Women’s Day in Ad-Land

An esteemed ad-land colleague posted this today on fb. Thank you, Dennis Jenders. Here’s to you and all the other ad-men willing to speak truth – and to all the ad-women living the truth.

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Happy #WomensDay. Unfortunately, I work in an industry where women too often experience harassment and discrimination.

More than half of women surveyed have experienced sexual harassment at least once. (Source: 4A’s)

A third of women surveyed said that they have failed to receive key assignments or promotions because of their gender on multiple occasions. (Source: 4A’s)

Women make 85% of all purchasing decisions, yet they are woefully underrepresented in creative jobs in advertising. (Source: Adweek)

In fact, just 11% of the world’s creative directors are female. (Source 3% Conference)

91% of female consumers feel advertisers don’t understand them. (Source: Creative Equals)

Maybe it’s because we still find 10% or more of creative departments that are SOLELY men.

How many meetings have you been in where someone makes an off-color remark but you haven’t spoken up? Or a woman is judged on her beauty instead of her intelligence?

I regret not speaking up at a previous place of employment when I found myself in a situation where the Chairman of the Board and CEO spoke crudely about women, feet away from a female secretary, and in the presence of an executive leader, and my boss.

At a previous agency, I found myself in a meeting where two male clients couldn’t help but comment on the physical appearance of two female team members – while they were in the room. I was shocked, and unfortunately said nothing to curb their behavior.

I’ll never let those moments pass me by again. Be the difference if you see harassment or discrimination taking place.

Take the tough meetings to discuss equality in wages and opportunity. Hire or promote based on potential instead of just achievement, as studies show that many women won’t apply for a role until they meet 100% of the hiring criteria.

To the women I’ve worked with, thank you for making me a better man. Your intelligence, empathy, thoughtfulness, creativity, and strength are an inspiration.

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Happy Labor Day

I always remember my father with fondness on this day because of his tenacious embrace of the labor movement.

As the American economy becomes more and more service based we may forget labor’s historical gravity. The first Labor Day celebration was on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, promoted by the Central Labor Union. The Union held its second Labor Day celebration the next year on September 5, 1883. Labor Day has been celebrated on the first Monday of September ever since. Its launch came at a time when America was moving into the industrial revolution and the conditions of workers were often difficult.

My dad, a WWII vet, frequently teased me about Rosie the Riveter and powerful women. I was young and didn’t understand how much her iconic image meant to him. I’m guessing that in some small (and not so small) ways I must have reminded him of the power she signified. Doing a little research on her image this morning, I learned a few things I didn’t know before.

There were two iconic Rosies.

Rosie Riveter norman rockwellThe first Rosie – the one most of us remember – was painted by J. Howard Miller. He was commissioned by Westinghouse to make a series of posters promoting the war effort. Miller inspired the Saturday Evening Post, whose covers tended toward civic inspiration. With WWII raging the Post hired Norman Rockwell. Rockwell’s Rosie appeared on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post (May 29, 1943). It was the Memorial Day issue. She’s muscular and dressed for a hard day’s work, just like the Rosie most of us might recall. We also know she’s Rosie because of the name inscribed on her lunch pail. However, what might surprise many of you, as it did me, this Rosie is stepping on a copy of Adolph Hitler’s book Mein Kampf. Now this is serious symbolic propaganda.

We_Can_Do_It! J. Howard MillerOn the heels of Post’s highly successful cover, stories about real life Rosies began appearing in newspapers across America. The U.S. government took advantage of Rosie’s popularity and embarked on a recruiting campaign named after her. The campaign, done by J. Walter Thompson under the auspices of the Advertising Council, used J. Howard Miller’s Rosie. The campaign brought millions of women into the workforce. To this day, Rosie the Riveter is considered one of the most successful government advertising campaign in history. On May 25, 2012 the Ad Council threw a 70th Birthday Bash for Rosie, noting that Rosie the Riveter remains an enduring emblem of empowerment for women everywhere.

Dad, thanks for teaching me the value of a hard day’s work. I miss you.

Happy Labor Day everyone!

Jean

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“Happy” Equal Pay Day

According to the National Partnership for Women & Families, women in the United States are paid 79 cents for every dollar paid to men. The pay gap – an average of $10,762 annually. This hurts to write.

For women of color it’s even worse. African American women are paid 60 cents for every dollar paid to White men. Latinas are paid just 55 cents for every dollar paid to White men. For Asian American women, it’s a little less painful. They are paid 84 cents for every dollar paid to White men. This is shameful to write.

Equal PaySupport pay equity.

Support the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Support your mother, your sister, your friends and your family.

Support women.

Jean

 

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Ad Land Lacks Diversity

According the Wall Street Journal the number of minorities across the industry and women in creative are bad. Really bad.

African-Americans (11.7% of the U.S. workforce) make up just 5.3% of those working in advertising and PR.

Hispanics (16.4% of the U.S. workforce) have only a 11.7% employment rate in advertising and PR.

Women in creative? My research using industry data from Red Books shows women make up 27.7% of all creatives in the U.S. and there are just 25.2% women in creative management.

In a survey of 328 women by the 3% Conference, 23% of the women working in advertising reported having personally experienced or witnessed sexual harassment.

The WJS article quotes Susan Credle, global chief creative officer at FCB, “The numbers show it; we have a real problem.”

You think!

So the lawsuit filed, last week, against a male chief executive at J. Walter Thompson for alleged discrimination against a female subordinate should not surprise any of us. Yet, it still does.

Wake up Ad Land.

Jean

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Women’s Words

A few years ago I wrote about

Hip. White. Men. with iPhones.

Yes, it’s about advertising creative culture.

 

Recently I came across

Too Many Guys, One Girl.

Yes, it’s about advertising awards shows.

 

Today a friend shared

#takethelead2020 an initiative by TBWA to help women achieve more leadership roles.

Yes, it’s about advertising agencies.

 

It’s 2016. Why do we need to wait until 2020?

Haven’t we waited long enough.

Jean

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relevant, simple, human ideas

Book smallOur 4th edition of Advertising Creative is out! It reflects growing digital integration with a stand-alone chapter on mobile and a plethora of new images. We also expanded our survival guide offering practical advice for multicultural creatives breaking into the business as well as tips for millennials, the next generation of advertising professionals. Here’s what some influential industry folks have to say about your latest edition

“From ideating to execution Advertising Creative is the ultimate guide to walk you through the critical steps of a 21st century campaign.” Laura Agostini, Chief Talent Officer, J. Walter Thompson, New York

Advertising Creative “helps us understand the complexities of an industry that needs culturally relevant, simple and human ideas.” Leila El-Kayem, Founder & Creative Director, The Adventures Of, Berlin

“A new standard for integrated marketing in the digital age.” James Kulp, Vice President, Account Director, Wunderman West, Los Angeles

“An engaging text about today’s hyper-empowered consumer that offers a roadmap for survival for advertising, public relations and digital professionals.” Thomas Gensemer, Chief Strategy Officer, Burson-Marsteller, New York

Pick up a copy and help us celebrate!

Jean

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Beirut

You must be the change you wish to see in the world. Mahatma Gandhi

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