DDB Worldwide CEO Wendy Clark is among 180 other female advertising leaders who have launched Time’s Up / Advertising, the advertising and marketing industry answer to the entertainment industry’s Time’s Up movement, which was launched at the end of 2017.
Other leaders include Alyson Warshaw, CCO of Laundry Service; Debby Reiner, CEO of Grey New York; Andrea Cook, president of FCB/Six; Andrea Diquez, CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi New York; Kirsten Flanik, President and CEO of BBDO New York; Kate Weiss, Executive Vice President of human resources and partner at Universal McCann; Sarah Thompson, global and New York CEO of Droga5 and Kristen Cavallo, the CEO of The Martin Agency who was appointed in December after the agency’s former CCO Joe Alexander departed amid a wave of sexual harassment allegations.
According to a statement on their website, the ultimate goal of the newly formed advertising vertical under the Time’s Up movement is similar to the entertainment industry’s – to address the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential. The group states they have partnered with leading advocates for equality and safety to improve laws, employment agreements, and corporate policies; help change the face of corporate boardrooms and the C-suite; and enable more women and men to access our legal system to hold wrongdoers accountable.
The group has posted an open letter and mission statement which can be viewed in total here. The letter begins with “Hey Sister, we know,” and continues:
“At the end of January, a small group of us came together to talk about what was going on in the industry and in our offices and what we could do about it. That long night turned into more meetups and phone calls, and hundreds of emails. Many hundreds of emails. Along the way, we have grown from 14 women to 180.”
The letter also notes:
“As women in senior leadership positions in advertising, we’ve agreed that we have the power to change this business we love until it looks more like the industry we want to lead. As leaders, it’s on us to foster a workplace where people are challenged but still respected. Sexual harassment is not OK. Never. No exceptions. No amount of talent, missed cues, or being great in the room unchecks the No Sexual Harassment box. Old power dynamics are a lot of the problem. Power that blurs the lines between what you get to do/have/touch/ask for/expect and what you don’t. It’s time to talk candidly about the responsibility that comes with power.”
The initiative calls on every agency, female-run or not, to join the effort by keeping up with the goals listed on its website. Time’s Up Advertising will also raise funds for the Time’s Up Legal Defense Fund, which provides subsidized representation to individuals bringing up a sexual harassment or abuse case.
The group says it hopes to drive new policies, practices and actions that address discrimination, harassment and abuse in the workplace with the goal to create a more diverse, balanced and accountable leadership. Progress will be posted on their website, focusing on three main actions:
• Committing to creating solutions that work, starting with examining the processes and policies that it says have failed women.
• Identifying and mentoring people who represent diversity across the board and are ready to become agency leaders.
• Adopting progressive agency training and education that brings this discussion and its solutions out into the open with our agencies.
Times Up/advertising will host its first community meeting on May 14 in New York, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles. They also plan to create an online forum for reach beyond major cities.
The organization’s launch comes less than a week after the industry’s latest controversy came to light via Adweek. Last Thursday, the trade broke the news that Hyundai’s Innocean Worldwide, located in Long Beach, and its chief creative officer Eric Springer had been sued for sexual harassment and discrimination.
As The Time’s Up movement is near and dear to our publisher, Barbara Roche’s heart, Reel Chicago has offered sponsorship in the form of free advertising, announcements of events, and stories covering the activities.
Contact Colin Costello at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.