Friday, September 30, 2016

13377: Friday News On Saturday Morning.

Adweek reported on the latest happenings with Saturday Morning—an advocacy platform/program—launched by Butler, Stern, Shine and Partners Executive Creative Director Keith Cartwright, Twitter Group Creative Director Jayanta Jenkins, Amusement Park Chief Executive Officer Jimmy Smith and Geoff Edwards of Creative Artists Agency. Chobani Managing Director Kwame Taylor-Hayford later joined the founders. The quintet announced during Advertising Week that Airbnb and Procter & Gamble have expressed interest in supporting the efforts. If Saturday Morning wants support 24/7/365, simply embrace diverted diversity and advocate for White women.

Brands Like Airbnb and P&G Express Interest in ‘Saturday Morning’ Social Justice Project

Black creatives aim for conversation, sponsorships

By Patrick Coffee

Four prominent black creative directors launched the Saturday Morning project approximately two months ago as a way to further and formalize the sometimes challenging but important conversations facilitated by Black Lives Matter and related social justice movements.

On Thursday at The New York Times Center, the group, which now numbers five—Butler, Stern, Shine and Partners executive creative director Keith Cartwright; Twitter group creative director Jayanta Jenkins; Amusement Park chief executive officer Jimmy Smith; Geoff Edwards of Creative Artists Agency; and Chobani managing director Kwame Taylor-Hayford—explained the evolution of their passion project to an attentive Advertising Week crowd.

They also named two new potential brand partners in the form of P&G and Airbnb.

Cartwright said that the group’s initial letter, which they sent to press organizations on Aug. 1, has inspired more than 800 emails regarding their stated desire to “build awareness, promote change and shift the overall perception that black lives are in some way not as important as others.” The idea holds that interested parties from within the creative economy and beyond will submit original concepts designed to further progress in this area and that the members of Saturday Morning will determine which ones to promote via their platforms and partnerships.

“We will have ideas every quarter that we will bring to businesses and ask for sponsorships,” Cartwright said in laying out his plans for the group. “Airbnb is very interested, and [‎global marketing and brand building officer] Marc Pritchard of P&G called last week,” he added, stating that Pritchard expressed an interest in signing a petition that would commit P&G to helping Saturday Morning execute projects that may need funding.

“We are not an agency, and we are not competing with agencies,” Cartwright said, “[Because] we all have day jobs.”

Jenkins described Saturday Morning, which launched with the aforementioned letter and a website, as “an advocacy platform/program.” The group agreed that their project would initially operate on an earned media model in order to bring greater attention to the concepts and executions that it chooses to highlight.

“We’re not here to create something that will end up in Cannes,” said Smith, “though that’s not to say that there won’t be any ads.” He floated potential ideas on which Saturday Morning and its partners could collaborate, including legislation that would eliminate the controversial stop-and-frisk approach to law enforcement and a future in which robots perform traffic stops to reduce the likelihood of violent confrontations between police officers and members of the public.

“Many of us have relatives who are police officers … there would be chaos without them,” he added, suggesting that many officers who would like to participate in the ongoing conversation “feel like their voices aren’t being heard.”

Syracuse University has reached out to the group to discuss future collaborative projects. So has MAL for Good, the purpose-driven arm of Lee Clow’s TBWA\Media Arts Lab, or Apple’s dedicated ad agency.

“In summary, we will be releasing these ‘Peace Briefs’ and looking to engage individuals, businesses and universities to create a wealth of content,” said Taylor-Hayford. “Ultimately distribution is key … at some point this will require paid media to engage [with the public] through the brand coalitions we will form.”

The group plans to release its first such quarterly brief in early 2017.

13376: John Seifert’s Unconscious B.S.

Campaign interviewed Ogilvy Worldwide CEO—and ADCOLOR® Change Agent—John Seifert, who declared, “I want to be the most diverse and inclusive group of employees worldwide. More than 50% of our senior managers are going to be women. We’re going to have many more multicultural leaders who represent the world.” Wow, it’s amazing the old man’s statement wasn’t preceded by, “I have a dream…” After all, Seifert has been scratching his head over diversity for at least a decade, and even confessed in 2009 that the industry is “not exactly leading the way” in regards to creating inclusive workplaces. In 2011, he clumsily launched OgilvyCulture—which continues to be an oxymoron. And when he spouted, “We’re going to have many more multicultural leaders who represent the world,” it didn’t sound like U.S. minorities are part of the plan. Hell, his ADCOLOR® trophy might be the only accomplishment he has ever made in the area of diversity. So besides the diverted diversity pledge to promote more White women, Seifert’s grand vision for his White advertising agency sounds like, well, White lies.

Ogilvy & Mather veteran John Seifert takes charge amid refocus on heritage

John Seifert talks to Kate Magee about the future of the Ogilvy name and what it stands for in today’s ad industry.

In a world of portfolio careers, John Seifert is of that increasingly rare species: a loyal employee.

He joined Ogilvy & Mather as a summer intern in 1979. Now, 37 years later, he has taken centre stage as its worldwide chief executive and, as of this month, chairman after his predecessor, Miles Young, left to become warden at New College, Oxford.

Seifert will be the last person in the post who has worked with all previous eight chairmen of the company, including founder David Ogilvy.

So it is no surprise, then, that his vision is not one of radical change for the global network but more about ensuring it lives up to its heritage.

Seifert, though, concedes that building brands has become more challenging and requires a change in the way agencies operate.

“Every single one of our clients is asking for the same thing — make it easier to do business with you, make sure you have the talent and skills for the modern marketing world, and be quick,” he says. “Clients don’t want to pay us less, in truth — but they do want to pay us fairly for what value we create. We just have to be totally accountable for that.”

That will call for some internal changes at the network, one of which will include rationalising the number of O&M subsidiary brands.

“I think we have one brand and that’s Ogilvy. Over time, we have created lots of different entities that have Ogilvy in their name. But in a world that has got so complicated and so fragmented, I’m not sure that all those different entities signal to the market the brand promise of Ogilvy,” Seifert explains.

“We absolutely will focus on simplifying the offering. We’re still working on what the right brand naming is in the modern marketing world but I know it will be different from what it is today.”

The first casualty may have been Ogilvy Labs, the innovation facility that was closed in the summer. While the official argument was that innovative thinking was, and should continue to be, baked into all parts of the business, the demise of the division received some criticism.

Seifert stresses the changes do not mean the group will start taking a generalist view of the world — “we are not going to dumb things down” — but will make it easier for specialist staff to collaborate.

Other areas of focus include digital transformation and diversity — he has put both on the agenda for every management board at the company.

“I want to be the most diverse and inclusive group of employees worldwide,” Seifert asserts. “More than 50% of our senior managers are going to be women. We’re going to have many more multicultural leaders who represent the world.”

When asked what the timeline for these changes is, he replies: “I’ve had 37 years of training to be the CEO. We’re going to move fast.”

He adds: “One of our clients was saying at dinner last night, the consumer is changing faster than this client’s CEO feels that they are. And we feel clients are changing faster than we are. So we have to pick up the pace.”

Seifert has been at the helm of O&M’s North American operations since 2009 and was previously chairman of the company’s “global brand community” — a group of 25 clients worth more than £1bn in annual revenue. He has also led global brand teams for American Express, BP, DuPont and Siemens, among others. But it is these global relationships — and the “barons” who run them — that have been blamed in the past for impeding the growth of local agencies. O&M London, for one, is on its fourth chief executive in six years.

Seifert believes this to be a perceived problem rather than a real issue and that, while there is some “natural” tension between balancing local, regional and global work, this is not insurmountable.

“The London market is probably the most famous advertising market. It is a benchmark for the world. I remember living in Asia 25 years ago and everybody had the work of London on their reel and in their library because it set a standard that everyone admired,” Seifert says. “The role of London has shifted over time. It used to be this amazing domestic market of great creativity in marketing. Now it is a regional and global centre.”

But a great agency brand in London needs to be able to perform at a local, regional and global level, Seifert argues, adding that he has the right team in place to achieve this in London.

Like other countries, being able to perform on a global level is critical. “What I’ve said to everybody is it’s no longer good enough to be great in, say, Colombia or Argentina,” Seifert points out. “Now, you have to deliver a standard that the world admires. A big part of my agenda is to raise everybody up to a common standard of performance.”

Earlier this year, O&M became the Cannes Lions Network of the Year for the fifth consecutive time. The award has been a key measure of creative success for O&M in the past but Seifert hints that there might be less of a focus on this in the future.

“There’s a lot of debate around Cannes right now. It’s really expensive to send all the people that we would like to send there. There are more categories than most people even can name,” he says.

But he maintains that Cannes remains incredibly important as it has become the convening moment for adland: “So we have to be there, and be there in a compelling way. Whether we win Network of the Year again or not, I want to make sure we are doing work and are building brand cases that the whole world is envious of.

“I think creative success is defined by the work. The more work we can do to build our client’s brands, [the more successful we will be] at Cannes.”

Seifert’s overall goal for O&M is to ensure that it attracts the best global clients, has a diverse workforce and creates a strong portfolio of work. He says: “If we do those three things, I’ll be happy to go play golf.”

Thursday, September 29, 2016

13375: Running On Empty Heads.

Adweek reported on She Runs It (the White women’s organization formerly known as Advertising Women of New York), which presented data trying to explain why White women are allegedly underrepresented in leadership roles in the advertising industry. The funniest part of the Adweek piece is the title, “How the Ad Industry Can Help Women Attain Top Leadership Positions.” In most cases, asking adland to foster equality is like assigning The Three Stooges to build a nuclear weapon—it’s a task well beyond their capabilities, and the mere attempt is a dangerous proposition. Yet for White women, reaching C-suite roles on Madison Avenue is not really a challenge. White women have the numbers and the presence to make it happen, probably with minimal support from White men in the field. What makes the She Runs It platform absolutely obscene? White advertising women of New York have been co-conspirators with White advertising men in preventing racial and ethnic minorities from integrating into White advertising agencies for decades. To suddenly position themselves as victims—and put themselves ahead of true minorities—is pretty pathetic. If She Runs It is honestly interested in diversity versus diverted diversity, the organization should compare its data charts against those of racial and ethnic minorities. Hell, the White women would probably feel downright grateful for the exclusive privileges they enjoy.

How the Ad Industry Can Help Women Attain Top Leadership Positions

And why they’re leaving in the first place

By Katie Richards

It’s a well-known fact that there are not nearly enough women in leadership positions in the advertising industry. This year during Advertising Week, She Runs It (the organization formerly known as Advertising Women of New York, or AWNY) released new data around the topic of gender diversity in agencies and why more women aren’t taking on the top leadership roles.

The extensive study, “Accelerating the Path to Leadership for Women in Marketing and Media,” was commissioned in partnership with LinkedIn and Ernst & Young and looked at more than 4,000 companies. Results from the study account for roughly 3.7 million LinkedIn members.

She Runs It looked at men and women across seven disciplines in media and marketing including creative and media agencies, publishers and ad-tech companies. The results uncovered suggest that while 41 percent of “early stage professionals” are in media and marketing gigs, by the time you reach the executive leadership stage only 25 percent of those roles are filled by women.

But the most significant drop off point, according to head of She Runs It, Lynn Branigan, comes at the non-executive level, or the VP level. “Everyone always talks about the fact that we lose women in the messy middle, that we lose them when they are at childbearing age, that they want to have families that cultures and company cultures aren’t at a place where they are family friendly and that’s where we lose them. When you take a look at that chart you see the biggest drop starts at non-executive leadership, that makes you think something else is going on here,” Branigan said. Women are either stalled, she argued, of they are exiting the industry.

Branigan argued one of the ways women could help propel themselves into higher positions begins with networking. According to the research, 70 percent of endorsements on LinkedIn are made by men, with 69 percent of women’s endorsements coming from men and 78 percent of men’s endorsements coming from men.

Added Branigan: “Clearly the importance of building your network, endorsing others and building your social score are all-important things for women to do. We build our career based upon relationships. Women have to recognize our differences and be proactive in changing some behaviors that are more natural for men.”

Plus, at the middle management level, there are a few skills gaps between men and women in HR, finance and strategy that may be preventing women from getting to that next level. If companies begin building out programs in those areas that help provide women with the necessary skills, Branigan argued that could be one way to help women move up in the business.

13374: Rauxa Hearts Diverted Diversity.

Adweek reported that Rauxa—a White woman-owned White advertising agency that recently hired its first Chief Creative Officer, who happened to be a White woman—signed on its first Chief Marketing Officer, who also happened to be a White woman. Based on its “diverse” leadership, this place is definitely going to win an award from ADCOLOR® or The 3% Conference. Anyway, Rauxa CEO Gina Alshuler—another White woman—gushed, “We’re resolute in our commitment to growing our digital offerings, to advancing diversity in our industry, and to tapping data first and foremost to drive our work every day. What we saw in [new CMO Laurel Rossi] is a true industry leader who can adeptly bring these pieces, and more, together for us in order to build our brand and our solutions as we pursue the next wave of growth.” To be clear, the company is committed to digital, diverted diversity and data, probably in that order. “Diversity is a passion point for me,” said Rossi, “and Rauxa is devoted to it. This goes well beyond what everyone is talking about in the marketplace. My bugaboo is a lot of platitudes but not enough action. … I see my job as CMO to make sure that culture is pervasive and that clients know about it, too. … We often have a very narrow definition of diversity.” Well, the narrow definition of diversity used to focus on the need for greater racial and ethnic representation. The Rauxa women have expanded the definition to include themselves, ultimately further marginalizing true minorities. Oh, and Rossi apparently wants to include White people with disabilities ahead of colored people too. Finally, Rossi should avoid using “bugaboo” when discussing diversity, as it sounds like jigaboo; plus, “bugaboo” has connections to bogeyman, which definitely has racial/racist connotations in many cultures.

Rauxa’s First CMO Shares Why She Left a Holding Company for an Indie Agency

Laurel Rossi says she likes the diversity efforts, ‘progressive culture’

By Patrick Coffee

Rauxa, the California-based agency that is the largest such organization in this country currently owned by a woman, hired agency veteran and entrepreneur Laurel Rossi to serve as its chief marketing officer in New York. She is the first person to hold that position at the agency, which currently employs more than 200 across six U.S. offices.

In the new role, Rossi will work to help Rauxa develop its consulting, experiential and social media services while also expanding its Los Angeles production unit, Cats on the Roof, and furthering its commitment to developing an inclusive approach to talent recruitment and retention efforts.

“We’re resolute in our commitment to growing our digital offerings, to advancing diversity in our industry, and to tapping data first and foremost to drive our work every day,” says Rauxa CEO Gina Alshuler in a statement. “What we saw in Laurel is a true industry leader who can adeptly bring these pieces, and more, together for us in order to build our brand and our solutions as we pursue the next wave of growth.”

Before joining Rauxa, Rossi co-founded New York-based boutique agency Strategy Farm, which launched in 2008. Havas acquired the company in early 2011 for an undisclosed sum after several months of negotiations, and Rossi went on to serve as president of the resulting Havas Strat Farm organization as well as healthcare unit Havas Life & Wellness. When asked why she chose to move from a holding company to a far smaller independent agency, Rossi cited Rauxa’s marketing technology work, its “devotion to good creative” and its diverse leadership.

“Diversity is a passion point for me,” she says, “and Rauxa is devoted to it. This goes well beyond what everyone is talking about in the marketplace. My bugaboo is a lot of platitudes but not enough action.” Specifically, Rossi notes Rauxa’s “aggressive, progressive culture” while noting that 75 percent of its C-suite leadership team is female: “I see my job as CMO to make sure that culture is pervasive and that clients know about it, too.”

Rossi tells Adweek that efforts to make the agency more inclusive go beyond race and gender. “We often have a very narrow definition of diversity,” she says, citing her work on a project called Creative Spirit that began in Australia and aims to get companies in creative fields like advertising, film, architecture and music production to hire individuals with physical or intellectual disabilities such as those on the Asperger Syndrome spectrum. Rossi says she has been working on the Australian project for two years, that she plans to bring a similar effort to the states soon, and that Rauxa will ask certain partner organizations to agree to “hire someone of a different ability” as part of the larger initiative.

She says the flexibility of the independent agency model also played into her decision to leave Havas. “Independence gets you a lot of things [like] an uninhibited ability to see what the client needs and deliver it and the ability to make decisions on how to invest in clients’ businesses without a lot of handcuffs,” she says. “This lets us experiment with clients, which is what they’re asking for.”

In July, Rauxa hired Kate Daggett, veteran of agencies like Tenthwave and TBWA\Chiat\Day, as its first-ever chief creative officer. Rossi sees Daggett’s hire as an opportunity to renew the agency’s focus on creative work as it attempts to build a larger, more visible profile within the industry.

“It is a rare opportunity that you find an organization with the entrepreneurial culture of a startup, the innovation of the best tech firms, and the consistent endorsement of its blue-chip clients—all in one package,” says Rossi.

Rauxa’s client roster currently includes Verizon Wireless, marketing software company SteelHouse, healthcare provider WellCare and The Gap, among others.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

13373: Glass Is Ass.

Adweek asked, “Why Did JWT Just Launch a Print Women’s Magazine?” Um, as a smokescreen that might lessen the inevitable settlement amount stemming from the Gustavo Martinez discrimination lawsuit? JWT Innovation Director Lucie Greene dumps a lot of culturally clueless gobbledygook to present the publication, including explaining, “…[T]he title is purposefully non-gendered…” So “Glass” is not a reference to the mythical glass ceiling? Greene is actually demonstrating gender equality in adland, as she delivers diverted diversity bullshit as well as any White man.

Why Did JWT Just Launch a Print Women’s Magazine?

Innovation director Lucie Greene fills us in

By Kristina Monllos

J. Walter Thompson partnered with Getty Images to launch a pop-up magazine at Advertising Week in New York. Using data, insights and trends garnered from the agency’s innovation group, the result, Glass, is meant to be a “more diverse and future-facing” version of a typical women’s glossy magazine.

Inside the pages readers will find essays from the likes of Thinx’s Miki Agrawal, author Rebecca Traister and even JWT’s worldwide CEO Tamara Ingram. Adweek sat down with Lucie Greene, worldwide director of the agency’s innovation group, to find out why an agency would launch a print magazine.

13372: ADCOLOR® Commentary.

Campaign Editor-in-Chief Douglas Quenqua wrote a tribute to ADCOLOR® that ultimately—albeit unintentionally—showed how the organization perfectly symbolizes the sorry state of true diversity in the advertising industry.

To begin, Campaign really must stop referring to ADCOLOR® as “the industry’s premiere diversity conference” or “the ad industry’s premiere diversity event” already. For starters, the trade journal is using the wrong word—it should be premier versus premiere. And to be accurate, ADCOLOR® is not the first or leading diversity conference/event/thingy in our industry, as there are plenty of other equally lame programs out there. Then again, ADCOLOR® might be the premier smokescreen, allowing White men and White women to continue apathetically ignoring and actively denying any honest efforts for positive change.

Quenqua opened by confessing he only attended one day of the four-day extravaganza. In short, the editor mirrored industry members by displaying disinterest and declining dedication to true diversity. To push the perspective further, Quenqua revealed that ADCOLOR® creator Tiffany R. Warren asked for Campaign to provide coverage, as trade journals have historically failed to send reporters to record the festivities. To push the perspective over the edge, Quenqua also noted not seeing “a single chief creative officer from a top-tier agency”—as well as any CEOs (besides John Seifert), CMOs or holding company chiefs—in attendance. Quenqua’s observations confirm his own lack of awareness, as the editor of a major advertising trade journal should know by now that honchos from White advertising agencies and holding companies collectively comprise the biggest obstacle to progress. C-suite (short for Caucasian-suite in adland) executives appearing at an ADCOLOR® affair would be like Grand Wizards (or Campbell Ewald bigwigs) joining a Black Lives Matter rally.

Quenqua called his one-day ADCOLOR® immersion an “empowering, intelligent and inspiring” experience. Too bad empowerment, intelligence and inspiration have not led to meaningful and measurable action in regards to eliminating exclusivity in the advertising industry. Minimal attendance on the matter—literally and figuratively—remains the modus operandi for the ruling majority.

AdColor: Where were you?

By Douglas Quenqua

The industry’s premiere diversity conference just marked its 10th anniversary. The celebration was lonelier than it should have been.

First, a confession: I left this year’s AdColor conference too quickly. Rather than view the 4-day event as a chance to meet new people and connect with a community, I thought of it the way editors too often do, as a source of content. Campaign US’ creative editor, I-Hsien Sherwood, and I swooped in for the single day of panel discussions, wrote our stories and hopped on a plane before the stage went dark.

Despite my shortsightedness, I left with something I hadn’t intended to take: a buoyant sense of optimism about the future of the industry. This is not what you expect to take away from a diversity conference, given the grave and serious tones in which the topic is usually broached. But the AdColor Conference & Awards, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this week, is empowering, intelligent and inspiring in ways that other conferences are not.

Really, you should have been there.

Every day we hear ad executives and, lately, CMOs venting their frustration over the male whiteness of adland. They talk about the struggle to find non-white talent, to evolve their culture and “change the ratio.” And by all means, they should. But those complaints would carry more weight if they actually attended the industry’s premiere diversity event. Perhaps naively, I thought they would.

Early this summer I sat with Tiffany R. Warren, the founder of AdColor and chief diversity officer for Omnicom Group, to ask how Campaign US could get involved. I expected her to brush me off, to say she was up to her ears in ad trades wanting special access. Instead, she told me no advertising trade publication had ever sent a reporter to the event, the way we do with, you know, absolutely every other remotely ad-related event that attracts enough warm bodies to stage a panel discussion.

I can’t speak to the truth of Warren’s claims prior to this year. But I can confirm I didn’t see any of the usual suspects this week in Boca Raton, where the conference was held. In fact, aside from an advertorial package in AdWeek, I still haven’t seen a single mention of the conference—which I may have mentioned is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year—in any of the other ad trades.

Here’s what else I didn’t see: a single chief creative officer from a top-tier agency. And aside from Ogilvy Worldwide Chairman and CEO John Siefert, who was being honored as a “change agent” at the awards show on Wednesday, there was not a single major agency CEO. I saw no CMOs, and I certainly didn’t see any holding-company chiefs.

I have always looked sideways at people who crow about leaving an advertising conference “inspired.” How empty a life must be, I would think, for the soul to rise at a breakout session. But today I’m that guy. Because yesterday I heard Luvvie Ajayi, the blogger behind, eloquently dismantle the false equivalence behind #AllLivesMatter. (“Pride in my culture is revolutionary,” she said, “because the whole world is telling me I’m nothing.”) I heard Chloe C. Sledd, founder of VoiceLots, talk about founding her company to honor her father, who was nearly shot to death in his mother’s home by a group of Chicago cops who had the wrong address (and tried to cover up their mistake by planting drugs in his dresser. Luckily, Sledd’s mother was hiding under the bed). When Facebook’s Kiva Wilson half jokingly proposed making a virtual reality experience that simulates being a black executive who gets followed around a drug store, I grasped the potential of that technology in a way I hadn’t after CES.

The ad industry these days can be a moribund place. We talk about the “death” of everything from the agency model to TV commercials to print. Yet AdColor, an event founded and attended mostly by people who’ve been marginalized and dismissed, is vibrant, aspirational and –I’ll say it again—inspiring. It offers so much of what the industry’s leaders claim to be in search of. Their absence makes you wonder just how hard they’re looking.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

13371: Survey Says… Bullshit!

Advertising Age reported on a 4As survey showing nearly half of all advertising industry professionals think agencies are discriminatory. The rest of all advertising professionals are probably too culturally clueless to realize their own racist tendencies. Why the 4As felt the need to conduct a survey for such common-knowledge results is baffling. Here’s the most amusing factoid revealed by Ad Age:

While about half of respondents said they think agency life is still discriminatory, more than 60% agreed somewhat or totally that advertising agencies were more racist in the past than they are now, according to the survey.

Gee, that’s like declaring the U.S. was more unconsciously biased in the past, when slavery was legal and acceptable—and the Founding Fathers were racists and rapists.

The only necessary survey questions should be:

1. Why is the advertising industry still discriminatory after decades of recognizing the problem and promising to fix it?

2. When will White advertising agencies be forced to produce meaningful and measurable results regarding diversity?

4A’s Survey: Nearly Half of Industry Professionals Say Agencies Are Discriminatory

By Lindsay Stein

Nearly 50% of industry professionals believe agency culture is still discriminatory, if not as overtly as it once was, according to research findings released by the 4A’s at its Talent@2030 Conference during Advertising Week.

As part of its ongoing efforts around gender equality and diversity, the 4A’s conducted a member survey by via in June. Out of the 549 respondents, 74% said ad agencies are mediocre or worse when it comes to hiring diverse professionals. More specifically, 25% said the industry was mediocre, 29% said it’s not great and 20% said it’s terrible.

“The numbers didn’t really shock me, as we know the industry has to do better at hiring and retaining diverse talent,” said 4A’s President-CEO Nancy Hill via email.

While about half of respondents said they think agency life is still discriminatory, more than 60% agreed somewhat or totally that advertising agencies were more racist in the past than they are now, according to the survey.

However, respondents feel that ethnically diverse professionals are not given the same opportunities as white males, with 20% saying the ad industry is terrible about this, 28% saying it’s not great at it, and 25% saying it’s mediocre. The same goes for “differently abled” employees, the survey shows, with 17% of respondents saying the industry is terrible about giving disabled employees the same opportunities as white male staffers. Nearly one in three (29%) said the industry isn’t great when it comes to offering disabled people the same opportunities as white males, and 28% said the industry is mediocre at this.

“I challenge the agency community to participate in an important survey we intend to conduct to understand the make-up of our talent pool so we can begin to measure change in a real and meaningful way,” Ms. Hill said. “We will conduct this survey in the same way we do the salary survey each year.”

The new survey will be used by “agencies to benchmark themselves against industry norms” and to measure the advertising industry against other business sectors, she added. The 4A’s expects to get the survey in the field by the end of the year.

The 4A’s also fielded a second study with research partner SSRS on consumer views about diversity in ads. More than three out of four (81%) of respondents agreed that advertising has become more diverse in the last five years. Additionally, 74% of people surveyed said ads should realistically reflect America’s diversity, and 64% said advertising should ensure that all ethnicities in America are portrayed. That survey included 1,027 participants ages 18 and up.

Ms. Hill said via email that she was “pleasantly surprised” that consumers have noticed a difference when it comes to diversity in advertising.

“I don’t think it’s just about having diverse people in ads, I think it is about how we portray people, period,” she wrote. “Just because men have always had a say hasn’t meant that they are always shown in a flattering light. I think with a diverse and balanced approach, we will get a much more human touch in the work.”

The vast majority (71%) of respondents approve of diversity in marketing as long as it doesn’t seem gimmicky, the study found. Some 61% of consumers between 18 and 34 years old said they would like to see more advertising that includes diversity, adding that this would make a brand more favorable to them. That figure drops a little to 49% when it comes to respondents ages 35 to 54 and those older than 55.

Aside from the upcoming diversity talent survey, the 4A’s has added several new diversity initiative this year, such as proprietary studies, gender and diversity discussions at all 4A’s events, an online content series called See It & Bee It and dedicated diversity-related events.

13370: Advertising Week, Groundhog Day.

Advertising Age reported Advertising Week 2016 is a rerun of Advertising Week 2006, with White advertising agencies creating fresh smokescreens—including diverted diversity—to dodge accountability for decades of inaction regarding true diversity and inclusion.

“There’s a perspective that it’s now OK to speak up and have a voice,” claimed 4As President-CEO Nancy Hill. “And I think the other side is recognizing that there’s a need to allow that voice and celebrate it.” To be clear, Hill is only referencing diverted diversity, with an emphasis on the White women bandwagon. For true minorities such as Blacks and Latinos, it’s not “OK to speak up and have a voice”—unless you’re prepared to be blacklisted, blackballed and blacked out of the business.

In 2006, Omnicom refused to comply with agreements designed to promote diversity in the advertising industry, opting instead to establish a Diversity Development Advisory Committee, hire a Chief Diversity Officer, bankroll ADCOLOR® and devise dumb diversity drives that haven’t done diddly to demonstrably develop diversity. Today, Omnicom refuses to disclose its EEO-1 data.

What a difference a decade makes.

At Advertising Week, Industry Chases Inclusion

By Lindsay Stein

Advertising Week 2016 in New York has no single theme, according to Matt Scheckner, the event’s executive director, but the fact that more than a dozen panels are focused on gender, diversity and inclusion is very much deliberate.

This week’s content, he said, is meant to “mirror what are the most timely and topical” issues in the industry and in the world. And this year, the dialogue around gender and race equality, though far from new in the country and in the ad industry, has been reignited by a number of controversial events, whether it be police-related shootings or lawsuits over alleged discrimination.

This summer, Advertising Week partnered with Future Foundation to conduct a gender diversity study of the industry. The survey, which includes responses from 285 executives across the media, marketing and creative industries in the U.S.—73% of whom are female—revealed that 40% of women claim to have encountered gender discrimination in the workplace. The survey also found more than one out of three women (36%) claim to have experienced sexual harassment at work. Advertising Week and Future Foundation will release the full survey on Sept. 28.

Advertising Week is just one of several groups showcasing research around gender and diversity throughout the week’s festivities. Nonprofit Advertising Women of New York is unveiling a new brand identity, She Runs It, along with a study orchestrated by EY and LinkedIn aimed at helping advance women leadership in marketing and media. The 3% Conference will talk about the results from its Elephant on Madison Avenue study during a panel, and the 4A’s will release findings from its study about how diverse professionals are treated in the workplace and how consumers perceive diversity in ads during its Talent@2030 Conference. The 4A’s will also debut research on how consumers perceive women in ads during a panel featuring Madonna Badger, founder and chief creative officer at Badger & Winters, who launched the #WomenNotObjects initiative in January.

4A’s President-CEO Nancy Hill said gender and diversity are definitely prominent topics for this year’s Advertising Week, which is expected to have more than 100,000 participants, up from 95,000 in 2015. The four-day fest also saw a 64% increase in early registration for Advertising Week delegates and special events this year, compared with 2015.

“There’s a perspective that it’s now OK to speak up and have a voice, and I think the other side is recognizing that there’s a need to allow that voice and celebrate it,” said Ms. Hill, who challenged the industry and agency CEOs to take more action on diversity and gender issues following the discrimination lawsuit against WPP and J. Walter Thompson in March.

Despite the fact that Advertising Week is chock-full of gender and diversity talks, Mr. Scheckner doesn’t think any of the discussions or studies will be redundant or contradictory. “Everybody has a different take and that’s what makes it unique and adds richness to the whole thing,” he said.

Ms. Hill said the content really “runs the gamut,” with sessions ranging from gender and race to LGBT and transgender topics.

Each year, Advertising Week, which is entering its 13th year in New York City and 18th overall edition, has to make sure topics are fresh and relevant, said Mr. Scheckner, which is why this year’s event also has plenty of talks around virtual reality, programmatic advertising and the digitization of the industry.

As usual, you can expect a fair amount of self-promotion by participating agencies, vendors and others amid the panels and the parties. But the meatier sessions are likely to center on gender and diversity, which are beginning to shape the new-business world. Witness the “Free the Bid” initiative launched two weeks ago, which calls for all agencies to include at least one female director every time it triple-bids a production for a client. A couple weeks before that, General Mills told Ad Age that it’s requiring that agencies participating in its review be staffed with at least 50% women and 20% people of color within the creative department.

Monday, September 26, 2016

13369: “…The Idea Of Having More Diversity…”

Adweek spotlighted Clio Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Linda Kaplan Thaler, who rambled about diversity with bullshit including:

I would like to see more and more women in leadership positions. After all, we are seeing more and more that our clients are women. We need to reflect that as well. I love the idea of having more diversity, not just in gender but also obviously in race and every other form. My experience is the more diverse you are, the more creative you are because people come to it from different points of view.

Of course, now that Kaplan Thaler is out of the business, she’s eager to pontificate on embracing “the idea of having more diversity” that she failed to promote during her lifetime of achievement in the field. It’s so much easier to simply jump on the White women bandwagon of diverted diversity. For a clear picture of Kaplan Thaler’s idea of diversity, take a peek at the current leadership of her former White advertising agency.

Clio Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Wants to See More Diversity in the Industry

Linda Kaplan Thaler reflects on ad career

By Katie Richards


Current gig President, Kaplan Thaler Productions

Previous gig Chairman, Publicis Kaplan Thaler

Twitter @lindathaler2

You’re being honored with a Clio Lifetime Achievement Award this year. Do you remember winning your first Clio?

I don’t remember the first Clio I won, but I do remember the year I won four. One, I wrote the music and lyrics for “Kodak America,” then French’s mustard won two. I won for best comedy writing and then we won for a Burger King commercial. I was fairly young at the time and hadn’t been in the ad business very long, so I was really thrilled. It was incredible.

After stepping down as chairman of Publicis Kaplan Thaler early this year, what have you been working on?

I had been doing public speaking for several years off and on, but I decided to leave advertising this past February and be a speaker full time across the country, talking about a variety of topics. I love it because it’s a combination of me being able to give stories and insights and empowerment to people as well as my theatrical desires because I never quite gave up wanting to perform. That’s what I did in my 20s. I got to combine the two things and I love it.

What does your latest book, Grit to Great, tackle?

Robin Koval and I started The Kaplan Thaler Group about 20 years ago, and we are very proud of what we have accomplished. Along the way we decided to write books. Most recently we started looking at our success and realizing that neither of us are geniuses or incredibly talented, and we started researching really uber-successful people. We realized that success had nothing to do with the “it factor,” being brilliant or talented; it had more to do with what we called the “grit factor”—guts, resilience, initiative, tenacity—so we wrote this book Grit to Great.

As a woman who has achieved so much in this business, what do you make of all the conversations about the lack of diversity and sexism within the industry?

I would like to see more and more women in leadership positions. After all, we are seeing more and more that our clients are women. We need to reflect that as well. I love the idea of having more diversity, not just in gender but also obviously in race and every other form. My experience is the more diverse you are, the more creative you are because people come to it from different points of view.

What’s a highlight from your career that you’re most proud of?

One campaign that I am so proud that I have worked on with the team at Publicis Kaplan Thaler is something we did for the Anti-Defamation League called “ADL Imagine.” It was trying to get people to understand for the ADL centennial that they are more than just fighting anti-Semitism. They fight all types of hatred, bigotry and prejudice. They asked us to do a video to celebrate what the ADL had been fighting for. We started to think of all the lives that had been cut short because of a hate crime—Martin Luther King Jr., Anne Frank—we thought that would be a depressing film to show how young they were when they died, but what if we show a video of what they would have done had they lived. What would the newspaper lines read? We went to Yoko Ono and she was so moved by the idea that she gave us John Lennon’s Imagine song for free. It went viral in every country around the world. That’s one of the things I’m most proud of because it celebrates diversity of all kinds.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

13368: Wheels Up. Thumbs Down.

Newport is offering a jet-set getaway—where winners won’t be permitted to smoke on the plane or in the airport. Brilliant.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

13367: (S)ADCOLOR® Awards.

Campaign reported on the oh-so-deserving award winners at the latest ADCOLOR® shindig. Saatchi & Saatchi NY nabbed “Ad of the Year” honors for a video produced in partnership with a Down syndrome advocacy group. Given the culturally clueless controversy involving ex-Saatchi & Saatchi Chairman Kevin Roberts, perhaps the trophy should be engraved with an asterisk. Additionally, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide CEO John Seifert received the Change Agent Award, allegedly bestowed upon talented and powerful individuals who promote inclusiveness and positive change. Um, Change Agent might apply to Seifert if it means tossing chump change at the problem or having a tendency to change the subject whenever asked to explain the dearth of diversity in his own White advertising agency. It was probably a close contest between Seifert and Donald Trump.

Saatchi & Saatchi NY wins AdColor’s Ad of the Year for “How Do You See Me”

By I-Hsien Sherwood

The ad for CoorDown, a disability advocacy group, starred Olivia Wilde as the self-image of a woman with Down syndrome

The anti-discrimination ad “How Do You See Me” by Saatchi & Saatchi New York won the Ad of the Year Award at the 10th Annual AdColor Awards—the industry’s premier event recognizing work that promotes diversity and multiculturalism—at The Boca Raton Resort & Club Wednesday night in Boca Raton, Florida.

“How Do You See Me” features actor Olivia Wilde as the internal self-image of Anna Rose Rubright, a woman with Down syndrome, created for the disability advocacy group CoorDown and timed to coincide with World Down Syndrome Day on March 21. The Ad of the Year honors “a campaign or single execution that pushes boundaries, promotes conversation and highlights the lives of multicultural, LGBT and/or other under-represented Americans in the mass media,” according to AdColor.

The other nominees for the Ad of the Year were “Greenlight A Vet” for Walmart by Saatchi & Saatchi NY, “Inside Out” for Lexus by Walton Isaacson, “This is Wholesome” for Honeymaid by Droga 5 and “Turn Ignorance Around” for CHIRLA Action Fund by Walton Isaacson.

The Rising Star Award, given to an up-and-comer with less than seven years’ experience in the industry, was awarded to Babette Sullivan Puebla, senior copywriter at The Integer Group. The other nominees were Christopher Corales, associate manager for consumer insights at Dr. Pepper Snapple Group and Haywood R. Watkins III, associate creative director at Group SJR.

Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide Chief Executive and CEO John Siefert won the Change Agent Award, given to a person who uses their talent and position within a company to foster inclusiveness and positive change. The other nominees were Tiffany Smith-Anoa’i, executive vice president for diversity, inclusion and communications at CBS and Kiran Chaudhri Lenz, associate director, operations program management at GTB.

The Innovator Award, for imagination and breakthrough developments, was awarded to Stacey Hightower, chief operating officer of Group E DAS, a division of Omnicom Group. The other nominees were Sheila Marmon, founder & CEO of Mirror Digital and Marion Dickson, global head of YouTube social and influencer marketing at YouTube.

And writer and speaker Luvvie Ajayi, founder of, won The Rockstar Award, given to a visionary leader within the industry. The other nominees were Keith Clinkscales, chief executive officer of REVOLT Media & TV and Erika Bennett, vice president, African American marketing at Allied Moxy.

The AdColor Awards cap off four days of events and panels at the 10th annual AdColor Conference. Attendees discussed topics that affect the ad industry and people currently underrepresented within it, like Black Lives Matter, Oscars So White and the rise of discriminatory rhetoric during the 2016 presidential campaign. Speakers included representatives from companies like Apple, Facebook, Diageo and Bing. Twitter released a custom emoji, designed by GSD&M and available for use through October 13 with #ADCOLOR.

Friday, September 23, 2016

13366: Insuring Dreams, Ensuring Delusions.

Given the extraordinarily low probability for kids to succeed in professional sports, why is American Family Insurance playing into such high hopes? The company tagline reads, “Insure carefully, dream fearlessly.” But there’s a difference between fearless and reckless.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

13365: ADCOLOR® Parties On.

Campaign reported on the 10th anniversary of ADCOLOR® and the organization’s dubious accomplishments. The lengthy piece included a subhead that underscored the questions surrounding ADCOLOR®: This week, the ad industry’s premiere diversity event celebrates is 10th anniversary in Boca Raton. How much longer will we need it?

First of all, when did ADCOLOR® earn “the ad industry’s premiere diversity event” title? Is it really significantly different than the smokescreens produced by the Association of National Advertisers, 4As, The One Club and other allegedly concerned citizens in adland?

Second, the fact that ADCOLOR® labels itself as an event kinda admits the organization and its cheerleaders view diversity as a party versus a pledge. Is ADCOLOR® more obsessed with black-tie socials than Black social justice?

Finally, it’s outrageous for Campaign to ask, “How much longer will we need it?” After all, the story noted that Black representation in the advertising industry is holding at 5.3%. Latino representation is low too. For now, the answer to the question is an emphatic, “Until the shitty organization actually does something to spark progress or until 2079—whichever comes first.” Until then, party on, philanthropic poseurs!

10 years of AdColor: Progress, setbacks and hope

By Eleftheria Parpis

This week, the ad industry’s premiere diversity event celebrates is 10th anniversary in Boca Raton. How much longer will we need it?

Like many of his generation, Marc Strachan, a 35-year veteran of marketing communications, was introduced to advertising through “Bewitched.” That was the only cultural reference Strachan had as an African American high school student to the industry in which he would eventually carve out a successful career.

“I didn’t know anybody in that business. Nobody in my family knew anybody in the business,” says Strachan, who fell in love with advertising after reading David Ogilvy’s “Confessions of an Advertising Man” as a business student at Adelphi University. “This was a white-male dominated business and we were not considered. As a matter of fact, unless you had somebody who was a relative in the business, most people weren’t considered.”

“I got lucky,” says Strachan. A college guidance counselor steered him to the 4A’s Multicultural Advertising Internship Program (MAIP), and a Latin female traffic manager took him under her wing during his 10-week stint at what was then Compton Advertising. Now vice president of premise strategy and multicultural marketing at Diageo, Strachan admits his ascent to the top marketing ranks of one of the world’s leading spirits companies didn’t come easy. “I probably survived by hook or crook,” he says. “I’ve had great opportunities put in front of me, and therefore I was able to push those doors open.”

Strachan experienced the benefits of mentorship firsthand, and now as board chairman of AdColor, an industry-leading non-profit dedicated to diversity, it’s about paying it forward. Like hires like. You need to see it to be it. These well-worn sayings have become shorthand for the importance of role models to anyone’s career success. For minority talent, the need is even more pronounced, simply because their numbers in the advertising industry are so low. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, African Americans accounted for 5.3% of the employees working in advertising and related industries in the U.S. in 2015, compared to the 11.7% of the total workforce. Hispanics, 16.4% of the overall workforce, made up 11.7%, and Asians made up 6%, which is in line with the numbers in the total workforce of 5.8%.

The numbers were likely even lower 15 years ago, when a bright young employee of the 4A’s, Tiffany R. Warren, a manager of the group’s diversity programs, observed just how few people of color were accepting trophies on the industry’s awards-show circuit. “Often I was surprised when I saw people of color win because I wasn’t reading about them or seeing them,” she says. A light bulb went off.

“I was overseeing an internship program and I had to stand up and tell people that there were opportunities, but knowing on the back end that was going to be a longer journey for them and their counterparts,” explains AdColor’s founder. “I didn’t think launching an awards show was being revolutionary or anything, it was out of necessity to see if I can draw out the same types of people from the same disciplines I was seeing at these other shows.”

After a couple of years of research, Warren, who had moved on to a diversity role at Arnold Worldwide, enlisted the support of key industry organizations as founding members of a industry-wide coalition dedicated to diversity—the 4a’s, the American Advertising Federation, the Association of National Advertisers, the Advertising Research Foundation, The Advertising Club of New York and Arnold Worldwide—to present the first AdColor awards in 2007. Held in Boca Raton, FL., the inaugural celebration was held during the ANA’s Multicultural Conference and honored 17 professionals in front of about a hundred attendees. “We had 160 nominations that year,” she says. “It was amazing to go through all the nominations. That’s when we felt we had something special.”

This week, AdColor will host nearly 500 attendants when it returns to Boca Raton for its 10th celebration. But it’s now much more than an awards show. It has grown into one of the industry’s largest diversity events, and a growing non-profit organization dedicated to championing all diversity talent across creative industries.

The description of its awards is now something of a mouthful. AdColor Awards “highlight and honor the achievements of African-American, American Indian/Native American, Asian Pacific-American, Hispanic/Latino, LGBT professionals and diversity and inclusion champions in the space,” reads one online listing for this week’s event.

”About our third year in, we had a realization that diversity is not exclusively a benefit or something that is promoted by people of color,” explains Warren, who in addition to serving as president of AdColor leads the diversity efforts of Omnicom Group as senior vice president and chief diversity officer. “There were a lot of great change agents that were supporting the effort. We thought we should get their stories out too.”

The AdColor community has also grown beyond its agency beginnings to include other types of creative companies from the worlds of media, entertainment and technology. Just a few examples of tech company involvement this year: Mark D’Arcy, the chief creative officer of Facebook’s Creative Shop, recently joined AdColor’s board of directors. Apple is sponsoring the Futures program hackathon at the conference this year. And Twitter last week introduced a custom emoji, a multiracial fist-bump with a heart on top. The design, exclusive to AdColor until mid-October, says “we’ve got your back, we have you, as a community and as organization,” says Warren. “And the fist bump has always been the recognition of a job well done.”

The icon communicates the core tenants of the organization’s motto, “rise up and reach back.” It’s about shining the spotlight on multi-cultural talent, creating and fostering a community of mentors and colleagues that provide much-needed support, not only for young talent with its Futures program, but for diversity talent throughout their careers. And with its conference program, thought leadership and inspiration attendees can take back to their companies.

“It’s grown up, and it’s grown up well,” says Singleton Beato, evp of diversity and inclusion strategy and talent development at the 4A’s, of AdColor. “It’s a cemented presence in the industry as a community builder, a place where people of color can come together and feel connected and inspired.”

Yet for all its accomplishments, AdColor is not without its share of detractors. Some say it’s an insular community of like-minded people talking to and rewarding each other (isn’t all of advertising?), others that the awards don’t have anywhere near the career currency other awards shows like Cannes carry. And for all the celebration that comes with the yearly event, even past winners question how much real work is being accomplished once the party is over. “It’s great for advertising. It advertises we’re doing great things in the industry, that we’re trying,” notes one past winner. “But supporting the minority cause isn’t about the dog and pony show. It’s about the work of hiring qualified people of diverse groups.”

It was only 10 years ago that the agency business came under fire from the New York Human Rights Commission, which took the major agencies and their holding-company parents to task over their minority hiring practices. It was under this pressured environment that agencies were spurred to make greater investments in diversity programs and hire more people dedicated to the issue in roles such as chief diversity officer. It was in this climate that AdColor was born.

This year too has marked a watershed moment for diversity. Conversations about diversity have dominated headlines both within the industry and in popular culture. The pending lawsuit against J. Walter Thompson that accused its former CEO of gender discrimination and disparaging African-Americans with racial slurs has ignited a level of conversation around diversity not seen since those HRC hearings. Another agency leader, the CEO of Campbell Ewald, was fired after failing to take adequate disciplinary action against an employee who had sent an email about a “ghetto day” party.

In term of their own employee numbers, agencies have been struggling to catch up to the rapidly changing face of the nation’s consumers. The U.S. Census Bureau has predicted that the nation will be minority-majority by the year 2044. And millennials are more racially and ethnically diverse than any previous generation in the U.S., with more than 40% identifying themselves as non-white. Clients are no longer merely suggesting agencies diversify their ranks, they are demanding it. Pepsi’s Brad Jakeman has publically chastised the industry for it’s lack of diversity, and more recently HP and General Mills told their agencies that they’ll have to show progress in their efforts to increase their diversity numbers in order to continue doing business with them.

“Rome has to burn to make changes of this magnitude,” says Diageo’s Strachan. “Agencies don’t make these types of changes on their own. When a client makes demands, things change. You either make things happen or Rome burns. No one could afford Rome to burn these days.”

The danger, however, is thinking participation with any one diversity organization or program can provide a quick-fix solution. “AdColor in and of itself is not enough,” warns Heide Gardner, SVP, chief diversity and inclusion officer of Interpublic Group, and a past AdColor honoree. “Agencies and marketers and media companies can’t just limit their activities to supporting AdColor and calling it a day.”

The difficult incremental work required inside organizations to create lasting change is hardest to achieve. “We have plenty of diverse people interested in our industry. A fair number of folks are hired. They don’t stay,” says the 4A’s Beato. “There are a lot of reasons for that, but the chief reason they don’t see people who look like them.” Agencies don’t have inclusive cultures and offer little support to hires. “We’re not good at cultivating talent, period,” she says.

“AdColor filled a tremendous void in the industry,” adds Gardner. “It’s important for people to have role models. And it’s important to debunk the myth that we don’t have stellar diverse talent in the industry.”

While the common view might be that solving the industry’s diversity problem is complex, Jimmy Smith, founder of Amusement Park Entertainment and an AdColor award winner, says ultimately it comes down to desire. “It’s easily fixable,” he says. “I’m a chairman CEO. I can hire who I want. Anybody else can do the same thing.”

AdColor and other programs that showcase talent challenge a familiar industry refrain— they simply can’t find diverse job candidates. “AdColor takes away that excuse,” says Smith, a co-founder of The One Club’s “Here are all the black people” diversity conference. Agencies only need to attend these events or review the ten-year history of AdColor’s award winners to find talent at all stages of their careers. “It’s ridiculous that we’re still having this conversation in 2016,” he says. “The more organizations that put a spotlight on it, maybe we can fix it sooner rather than later.”

AdColor’s four-year old Futures program alone gives hiring managers instant access to a robust pipeline of young talent across industry internship programs, bringing together talent from programs including the 4A’s, AAF, The One Club and The Marcus Graham Project, notes Christena J. Pyle, director of diversity and inclusion at Omnicom Group and director of AdColor.

“The biggest accomplishment AdColor is building this community of people our industry and multiple industries said does not exist,” says Pyle, estimating that the broader community that has engaged with the group over ten years is 10,000 strong. “Yes we do. Here they are. Here are their voices. Here are their accomplishments. You cannot refuse what you can now see.”

Keesha Jean-Baptiste, director of human resources at Wieden + Kennedy, Portland, and a recent addition to AdColor’s board, is cautiously optimistic of the industry’s current climate of change. “More people are contributing to diversity efforts, and more people are willing to call out what’s wrong .Yet, our industry still struggles to retain talent, which shows the issue is bigger than just a hiring rise in diversity stats,” she says. “Acceptance and inclusion don’t happen until we break the dominant culture. That’s the work we have yet to do.”

To step up its efforts, AdColor has in recent years moved toward what Warren calls more advocacy work, tapping its community’s braintrust to provide more thought leadership and tools conference attendees can take back to their companies. Last year, for example, the Futures program hacked the subject of cultural appropriation, producing a three -step process to become a culture appreciator rather than appropriator. This year, in the wake of extraordinary violence and social unrest, the conference will address how to handle socially-sensitive issues like the Orlando and police shootings inside companies.

Looking to the future, Warren says one of the biggest challenges the organization faces, like all non-profits, is financing. The diversity conversation has certainly grown louder of late but that doesn’t necessarily translate to more financial support. “Yes, there is more pressure from clients for agencies to diversify their staffs, but budgets don’t always match that request,” she says. “And you can’t take your foot off that pedal. Once you let up, you’ll see numbers that were there before this became the most interesting thing to talk about.”

AdColor will have to continue stoking the industry discussion, says Warren, maintain a high level of awareness — and dial up the diversity conversation beyond the go-to headline about gender. “We have to keep pushing,” she says. “We can easily take a couple of steps backwards if we don’t keep saying that all diversity is important.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

13364: Digital Diverted Diversity.

Looks like the 4As recently updated its website, unintentionally and perfectly reflecting the White advertising industry it allegedly represents. That is, the website displays a complete cluelessness regarding digital. The trade organization ought to consider connecting with Steve Krug and/or peruse the latest version of Krug’s classic book, Don’t Make Me Think. Right now, there is no UX in The copy and content suck too. The website does, however, accurately mirror the White advertising industry’s current stance on diversity. In short, the 4As have fully embraced diverted diversity, literally and figuratively putting women ahead of all other minorities. Oh, and the section on diversity and inclusion is nearly impossible to find too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

13363: Directing Diverted Diversity.

Free The Bid is a diverted diversity directorial dumpster designed to promote female directors in the advertising industry. A handful of White advertising agencies have pledged to include a female director in all triple bids for commercial projects. Let’s hope the pledge to women is more honest than the routinely broken promises made to true minorities. While it’s a noble initiative, Free The Bid certainly mirrors the diverted diversity drives happening in adland. That is, women have leapfrogged to the front of the discrimination line, while the majority of minority directors will continue to get pooped on, pigeon-holed and paid in crumbs, receiving opportunities confined to commercials of color that ultimately air with limited media budgets. There will be no free-bid rides for the true minorities in the directorial field.

13362: Putting The Ass In Glass.

MediaCom Chief Strategy Officer Sue Unerman is at it again, having co-written a diverted diversity book that declares it’s time to smash the glass wall. Not content to suffer with a mythical glass ceiling, Unerman has erected an associated wall for White women to protest—and she’ll likely publish a sequel where she invents a glass floor. There’s a clever twist here for a copywriter to pursue that incorporates “White women who live in glass houses…” Then again, MediaCom is a WPP company, where women are routinely disrespected—despite the fact that the MediaCom senior management team has a pretty solid showing of women. In the end, someone should have Unerman fitted for a glass slipper—at this point, she’s clearly crafting fairy tales.

Monday, September 19, 2016

13361: Changing Channels With Channing.

From Adweek…

ABC’s New President Is Making History, and She’s Focused on Making Waves This Fall

Channing Dungey on her first 7 months

By Jason Lynch

The year 2016 has been a whirlwind for Channing Dungey, who was promoted to ABC Entertainment president in February, succeeding Paul Lee. Thrust into the job as pilot season was in full swing, Dungey responded by fielding a new lineup for the 2016-17 season that includes two of the most acclaimed new fall shows, Designated Survivor and Speechless, which she hopes will jolt ABC out of fourth place in the 18-49 demo. As she put the finishing touches on the new season, Dungey sat down with Adweek to talk about her first seven months on the job, making history as the first African-American woman to run a broadcast network, and what’s next.

Adweek: You started this job in the midst of pilot season, in February. Have you had a chance to take a breath yet?

Channing Dungey: I feel like you have go through the whole cycle one time in a new role to really feel like you understand all of it. The television business has ebbs and flows, so I did get away for a week with my family and my parents and my sister, to have a little beach vacation. But for the most part, I’ve been really boots on the ground, wanting to take everything in as I go through this first cycle.

What have these seven months on the job been like for you?

They’ve been good. I have a fantastic team of people with whom I work. I’m very excited about that. We had some nice momentum coming off the May sweep. Summer has been very good to us and I am truly happy with the quality of our offerings for the new season. I feel very, very good about our fall slate.

You had been responsible for ABC’s drama development, but not on the comedy side. How have you been able to make the new schedule and shows your own, given the work that had already been done before you came on board?

I was certainly intimately involved in the development of all of the dramas and was part of the advocacy process in getting those picked up. So on that side of the fence, all good. With the comedies, I did not order the pilots, but because we were early enough in the pilot season process, so much goes into making these pilots, and so you really do find yourself very quickly up to your elbows in it. So I can say with great confidence that by the time we were making selections in May, I did feel ownership of the pilots that we’d made, and then I was able to feel really good about those choices.

Designated Survivor was the highlight of your upfront presentation in May. As you go into your first season as head of the network, what does it mean to have a show like this, with a star like Kiefer Sutherland, in your arsenal?

It makes me feel excited and hopeful. Each script is stronger than the last, so I feel positive and optimistic about the future of the show, and that makes me happy.

You had worked under Paul Lee for so long. What was something you learned from him about the job that you’re going to take with you going forward?

I think that Paul set a tone that we were all very much a part of, which was diversity and inclusion, and reflecting America in all of its diversity. In the six years that we worked together, I feel like we transformed the schedule in drama and comedy, all of us together. So that’s a legacy that I am extremely proud of and one that I look forward to carrying forward.

And what’s something that was important for you to bring to the job yourself that maybe wasn’t there before?

I like to try new things and I’m not afraid to try new things, and I want to take those risks when it feels appropriate, so that’s something that I hope I bring to the role.

Advertisers are all about the 18-49 demo. ABC slipped to fourth last season. How do you regain some momentum?

Look, there are a lot of metrics. There are places where we’re a little bit ahead and a little bit behind, which is not to say that we don’t have work to do. I think at the end of the day it’s about the quality of the programming. That’s why I’m feeling so optimistic about where we’re headed, because I feel like we do have the goods. Now the question is getting people to know that they’re there, and show up and see them.

You’re the first woman of color to head up a broadcast network, and currently the only solo female head of a broadcast network. A lot of other people have talked about the importance of that and how groundbreaking it is, but what does it mean to you personally to have this role?

It’s interesting, because of course you don’t go about your life thinking, I’m making history, and things like that. It’s very flattering, and what I think most about it is that if me being in this job opens up a window of opportunity for women—for any woman, or women of color—to come behind me, then that for me is the greatest thing. Because we are all where we are because we stood on someone’s shoulders to get here. So I’m happy that if I’m now paving the way for somebody who, like my almost 4-year-old, that she can look up and say, “Someday I could be a network president,” then that makes me feel good.

You were thrown into this midstream, but once you are able to focus more on long-term strategy, what are your plans for the network?

The interesting conversation for all of us right now is, we live in a universe in a broadcast world where you do still have to pay close attention to what’s happening on your linear platform, but it’s also a multiplatform universe. So in terms of balancing various different needs and thinking about what the best way is to do that and still serve the consumers in the best way, that’s the biggest ongoing conversation.

13360: ADCOLOR® Tinny Anniversary.

ADCOLOR® celebrates its 10th year of Pollyannaish partying. Ironically and appropriately, the traditional 10-year anniversary gift is tin or aluminum. The original 2007 press release—which inspired MultiCultClassics commentary—declared the following:

ADCOLOR™ is a first of its kind cross-industry collaboration on the issue of diversity. The Coalition hopes to combine the energies of the marketing, media and advertising communities to stimulate ideas, discussion and solutions to advance diversity goals.

Seems as if the only noticeable accomplishment from the “cross-industry collaboration” is transitioning from a trademarked logo to a registered trademarked logo. Whatever. This year, the conference theme is: Challenge Now. Feel free to peruse the details in the image below.

The full price of admission is $1395, putting the soiree on par with The 3% Conference, in terms of tax-deductible—and arguably societal—contributions. Actually, The 3% Conference might be more successful, as the girl group takes credit for boosting the alleged underrepresentation of White women in creative departments from 3% to roughly 11% over just a few years. Minority underrepresentation, in contrast, has worsened over the past decade.

Then again, has ADCOLOR® ever been honestly dedicated to pushing for progress versus partying? The organization has honored diversity trailblazers like Magic Johnson, Queen Latifah and Nick Cannon, while ignoring legitimate diversity champions like Harry Webber, Sanford Moore and Hadji Williams. Hell, Dan Wieden picked up a trophy instead of the aforementioned trio—which is pretty fucked up. Annie the Chicken Queen and Gustavo Martinez have a better shot at ADCOLOR® recognition than Messrs. Webber, Moore and Williams.

So here’s some unsolicited advice to ADCOLOR® cheerleaders: Challenge yourself now to stimulate ideas, discussion and solutions to advance diversity goals and establish true commitment—and maybe credibility will follow.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

13359: Searching For A Concept.

If you type the terms sucks or shit into the search field, this Mickey D’s campaign from Leo Burnett in London is bound to be at the top of the results list. Only a traditional White advertising agency with zero digital skills would think people might ever do an online search for Mickey D’s menu items. MultiCultClassics went ahead and revised the concept.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

13358: Diverted Diversity Departing Deutsch.

Adweek reported Deutsch Chairman Linda Sawyer is leaving the White advertising agency at the end of the year. Deutsch CEO Mike Sheldon gushed, “Linda has nurtured Deutsch’s independent culture and been a selfless contributor in making the advertising industry stronger and more diverse.” Gee, that’s an interesting comment from a leader of an agency that allegedly decided it was “no longer going to invest in diversity.” If anything, Sawyer has been a trailblazer for diverted diversity versus true diversity at Deutsch and beyond. Watch for her at upcoming events from The 3% Conference. Mission accomplished, girlfriend.

Deutsch’s Chairman and Former CEO Linda Sawyer Is Leaving the Agency After 27 Years

Mike Sheldon to assume the role

By Patrick Coffee

Today Deutsch announced a major leadership change as chairman and longtime executive Linda Sawyer plans to leave the agency at the end of the calendar year. She plans to launch an unnamed ecommerce project in early 2017.

Sawyer, who has been with the IPG network for more than 27 years, replaced former chairman and TV personality Donny Deutsch as its top executive last year while Mike Sheldon was simultaneously promoted to the chief executive role. Following her departure, Sheldon will hold the title of chairman and CEO, North America.

“Anyone who knows Linda is aware that she combines a great understanding of our industry with a dynamic management style,” said Interpublic chairman and CEO Michael Roth in a statement, adding, “That’s why she’s been able to build a fantastic team at Deutsch during her long tenure at the agency. She’s a fierce protector of her people and her agency, as well as a partner who clients know will always make their success her top priority. Along with everyone at Deutsch, I thank Linda for her dedication and commitment.”

The departing chairman joined the Deutsch organization in 1989 and ascended to the CEO role 16 years later as Donny Deutsch became chairman during a transitional period for the agency. The press release announcing Sawyer’s pending departure notes that revenue has increased “more than ten-fold” during the entirety of her tenure and that she has been frequently named one of the industry’s most powerful female leaders by various trade groups and publications.

Last year, Adweek positioned Sawyer’s promotion as a victory for the West Coast division of the Deutsch network; Sheldon will continue that trend as its new leader.

“Deutsch’s ambition to innovate and pioneer change is ingrained in our culture,” Sawyer’s statement read. “With our succession plans in place, Mike’s strong leadership and a dynamic and wildly talented management line up, the agency is well poised for the next chapter. It’s an ideal time for me to pursue a new challenge and I will be launching an exciting and highly disruptive ecommerce venture to be announced in the Spring. I will fondly miss my Deutsch family but will always be rooting behind the scenes.”

Sheldon added, “Linda has nurtured Deutsch’s independent culture and been a selfless contributor in making the advertising industry stronger and more diverse. She will be leaving an amazing legacy. Knowing Linda, her next adventure is going to be a game changer.”

Deutsch has recently won several significant pieces of new business after parting ways with Pizza Hut. Earlier this month, the agency added AB InBev’s Busch and Busch Light to its client roster without a formal creative review; it also became the first official U.S. creative agency partner of Uber, the massive transportation/technology brand and Silicon Valley “unicorn.”

Friday, September 16, 2016

13357: Y&RFP Shenanigans.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Y&R may have won the 2020 U.S. Census account by underbidding rival White advertising agencies by as much as 50%. Hey, the $14 million bid is a mere fraction of WPP Overlord Sir Martin Sorrell’s take-home pay—in fact, it’s a fraction of his annual bonus money. The lowball tactic also means any minority firms inevitably partnering with Y&R will receive even fewer crumbs than normal.

WPP’s Y&R Bid Far Lower Than Rivals for U.S. Census Account

Creative agency won coveted three-year deal with $14 million bid

By Alexandra Bruell

When WPP ’s Y&R announced earlier this year it had won the coveted U.S. Census account, industry executives speculated that the creative agency had come in with a low bid.

Now it’s becoming clear just how low its price was.

A team led by Y&R submitted a proposal for the three-year deal that would cost the government agency about $14 million, far lower than the bids submitted by four other players, which ranged from roughly $25 million to over $30 million, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Census, which is readying a big advertising, media and public relations campaign in its effort to collect data on U.S. citizens for its 2020 report, is estimating a total budget of $415 million to cover its integrated communications contract, according to request for proposals agencies received.

The project will include traditional and digital advertising, media buying, public relations, social media and research, and data and analytics, among other elements.

Y&R declined to comment.

According to a document reviewed by The Wall Street Journal that ranked agency fee proposals by price, Y&R’s team came in the least expensive, followed by teams led by Interpublic Group’s creative shop FCB, Omnicom Group’s DDB, and IPG-owned McCann World Group, as well an Accenture-led team that included people from creative shop Droga5.

Y&R was at the top of the list on the “technical” ranking, a measure of how well agencies could perform the work, according to the document and people close to the process.

Y&R’s low bid raised competitors’ eyebrows, the people said. Agencies often take on business at a discounted rate if they’re looking to create momentum during a slow period, or to do business with a sexy brand. Typically, however, the low bid is only incrementally lower than the others, according to people familiar with agency reviews.

Still, with pricing pressure mounting—from client procurement departments asking agencies to wait longer for payment, to electronic auctions asking agencies to bid down their rates—some agency executives wonder if lowball bidding will become more commonplace.

“Agencies low-bid things all the time, but half as much is pretty drastic,” said Casey Burnett, founder of the agency search consultancy The Burnett Collective. “Sometimes it’s because the agency wants the business as a marque account,” while other times “it’s simply because they didn’t understand the [scope of work]. Sometimes they hope to convince the client to pay more later.”

It’s not immediately clear what inspired Y&R’s bid, or how it plans on structuring the Census account. It’s possible the agency has set up a cost structure that will allow healthy profit margins, despite its relatively low rate.

Y&R, which is no stranger to long-term government contracts, won the multi-year Navy ad contract last year.

For its latest win, the WPP shop will need to pull in resources from various agencies and engage in a hands-on effort that’s unique to the Census. Promoting the Census requires reaching people from various cultures and ethnic backgrounds, and using different media at a hyper-local level, from posters to flyers to mobile apps, according to people familiar with the account.

“Effective and strategic communications with many diverse audiences will be crucial, including everything from educating the public about the process to maximizing response rates,” according to the Census’s request for proposals.

An agency group that understands technology will also be crucial to the Census project, according to the RFP.

Y&R has been in talks with PwC about a partnership on the account, according to people familiar with the matter. Consulting firms like Accenture, Deloitte and PwC have been investing in digital marketing capabilities in the past few years and are now even moving into the creative business, hoping to pitch their technological know-how to marketers. Some ad agencies, meanwhile, have dipped their toes in consulting.

The Y&R team will also include support from WPP shops Burson-Marsteller, Maxus, Bravo, Wunderman and Hogarth, among others, said a spokesman from the U.S. Census. Y&R is also working with a number of small businesses that specialize in reaching niche groups, such as G&G Advertising, which is tasked with reaching American Indian and Alaska Native communities.