Only 11 percent of the executive and management positions inside the ad industry are held by women, according to industry averages. And women continue to come out to speak about the rampant sexism when it comes to working and being promoted in the industry.
Publicis Groupe has asked Saatchi & Saatchi executive chairman and the holding company’s head coach Kevin Roberts to take a leave of absence from his job, after the executive made a series of damning comments about gender diversity and inclusion in the industry in an interview with Business Insider. During his leave, Roberts’ future with the company is up to the supervisory board of the Paris-based holding company.
Publicis CEO Maurice Levy sent an internal memo to employees to “reiterate the Groupe’s no-tolerance policy toward behavior or commentary counter to the spirit of Publicis Groupe and its celebration of difference.” Roberts is a high-ranking Publicis official, serving on its top executive management unit.
In an interview with Business Insider, Roberts said that the issue of gender diversity is overblown by people in the industry and the problem of few female leadership is actually “way worse” in other industries. He also said that just because women aren’t being promoted doesn’t mean that agencies are failing, it’s that they don’t understand how women view success. “Women are saying: ‘We are not judging ourselves by those standards that you idiotic dinosaur-like men impose’,” he said, adding that the debate about gender equality was “over” and he wasn’t spending time trying to fix at Publicis agencies.
After he made the comments, industry activist Cindy Gallop, who was accused by Roberts of fueling the issue just to raise her profile, asked the industry to tweet what they thought at Roberts. Plenty did, including Pepsi exec Brad Jakeman and Taco Bell CMO Marisa Thalberg. This is what BBDO executive creative director Lauren Connolly had to say:
— Lauren Connolly (@LaurConnolly) July 30, 2016
Sources said that Publicis Communications CEO Arthur Sadoun also sent a memo to employees following Roberts’ comments that said, in part, that he found Roberts’ remarks offensive and that this behavior was not acceptable within the Groupe. “I am sorry that the comments made by Kevin have reflected poorly upon the Groupe and our culture,” he wrote.
It’s the latest embarrassing public statement from a Publicis exec. At the 4A’s conference in Miami in March, Lévy himself came under fire for saying that the case of Gustavo Martinez, the JWT CEO ousted after he was accused of racial and sexual harassment, was a one-man case and not indicative of wider problems in the agency world.
‘As many eyes on the spot’: Moen is targeting millennial homeowners with new ads, innovations as the generation seeks their first homes
The plumbing brand is renewing its marketing to get the attention of millennial homeowners with new TV spots as well as digital and social ads.
Myth buster: Debunking common misconceptions about the metaverse
To learn about the most common misconceptions about the metaverse, Digiday reached out to a group of experts across the gaming, advertising and Web3 sectors.
Q&A: Tim Armstrong on Web3, data and the ‘bundling’ of consumers
AOL's former chief — now the founder and CEO of Flowcode — discusses how the adoption of blockchain tech compares to earlier internet eras.
SponsoredWhat gaming habits reveal about media consumption
Jordan Shlachter, head of research, Activision Blizzard Media Entertainment choices have never been more abundant, and gaming has emerged as one of the biggest winners in the battle for audiences’ attention. While gaming’s exponential growth has been well documented — there are currently nearly 3 billion gamers worldwide spanning a diverse set of demographics, interests […]
‘Social listening is so important’: Hulu adapts social strategy to follow fans’ interest
While Hulu does make social marketing plans for each show, the company keeps tabs on social sentiment -- i.e. what's working and what's not -- and adapts its social strategy accordingly.
Magna research: The do’s and don’ts of native and repurposed advertising on TikTok
Advertisers on TikTok need to follow a few best practices if they're going to succeed on the platform, such as always thinking vertically, and being comfortable with the creator's style they work with.