Agencies, brands (and even NYPD) rise for a rousing finale to Pride month
Agency Brief wraps up the final stride for LGBTQ+ equality as June comes to a close
Agency Brief wraps up the final stride for LGBTQ+ equality as June comes to a close.
Hot on the heels of the jet-lagged post-Cannes wrap-up, the month of Pride is also coming to an end with some notable feats of which everyone in advertising can be proud.
This year, more brands and agencies than ever showed up to support the LGBTQ+ community in recognition of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Retailers J. Crew, Kenneth Cole, Under Armour, Gap, Calvin Klein, American Eagle, Nordstrom, Express and DKNY—as well as food chains like Chipotle and Shake Shack—released Pride collections. Meanwhile, Toms, Converse, Reebok and Nike were among the footwear brands sporting rainbow shoe lines. Further afield, Disneyland Paris hosted its first Pride parade.
Support for Pride is clearly on the rise and not just amongst brands and agencies. This Sunday, 4.5 million people are expected to join New York City's Pride parade, the culmination of 50th-anniversary celebrations across the globe. (Check Ad Age's Instagram for coverage of the parade.) Even the NYPD has finally apologized for the violent four-day-long Stonewall raids in 1969 that led to the first Pride march the following year. So, we'd like to wish all of our readers a Happy Pride and, as we head into the months beyond June, to take from the lyrics of Kacey Musgraves: “There’s always been a rainbow hangin’ over your head.”
(Note: Agency Brief will take a brief hiatus next week due to the Fourth of July holiday.)
Toasting a few final Pride celebrations
Omnicom’s Hearts & Science raised $25,000 on Wednesday evening at an event it hosted for homeless LGBTQ+ youth who have been ostracized by their families after coming out. “Listen, I had a fortunate coming-out story where my parents were really supportive but a lot of youth don’t have that luxury,” says Jason Jahn, Hearts & Science director of marketing, who orchestrated the majority of the event.
Jahn said the fundraiser, which featured a performance by Aja from RuPaul’s Drag Race, attracted an encouraging level of support from the more than 350 people, “straight, gay and anywhere between,” at the agency network who showed up.
Earlier in Pride month, Zola, in partnership with independent agency Noble People, set up in San Francisco to collect hand-written love letters from passers-by. The wedding registry, planner and retailer then snail-mailed those letters to their intended recipients. The "Love Notes" campaign aimed to display all kinds of love "the old fashion way." According to Zola, thousands of letters were sent to unsuspecting recipients in the U.S., Canada, France, Germany, Sweden, Egypt, India, Japan, Thailand and Singapore. Starting this week, those letters were being broadcast live and repurposed on billboards, kiosks and bus shelters.
The Transgender Law Center debuted two digital billboards for Pride on the Nasdaq screen in New York's Times Square on Tuesday. The 15-second spots, which will run through Sunday, aim to raise awareness of police violence, state oppression and murders of transgender people of color that still occur today, 50 years after the Stonewall Rebellion. The ads are part of the #StonewallIsNow campaign launched in El Paso, Texas, through a rally and march organized by Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project, Transgender Law Center, Mijente, El/La Para TransLatinas and Detained Migrant Solidarity Committee.
Few and far, and nothing between
Steven Bennett-Day and Aaron Howard, two former Havas creatives, started their own studio called Few & Far, described as a new venture that will focus on working with clients’ in-house operations (which, as we all have heard by now, are on the rise). Bennet-Day most recently was the chief creative officer of digital shop Feed. Before that, he worked as an executive creative director at Havas Helia in Baltimore where he met Howard, who was most recently a creative director for Havas London. Few & Far is based in London and covers production, strategy, design, technology, PR and editorial.
This week's hires, promotions and departures
Ad Age broke the news earlier this week that Nick Law, who only became chief creative officer of Publicis Groupe and president of Publicis Communications less than 18 months ago, is leaving the holding company for Apple. His planned departure is set for September.
Chicago-based creative agency Socialdeviant named Publicis and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners veteran Hart Rusen as chief creative officer. The appointment follows the agency's win last week of Forge Global, the San Francisco-based stock market for private companies. Rusen will lead creative on all accounts, including the Disney Channel, Lagunitas, Red Wing Shoes, P&G and Forge Global. Fun fact about Rusen: in his spare time, he plays drums in a self-described punk-rock "dad" band called Space Tractor.
Magna, IPG Mediabrands' investment and intelligence unit, brought back Allison Kallish as executive vice president of strategic investment. Kallish previously was senior vice president and managing director for Publicis Media's Starcom and a director at P&G before that. The appointment marks her return to IPG as she worked in UM's integrated investment division from 2009 to 2013. Kallish will report to Magna U.S. President Dani Benowitz.
On the heels of 25 new client wins, creative and production shop Spring Studios appointed Nicole Cramer as global chief of staff to work across its London, New York, Milan and Los Angeles offices. Her job is to make the agency more efficient, collaborative and productive. Cramer previously held stints at J. Walter Thompson (now Wunderman Thompson), DDB Worldwide and most recently as senior vice president and global chief of staff for McCann Worldgroup.
Caitlin McNulty joined L.A. indie agency Midnight Oil as vice president, group account director to oversee Netflix. McNulty most recently co-led the Samsung account as vice president and executive client partner at Publicis.Sapient.
S4 Capital's MightyHive hired Jayne Babine to lead its new partnership development team as vice president. Babine previously held roles at The Knot Worldwide and Neustar, among others. The partnership development team was created to improve the flow of information with partners in advertising and marketing.
New York independent agency o2kl poached Matt Wexler from DDB's Tribal Worldwide to be head of client business development. Wexler has also worked in-house at Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil, Pfizer, HSBC and Mars.