Saturday, October 22, 2005

Shame on Neil French ... Bad Mark for Marketing

Adrants was ontop of the furor created by WPP Creative Chief Neil French who ranted in Ad Age on creative directors who happened to be working mom's. He called them "crap" because of their inability to commit themselves 100 percent to the job due to childcare issues: "Nobody deserves a job unless they can commit to it."

No question it's hard being a working mom ... I don't know how they do it.

But there is an old adage that says if you want something done right and fast, find a busy person. Busy people are typically more productive than those who don't take on as many projects at a time. In my experience, busy people (like working mom's) get more done and should certainly not, as a class, be labeled as not committed. Activity outside work makes us sharper in all we do when on the job.

It might be hard for us to juggle our various calendars around working mom's who occasionally have to put children up front during business hours. It's inconvenient, but if you remove their talent from our team mix, the team will definitely be weaker.

And for that matter, what about "working dad's" -- there have been plenty of times that I put work on the back-burner for a morning or two to take care of our children when they were growing up. But to label me as "uncommitted" would be offensive and patently untrue.

French's comments are just a bad mark for marketing.

I wonder how many of the consumers French has designed brand campaigns for who were or are working mom's? He has insulted a big percent of the people who buy the stuff he's been marketing.

Yep, a bad mark for marketing. Especially for customer-centric, contextually relevant marketers.


At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Emily said...

Wow. I just got through reading French's interview with Ad Age. I have to say that I am offended seeing how I would like a career in PR and advertising, but I would also like a family some day. Basically what French just told me was that I can't have both and be good at both.

Not only women should be offended by his views though. Anyone who has a life outside of his or her job would be uncommited according to French.

I've always been told, just like everyone else, that I can do absolutely anything I want with my life. This is the first time I have heard that you have to choose between a family and a career.

I understand the point French was trying to make, but I completely disagree with it. I choose to side with your commment when you said if you want something done, give it to a busy person.

Personally, I get much more accomplished when I'm busy and have lots of different projects going on than when I don't have much to do.

Like you said, it does leave a bad mark for marketing. Hopefully he'll meet someone to change his mind.


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