French Agency Rosapark’s Faces Scrutiny; 50 CMOs on the Future of Marketing: Wednesday’s First Things First

Plus, Aunt Jemima actress' relatives on their family legacies

two men on a park bench, one with a tv for a head and another as a remote control
Brand safety is the top concern for buyers of digital ads. Photo Illustration: Trent Joaquin; Source: Getty Images
Headshot of Jess Zafarris

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Paris Agency Rosapark, Led by White Founders, Faces Scrutiny on Twitter

Havas-owned French agency Rosapark was the subject of discussions around race and representation in the industry on Twitter Tuesday after Nathan Young, president of 600 & Rising and group strategy director at Periscope, noted the juxtaposition between its name and the three white men who lead it. The agency’s former creative director claimed in 2016 that the founders of the agency didn’t deliberately name it after Rosa Parks.

As the discussion continued on Twitter, a Havas employee criticized the manner in which Young drew attention to Rosapark’s name, prompting more outrage, as Young’s supporters pointed out the problem with telling a Black man how to react to racial insensitivity.

Inside the debate: Many of those who commented are in favor of a name change for the agency.

Also in Agency News:

  • WPP’s Ogilvy named Andy Main its new global CEO. Main will join next month, replacing John Seifert, who plans on retiring in 2021.
  • WPP has been hired by WW, formerly Weight Watchers, to handle its media responsibilities in North America, part of a larger structure for the market in which agency Decoded Advertising will work “hand-in-hand” with WPP.

The World’s Top CMOs on the Role of Marketing in the Future

Adweek met with 50 CMOs from the world’s biggest brands for The Great Marketing Reboot, two symposiums intended to find out what’s changed in the past three months, what’s changing in the next three months and what’s forever changed for the industry. Here were a few highlights from a survey they responded to:

  • 68% of respondents said the role of marketing has been elevated in the past three months. That means brands need to authentically communicate and embody their brand purpose and social values.
  • Business leaders are more responsible than ever for being change agents, so marketers will need to be more involved in internal communications within their organizations, leading discussions about connecting brand purpose with company values.
  • To address team mental health as a top priority while maintaining productivity and development, leaders will need to learn new skills, teams will need more outlets to de-stress and new protocols will need to be developed to respect work-life balance.

Get more insights: Discover the top 10 tips from the symposium participants for the brands of tomorrow.

Related: How can brand leaders and stewards shift, adapt and grow to stand the test of time in today’s environment? Here are the top themes these 50 CMOs brought up.

Relatives of the Actresses Behind Aunt Jemima See Rebrand as Legacy Erasure

The 131-year-old Aunt Jemima mascot and brand, which PepsiCo recently announced it is retiring, is rooted in the slavery-era minstrel stereotype of the “Black mammy.” But the relatives of two Aunt Jemima actresses told NBC News that they believe the removal of the mascot represents an erasure of their legacy. Vera Harris, whose great aunt Lillian Richard played Aunt Jemima for 23 years, said she understands not wanting to perpetuate a negative stereotype, but that she doesn’t want her aunt’s memory “swept under the rug.” Meanwhile, the great-grandson of Anna Harrington Short called the rebranding a “slap in the face.”

A look back in time: Read about the history of these two actresses, as well as the original woman who inspired Aunt Jemima, Nancy Green.

NewFronts Updates

  • The IAB’s annual video ad spend study, which it released yesterday, shows that more than half of buyers are moving their broadcast and cable ad spend to connected TV, which includes companies like Roku, Tubi and Hulu.
  • Debuting at NewFronts, Barstool Sports touted its new creative studio for brands while explaining to advertisers why they shouldn’t be put off by the occasionally controversial platform.
  • Also a newcomer, Snap talked up its original shows including The Drop, an unscripted streetwear-focused show that lets users shop for apparel while they watch.
  • Focusing on short-form video platform ellentube, Ellen Digital Network presented a star-studded lineup including shows from comedian Tiffany Haddish and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’s Ellie Kemper.
  • Facebook didn’t focus on new programming for its video destinations, but instead provided examples of the creative ways its tools like Facebook Live and Instagram Live have been used amid the pandemic.
  • Condé Nast emphasized its commitment to championing more diverse voices, plus opportunities for advertisers including a podcast network, shoppable ads and partnerships with Nielsen and the National Basketball Players Association.
  • Vevo focused on its wide distribution, with a reach of 148 million viewers and 24 billion monthly global views, mostly due to its presence on YouTube.

More of Today’s Top News and Highlights

Halo Top Wants You to Dance Around and Eat Some Ice Cream in New Body Positivity Ad

In an ad created with Heat, Deloitte Digital’s agency, light ice cream brand Halo Top went full body-positive for the first time, encouraging consumer to stop “shoulding” themselves and enjoy a pint.

@JessZafarris Jess Zafarris is an audience engagement editor at Adweek.