A WORD ABOUT KEVIN ROBERTS

Actually, that’s a lie. It’s gonna be several words.

So tonight I came across an article posted by a friend of mine in the industry about Kevin Roberts’ opinion on the issue of gender equality in advertising. I’m not going to retread too much of the article so I suggest you have a read of it here before continuing.

Couple things to note from the article:

  • All six (!!!!) major advertising companies have male CEOs
  • Despite representing 46.4% of the industry, only 11.5% of creative directors are women
  • Advertising execs have been embroiled in gender discrimination lawsuits RECENTLY
  • Kevin Roberts kinda sounds like a bit of a butthead?

I cannot believe that this article went out into the world without someone in Kevin’s camp being like ‘wait, hang on’. Here we have someone in a position of considerable influence and privilege harping on about issues he has never actually had to face in his life. Nothing makes my blood boil more than a boomer-aged, white male telling people that they’re just imagining their struggles.

It’s incredibly arrogant and blind to assume that just because the agencies in which you’re involved are performing at a better rate in this department than others, you’ve somehow conquered the problem for everyone everywhere forever, and speaks volumes about the ignorance so many people in positions of power suffer from when it comes to issues of diversity. To state that a woman like Cindy Gallop is simply ‘making up’ issues or trying to further her own profile by highlighting them is abhorrent.

I don’t really have a conclusion to make or some big thought out piece of writing to put here. I’m just super mad about it. As a big advocate for adversity in the field, seeing someone like Roberts come out and wave his dick around like this is quite frankly insulting.

I will concede that he makes an intriguing point by suggesting that there are certain people within the industry who aren’t interested in moving up through the ranks. In today’s society it may very well be that the idea of vertical career progression is outdated. However, to suggest that women aren’t in roles of influence because they don’t want to be is a joke, and smacks of privilege.

Okay, I’m done with this rant for now. Let’s all rejoice in the fact that he was placed on leave after this story broke. That’s something, at least. Okay. Done. Goodnight!

 

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