Returning to profit
After the struggles of many agencies this year, here’s some positive news for once. Ad Age’s Alexandra Jardine reports that Mother London has announced that it has repaid all the money it received through the U.K. government furlough scheme. Having initially asked those earning over 30,000 pounds to defer part of their salary, which was due to be repaid in December 2021, and putting 32 roles on furlough, the agency now says it has been able to recoup income lost in the initial pandemic financial shock. It has returned all the salary deferrals a year ahead of plan, returned all the employees to work and, at the same time, returned to profit, according to Jardine.
Mother Global CEO Michael Wall comments: “We were grateful to the U.K. Government for releasing these funds at the start of the pandemic. As our year went on, and thanks to the hard work and commitment of our team, we found ourselves in the fortunate position of not needing the financial support. So we’re returning the money.”
Ready, set, reform
As the industry works to combat systemic racism, New York digital marketing agency Ready Set Rocket is the latest shop to announce updates to its diversity, equity and inclusion measures. The agency has made the following three commitments: First, the shop says it will be auditing “everything as it relates to DE&I,” including how the agency presents itself on its website and social media, how it writes job listings, how it conducts interviews and how it undergoes the recruitment process. Ready Set Rocket says it will also be improving how it recruits diverse talent by working with “recruiters specializing in finding diverse talent and adding them to the [agency’s] freelance bench and full-time hire candidate pools.” Its final commitment is to implement quarterly training “on implicit bias and language use.”
“We’re now in a place where yes, we all agree there’s a social and business case for having a more diverse and inclusive team, especially in marketing where you need to be able to speak to diverse audiences,” says Mike Shannon, who leads HR at Ready Set Rocket. “Still, we haven’t made that investment into DE&I before.”
Kinetic Worldwide, WPP’s out-of-home agency, appointed Keith Kaplan as global CEO. Kaplan comes from Outfront Media, where he was a strategic advisor. He replaces Marc Antoine de Roys, who recently announced his retirement.
Epsilon, the data marketing giant Publicis Groupe bought for $4.4 billion last year, hired two new executives. Joe Doran was poached from customer intelligence tech company Signal to be its first chief people officer. Doran will be responsible in part for accelerating the integration of Epsilon and Publicis’ PeopleCloud. The company also hired Jen Mahone Rightler as its VP of diversity and inclusion. She joins from Boeing with her first task being to assess Epsilon’s current D&I practices.
The Advertising Club of New York’s International Andy Awards named PJ Pereira, creative chairman and co-founder of Pereira O’Dell, as its new jury chairman. He will serve in the role for two years, and has sat on past Andy Awards’ juries. In tandem with his appointment, the Andys also announced it would be launching a new “Face The Future” creative mentorship initiative to “propel a new generation of diverse leaders for the industry.”
AMV BBDO promoted Kelly Knight to be its first chief diversity and HR officer. She has been serving as an HR director since 2006. Knight’s initial task in the expanded role will be working with senior leadership to “ramp up its work building a culture which is inclusive, celebrates and recognizes diversity,” according to the agency.
Work & Co hired Saulo Rodrigues to help lead design in Brazil as group design director. He joins the digital product agency from R/GA São Paulo, where he was VP and executive creative director. Work & Co says his appointment comes as the company continues to grow in Brazil and elsewhere, counting nearly 400 team members now across Latin America, the U.S. and Europe. The agency says Rodrigues will help boost recognition in the region, where Work & Co services clients like Claro, Itau and Globo.