White gender equality model their platforms after those traditionally used by minorities seeking justice.

On MLK Day, “I Have A Dream” takes a backseat to “Lean In” in the advertising industry.

13018: Annual Google Gag.

Google salutes MLK Day, yet the company still isn’t living the dream in its offices.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

13017: Toyota Totaled.

Wow, maybe the Total Toyota trash ain’t too terrible after all. This RAV4 Hybrid campaign from Toyota’s Black advertising agency is a comedic car wreck. It’s impossible to identify a single funny moment among Teachers Lounge, Dodgeball, High Price, Maintenance, Why Wouldn’t Ya, Cost Savings, Styling and Mileage.

13016: Concrete Cultural Cluelessness.

Harvard Business Review published the cartoon above in the monthly “Strategic Humor” section, which challenges readers to “test your management wit in the HBR Caption Contest. If we choose your caption as the winner, you will be featured in an upcoming magazine issue and win a free Harvard Business Review Press book.” Maybe the HBR editorial board needs a free book covering cultural cluelessness and insensitivity. Fuggedaboudit. Somebody call the Sons of Italy pronto.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

13015: Surveying And Devolving Diversity.

Readers Speak: The Ad Age 2016 Survey asked, “In your own words, what’s the No. 1 issue the marketing and advertising industry needs to deal with in 2016?” The 410 responses to this question included, “Diversity, transparency, authenticity,” and “Diversity and developing talent that reflects a forward vision.” It’s unclear if the responses were simply 2 out of 410 or representative of a greater percentage. Probably closer to the former versus the latter, especially when the “Readers” views are compared to the “Leaders” views. Other responses such as “Ad blocking” and “Creating better, less intrusive ads” likely reflect the industry’s concerns more accurately. After all, diversity remains a segregated and delegated issue—and often not an issue at all for the average adperson. Additionally, diversity in the Ad Age poll might actually mean diverted diversity—that is, the promotion of White women—as opposed to racial and ethnic equality. There’s no need to conduct a survey to realize diversity is devolving daily. Deal with it.

Friday, January 15, 2016

13014: Mad Men Mention.

Adweek reported Jon Hamm won a Golden Globe for best actor for his portrayal of Don Draper on AMC series Mad Men. The Black actors in the show were shut out from contention by being grossly underrepresented in the final season. As always, Mad Men perfectly reflected the modern advertising industry. Somebody give Hamm an ADCOLOR® Award too.

Jon Hamm’s Mad Men Performance Earns One Last Golden Globe, His First Since Season 1

Mr. Robot, Mozart in the Jungle also honored

By Jason Lynch

Mad Men might be done, but there are still a few more awards for the show—and star Jon Hamm—to add to its tally.

Tonight, Hamm won a Golden Globe for best actor in a drama, continuing the awards streak for his long run as Don Draper after taking home his first Emmy in September after being nominated seven previous times.

It was the second Globe that Hamm has won for the role, but it was the first time his win was televised. When Hamm took home his first Globe in 2008 for the show’s first season, there was no awards telecast because of the Writers Guild strike, which in essence shut down Hollywood for 100 days.

Finally getting to take the stage in front of a worldwide audience, Hamm thanked Mad Men creator Matt Weiner, “who wrote this horrible person all the way through to the end of the ride, and for picking me to play him.”

And, referencing the show’s already-iconic finale, Hamm jokingly added: “And thanks for not taking my suggestion and ending the entire series on Chumbawamba. You picked the right song.”

All told, Mad Men won five Golden Globes over its seven seasons—three awards for best drama and two for Hamm as best actor in a drama.

Speaking with reporters backstage, Hamm said he is still figuring out his post-Mad Men career plans.

Other Golden Globe Winners

Aside from Hamm’s win, the television-related picks were all over the map, which is typical for the eclectic and somewhat mysterious voting body.

The best musical/comedy award again went to Amazon, but for Mozart in the Jungle, not Transparent, which won last year. Mozart’s Gael Garcia Bernal won for best actor in a comedy or musical, beating Transparent’s Jeffrey Tambor.

USA Network’s Mr. Robot took home best drama, with Christian Slater winning for best supporting actor in a TV drama. Star Rami Malek, however, lost his chance at a best actor nod thanks to Hamm’s victory.

Rachel Bloom won best actress for her musical-comedy series Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, likely guaranteeing a second season for the critically acclaimed yet low-rated (just a 0.3 rating in the adults 18-49 demo) series, which CW president Mark Pedowitz pledged his support for earlier today.

And in a classic Golden Globes oddity, Lady Gaga won a best actress award for her role as the Countess on American Horror Story: Hotel.

Thursday, January 14, 2016

13013: IPA UK BS.

UK advertiser organization the IPA (Institute of Practitioners in Advertising) declared advertising agencies should strive to meet “ambitious” diversity targets in the years ahead. Specifically, IPA President Tom Knox announced that women—presumably White women—ought to account for 40 percent of senior-level positions by 2020. Additionally, the top agencies must aim for 15 percent of senior-level positions to be held by non-Whites. Clearly, Knox is not familiar with Leo Burnett’s prediction that fair racial and ethnic representation won’t happen until at least 2079. It’s also important to note that the IPA probably has as much influence in such matters as the 4As or ANA in the U.S. Via Campaign, the IPA shared gender figures from a survey today, and plans to release the racial and ethnic numbers on January 21. Sorry, but the percentages for White women show there isn’t a huge problem—certainly nothing to warrant the constant whining of idiots like Kat Gordon of The 3% Conference. Yet even the IPA diverted diversity by jumping on the White women bandwagon. Perhaps the organization’s acronym actually stands for Idiotic Patronizing Assholes.

13012: Publicis Groupe Invades Korea.

MediaPost reported Publicis Groupe is considering buying a controlling stake in South Korea-based agency holding company Cheil Worldwide. From a global perspective, Publicis Groupe Chairman-CEO Maurice Lévy is boosting diversity; that is, his Sapient deal reportedly picked up 13,000 employees from India, and the Cheil move could net lots of Korean staffers. However, Cheil leadership does not look very inclusive, even from a gender perspective, as illustrated by the graphic above from the company website. Regardless, expect Lévy to receive an ADCOLOR® Award soon.

Publicis Groupe Said To Consider Buying A Controlling Stake In Cheil Worldwide

By Steve McClellan

Publicis Groupe is considering a bid for a controlling stake in Cheil Worldwide, according to a report by Bloomberg earlier today.

The reported cited unidentified “people with knowledge of the matter.”

According to the report, Publicis is weighing the possible purchase of a 30% stake in the firm, which would give it control and make it the largest single shareholder in the South Korea-based agency holding company.

Cheil was initially founded as the in-house agency of telecom and electronics giant Samsung, which still owns about 25% of the firm. According to Bloomberg, Cheil now has a market value of $1.9 billion.

Publicis wants to structure a deal, said to be in its early stages, that would keep Cheil as the lead Samsung agency. Bloomberg cited a company financial filing that reported Samsung spent $2.3 billion globally on ads in the first nine months of 2015.

Having Samsung as a client would help Publicis off-set some recent big client losses including large pieces of business from Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola and L’Oreal.

In recent years Cheil has increased its presence in North America where it currently owns three agencies including McKinney, Iris and Barbarian Group. Last summer Cheil Worldwide promoted McKinney CEO Brad Brinegar to the new position of CEO of Cheil North America, giving him oversight of the group’s NA holdings. Brinegar retained his role at McKinney.

In December, Peter Kim replaced Sophie Kelly as the CEO at Barbarian Group. Kim had been Chief Digital Officer at the agency.

Reps at Publicis Groupe, Cheil and Samsung could not be immediately reached for comment.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

13011: C’MON WHITE MAN! Episode 45.

(MultiCultClassics credits ESPN’s C’MON MAN! for sparking this semi-regular blog series.)

A MultiCultClassics visitor pointed to pathetic pap published by POSSIBLE Chief Talent Officer Martha Hiefield, who diverted diversity in progressive fashion. That is, Hiefield presented a perspective at The Huffington Post titled, “Just Dance: Embracing Diversity, Inclusion & Creative Conflict.” And amazingly, she typed over 700 words on the topic without making a single reference to race or ethnicity. This is not the first time POSSIBLE has been recognized for its penchant for exclusivity. But it does call for Hiefield ironically joining an exclusive group of women to be honored by this special series.


13010: Top Priorities Trump Diversity.

Advertising Age published “The Industry Speaks: 2016’s Top Priorities” with lead-in copy that read, “What’s the No. 1 issue that the overall marketing and advertising industry needs to deal with in 2016? Advertising Age surveyed executives from throughout the business, and heard a surprising range of answers.” Of course, the honchos failed to mention diversity—or even divert diversity by jumping on the White women bandwagon. Plus, plenty of nonsense trumped diversity, including content, data and digital. Yes, the advertising industry has its priorities straight.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

13009: Woman Upchuck.

Campaign reported on how R/GA London diverted diversity by launching Woman Up, an internal programme “to help inspire women at the agency and in the marketing, advertising, digital and technology industries.” While the awful promotional video features hip hop music and a few colored girls, it’s a safe bet the initiative is targeting White women. Jai Tedeschi, a member of the Woman Up leadership team, confirmed this by declaring, “We’re strong believers that you need to ‘see it to be it’, so our vision for Woman Up is to showcase the best females in our business…” Hey, you can’t “see it to be it” when minorities remain invisible in the field.

13008: Firing At Droga5 Hiring.

Advertising Age reported on a SAG-AFTRA campaign calling out Droga5 for producing non-union work at non-union wages. Hey, why would anyone think Droga5 might respect the union when the White advertising agency shows zero regard for diversity too? The hiring practices at Droga5 are corrupt to the core.