Ok, lots of folks already know that Neil French holds sexist views. But did he really have to go this far? Over on Brand Republic, they've just reported that he's offered his resignation after giving a speech in Toronto this month in which he was asked why women were under-represented among the top ranks of creative directors. He replied: "Because they're crap".
Nancy Vonk, co-chief creative officer at WPP's Ogilvy agency in Toronto, wrote an angry column denouncing his comments over at the Ihaveanidea.org website. She continues that he described that women will inevitably wimp out and 'go suckle something' after their short stint in advertising, and that in his honest opinion he was voicing the inner thoughts of legions of men in the senior ranks of our business. There's also a legion of comments that are also worth a read.
I posted the news to a couple of newsgroups I belong too, and there's been plenty of feedback I can tell you. If Neil French was a nobody, he and his comments could be laughed off as insignificant and stupid. However, this is a man who is WPP Group worldwide creative director and influences a staff of 72,000 as well as clients, peers, the media and so on. There are many in the advertising industry who hang on his every word.
Continuining on the sexism in advertising theme, I've emailed the editor of Campaign Magazine to see what she has to say about the lack of female judges at their recent poster and digital awards. I'm very interested to see what response (if any) I get.
Update 21.10.05: Link to Guardian article [subscription required]. Neil French talks back - WPP executive claims bloggers sealed his fate
Post a Comment
Keep it clean please. Spam will be removed. And thank you for taking the trouble to read and comment. I appreciate it.