The second that ex-Droga5 chief creative officer Ted Royer stepped out to make his first public appearance since the allegations of sexual misconduct and his subsequent firing in 2018, it became shockingly apparent just how little progress the advertising industry has made in addressing the MeToo epidemic.
His audience? Not his peers, nor the press, nor established industry leaders, but the very type of women who are typically targeted by powerful men like him: young creatives who are building their careers.
The talk had little to do with creativity or the purpose of the conference—Creative LIAisons, the LIA awards event for creatives under age 30. Royer was unlisted in the program, leaving the audience little choice but to listen to what became an open, undebated space for him to deny accusations. One by one, he denounced testimonies posted on Instagram account Diet Madison Avenue, saying they were fabricated.
Once again, a woman’s right to be offended was completely overruled by a man’s right to be heard.