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In Branding
Social Media

By Arengee

Our response to Brad Jakeman’s Agency Bashing: Provide Viable Alternatives. Brains aren’t gender or ethnic exclusive. More >

On 28, Oct 2015 | 2 Comments | In Branding, rant, Social Media | By Arengee

PepsiCo Exec Has Tough Words for Agencies

Mr. Jakeman,

We have a few responses to your rant during the Association of National Advertising’s annual “Masters of Marketing” conference in Orlando, Fla.

“Can we stop using the term advertising…”

  • Please provide an alternative term to the act or practice of calling public attention to one’s product, service, need, etc., via paid media.

“I am sick and tired as a client of sitting in agency meetings with a whole bunch of white straight males talking to me about how we are going to sell our brands that are bought 85% by women,” he said. “Innovation and disruption does not come from homogeneous groups of people.”

  • A) Brains I.E. creative ideas, are not gender or ethnic specific.
  • B) Appoint a woman in your place – seems to match better with your line of thinking, and customer.

Question: Is this maybe your idea of lighting a fire under your current agencies since Coca-Cola seems to be able to stay on the cutting edge with the antiquated agency model?

Finallythe client approves ALL creative from the agency they hired.

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  1. Dear @Arengee:

    First, my apologies for not responding to your Blog on the comments page, but your site locks me out when I try to register. (hope I have not offended you that badly!). Secondly, in my attempts to rectify this I spent quite a bit of time on your site and your work is very impressive, my compliments.

    Now to answer your questions/address your comments:

    1. As I said in a Tweet last week, I am not bashing agencies. In fact, I love them. I spent 10 years at Ogilvy and BBDO in three countries. It’s where I learned to love advertising and creativity. It’s out of this passion for agencies that I want them to thrive well into the future by innovating to meet the new realities of media and client requirements.

    2. To your question about alternatives to the term “advertising”. In part my answer lies in the definition of the term you provided – why are we limiting ourselves to “paid media”? The best brands in the world connect with their consumers through paid, earned, owned and shared media. So how about we replace advertising (which connotes “paid” media) with the term “content”? Just because our content has a commercial motive, doesn’t mean that it should be any less awesome, amazing, and engaging as any other form of content.

    3. I’m sorry, can’t agree with your point that “brains are brains” irrespective of gender or ethnicity. Our views and perspectives on the world are deeply influenced by our gender, the cultures we live in and grow up in etc. And we bring those perspectives to how we form ideas and solve problems. That’s why I believe that diverse teams are better innovators. And why more women in the process, especially for categories where over 80% of the purchase decisions are made by women, should be prominent in those teams.

    4. I love my job! I’m not ready to leave yet. But if I do, the chances are statistically higher that a woman will succeed me. After all, 65% of my leadership team and direct reports are women.

    5. Coca-Cola is a formidable competitor, you’re right. And the CMO Wendy Clark (a women) is awesome. But you are mistaken, Coke has a very innovative roster of agencies, some “traditional”, some not so. And I believe that they also have a huge in-house design and creative team.

    6. Your’e right – Clients get the advertising they deserve. As a marketing community we all have a ways to go to drive innovation into the ways we create, measure, recruit and publish content. Hopefully my remarks will help keep that conversation going.

    Thanks again for taking the time to engage in the conversation.


    • There is no empirical data to suggest diversity produces better results. Better people produce better results irrespective of diversity.

      As Creative Director, I look for people who understand the product, the target audience, and most importantly, their ability to communicate the product attributes to the target audience. The fact the writer or art director or web person happens to be male or female, older or younger, white or black, straight, gay or questioning is just is not part of my process. In a perfect world perhaps diversification would be a good thing but I believe my clients deserve the best person(s). I and my staff are deeply influenced by our gender, cultures, etc. however it us our education and experience which enables us to look beyond our obvious limitations.

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