In an industry that has long battled sexism, Advertising Week made a concerted effort in its programming this week to address issues of equality and parity. There was an entire track Thursday called "Future is Female," with seminars titled "Fighting Bias" and "The Business Case for Female Inclusion." Another track on Monday was devoted to "Diversity and Inclusion."
So many industry execs were surprised and even disappointed with Advertising Week’s choice of selecting Pitbull as the headline act on the closing night of the event.
The audience at the packed concert venue at Webster Hall on Thursday night might have enjoyed the flashy spectacle (and open bar), but stepping back from the glitz and confetti, advertising industry professionals are saying Advertising Week was a bit tone deaf, and lacked introspection. Pitbull, flanked by backup dancers wearing sparkly red thong one-pieces, performed choreography full of booty-spanking and objectifying gestures. Many say it was a performance at odds with the many of the conference’s panels in the days leading up.