Wednesday, August 31, 2016

13326: Saatchi & Saatchi & Diversity.

Advertising Age reported Saatchi & Saatchi New York replaced the White men serving as CEO and Chief Creative Officer with non-Whites—and the CEO replacement is a woman. Gee, was this a final move for diverted diversity and true diversity by soon-to-be-former Saatchi & Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts? Or will Cindy Gallop tweet to take credit for the decision? The timing sure works with the General Mills account review featuring diversity requirements for women and people of color.

Brent Smart, Jay Benjamin Leave Saatchi New York; Andrea Diquez Is New CEO

Javier Campopiano Replaces Benjamin as Chief Creative Officer

By Laurel Wentz

Saatchi & Saatchi New York’s CEO Brent Smart and Chief Creative Officer Jay Benjamin are leaving the agency this week, and will be replaced starting Sept. 1 by President Andrea Diquez and Javier Campopiano, currently Miami-based chief creative officer of Latin America and Saatchi’s U.S. Hispanic shop Conill.

The news is being announced at a staff meeting today at 3 p.m. in Saatchi’s New York office.

Mr. Smart took the CEO role less than three years ago, in November 2013, replacing Durk Barnhill, who only held the job for a year. Mr. Smart has been close to the General Mills business—he was worldwide managing director on General Mills before becoming New York CEO—and that creative account, one of Saatchi’s biggest, is currently in review in the U.S. Mr. Benjamin joined Saatchi three years ago from a similar role in the New York office of Publicis Groupe sibling Leo Burnett.

“Jay and I started this journey of reinventing Saatchi New York together as partners, and we’ve decided to finish as partners, as we both leave the agency to pursue other opportunities,” Mr. Smart said in a statement.

Ms. Diquez, who became president of Saatchi New York in October 2015, is a 20-year Saatchi veteran with a background in regional and global account management. A native of Venezuela, she began her career at Saatchi’s U.S. Hispanic shop Conill. She moved to Mexico City in 2011 to become CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Mexico, returning to New York in 2013 as exec VP-global director to run the Olay business from Procter & Gamble, Saatchi’s biggest global client.

In her new CEO post, she will continue her leadership role on P&G. Her promotion comes almost a month after Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts resigned in the wake of controversial comments about gender diversity.

Mr. Campopiano rejoined Saatchi from FCB in 2014 to lead creative in Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market. During his four years at FCB, Mr. Campopiano was regional executive creative director for Latin America and then chief creative officer of FCB New York. Earlier in his career, he was a creative director at Ogilvy & Mather and J. Walter Thompson in his native Buenos Aires before joining Saatchi in 2007 as creative director in Argentina and regional creative director leading Latin American work for P&G. He is relocating to New York from Miami this week.

13325: General Bullshit From General Mills.

Advertising Age reported the General Mills account review for its U.S. creative and content work isn’t closed after all. Plus, the competition includes diversity requirements, whereby contenders must have creative departments employing at least 50% females and 20% people of color. If the review is truly open, the competing agencies should be required to publicly share the specific inclusion figures. Ad Age identified one competitor as Deutsch, a White advertising agency that deserves to be immediately nixed based on its dearth of diversity and dearth of diversity director. Another contender—Mother—ought to be eliminated just for having produced the infamous Mary J. Blige Burger King bullshit. Oddly enough, incumbent Saatchi & Saatchi won’t participate, despite recently replacing two White male leaders with non-Whites—and one of the replacements is a woman! Finally, Gracie and Raphaëlle should be allowed to make the final selection.

General Mills Opens Up About Its ‘Closed Review’ and Its Five Finalists

Unexpected Shops Are in Contention; Contestants Must Meet Diversity Requirement

By Judann Pollack

General Mills’ U.S. creative review isn’t closed as previously believed—in fact, the marketer is proceeding with some shops not currently on its roster, including Deutsch and Mother.

The other agencies going through to the second round are incumbents 72andsunny, McCann and, rather than Saatchi, a holding company solution from Publicis Groupe.

In another rather unusual twist, General Mills is requiring that participating agencies are staffed with at least 50% women and 20% people of color within the creative department.

In an interview with Ad Age, General Mills Chief Marketing Officer Ann Simonds, who is running the review with Chief Creative Officer Michael Fanuele, described the review as part of a “reengineering, a reassessment of our company and our marketing in particular,” following the company’s adoption of a purpose statement in June 2015 to “serve the world by making food people love.”

The food marketer last year consolidated its media with Mindshare and Ms. Simonds said the current review is intended to insure that “our creative excellence is as robust, modern and relevant” as it can be.

The goal is “one core agency to handle the bulk [of the work] but to supplement with other partners, which might be technology platforms or media partners,” said Mr. Fanuele, or “an anchor agency supplemented with a roster of interesting partners.”

Ms. Simonds said the review was prompted by a desire on General Mills’ part to zero-base its thinking on marketing. “In any relationship, there is an opportunity to rejigger and represent who we are and how we work some of our incumbents moving forward, but going forward with a commitment to reinventing the relationship as we are [doing],” she said. Ms. Simonds said that over time “a laziness can happen” in which companies and agencies can “incrementalize the small decisions” or do the same thing every quarter as opposed to making material differences in marketing. “Over time, things just get bolted in,” she said.

“I do not find joy in change for change’s sake,” noted Ms. Simonds.

When asked whether General Mills was concerned that there may be some complacency on the part of its agencies, Ms. Simonds said, “I would never describe our partners as complacent. But you don’t know what you don’t know and that goes for us and our partners. This is a flashpoint in the history of General Mills to start over again.”

Ms. Simonds and Mr. Fanuele met with the shops in contention for what it called a “creative salon,” a 90-minute meeting which was part chemistry check. The finalists, informed this week, are taking different approaches to the process. When asked why Publicis is offering a holding company solution and McCann is not pitching as IPG, Mr. Fanuele said that could still happen. “The clay is still wet on the proposal,” he said.

“There has been so much talk about agencies being broken and old fashioned, and we as a company remain deep believers in the power of teams with creative thinking to transform a business,” said Mr. Fanuele.

He said that General Mills isn’t necessarily asking for a holding company solution. “This an exercise in finding the right partners, not the right model.”

The next step for shops in the review, conducted by Joanne Davis Consulting, will be workshops over the next five weeks “to get a deeper sense of culture and beliefs for a couple of brands,” said Mr. Fanuele. There will also be a meeting with Mindshare.

He said the company hopes to have a “new partner before we have a new president.”

Ms. Simonds said that while “cost considerations have a role” in the review, they “did not spur it.” The purpose is to make the “right investments and the most important calls,” she said.

As for the diversity requirement, Ms. Simonds said, “we are very excited about that. If you are going to put people you serve first, the most important thing is to live up to it and make it a key criteria.” Mr. Fanuele said the company also made sure to specify that there is diversity not just in the agency but within its creative department. “Agencies are fairly diverse in account and strategic planning, but not with the people who are making the work,” he said.

“It feels like a first” in the industry, Ms. Simonds said. “I think it’s rare and it is important.”

13324: Introducing McBabel.

Adweek and MediaPost also reported on the Mickey D’s and Omnicom McMarriage, which will feature an “Agency of the Future” hand-made for the fast feeder. It’s somewhat ironic that special orders lead to messy customer experiences in McDonald’s restaurants, but the corporation required customized service for its advertising and marketing. Regardless, the PR hype from Omnicom and McDonald’s warrants examination and speculation.

DDB Worldwide President and CEO of North America Wendy Clark gushed the following:

“Exactly 18 weeks ago today, we received a dream brief from one of the most iconic brands in the world … to create ‘the agency of the future.’ The best and the brightest talent across multiple Omnicom agencies came together over the last 4 months to create, operationalize and deliver on that brief. The result is a customized agency built with intelligence at the core, to fuel brilliant creative work, that’s delivered at the speed of the marketplace at an efficient cost. We are thrilled and honored to be selected and excited about immediately creating impact for McDonald’s business.”

McDonald’s USA Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl issued the following gobbledygook:

“Part of building a better McDonald’s means not only making changes to our food and our restaurants, but also how we conduct business, and we’re excited to announce McDonald’s USA has selected Omnicom as our partner to create a new agency which is yet to be named, to build the agency of the future. This new agency will become our partner for all U.S. National Marketing initiatives. In selecting this agency, we will have access to top talent, technology and thinking with digital and data at the core.

They are fast, fluid and flexible and poised to deliver the caliber and volume of storytelling needed to support our business today and into the future. This new model will, over the next few years, create great work at the speed of the marketplace at an efficient cost.

Their creative approach and bold use of channels will elevate our connections with customers in new and innovative ways.”

Okey-doke. This all sounds like a McDonaldland fantasy. Were Ronald McDonald and Mayor McCheese consulted on the grand scheme? The Hamburglar could have offered ideas to enhance speed and cost efficiencies.

Has anyone noticed that “Agency of the Future” is a term typically embraced by professionals who are firmly stuck in the past? From Draftfcb to Enfatico, agencies of the future quickly become history—and never generate sustainable, futuristic innovations. The holding company itself is the root problem. Holding companies are the only enterprises with the resources and scale to fabricate an agency from scratch for a huge client; at the same time, holding companies are comprised of established-yet-outdated firms and executives, so the end product is more of the same. Scooping together distinctive turds ultimately leads to one, big pile of poop. Additionally, integrated marketing—where multiple disciplines and practices work in harmonious collaboration—is still a myth. It becomes a Tower of Babel 2.0, with individuals unable to communicate via a common language—not to mention a common P&L or compensation structure. Hey, here’s a name for the new shop: McBabel.

Wahl babbled about the new agency having “digital and data at the core”—which is a scary thought, as Omnicom does not have strong digital capabilities. Granted, WPP, Publicis Groupe and IPG aren’t much better, but at least they’ve made greater (albeit foolhardy) acquisitions of digital properties over the years.

The big question is, will digital and data be accompanied by diversity? Inventing a new business model without consciously incorporating inclusion is obscene, especially given the history of our industry. Surely the “Agency of the Future”—hatched by the holding company with a Pioneer of Diversity at the helm—will reflect the customers McDonald’s hopes to connect with in newly elevated and innovative ways.

Will McBabel deliver on the dream brief—or will the dream remain deferred, diverted, delegated and denied?

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

13323: Jayanta Jenkins Jumps To Twitter.

Advertising Age reported advertising veteran Jayanta Jenkins is leaving his role of Global Creative Director at Apple/Beats by Dre to assume the position of Global Group Creative Director for Twitter. Great. Black representation in the advertising industry continues to decline. Are there even 140 characters of color left in adland?

Jayanta Jenkins Named to Top Creative Post at Twitter

Making the Move From Beats, Industry Vet Led Celebrated Work for Nike and Gatorade

By Ann-Christine Diaz

Twitter has named ad industry vet Jayanta Jenkins its global group creative director, the company’s highest creative role. Mr. Jenkins most recently served as global creative director of advertising at Apple/Beats by Dre. Throughout his advertising career he has steered celebrated work for Nike, Gatorade and Powerade, among others.

In his new post, Mr. Jenkins will oversee Twitter’s in-house creative team, reporting to VP-Global Brand Strategy Joel Lunenfeld.

Mr. Lunenfeld, CMO Leslie Berland and Mr. Jenkins announced the news on Twitter today, which also happens to be Mr. Jenkins’ birthday.

“It’s an extremely exciting opportunity to go from a successful advertising career into a new type of leadership role,” Mr. Jenkins told Ad Age. “For me, this was exclusively about challenging myself and looking to do something that completely disrupted my approach and what people look at me as having done.” As for what he plans moving forward, at this point, “it’s really undefined,” he said. Appropriately enough to the brand, “I’m a person that lives in the moment,” he added.

He joins Twitter at a point in which its in-house creative practice has become centralized and the brand is making moves to tell its story in a bigger way, via marketing.

About five years ago, the company had formed a brand strategy unit to team up with advertisers and show them creative ways to work with Twitter, according to Mr. Lunenfeld . Under Twitter’s communications team, the brand started to grow out a consumer-focused team on product marketing, as well as one for b-to-b. When Ms. Berland joined as CMO earlier this year, all those teams were centralized into a single group. Since then, the brand has debuted a big new marketing push that aims to educate the public on what Twitter is really about, and on how to use it.

“That was really about step one, which was to take the reasearch that showed very clearly over the years that awareness of our existence is well over 90%, but usage it much smaller,” said Mr. Lunenfeld. “There were misconceptions that Twitter was just another social network, so we really wanted to inform people of what Twitter is about,” he said. “Twitter is where you go to see what’s happening everywhere in the world right now,” Ms. Berland noted in a blog post introducing the first ads.

“There are some really raw tools I’ve played with in other points of my career, but honestly, this place will open up the aperture of what I’ve done,” Mr. Jenkins said.

Mr. Jenkins made the move from agency to client side when he joined Beats in July of last year. He began his career as an art director at the Martin Agency before going on to senior roles at Wieden & Kennedy and TBWA/Chiat/Day.

His oeuvre is defined by culturally charged hits such as Gatorade’s humorous “Sweat It to Get It,” starring Peyton Manning and Cam Newton, and “Win From Within.”

He also worked on Nike’s hilarious sitcom-style “The LeBrons”; the “Chamber of Fear” campaign that gave birth to early viral sensation “Afro Ninja”; “Love Me or Hate Me,” which played on the idea that Kobe Bryant had never earned full acceptance by b-ball fans; and Nike’s Michael Jordan farewell “Goodbye, Mars,” which also paved the way for the new Jordan Brand.

He also helped to lead TBWA/Chiat/Day L.A.’s entertaining content series for Pacific Standard Time, which paired modern-day creative celebrities with more established ones.

While at Beats, he oversaw the brand’s films starring Serena Williams, Draymond Green and Cam Newton.

His appointment sees the arrival of an African-American leader in a chief exec post—a rarity not just in advertising and marketing, but also the tech world. “I feel fortunate to have worked at a lot of great places, from an agency in the south at Martin in Richmond to Wieden and Chiat,” said Mr. Jenkins. “My journey has led me to this moment and I just want to continue on the path of putting out interesting things and things that create inclusion. I want to continue to extend myself and kick ass, to be honest.”

“We’re a platform where inclusion lives,” said Mr. Lunenfeld. “We allow for differences and for everyone to be heard.”

In the coming weeks, Mr. Lunenfeld said Twitter will be debuting plenty of new messaging, both on its own and other platforms. Those will include content around the NFL season as well as messages around the idea of everyday storytelling.

“We’ve just begun to tell our story,” said Mr. Lunenfeld, “We have a lot of work ahead.”

13322: Sorrell’s Sorry Story.

Wanted to elaborate on the Harvard Business Review navel-gazing by WPP Overlord Sir Martin Sorrell, as it serves as a classic case study on corporate cultural cluelessness in the advertising industry.

The title of Sorrell’s self-absorption—WPP’s CEO on Turning a Portfolio of Companies Into a Growth Machine—is extraordinarily accurate and appropriate. That is, WPP is a machine, and machines do not naturally incorporate the emotional components necessary for concepts like diversity. Hell, it could also be argued that Sorrell is closer to being a machine than a man.

The tale opened with Sorrell bowing to bankers over the company’s financial crisis. From the beginning, profit and revenue trumped people and resources. It was all about acquisitions in terms of companies versus communities, real estate versus real people. The glorified accountant devised a solution to create solvency, not serenity.

Give Sorrell credit for his financial success. But recognize that the man built a machine, and the beings within the machine are cogs. For starters, the overall acquisition scheme perpetuated sameness; that is, when you buy one White advertising agency after another, the end result is one White holding company. And when Sorrell discussed talent investment, he was only talking about cog collecting. As such, it made little sense for him to consider the uniqueness of the cogs; rather, it was just necessary to replace and replenish the cogs by acquiring them as efficiently as possible. In short, WPP drew—and continues to draw—from a White supplier program. And if the current cogs keep the machine running, there’s no need to change the system.

Yes, Sorrell announced that he’s also adding White female cogs to the mix, but it’s still a limited and exclusive supply chain. There is no demand to introduce diverse cogs. In fact, the existing machine might reject such an infusion. Ironically, WPP has produced and received praise for notable advertising that is pro-White women.

Compare the faux advocacy to advertising shat out for diversity, and the company’s priorities become clear.

Sorrell has openly acknowledged the dearth of diversity within his machine. Unfortunately, he hasn’t identified a financial or business need to alter the cogs. So, despite the public hand-wringing gestures, there is no imperative to actually act on the matter.

For now, until the bankers—or revenue-providing clients—demand that Sorrell rejigger the cogs, diversity will remain a dream deferred, delegated, diverted and denied. And WPP will fittingly remain an acronym for Wire and Plastic Products.

Addendum: Shortly after this post was written, WPP announced that former JWT Worldwide Chairman and CEO Gustavo Martinez is still working for the enterprise, despite having resigned in response to a court case featuring accusations of sexual harassment, racism and other assorted bad behavior. This disturbing disclosure underscores that WPP is indeed a machine. Even if Martinez is found completely innocent of the charges against him, couldn’t the White holding company have waited for a rendered verdict before seeking to gain revenue by rehiring the defendant? Reinserting a cog accused of harassing women—while jumping on the White women bandwagon—sends contradictory messages. Which is a polite way of saying that Sir Martin Sorrell is a fucking hypocrite.

Monday, August 29, 2016

13321: McAgency Of The Future.

Advertising Age reported Mickey D’s fast-fed its U.S. creative business to Omnicom, and the White holding company has created a “new agency of the future” to exclusively handle the account. The mysteriously wondrous enterprise will be run by Wendy Clark. Looking forward to seeing how the McAgency is staffed, given Clark’s restless commitment to diverted diversity and faux dedication to true diversity, as well as her focus on recruiting and retaining top talent. “Omnicom has built a new agency of the future for us,” gushed McDonald’s U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl. “This agency of the future really has digital and data at the heart, which allows us to be customer obsessed at a whole new level in everything that we do.” Wow, somebody’s drinking the McKool-Aid. Did Omnicom have to erect an “agency of the future” because its current clan of White advertising agencies is stuck in the past? And will the digital and data include diversity? Finally, it could be bad news for Burrell—the Black advertising agency under the Publicis Groupe umbrella—who has serviced Ronald McDonald and his crew for decades. Will Burrell keep the Golden Arches or get a golden shower?

McDonald’s Picks Omnicom as Winner of U.S. Creative Review

Holding Company Will Set Up Dedicated Agency Led by Wendy Clark

By Jessica Wohl

Did somebody say Omnicom?

After a hard-fought four-month review, McDonald’s has chosen Omnicom Group over Publicis Groupe to handle its U.S. creative account. The Omnicom pitch for the country’s largest fast-feeder was led by DDB North America CEO Wendy Clark, who will have oversight over a new, as yet unnamed agency dedicated exclusively to McDonald’s.

“Omnicom has built a new agency of the future for us,” said McDonald’s U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl in an interview with Ad Age. “This agency of the future really has digital and data at the heart, which allows us to be customer obsessed at a whole new level in everything that we do.”

Ms. Wahl said that beginning Jan. 1, 2017, McDonald’s work will be handled solely by the new Omnicom operation, which will be based in Chicago. McDonald’s plans to move its headquarters from suburban Oak Brook, Ill., back to Chicago by early 2018. It was not immediately clear who would lead the team itself. Ms. Clark will have oversight of the agency, McDonald’s said.

The decision, which ends one of the most closely watched reviews in recent years, means that Publicis’ Leo Burnett Co., which has worked with McDonald’s for 35 years, will no longer be on the U.S. roster. However, Publicis will still have some business for the fast-feeder outside the country.

“Publicis as a whole has been a great partner and we continue to value the relationship,” Ms. Wahl said.

The review began in late April and included Omnicom Group, Publicis Groupe and WPP, which dropped out of the process this spring.

When WPP dropped out of the race for the McDonald’s account, some suggested it was because the chain was asking the companies to work at cost. “That was not from us at all,” Ms. Wahl said. “It wasn’t about a cost exercise or not paying anything to the agency. The purpose is to look, again, in this new world where the level of storytelling and creative is so exponential, how do you do that in a way that makes sense and that you can afford to do.”

Still, McDonald’s is “adding a pay-for-performance aspect to it,” Ms. Wahl said, based on metrics that will be a mutually agreed upon mix of more classic marketing metrics and brand health, along with items such as restaurant sales and traffic, or the number of visits. She declined to be more specific.

For McDonald’s, a key factor in its choice was this new agency model, which Ms. Wahl said should enable the brand to be faster and more flexible and allow the agency to handle an increasing number of assignments.

“It’s poised to deliver the caliber and certainly the volume of storytelling that’s needed to support our business today which, frankly, has increased exponentially and we think that trend is going to continue,” Ms. Wahl said. She stressed that digital and data will be at the core of the new agency and should help the massive brand personalize its consumer engagement.

McDonald’s was the 28th largest advertiser in the United States in 2015, spending $1.43 billion, according to the Ad Age Datacenter.

The review only covered the U.S. creative account. Omnicom Media Group’s OMD Worldwide, McDonald’s existing media agency, was not involved in the pitch at all in order to keep the process “extremely equitable,” Ms. Wahl said. Neither was DDB’s Alma, which does some of McDonald’s multicultural work.

McDonald’s is the latest big win for Omnicom. Earlier this month, AT&T consolidated its creative, digital and media accounts with the holding company.

The way Ms. Wahl sees it, the dedicated agency model should help eliminate obstacles that can arise when multiple agencies, even agencies within the same holding company, collaborate and have different targets and budgets. “It’s going to be a whole new era of creativity and new models that will be fantastic for the business and the industry overall,” Ms. Wahl said.

Before making its decision, McDonald’s met multiple times with both Omnicom and Publicis. The process included several “chemistry sessions,” as Ms. Wahl described them, including having each holding company choose a location. For that meeting, Omnicom took over a whole floor and showed how it would set up the new agency, giving McDonald’s a sense of how it would look and feel different.

For now, there are no plans to initiate reviews on other aspects of the U.S. business, such as public relations and multicultural work. Also not changing, at least for now, is the “I’m Lovin’ It” tagline, which was not part of the brief or pitch process. “We’ll see where that develops, but for now ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ remains,” Ms. Wahl said.

The agency overhaul comes as McDonald’s makes changes to its food, decor and other aspects of its business and tries to establish deeper connections with its customers through a mobile app and other updates. CEO Steve Easterbrook stepped into his role in March 2015 to help the Golden Arches out of a prolonged sales slump, particularly in its home market. McDonald’s began posting positive sales at longstanding U.S. locations in the third quarter of 2015 after nearly two years of declines.

13320: CARFAX Is So Ghetto.

PR Newswire reported CARFAX hired Campbell Ewald as its new White Agency of Record. “We were very impressed by Campbell Ewald’s work helping other companies better understand the needs of their customers,” gushed CARFAX President Dick Raines. “We’re excited about working with Campbell Ewald to let consumers know about all the new ways we can help with their used cars.” The first campaign will probably hype CARFAX’s new “Summer Ghetto Days” sales promotion.

Campbell Ewald Appointed Agency Of Record For CARFAX

DETROIT/PRNewswire/ -- Marketing communications agency Campbell Ewald today announced that it has been named agency of record for CARFAX, the vehicle history expert for used car buyers, sellers and the automotive industry, following a competitive review.

Campbell Ewald’s scope of work for CARFAX includes brand and product positioning, creative strategy and direction and the creation of a comprehensive Consumer Experience Journey Map.

The news comes after Campbell Ewald was recently selected as the new creative agency for IHOP.

“With automotive shopping being an overwhelming and intimidating process for some consumers, our work will showcase the ease, reliability and range of services available from CARFAX,” said Kevin Wertz, CEO of Campbell Ewald. “With more than a century of experience working with the auto industry, and our proven expertise in the purchase journey of today’s consumers, we know this partnership will be an exciting one for both Campbell Ewald and CARFAX.”

Campbell Ewald will work with CARFAX to evolve the brand by raising awareness as the company continues to expand its portfolio of product offerings. The agency will continue to leverage the brand’s iconic CAR FOX, which was created in 2009.

“We have been working hard to develop new products that help people buy, sell and own their cars with more confidence,” said Dick Raines, president of CARFAX. “We were very impressed by Campbell Ewald’s work helping other companies better understand the needs of their customers. We’re excited about working with Campbell Ewald to let consumers know about all the new ways we can help with their used cars.”

13319: Diverted Diversity Dummies.

Wanted to offer a few additional thoughts regarding the comedic, compact, culturally clueless conflict between diverted diversity champion Cindy Gallop and soon-to-be-former Saatchi & Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts. It all started when a Business Insider interviewer commented about the numerous industry leaders jumping on the White women bandwagon—especially the Tweet-happy Gallop—which prompted Roberts to spit out the following remark:

“I think she’s got problems that are of her own making. I think she’s making up a lot of the stuff to create a profile, and to take applause, and to get on a soap[box].”

The two short sentences ignited an online stir, with Gallop fans rallying to position her as a female provocateur, diversity advocate and cyberbully victim. Gallop initially insisted she wouldn’t dignify Roberts’ opinions with a response. But as it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind, she quickly countered by declaring Publicis Groupe should have fired Roberts and replaced him with her—at the chairman’s $4,137,786 salary, of course. Publicis Groupe has not yet responded to Gallop’s goofy offer.

It could be argued that the grandstanding Gallop corroborated Roberts’ remark. That is, she shifted the spotlight from the original diverted diversity discussion to herself. Plus, the Business Insider interview acknowledged that Saatchi & Saatchi “does happen to have a lot of female leaders that act as role models to other women in the business”—so it’s quite probable that Roberts has actually done more to accelerate the White women bandwagon than Gallop. Regardless, lost in the childish squabbling was another remark from Roberts that has gone virtually ignored:

This is a diverse world, we are in a world where we need, like we’ve never needed before, integration, collaboration, connectivity, and creativity … this will be reflected in the way the Groupe is.

Okey-doke. Unfortunately, the Groupe doesn’t come close to reflecting the existing diverse world. The Supervisory Board features at least two characters who earned their roles through nepotism. And the Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, Appointment Committee, Strategy & Risk Committee, Management Board, Management Board+, P12 Executive Committee and Strategic Leadership Team are predominately comprised of White people—male and female, in case Gallop didn’t bother to notice. Hence, swapping Roberts for Gallop would only mildly improve the biracial mix of the Groupe.

Gallop also whined, “… [C]ontrary to his remarks directed at me, nobody anywhere is paying me anything to do the work I do in this area.” Um, Roberts never stated Gallop was being paid to create a profile, take applause and get on a soap[box]. Chief Diversity Officers aside, no one should receive money to do the right thing. It ought to be an expected responsibility attached to any $4,137,786 salary—or whatever exorbitant compensation Gallop enjoyed while she was officially toiling in the business yet doing nothing noteworthy to promote inclusion.

In the end, Roberts and Gallop succeeded in perpetuating diverted diversity and squelching true diversity. For that, they should both be banished from adland.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

13318: L’Oréal Makes McCann Look Ugly.

McCann London created a video for L’Oréal True Match boasting the brand “now matches 98% of UK’s skin tones” with 23 varieties of makeup foundation. A quick peek at the McCann team shows the White advertising agency matches slightly more than 1% of UK’s skin tones. That’s True Match Well Told.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

13317: Back To Fool.

This campaign for Classroom Central doesn’t deserve a passing grade. At least the poor kids were able to render signs with strong design skills and flawless grammar. Can’t say the same for the responsible art director, as well as the copywriter who typed, “Kids that can’t afford school supplies can’t afford not to have school supplies.”

Friday, August 26, 2016

13316: Welcome Back, Gustavo.

Campaign reported former JWT Worldwide Chairman and CEO Gustavo Martinez has been working on projects for WPP and is slated to lead a unit dedicated to serving the Nestlé account. While the specifics are speculations, WPP did acknowledge, “Gustavo Martinez and his family have left the United States and moved back to Barcelona. Pending the result of the court case he is working on projects in Spain and Latin America. Erin Johnson continues to be employed at J. Walter Thompson.” Um, didn’t Martinez resign four months ago? Regarding the Nestlé rumor, perhaps someone misheard something Martinez said, as his accent and lack of command of the English language allegedly lead to confusion and misinterpretation. Maybe he was insisting that he loves chocolate people, just as Donald Trump once declared he’s got a great relationship with the Blacks. Look for WPP to also announce the rehiring of Neil French, as well as the recruitment of Jim Palmer and Kevin Roberts. Oh, and Sir Martin Sorrell is a fucking hypocrite.

13315: Happy Diverted Diversity Day.

Happy Women’s Equality Day—aka Diverted Diversity Day in the advertising industry. And before Cindy Gallop or Kat Gordon take credit for the event, here’s some historical data on the special day.

13314: I Have A Dream Job.

Campaign’s campaign for job seekers has gone from diverted diversity to true diversity. Too bad the chances of a Black person landing a job in the advertising industry are as slim as landing a job at, well, Campaign.

Update: A MultiCultClassics visitor noted the banner features a stock photo, as finding a Black person actually working in the field would have been too difficult to accomplish.

13313: Don’t Think Much Of Gallop.

Advertising Age published a painfully lengthy portrait titled, “Cindy Gallop Doesn’t Care What You Think”—which is fine, as most clear-headed citizens don’t care what Cindy Gallop thinks.

Gallop is among the more prominent White women bandwagon enthusiasts. Don’t mean to be a female provocateur basher, but prominence doesn’t translate to credibility, despite the adoration of her +46,000 Twitter followers.

For example, Gallop gulped, “I really want to push back against the narrative that women opt out. No woman has ever said, ‘No, don’t pay me more money.’ No woman has ever said, ‘No, I don’t want to be the one in charge so I get to decide how I experience all of this.’” Um, yes, they have. In fact, plenty of women have declined a higher pay scale or bigger title for reasons covering everything from work-life balance to simply seeking to reduce exposure to the insanity generated by the industry. Sorry, but Gallop sounds like a Boomer dinosaur when spewing such uninformed proclamations. It’s true that no woman has ever said, “Please discriminate against me, subject me to sexism and inappropriate behavior and/or pay me less money than male counterparts for equal work.” Yet many have opted against advancement. Women today have greater choices and lead multi-faceted lives. Plus, the industry today is not nearly as attractive as the post-Golden Age of Advertising that Gallop experienced.

Ad Age wrote, “The push for 50-50 gender balance for employment, at all levels and within all departments, is [Gallop’s] goal.” Why is it that White women (or biracial women, as in Gallop’s case) can get away with demanding percentage increases, while minorities who make such requests are vilified as racial quota revolutionaries and Affirmative Action activists?

Ad Age also wrote, “Ms. Gallop believes once an agency has as many women as men in all roles, the issue of sexual harassment goes away. ‘You instantly manage out all of those issues. Because there isn’t the bro-y atmosphere that encourages men to only see women in two roles: secretary or girlfriend.’” Wow, what bizarro universe is Gallop living in? First, expecting equal gender numbers to eliminate sexual harassment is tantamount to believing a Black U.S. President erases racism. By golly, we’ll soon be dancing in a post-racial and post-sexual harassment society! Second, accusing men of viewing every female associate as a potential administrative assistant or girlfriend is pretty ignorant. In contrast to minorities, White women in our industry are not relegated to the roles of receptionist, cleaning lady, security, mailroom attendant or Chief Diversity Officer.

Plus, why is Gallop suddenly such a fiery change agent? Her professional legacy to date hardly warrants the label of diversity champion; rather, she’s a diverted diversity champion. Did BBH transform into an inclusive Mecca under Gallop’s watch? With all due disrespect, Sir John Hegarty displays the classic symptoms of White privilege and cultural cluelessness. And BBH is a no-show at the parties for progress. It would help Gallop’s cause if a few good adwomen acknowledged her as their inspirational mentor, crediting her with their ascension in adland. Are there any minorities in the field who directly benefited from Gallop’s original or born-again benevolence?

Is Gallop to diversity what Donald Trump is to democracy? On the one hand, rabble-rousers are always welcome to condemn the exclusivity festering on Madison Avenue and beyond. At the same time, is Gallop really the figure everyone wants to lead the charge? And to put it all into perspective, Trump boasts +11.1 million Twitter followers.

In the end, Gallop—like Trump—has not earned this blog’s vote. Which is fine, since Gallop doesn’t care.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

13312: Census Senseless Selection.

Advertising Age reported Y&R was picked to be the lead White advertising agency for the 2020 Census. No word yet on which minority shops might be tapped to receive Census crumbs—despite the original RFP stating that the winning agency must have access to “expertise and experience in communicating with and marketing to historically undercounted populations. These populations include such groups as African Americans/Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders.” Of course, the Census didn’t bother counting how the various groups are underrepresented in the halls of Y&R, and apparently doesn’t care that the agency is owned by a holding company based in the U.K. Only in America.

Y&R Tapped as Lead Agency for 2020 Census

WPP Shop Will Help Census Utilize ‘Emerging Technologies’ to Market Its Efforts

By Maureen Morrison

WPP’s Y&R has won the 2020 Census account after a review, according to people familiar with the matter.

The U.S. Census Bureau in late January issued a final RFP, with a projected completion sometime in August. Representatives for the Census, according to people familiar with the process, reached out this morning to agencies involved to let them know that Y&R won. As many as five agencies were finalists.

More than likely, a host of other agencies will be involved, handling media and multicultural marketing, among other disciplines. According to one person familiar with the review, agencies presented partner agencies and subcontractors in the review, though it was not immediately known what agencies would be working in tandem with Y&R.

Representatives for Y&R and the Census Bureau did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The bureau, for the next census, is looking to address marketing differently than it did for the 2010 Census, given how dramatically the media landscape has changed since then.

According to the RFP from January: “The communications industry has changed dramatically since the conduct of the 2010 Census, principally due to changes and advances in technology, communications mechanisms, and consumer expectations. The Internet, wireless technologies, and mobile personal devices have opened new communications channels and media that have empowered consumers with increased connectivity to marketers. The Census Bureau fully intends to harness these emerging technologies and channels as part of the 2020 Census Integrated Communications Contract.”

The RFP also said that “the total estimated value for the full lifecycle of this contract” is about $415 million. It wasn’t clear what the fee would be for the lead agency, or other agencies involved.

One of the Census Bureau’s biggest challenges for each census is getting people to respond—especially those in hard-to-count populations. The RFP said that the winning agency will need to have, either from a subcontractor or itself, “expertise and experience in communicating with and marketing to historically undercounted populations. These populations include such groups as African Americans/Blacks, Asians, Hispanics, American Indians and Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders.”

The RFP goes on to say that “racial and ethnic group is not the sole indicator of hard-to-count and non-respondent populations. They also tend to be characterized by renters, high unemployment, low education, low income, difficulty reading or writing in English, the young and mobile, the older population, and household crowding, among other factors.”

For the 2010 Census, more than a dozen agencies were contracted to handle the work. Interpublic’s FCB, then called DraftFCB, was the lead agency on the campaign, though other IPG shops were involved, including Asian-American shop IW Group and Jack Morton, an experiential agency. GlobalHue also played a role, creating work aimed at African-Americans.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

13311: ColorComm Color Commentary.

From Advertising Age…

ColorComm Makes Strides Beyond Connecting Media Execs of Color

Founder Lauren Wesley Wilson to Focus on Multicultural Content Creation Next

By Lindsay Stein

“You see the conference and you’re like, ‘Wow, I didn’t think there were that many people of color working in the industry.’”

That’s Lauren Wesley Wilson, describing the scene in Miami at this year’s ColorComm Conference, which is the outgrowth of a series of networking lunches she started for women of color in communications.

The first lunch, five years ago, had 34 attendees. ColorComm currently has 600 members across six city chapters—New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.—but Ms. Wilson is looking to raise that number to 1,000 by the end of the year and to eventually expand to 10 cities.

The organization’s most recent annual conference, its third, had nearly 400 attendees and speakers and featured industry heavy hitters such as Arianna Huffington, Girls’ Lounge Founder Shelley Zalis and Philip Thomas, chief executive, Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. And while Ms. Wilson wants the conference to continue to grow in popularity, she doesn’t want to up the number of attendees too much out of fear that it’ll become like other conferences that are “not created to meet people, but are created to listen to content.”

Next up on Ms. Wilson’s list: content creation.

During New York’s Advertising Week in September, Ms. Wilson plans to launch, a site dedicated to multicultural campaigns and people working in the industry or those who are champions of diversity.

“We talk about diversity all day long and it’s woven through general trades and there are diversity publications and trade publications, but there’s not one platform that speaks to the multicultural work and industry we’re in,” she said. ColorComm Inc. will own the site, but it will be a standalone business with a team of writers, editors and content creators.

And though a little further off—it’s part of her three-year plan—Ms. Wilson said she hopes to create a community just for multicultural men. When she first brought up the idea, men told her there are not enough of them to fill an organization, but she said she thought the same at the first ColorComm luncheon.

Despite its growth, ColorComm has networking at heart. And that goes for the conference, too.

Ms. Wilson said she was sick of conferences where speakers flee the stage immediately after their sessions and can’t be found after or say they don’t have business cards on them.

“What I love about the conference is that it’s purposely put together to be smaller and have an intimate environment,” said Aixa Velez, director of global internal communications at Cushman & Wakefield and executive director ColorComm’s Chicago chapter. “You have no idea at a dinner that someone next to you can be an executive VP of communications for a Fortune 500 company, because they’re enjoying the conference and participating just like you are.”

At the most recent conference, two of the college students volunteering were approached by agencies and companies and wound up getting internships—one at Edelman in Chicago and the other for the NBC page program.

Lisa Ross, managing director of APCO Worldwide’s Washington office, who joined ColorComm this year, launched an agency task force during her speech at the conference. “I threw away my script and said, ‘We have a problem and we have to address it,’” said Ms. Ross.

The task force will focus on the barriers that prevent women, particularly those of color, from advancing on the account side of communications firms. So far, Ms. Ross said she has met with Barri Rafferty, worldwide president of Ketchum, about the initiative, and she has a series of conversations lined up with other agencies.

Ms. Ross said the conference, which offered a “comfortable, safe place to converse, share concerns, talk best practices and exchange business cards,” was not made up of only female attendees. “I expected to see men there and I wanted to see men there,” she said. “This isn’t an ‘us against them’ proposition. When you’re inclusive, you become diverse.”

“Profound” is the word Mr. Thomas of the Cannes Lions used to describe his experience at the conference. “On a personal level, as a white male in media, it was a life-changing opportunity to experience, to a small degree and for a brief moment, what minorities in the communications industry face every day,” he said. “Our industry is at a critical point and we must face the diversity issue and actively address the extensive and far-reaching challenges it evokes.”

13310: Libby’s Canned Response.

A MultiCultClassics visitor pointed to an interview with Odysseus Arms Co-Founder Libby Brockhoff, which included the following exchange:

1) What trends, developments or issues would you point to so far in 2016 as being most significant, perhaps carrying implications for the rest of the year and beyond?

Brockhoff: The other major thing happening in the agency world is the sudden rise of women in leadership roles. Keep in mind, all white male agency teams makes zero sense when you consider women influence the purchase of 80% of everything bought. At any rate, if the glass ceiling can be shattered for women, more diverse ethnicity is bound to be next. Good times.

Brockhoff’s comment inadvertently confirms true diversity has been pushed to the back of the bus—or White women bandwagon. In short, diverted diversity is in the driver’s seat. Sorry, people of color, you’ll have to wait your turn until Miss Daisy has arrived. Heaven forbid anyone should be upset that the White women now swarming for their place at the table have also been co-conspirators with White men, ultimately and deliberately squelching true diversity. Was Brockhoff’s “Good Times” remark a reference to the iconic TV series?

Oh, and check out the people page of Odysseus Arms’ website. The portraits literally paint the real picture, as it appears that the only person of color is a personal assistant. At Odysseus Arms, true diversity is a myth.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

13309: Covering Failed Diversity.

The July-August 2016 issue of Harvard Business Review featured “Diversity” as its cover headline; plus, the accompanying subhead declared, “Most programs don’t work. Here’s what to do about it.” The publication ultimately—albeit unintentionally—showed exactly why diversity doesn’t work, especially in the advertising industry.

For starters, Editor in Chief Adi Ignatius focused on content about fixing the healthcare system in his monthly editorial, completely ignoring the main cover topic. The broken healthcare system trumps diversity.

The diversity-related articles provided data to state that stereotypical tactics fail to foster change. Of course, the advertising industry has plenty of evidence to corroborate HBR’s findings. For example, forcing the ruling majority to attend diversity training and unconscious bias seminars inspires resentment versus revolution. Performance ratings get bad reviews. Grievance hotlines usually result in pissing off employees. On the flip side, the tactics deemed successful in most industries—including college recruitment, mentoring and diversity committees—have bombed on Madison Avenue. Has its long history of embracing exclusivity made adland inclusivity-proof?

Surprisingly, HBR saluted Coca-Cola as a diversity leader. The publication is seemingly oblivious to the hypocrisy of an allegedly progressive client conspiring with White advertising agencies where diversity remains a dream deferred, delegated and denied for decades. At some point, advertisers like Coke must stop settling for diversity supplier programs and start considering the diversity of suppliers—especially the White shops supplying branded marketing messages.

To top it all off—and relate matters directly to the advertising industry—the HBR issue also presented a self-absorbed piece by WPP Overlord Sir Martin Sorrell. The overpaid odious little jerk revealed how he erected a multi-billion-dollar dinosaur, emphasizing the imperative for cultivating and retaining talent. While Sorrell managed to mention diverted diversity directives to promote White women, he offered no insights regarding true diversity. For WPP—as well as its White holding company peers—true diversity is never part of the business plan.

If Harvard Business Review really wants a classic case study for failed diversity programs, the publication should review the business on Madison Avenue.

Monday, August 22, 2016

13308: White Women Are So Ghetto.

Campaign published diverted diversity dimwittedness from China, which shows the White women bandwagon is traveling around the globe. OMD China Director of Business Intelligence Jeanette Phang spotlighted the “pink ghetto” that allegedly imprisons women in the advertising industry.

Okay, it might be helpful to first review a few standard dictionary entries for “ghetto”:

1. a section of a city, especially a thickly populated slum area, inhabited predominantly by members of an ethnic or other minority group, often as a result of social or economic restrictions, pressures, or hardships.

2. any mode of living, working, etc., that results from stereotyping or biased treatment: job ghettos for women; ghettos for the elderly.

Not sure about the unique cultural conditions in China, but “ghetto” arguably isn’t an appropriate term for the situations in the U.S. and U.K.—especially for White women.

After all, White women in the typical White advertising agency are not exactly segregated into a lesser mode of living or working. In fact, while they may be underrepresented at upper levels, they are quite present and visible throughout any company—even representing the majority, from a pure numbers standpoint. They are literally sharing the same physical space and cubicles as their White male counterparts.

Contrast the oh-so-awful plight of White women to the realities experienced by minorities in the field and it’s no cultural contest. It’s not necessary to have the Reverend Jesse Jackson declare that people of the non-Caucasian persuasion face ghettoization as if they’re on a plantation. Blacks and Latinos are routinely relegated to the stereotypical subservient roles of reception, security, janitorial maintenance, administrative assistant, mailroom or Chief Diversity Officer. Minorities are steered towards “ghettos” such as the Negro Leagues-like multicultural marketing silos, where they are paid crumbs versus coins. Finally, while White women continue to dramatically advance far beyond the never accurate 3%, minority representation is actually declining.

Sorry, but the “pink ghetto” is Disneyland compared to the true ghettos on Madison Avenue and beyond.

Battling the pink ghetto: Perspective from a ‘Woman to Watch’

Jeanette Phang, one of the 2016 Women to Watch, reflects on her evolving view of gender inequality and what to do about it.

Last week I was named one of Campaign APAC’s Women to Watch. It made me reflect on my experience as a working woman: the challenges I face, the impact—if any—I am making, and if and why these lists are still necessary.

A few years ago, I was asked to participate in a female mentorship group. I declined. For many reasons but mostly, I was preoccupied with doing other things: managing a team, championing a data-driven approach in my agency, being actively involved in the management team. I had no time for distractions from the real challenges in my workplace. My nonchalance grew from the roots of my experience. I had the privilege of working in agencies where being female was a non-issue, where my competency determined my successes; not despite of or because of my gender. Glass ceiling? What glass ceiling?

I still feel very much like this, but my blasé feeling has been tempered. Part of my reluctance to belong in women-only networking circles or go to all-female conferences are the boundaries. Why limit myself to female mentors only? Or to only meeting with women in the industry when I could meet with the best and the brightest in advertising? I don’t want to be cordoned into the ‘pink ghetto’ or have any of my career successes be couched in gender terms (see: Marissa Mayer). But, and here is the big ‘but’, my myopia towards gender issues in the workplace made me blind to the sexism that was occurring around me.

Here are things that happen to women regularly in the workplace:

• Having questions directed to your male colleagues by clients despite being project lead.

• Being asked to clean up a meeting room although your peers and subordinates are equally available to do so.

• Being asked to take notes in a meeting despite the presence of more capable/available men.

• Getting cut out of conversations for “boys”.

Reveal: when I said women in the workplace, I meant me. These things were and are easy to dismiss. Small-minded people do small minded things. Competency trumps ignorance. These were things I rallied behind. The thing was—I already proved I deserved a seat at the table…why then was I tasked to clean it?

Moments like these bring to light the systematic sexism that pervades our institutions. Ignoring these incidents distracts us from making our societies and companies weaker. There is substantial proof that diversity makes for better ideas, products, teams and even futures. Silencing women by mansplaining, subtly reducing our positions or removing us from conversations diminishes everyone.

I certainly don’t claim to have the answers, but here’s what I have learned in my past decade of being a female in the workplace.

Don’t subsume your femininity to grow

I am unabashedly female in many aspects. I refuse to tamp down the traditionally viewed feminine skills at work to move up the proverbial career ladder. Part of ensuring organisations become diverse is acknowledging there isn’t only one way to be a leader. We worship at charismatic, extroverted, aggressive, show-no-weakness leadership altars far too often. To change this, we have to be the leaders that we are and not a facsimile of what we believe leaders are meant to be.

Roll with being called bossy

I have zero issues being called bossy. This is not to say I will not collaborate, or that I am difficult. If I exude attributes that are boss-like, well, it is because I am the boss.

Sometimes it’s your gender; sometimes it’s you

It is a delicate balance to know when a challenging situation is due to your gender or due to your behaviour. I remember a colleague who ranted to me about her review with her male manager. She took no responsibility for any of the issues that were brought up, attributing everything to discrimination. Her lack of introspection and inability to acknowledge valid feedback about her performance hampered her growth.

Conversely, it is equally important to look at the larger picture and see if there is endemic discrimination where you work. Figure out what your male counterparts are earning. Track career paths of your peers. Perhaps, you will find out the global executive chairman of your organisation believes diversity is no longer an issue. It then is a matter of whether to move on or to fix the problem from within.

Men: Step up and speak out

There is no need to bring up the trope of evil existing only because good men do nothing (but whoomp, there it is.) Men, I implore you, speak up for your colleagues. The next time you see someone ask your female colleague to do something that diminishes her because of her gender do something. Don’t look away. Don’t ignore it. Volunteer to clean up the room and show it is not a gendered role. Point out that she should not have to take notes merely because she is the only female in the meeting room. Your voice matters because it demonstrates that equality and diversity are issues for everyone. We do not need knights in shining armour to save us, but we need friends, colleagues and managers that are willing to stand up and say sexist behaviour is unacceptable.

Every all male panel, marketing syllabus, and management team is a clear marker that the diversity conversation is not over. For now, we must continue to shine a beacon on how female leadership is transforming our industry. My duty, and yours, is to build a future where accolades like these need not exist.

Jeanette Phang is director of business intelligence at OMD China. She originally posted this column on LinkedIn.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

13307: RushCard To Judgment.

From Adweek…

These Clever Mobile Ads Challenge People’s Perceptions of Black Men and Police

RushCard pushes the boundaries of tech and tolerance

By Marty Swant

With the flip of a phone, a mobile video debuting today challenges viewers on how quickly we judge strangers not just by the color of their skin but by the context of their clothing.

The video begins with a black man in a white tank top standing in front of a black backdrop. He speaks straight into the camera, candidly but earnestly.

“This morning before I hit the door to leave the house, my spouse stopped me and told me to please be careful,” he says. “Lately she’s been extra prayerful that I make it through the day. She know how these streets play, and she say because of the way I’m dress makes me target for public disdain.”

But when watching it on a smartphone, flipping the video from vertical to horizontal at any moment tells a different story. In its place is the same man, wearing a full police uniform speaking the same words. Regardless of what he’s wearing, the monologue continues.

“And my kids stomach this pain too because the TV entertains you with story after story of how men who look like me don’t make it home, may even have to listen through the lens of somebody’s mobile phone, all because my life is prone to strike this tone of fear because somehow I appear to be your enemy, your adversary, or too aggressively dangerous or scary that you find it necessary to take my breath away.”

The video—along with a second featuring a different person in the same clothing reciting a different monologue—is the first in a series sponsored by RushCard, the pre-paid credit card company founded by hip hop mogul Russell Simmons. The series, titled Making Moves, is part of a larger ad campaign rolling out this month. The campaign was created by Narrative, an agency also founded by Simmons. (The videos only work on mobile devices.)

According to Narrative CEO Tricia Clarke-Stone, the video is meant to create a discussion around the issues of racial profiling and violence that has swept the nation over the past two years. Future films will address issues faced by other minority groups, such as those who identify as gay, lesbian or transgender. However, she said RushCard noticed that its core customer base has been concerned with growing tensions in some areas between civilians and police officers.

“If you think about it, you can’t make moves if you’re inhibited by judgment, stereotypes and a lack of openness,” Clarke-Stone said.

Working with Narrative, the company wanted to lean into art and poetry as a means of addressing the subject in a way that was “really riveting and highly charged.” So they worked with Gillian Laub, an acclaimed filmmaker and photographer who’s spent her career documenting issues of race.

Clarke-Stone pointed out that people viewing a video on a smartphone usually start off vertically before turning from portrait to landscape to see a clearer picture.

“We said maybe this could work to show an actual shift in perspective,” she said.

To pull off the tech that allows for a seamless transition, Narrative’s engineers built a framework that leverages video tags and HTML canvas that allow for swapping between two videos based on the device orientation. Because this is usually easier for Android devices than for iPhones, Clarke-Stone said Narrative’s engineering team rendered the video through HTML5 canvas but then allowed for two videos in a queue that would bring up each video right at the point when someone flips the phone. They then had to figure out the weighing of phones, along with working with cellular providers to understand how the video would be served to each phone so that it wouldn’t be too large of a file. The videos, shot on an iPhone, were meant to capture the rawness of the spoken word.

Addressing race is a sensitive topic. So what made RushCard feel it had the authority to discuss it in an ad campaign? Narrative and RushCard wanted to drive conversation rather than to ignore an issue that’s important to its target market.

“My hope is that these videos will be a starting point for a nuanced discussion about issues that affect our community and the entire country,” Simmons said in a statement to Adweek. “I believe in the power of art to create change, and these films use art and technology to actually show that change taking place.”

Saturday, August 20, 2016

13306: Globalhue Black & Blue.

AgencySpy posted on the latest financial woes of Globalhue, revealing that ten employees filed a class-action lawsuit for wages owed by the dying agency. The shop has reportedly failed to pay its workers for many months. Not even a few crumbs. The real estate company that owns the agency’s New York headquarters is also pursuing legal action, along with a personal driver who chauffeured CEO Don Coleman and his daughter, Kelli Coleman. Guess the Colemans will have to catch a cab to the courthouse.

But the most outrageous part of the exposé—besides the fact that only a lame blog like AgencySpy is bothering to cover the news—is the following excerpt:

In addition to the suit, we also hear that GlobalHue will soon close its New York office after losing its last client, Walmart. That company recently consolidated its accounts with Publicis, and multiple sources have told us that the multicultural portion of the business was part of that move.

Great. The client that once boasted boosting its budget for multicultural marketing is apparently consolidating with White advertising agencies in a White holding company. Hell, the minority business will probably be awarded to a shop run by White women.

Friday, August 19, 2016

13305: Advertising To The Fairer Sex.

Are the promoters at Advertising Age visiting MultiCultClassics? After weeks of hyping membership subscriptions with sexist imagery, the publication changed its tune with diverted diversity depictions. Hey, why not attract more White women readers, as they represent the fastest-growing segment in the industry?

13304: Honda Summer Event Is Hot Mess.

This Honda dealership campaign is a pop-culturally-clueless car wreck. The White woman spot features the heroine being serenaded by a Black gospel choir. The Black man spot features the hero with a multicultural group singing a Beyoncé tune. The creative team responsible for this mess should be driven off a cliff.

13303: Clients Are Hypocrites.

Campaign published lengthy diverted diversity droning, as Associate Editor Kate Magee contemplated how advertisers might force advertising agencies to embrace gender equality. It’s interesting to see client clowns like Brad Jakeman jumping onto the White women bandwagon, while simultaneously riding along with White advertising agencies and holding companies where true diversity remains a dream deferred, diverted and denied. In the promotion of White women, everyone makes big promises. Yet true diversity only receives broken promises.

How marketers can press agencies to do better on diversity

By Kate Magee

Now is the right time for marketers to step up and act on the controversial issue of diversity in the workforce and the work — they have the real power to effect change.

Amid the furore over Saatchi & Saatchi head coach Kevin Roberts’ explosive comments on women and their apparently differently shaped ambitions, four tweets were particularly potent.

Linking to an article about the scandal, Brad Jakeman, president of the global beverage group at PepsiCo, wrote: “Proud to say that I am NOT a client of @wwsaatchi & calls 2 friends who R 2 read this.”

Antonio Lucio, HP’s global chief marketing and communication officer, replied to Jakeman: “You and I have never met. I applaud your public stance against K Roberts’ ridiculous statement. Time for a generational shift.”

Airbnb chief marketing officer Jonathan Mildenhall tweeted: “Seriously @krconnect? If I were CMO @ P&G I would be questioning your understanding of my core consumer #doesntgetit.”

And YouTube’s global head of subscriptions, brand and creative marketing Matt Ross wrote: “As clients we need to hit them where it hurts. $$. No @wwsaatchi agencies for me @YouTube.”

When some of the most senior global clients call on the marketing community to rethink its agency relationships, it’s a clear sign that agencies should take the issue of diversity seriously.

So is it time for more clients to use their collective financial power to press agencies on diversity? As Jakeman also tweeted: “If Clients don’t speak out, nothing will change. Or at least, won’t change fast enough.”

Stones and glass houses

Of course, to do so marketers need to ensure they are taking the issue seriously themselves. As Association of National Advertisers chief executive Bob Liodice says: “Diversity is an industry issue. It is not resident to just agencies. It runs the gamut across media, marketers and agencies.”

Indeed, there are several stories of brand-side marketers misbehaving. One of the more repeatable ones reveals that when Grey London executive creative director Vicki Maguire was at a previous agency, her boss changed her name to “Micky” on her script because the client did not want a woman on the account.

As Liodice explains: “The issue that confronts us all is one of measurement. Does anyone really know or understand how diverse our industry is? It’s difficult to fix a problem when we don’t know how extensive the problem is — and in what parts of the industry the issue exists.”

He’s right. Getting relevant, useful figures on the whole picture is difficult, which is why Campaign, with the IPA and its president, Tom Knox, published diversity statistics on the larger UK agencies earlier this year.

For marketers, the picture is less clear. It may be a crude measure but Marketing’s recent Power 100, which lists the most influential UK marketers, revealed a 32 female to 68 male split. So marketers also have some way to go.

Liodice argues that there is a lack of consensus about how to fix the issue: “Frankly, we don’t have a good answer as we don’t seem to understand what the root causes are. If we had universally agreed on the root causes, we could better tackle the issue.”

It’s a good point. But it’s time to start the conversation. At the very least, marketers need to recognise the power they have to effect change, particularly within the agency community.

A business imperative

Altruism is not the primary motivation to change. As one marketing leader says: “It’s not a client’s job to manage their agency’s business — it’s a full-time job running our own.”

But diversity has been proven to be better for business. One senior marketer says: “I run a category where 85% of the purchase decisions are made by women. Particularly given that I’m male — as are many senior clients — I lean deferentially to my agency to provide work that resonates with my target audience. I look to it as one of my principal sources of innovation. But if I look around the meeting table and everyone else is just like me, I wonder how this group of people is going to bring me something that I couldn’t have thought of myself.”

Roisin Donnelly has just left her role as Procter & Gamble’s brand director for northern Europe after 31 years at the company and is a former Saatchi & Saatchi client. She says: “Diversity makes a positive impact on the business and drives creativity. Having women in key leadership and creative roles is key because female consumers are driving the majority of purchase decisions.”

According to Nancy Hill, president and chief executive of the American Association of Advertising Agencies, one positive step marketers can take is “demanding that the teams that work on their business reflect society”.

ISBA director of consultancy and best practice Debbie Morrison explains: “If you’ve got a retail account and your customer base is biased towards women, why would you want an entirely male team? You want people who are really going to understand your brand. It’s a service industry so the general perspective is that if a client says jump, the agency jumps. Maybe clients need to be more demanding of the people they work with.”

Of course, that’s not to say that if you are from one gender or ethnic group, you don’t understand another — but you have an advantage if you are living that reality.

Making expectations clear pushes the issue within agencies and emboldens more junior team members internally to tackle the issue without fear of their own career being hindered.

As one senior marketer says: “My agencies know that a team heavily dominated by men is not going to make me happy. They know that the people working on my account need to be diverse in terms of both race and gender.”

Formalise the issue

Another idea is to put diversity on the agenda in a more formal way and at an earlier stage. ISBA’s working group on procurement practices is exploring how to encourage greater diversity. One of the points of discussion is whether it can be raised at the request-for-information stage. It could also be included as a criterion in performance reviews.

Lucio explains how HP published a code of conduct for its supply chain in 2003 to ensure workers were “treated with integrity”.

“Diversity and inclusion play a key role in HP’s business,” he says. “We believe that diversity and inclusion fuel innovation and excellence.” It is why the company has the most diverse board of directors of any US tech business.

HP has rules for its external law firms that ensure they act on diversity. The company is considering doing the same in other areas, including among its marketing agencies.

“As we reinvent the standard for diversity, the industry needs to demand greater accountability,” Lucio says.

Another approach is to concentrate on the work itself. Unilever’s #Unstereotype initiative focuses on outcomes. It has created a list of questions to help end the use of lazy stereotypes in its advertising, and has asked both its internal marketers and its agencies to use these throughout the creation process. Unsurprisingly, by the time of the initiative’s launch in June, many of its agencies had already agreed to implement the approach, including Bartle Bogle Hegarty, 72andSunny, J Walter Thompson, DDB, MullenLowe and Ogilvy.

Create better working practices

A few years ago, an account handler who had spent the day on a shoot was trying desperately to catch up on the day’s work. They sent an email to their client at a government agency just after midnight and thought nothing of it. The next morning, the agency boss received an email from one of the senior clients, which said it was not right that one of the agency team was working so late.

This is an interesting story because it is still a rare occurrence. It’s far easier to unearth stories of unreasonable deadlines, briefs changing at the last minute or poor timing – a pitch presentation scheduled straight after Christmas holidays, for example.

Marketers should understand the impact of their requests on agencies’ working practices. Particularly when the implementation of effective flexible working is going to become increasingly important as agencies’ leadership positions evolve to enable them to be filled by a broader range of people.

As one industry source says: “If we don’t want to attract this narrow, road-warrior type exclusively, then we have to plan our business better so we’re not working day and night around pitches.”

Clients can do this for agencies simply by planning effectively and using common courtesy, one marketer says: “Don’t have a meeting that starts at 9am on a Monday that requires people to travel to. Don’t ask them for work the day after a national holiday. I wouldn’t ask my team to do that.”

That said, agencies need to play their part as well. “Agencies need to have the balls to say, ‘We have a group of people who benefit from the fact they have balanced lives and experience culture and are not locked in the office. So unfortunately we can’t deliver that,’” another marketer says. A common response to such a stance is for the client to realise they have been thoughtless and to extend the deadline, he adds.

Mildenhall says the idea that the long-hours culture is exclusively down to client demands is questionable: “This is a bullshit excuse that the industry is hiding behind. The hours don’t need to be unacceptably long. In my experience, a lot — granted, not all — of the wasteful hours and late nights are due to the inefficient ways in which (even the best) agencies are run, from a process and trafficking perspective.

“The amount of times I have seen agency presentations postponed because ‘the work just isn’t there’ against rushed briefs from clients is out of balance. Sure, some accounts are volatile and unpredictable but then the agency’s structure and processes should be built to accommodate. Good clients really do understand and anticipate the human cost of briefing in work.”

Diversity may be difficult to measure and difficult to remedy. But it is something that all parts of the industry should work together on fixing. Marketers, in particular, should be aware that they have the power to lead the conversation — and that, in the long run, everyone will benefit.