Tag Archives: advertising agencies

Celebrating Creative Women in MKE

At last creative women in Milwaukee are being given the recognition they deserve – even celebrated.

C2 is organizing The Happiest Hour, a casual networking event celebrating the current and future female leaders of Milwaukee’s marketing, design and advertising community. Thanks C2.

Come toast Milwaukee’s powerful, dynamic and progressive creative industry!

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When:  Thursday, August 24th, 4-7pm
Where:  Great Lakes Distillery, 616 W. Virginia Street

Organized by C2 – Presented by Great Lakes Distillery
Supported by United Adworkers, AIGA Wisconsin, Milwaukee Graphic Design/Adobe Users Group, Ad 2 Milwaukee, 414Digital, Hub+company

 

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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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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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Diverse Creative Juries Matter

Bravo 2015 Milwaukee Film Festival, September 24 – October 8.

The Festival’s juries reflect a diverse community. All but one panel had a person of color or a woman. Two panels had two diverse jurors.

MKE film

Looking at data from the Women’s Media Center there are fewer women producers, directors and scriptwriters then there are women in advertising creative departments. Our advertising community might want to take a page from the Festival’s playbook.

Leadership matters. Diversity matters.

Bravo Milwaukee Film Festival.

Jean

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Hermosas Palabras. Beautiful Words.

I am revising the final chapter – the survival chapter – for the fourth edition of Advertising Creative. In this chapter we speak the truth about the challenges women and minority creatives will face in advertising. To do this well, one has to go to the source. So I reached out to my friend Laurence Klinger, EVP Chief Creative Officer at Lapiz. True to who he is, Laurence did not provide me with his words. Rather he reached out to the talented team of creatives who work at Lapiz.

I am humbled by the power, wisdom and beauty of their words.

Embrace your competitive advantage and believe in yourself. When someone asks you where you want to be in 5 years – reach for the stars, not the next level.  ANNETTE FONTE

Women and minorities should speak more and loud! Their opinion always comes with a different perspective and it is normally undermined because of prejudice. GUILLERMO BETANCOURT

Studies have shown time and time again well-sounding advice -“lean in,” “speak up,” or “act like a man” – usually ends up in the same result: harsh consequences for said minority/woman. I think the best thing we can do is get the Quintessential Man in Power to open up his eyes about his own biases and prejudices. INES BELLINA

The game is rigged right now against both minorities and women. There is no way of succeeding in advertising in the same way as a White male. Change begins when we acknowledge how gender roles are fostered in families. KELLI SZYMCZAC

It’s on us, women, to take the lead in voicing our opinions, our dreams and aspirations, as well as, pushing back and questioning the “norm.” ISABELA VILLALOBOS

To prepare for success women and minorities need to learn how to negotiate. NATHALY GAMINO

Your standard of work (and of self-presentation in general) needs to be higher than that of other people. FELIPE DIAZ ARANGO

More exposure of actual or current women and minority creative leaders is essential to grow a new base of leaders. They cannot be what they cannot see. DIEGO FIGUEROA

In order to prepare women for success in leadership, we have to first break down these preconfigured stereotypes. In order to do this, we must promote workplace equality and build the awareness that women are equally capable of performing the role typically assigned to a man. TERESA CUEVAS

Women and minorities in creative need to have more mentors (guides who are willing to aid their development) and sponsors (people in power who are willing to advance their careers). From day one. RENETTA MCCANN

Give women (and minorities) projects to lead and ask them to get creative, that you want to be surprised, and they are the ones to do it. CRISTINA GRIECO
Working together, we are a big number of the population and therefore a real power, a real change. I believe that if women help others, we can change the power structure of our world and expand opportunities for all. LUCILLE GRATACOS

Being self-aware is key. Maybe college should focus a bit more on helping women and minorities find their inner strengths and develop their confidence. ANA MATTA

I hope my class on Gender in Advertising for the Inside/Out and the fourth edition of Advertising Creative begin that process.

Jean

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Creative Women in Peru: Outliers in a Machismo World

photoFor the past two weeks my co-author, Dr. Marta Mensa from Piura University, and I have been crafting a paper highlighting the stories of the Peruvian creative women Marta interviewed. Our research explores relationships with colleagues, chances for advancement, and how creative women balance their professional and personal lives. The results clearly demonstrate that Peruvian creative women, who make up only 3% of all creatives in Peru, are truly outliers in a machismo world.

Like creative men, creative women have little time for life outside of advertising creative. Unlike creative men their personal life is made an issue at work. When asked about her work/life balance one woman responded, “You only ask me about this because I am a woman.” When it comes to the personal lives of creatives there appears to be a double standard. For women, children are a workplace concern. Yet, men are rarely questioned about  children. One woman described the vulnerability women, who might want to become mothers, feel. “When I joined the agency, I realize that two (creative) girls had just been fired. One of them had just given birth and the other had a son. They (male colleagues and creative director) felt that a child was too distracting for creative woman.” In our study all by one women felt having children – or even being married – was not an option if they wanted to work in advertising creative.

StudentsFinding women to talk to was not easy. In fact Marta found only eight creative women willing to be interviewed, as speaking about their struggles was itself risky. Their hesitation is grounded in reality, for creative women are marginalized and often harassed. As one women said, I worked in my first advertising agency and my boss harassed me!… He sent me messages, asked me out on dates, called me into his office to discuss issues that had nothing to do with work, he often told me I looked beautiful…. In some moments, I thought about leaving the agency, but I liked my work.”

The experiences of these creative women suggest that their relationship with males peers is very challenging, indeed. “My creative (male) colleagues tend to segregate me. Sometimes they do not tell me about a new client. When I’m with them they do not share ideas. It’s when I leave when they start to release ideas between themselves. Then I get mad and I confront them.”

Confronting their difficult situation often comes to no avail. Thus, it is no surprise that the average age of the women interviewed was 28 and that the average length of employment was only 3.5 years. Nor is it surprising that chances of promotion are severely truncated for women. One woman described her experience this way, “I felt the most discrimination from the creative director. He did not listen to my comments and always gave more importance to what my male colleagues said.” There comes a point when you just give up and leave. It appears that for Peruvian creative women that point comes sooner rather than later.

A final note. I would like to thank Marta for sharing her wisdom. While here at Marquette she gave seven presentations and a two-hour radio interview – along the way she observed five classes. Her generosity, wisdom and charming wit were gratefully appreciated by all those she touched. Piura University is fortunate to have her.

Adiós y gracias, Marta. Te extrañaremos!

Jean

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New Edition. New Ideas.

The third edition of my co-authored book Advertising Creative: Strategy, Copy & Design (Altstiel & Grow) has just been released! I hope you’ll check it out.

Bill Wright, Chief Creative Officer at OgilvyWest said this, “Advertising Creative is a systematic guide to creating modern, 21st century advertising. The authors dare to try and make sense of today’s changing, evolving world of multiple screens. Read it and be ready to create breakthrough ideas.”

In this edition, we take a deeper dive into digital technology and its implications for the industry. We also explore how brands now cut across geographic and cultural boundaries with lightning speed creating a marketplace that knows no boundaries. Here are a few things you’ll find:

  • New chapters on Global Advertising and Social Media and expanded coverage of digital media reflecting a rapidly changing advertising industry.
  • Updated with new illustrations and timely examples.
  • Insightful stories from seasoned advertising creative professionals and rising stars provide an inspiring picture of the industry.
  •  “Survival Guide” chapter offers practical advice on how to land a job, and advance, illustrated with student portfolio examples.
  • Engaging end-of-chapter exercises encourage creative thinking.

Let me know what you think.

Jean

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