Gray Lady Chimes In On French Debacle

NYT: Among the 33 top agencies, as ranked by the trade publication Adweek, only 4 have flagship offices with female creative directors. Ogilvy & Mather and Young & Rubicam – both owned by WPP – have women as chief executives.
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Linda Kaplan Thaler
“Thirty years ago we were nowhere,” said Carol Evans, the chief executive of Working Mother Media and president of the Advertising Women of New York, an organization with more than 1,200 women members. “There were no agency C.E.O.’s, and it was a very bad business for women. But the Neil French incident shows how much work still needs to be done.”
The dominance of men on the creative side of the business is even more striking, considering that women commonly make up to 80 percent of household purchasing decisions, according to the Polling Company in Washington.
Women are rarely acclaimed for creative work. Last month, the One Club inducted Diane Rothschild to its Creative Hall of Fame, the first woman chosen since 1974. In remarks at the Metropolitan Club, she called Mr. French a “bombastic, insecure throwback to the 1970’s,” and said his attitude was emblematic of his generation.
“Based on the world according to uninspired, rigid, time-warped and aging advertising men, I should be home right now in a little apron,” Ms. Rothschild said. “Where I shouldn’t be is here being inducted into the Creative Hall of Fame.”

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About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.