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This Women’s History Month, AMP explored what women today want from brands, advertisers, and marketers. Since there are approximately 3.9 billion women in the world — each with their own unique personalities, backgrounds, and desires — we’ve narrowed the focus of this article to three desires that stood out to us during our research. We’ve also included insights from women we interviewed who have worked in the advertising and marketing industry. (Their names have been removed for privacy.) We don’t claim to speak on behalf of all women, but instead aim to highlight some of the desires and expectations for brands & the industry that many women have expressed in recent years. Women Want More Diverse and Intersectional Representation Over the past decade, there have been some incredible pushes towards more diverse representation of women in advertising — from The National Lottery’s uplifting & inclusive “This Girl Can” campaign to this amazing photo of Black transqueer lesbian model Jari Jones popping open a bottle of champagne in front of her larger-than-life Calvin Klein ad. Most of the women we spoke to in the industry mentioned that they’ve seen more diverse representation in recent years: more interracial couples, more body sizes in the fashion world, more stay-at-home dads, and fewer blatantly sexist ads. Still, only 29% of American women believe they are accurately represented in advertising, according to a recent study by data intelligence company Morning Consult. (The same study found that 44% of American men believe women are accurately represented.) As advertisers and marketers, a crucial step in developing a strategy plan is studying our consumers and learning about their wants, needs, and habits. So why does the industry continue to miss the mark with female representation? Perhaps it has something to do with the word “and.” Because a consumer is never just a woman. Maybe she’s a woman and bisexual and Latinx and a stepmom and really into Maseratis and perfume. When we look at female representation, we must consider intersectionality and what other identities might matter to female consumers. Let’s say our consumer identifies as a lesbian. According to a 2019 survey of 2,000 adults in the UK by GAY TIMES and Karmarama, 72% of LGBTQ respondents think the way they’re represented in advertising is tokenistic. Let’s say she has a disability. The Calgary Society for Persons with Disabilities (CSPD) reported in 2019 that only 3% of characters on North American television have disabilities and of these, 95% are played by able-bodied actors. (This statistic inspired their moving “Visibility for Disability” campaign.) Let’s say she’s a mom. A 2019 report from the brand Motherly with almost 6,500 survey respondents found that 85% of millennial moms don’t feel like society does a good job of understanding and supporting them. Let’s say she’s a woman of color. A 2019 study on the representation of Black women and girls in Hollywood found that Black females and other females of color are more likely to be portrayed partially/fully nude than white females — in films and on TV. The same study found that white female TV characters are more likely to have a job (89.6%) compared to Black female characters (70.5%) and other female characters of color (58.8%). (This study was conducted by The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media and focused on family films and TV.) How might it feel to see characters who look like her repeatedly oversexualized and underemployed? Even if a woman feels her “womanness” — or whatever you want to call it — is well-represented, maybe she doesn’t feel like her other identities are well-represented. Maybe the commercials, print ads, and radio spots she encounters are not adding up to how she sees herself as a whole woman person. Women Don’t Want to Be Superheroes (At Least Not All the Time) The brilliant author Carmen Maria Machado wrote, “We deserve to have our wrongdoing represented as much as our heroism, because when we refuse wrongdoing as a possibility for a group of people, we refuse their humanity.” Our messy complexities are part of what make us human. And it turns out, a lot of women want to see more of this messiness, and less of the fully put together superwoman archetype we’ve been served again and again in past decades. One ad that leans into this attitude superbly is Frida Mom’s “Stream of Lactation” commercial, which highlights the highs and lows of breastfeeding with an authentic, stream-of-conscious voiceover. One woman in the industry we interviewed said: I LOVE the new Frida commercial about breastfeeding. While watching the commercial, I felt seen and understood. I saw myself and thought "Wow, that's exactly what I do" or "Yes, that happened to me." Women want to see other women that they identify with, and that's the best (and most ethical) way to sell your product. For years, women were served razor ads featuring models with shaved skin and pad ads featuring that notorious blue liquid. Marketers made shaving and menstruation seem like a walk in the park. But then came “Blood Normal” and Billie. “Blood Normal” by hygiene company Libresse broke ground as the first campaign to show actual period blood. Billie similarly changed the game by creating the first razor campaign for women featuring actual body hair. And people loved it. “Blood Normal” won the coveted Glass Lion for Change Grand Prix at Cannes and Billie has grown to be a successful brand with 278k followers on Instagram. By portraying women in nontraditional but relatable ways, brands like Libresse and Billie have managed to both diversify female representation and gain a loyal following of customers. Women Want Brands to Play a Role In the Conversation on Social Issues and Gender In the era of social media, brand accountability, and virtual boycotts, we are seeing more women putting pressure on brands to speak up on social issues. When the Black Lives Matter protests surged in spring 2020, numerous brands spoke out on the topic of racial justice. But for many internet users, these efforts — many of which took the form of social media posts — didn’t go far enough. Examples of real comments posted on one popular fashion brand’s 2020 posts: “If you just posted a square, you’re performative!” “What steps have you implemented to date?” “So this was a lie.” “I’m so sad to hear all this and will no longer support [brand name]. I’ve been a diehard fan for so long. I will never stand for a brand that would allow, at any capacity, racial profiling.” This brand has over 4 million followers on Instagram. And it’s just one of many brands we saw called out in 2020 for their social media responses to current events. We’re also hearing women say they want brands to contribute more directly to the conversation on gender. A women who works in the industry told us: I want to see more men wondering what detergent to use and more women thinking about what kind of cool car to drive. In my own relationship, my husband is very concerned about dishwasher liquid (really) and I want to drive a slick fast car on an open road. Life is changing, roles are changing, and all I'm asking is to see that reflected. Big brands especially have so much power to normalize and destigmatize. Another important step in joining this conversation is amplifying female voices at brands and agencies. It’s not just about hiring more women, but also promoting them to management and leadership positions. When The 3% Movement was founded in 2012, only 3% of all US Creative Directors were women. The organization has since helped push that number to 29% today — an amazing increase, but still not close to 50%. Promoting women to leadership positions adds diverse perspectives to our teams and brings more female insights into how women want to be represented. How To Give Women What They Want There are so many ways organizations can tailor their branding, advertising, and marketing efforts to better address the desires and expectations of women. They can engage with the conversation on social issues and gender, complexify female roles in their campaigns, and offer more diverse and intersectional representations of women across the board. They can also enrich their internal teams by hiring women, and promoting them to leadership roles. The goal isn’t for every brand to try and address all the desires of every woman on the planet, but to make efforts day by day where you can. For example, if parents make up a large percentage of your target audience, you might consider how to bring intersectional, complex representations of moms to your ads. Think of where it makes sense to engage authentically with your customers. Insights from Women Who Work in the Industry To get a better idea of how the marketing and advertising industry is currently addressing female wants and expectations from the inside, we interviewed some of the women we know. The responses below come from people who have worked as interns, freelancers, and full-timers — at agencies and in-house — with experience ranging from 3-10+ years in the industry. Q: What do you want from the ads and marketing tactics you see in the world? A: “I would like to see more representation throughout ad campaigns. It would be nice to see people who look like me and the people around me, and not just the same famous people.” “I've seen companies attempt to be more socially aware (or "woke," if you will) but sometimes it backfires. I want advertisers to stop trying so hard in their marketing tactics or do a better job of reading the room.” “I always respond to authenticity, self-awareness and especially humor — the Ok Cupid "DTF” campaign is a great example. As a consumer, I do not respond well to feeling shamed or condescended to.” “I want to see all types of women doing all types of things. I also would love for brands to call out censorship, double-standards, or gender roadblocks in their ads directly.” Q: What are your expectations for the campaigns you yourself put out in the world? A: “To cast women in unexpected roles. Conversely, to not only show moms as caretakers and nurturers.” “I do my best to make people think about the thing we're advertising in a new way, whether that means showing them a way our product can add something new and positive to their lives, or just causing them to stop and laugh at an interesting image or headline. I also feel a pretty heavy responsibility not to add to any of the toxic stereotypes or standards that we're all — but especially women — constantly bombarded with.” “What an incredible responsibility we play as women in the biz. It's frustrating to see the same narrative about the same woman over and over. And it's a true challenge to bend that narrative into one that's more truthful of our experiences. But it's a fight worth fighting, and I think having women in leadership roles in advertising is greatly improving this issue.” Q: How are women portrayed in advertising? Do you predict this changing in the upcoming year? A: “Over the past ten or twenty years, we've gone from a total proliferation of the same cookie-cutter image to the slow, incremental appearance of more diverse, ‘real’ images of women. As we've seen more and more brands jump on that bandwagon, I can't help but feel a little cynical. Pop feminism and ‘girl power’ have become just another sales tool... it's still so much about making women feel like they need things to be fully realized. It's just gone from, ‘Buy this product and you'll be beautiful’ to, ‘Buy this product and you'll be empowered.’” “My wife and I have both been hyper-aware of the significant increase of interracial couples featured in ads, which is very exciting. For 2021, I'd love to see more of this, and a lot more queer women of all races, ages, body shapes, and ethnicities. I have seen lesbian couples here and there, but I haven't seen many lesbian parents.” “I think there's still an absence of women who are 40+ in the advertising I see. Middle age isn't what it used to be and it would be great to see the modern, mature woman portrayed more in advertising that is not related to medications.” “One thing I hope would change is the Instagram fad of everyone looking like a Kardashian. Influencers are such a huge part of advertising, and we know how harmful those unrealistic depictions of beauty can be.” “For the most part women have been either hyper-sexualized or seen as arm-candy to sell a product. There are more conversations and actions happening in recent years to represent women in less hyper-sexualized roles. On the other hand, I do not have a problem with women being portrayed sexually. Especially in fashion and art. I think there has to be care in not being over-sexualized, where the woman then becomes an object of desire.” Q: Do you feel satisfied with how you see women represented in advertising today? A: “Satisfied would sound like there is not room for improvement. I think it’s much better than it was 10 years ago and hope it keeps evolving.” “One thing that bothers me about the way Black women are represented in advertising today is that there is still a bias toward light-skinned Black women or women who look mixed race. Obviously this is an old issue, but it still persists and needs to change.” “I think so… It is encouraging to see women of all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, and identities in ads these days… depicted as funny, strong, silly, beautiful, smart, and all of the ways you can be depicted. However, I do think we still need to come up with more ways to flip the script.” “I don’t know if I’m satisfied with how women are represented in advertising yet. I think having more women in advertising and higher positions would change the outcome of some campaigns. There can’t be representation properly done without real women’s voices.” Q: How does it feel to be a woman working in this industry? A: “I’ve been fortunate to work in an environment where I haven’t felt treated differently for being a woman.” “A lot of days I don't think about it too much, but it probably informs everything I do.” “There’s always room for improvement. There's no better time to be a woman in history than today, and hopefully thirty years down the line, a woman will say the same thing. We should always be striving for better.”
Each spring, people all over the world celebrate Holi. Known as “the festival of colors,” this ancient Hindu festival signifies the triumph of good over evil. A popular Holi tradition is the throwing of gulal (colorful powder) at friends, family, and even strangers. We sent our AMPers gulal so we could share the joy of Holi together — even while we’re far apart. Check out the video! Happy Holi, everyone!
Today, March 8th, marks the annual International Women’s Day where we globally celebrate the achievements and successes of women everywhere. In recognition of today and Women’s History Month, we’ve asked five women from our agency to join us for Voices AMPlified, an ongoing panel series designed to spark discussion and highlight notable moments throughout the year. This month, our panel is centered around what it means to be women in the advertising and marketing industry. To kick things off, we’ve asked them to answer the question: “What would you tell your younger self?” Check out what they had to say: Katelyn Crowley, VP of Talent & Strategic Operations “There are a lot of great things about being an adult — like setting our own bedtime. But perhaps most importantly, with age comes the wisdom and perspective we only wish we had when we were younger. If I could give my younger-self advice, I would say: Invest in finding and building partnerships with people who cheer you on and cheer you up. I’m fortunate enough to have a close-circle of incredible women who always have my back and push me to be better. I also married a man who treats me as an equal partner. I will never regret stopping the hustle to tune in, spend time and connect with these people. Also, remember to wear sunscreen!” Rosetta Lane, SR. Producer “I would tell my younger self that your job does not define who you are, and that more often than not, people remember what you do less than how you do it. The answer is not always to hustle harder, but to instead cherish the present, find daily ways to grow in and out work, and save room for yourself to rest. Burnout is real, don’t wait until someone gives you a break (you’ll be waiting a long time!), take what you need to stay balanced. Above all else, have patience, you can’t rush the wisdom that comes with experience.” Kiki Takakura-Merquise, VP, Digital Transformation “Notes to a younger self - Loneliness is temporal and it will always be back; get comfortable with silence and learn to be your own friend. - It is normal to be angry but do not let it blind you; use it to focus and create clarity to find a better path. - Never eat bananas before checking on a beehive; seriously, don’t do it.” Surina Sud, Consumer Research Associate Strategist “If I could give advice to my younger self today, I would tell her not be afraid of anything. I’d tell her to speak up, take risks, and believe in herself because she can do anything. I’d remind her to do what makes her laugh, do what she loves, to not fear of what people think – and to be proud of who she is.” Samantha Thu, Media Director “Now that I’ve finally figured out what I want and what makes me happy, I would tell my younger self to not worry about what others are doing and focus on my own path, whether that was personal, professional or just in general. I used to put so much undue stress on myself to chase the next promotion, compare my career path with others, and to move onto the next thing. I wish I had stopped to take a breath and just enjoy the moment, soak it in and not always be looking one step ahead. The true achievement was personal growth and development into the confident and experienced individual I am today, commanding all of my decisions without hesitation, self-doubt and question. When I finally slowed down a few years ago and made this realization, my quality of life - mentally, emotionally and physically - was far greater than I could have imagined and any continued growth has really presented itself in a more natural progression, at times when I’m truly ready for it.” To learn more about International Women’s Day, check out this website.
Hispanic Heritage Month is a month-long celebration of the contributions, history and culture of Hispanic & Latinx communities in the United States. During the 2020 celebration, AMP Agency held its first Voices AMPlified panel, which consisted of 4 hispanic and Latinx AMP employees discussing their personal experiences growing up and how their career led them to the marketing and advertising world. Check out some of the highlights from the AMPlified Voices panel in this video.
This Monday is Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Observed on the third Monday of every January, this holiday celebrates the Civil Rights leader’s life and the legacy he leaves behind. Martin Luther King Jr. Day is the only federal holiday designated as a national day of service, encouraging people to volunteer in an effort to help improve their communities. Considered a “day on” instead of a day off, many of us at AMP are dedicating today to helping support our communities – and we encourage you to do the same. Here are some of the ways you can give back to your community this MLK Day. Volunteer or Donate to a Food Bank or Organization Want to help folks in need? Try volunteering at your local food bank to help feed the people in your community. If you’re not able to volunteer in person this year, think about collecting some food to donate. These organizations below are great places to get started: Feeding America Meals on Wheels Donate to a Charity Organization Looking for something you can do from home? Consider making a donation to a charity of your choice. There are a number of excellent causes and organizations that you can donate to this MLK Day, including these non-profits: MLK Community Hospital Children’s Trust Movember Participate in a Neighborhood Clean Up Interested in helping improve your community? Gather a small group of neighbors and lead a neighborhood clean up. Your group can pick up litter, plant trees and flowers, and help neighbors clean their yards. Be sure to observe social distancing and wear a mask and gloves. Walk in an MLK Day March Want to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr? Search for local MLK Day marches and celebrations that you can safely attend. Encourage friends and family to also attend or volunteer at events and organizations around the country. If you’re interested in learning about more service opportunities, check out this directory.
As an agency, it is our responsibility to champion the varied viewpoints, cultures and expertise of our workforce. In June, we made a promise to actively support diversity and foster greater inclusivity at AMP. In July, we formalized our commitment through the creation of our Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) Committee. Today, we’re introducing the DE&I Committee Members who are spearheading our initiatives. Shayne Ortiz, Senior Analyst & DE&I Lead "I joined the DE&I committee to inspire young women. At AMP, I'm inspired every day by the women in senior leadership positions here, and I want to be able to show younger women more representation in positions like these. Our company's prioritization of these efforts is commendable, and I hope that through our program's initiatives we can influence our industry and hold those within it accountable to do the right thing." Michael Mish, SVP General Manager & Executive Sponsor "Unity gives us strength. My role as a multicultural leader is to create equal platforms and opportunities for all to be successful." Katelyn Crowley, VP of Business Operations & Executive Sponsor "I hope my children exist in a world where company DE&I committees are not necessary because everyone has equal opportunity, the world is fair and just and we celebrate what is both common and different. My role as a parent is to teach my children early in their lives that in diversity there is power. My role on the AMP DE&I Committee is a chance to model the behaviors that get us to that place in the future." Anika Dhar, Project Manager & DE&I Secretary "No two people or their experiences are alike. I believe that a diverse mix of voices leads to better discussions, ideas, decisions and outcomes - especially when it comes to the advertising industry. I am honored to be on this team working with a group of people who all value diversity, inclusivity and strive to make a change. " Alyssa McBryar, Senior Marketing Manager "Inequity, systems of oppression, and prejudice are omnipresent. They need to be dismantled for everyone to access and thrive in equitable and supportive environments. I’m committed to the work of doing so at AMP and in our industry." Roberto Valdivieso, Art Director "As a minority, working at an agency that allows me the opportunity to change inequalities within the workplace motivates me to be part of the DE&I committee at AMP." Esther Wang, Senior Account Executive "Inherent biases and prejudice don’t foster inclusivity. I want to take action and create an inclusive workplace here at AMP. We should celebrate, in fact encourage, the differences among us - including how we think, what we believe in and how we look." Rashida Hull, Engagement Strategist “My parents always told me I wasn’t allowed to complain about things, instead create solutions. My core value is to help support the changes I believe in to help make the world a better place for future generations.” Liz Furze, Associate Creative Director "I believe we all have a responsibility to help dismantle systems of racism, sexism, and inequity in our communities—and one of the places we can make the most impact is where we work." Adam Graves, Group Director, Analytics "Creating equal access to opportunity, humanity, and respect – this is what matters to me. I want to help break the system that has made it acceptable – if not habitual – for these resources to be withheld from people who don’t fit a specific mold. Everyone inherently deserves a chance to thrive." Jennifer Carroll, Director PR & Media Relations "Diversity, equity and inclusion isn’t only about policies and programs, it’s rooted in respecting the unique needs, perspectives and potential of everyone. I am committed to helping make AMP a workplace where all employees feel welcomed and where success is attainable for everyone, regardless of race, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation." Learn more about AMP's commitment to Anti-Racism: https://www.ampagency.com/blog/anti-racism-commitments
By Stephanie Twining, Director of Social Media A few weeks ago, I was inspired by my friends on the Hispanic Heritage Month Panel to extend my learnings and experiences to the larger AMP team and beyond. While I’ve known October to be Filipino American History Month for some time, I wasn’t certain how to personally celebrate aside from the making of Filipino food (lumpia, ftw). So, in honor of this celebratory month, thank you for letting me share a bit of my story with you. While many recognize and admire famous Filipinos like Manny Pacquiao and Jo Koy (trust me, we love them too!), the magnitude of the Filipino American community as a whole is often overlooked. Filipino Americans are the second largest Asian American group in the United States and the largest Asian American group in Washington state, where I live. Even still, I’ve found that we fly under the radar. Often identified as Asian, Pacific Islander, neither, or somewhere in between, answering the common “what is your race?” question is tricky. A quick introduction: I am half Filipino and a first generation Filipino American. My dad was born in Manila and immigrated to the US with my grandparents and aunt when he was seven. My mom, on the other hand, is a blend of Irish and German, inheriting her red hair and blue eyes from my grandparents who migrated to Seattle from the Dakotas. What a power combo. 😊 While I love both sides of my family dearly and have developed so much pride for this mix, I’ve admittedly spent much of my life trying to understand my unique ethnic identity. When you’re in school, all you want is to fit in. I mean, who doesn’t? But when you’re one of only three kids who don't present white in your K-8th grade class, that truly isn’t possible. Regardless of my photo being used on the front of brochures and websites to showcase diversity for schools and organizations, I’ve also been told by people of color, “you’re not Asian enough”. In 7th grade I was asked to speak Spanish in front of my class because the teacher assumed I could speak it fluently (Tagalog is the national language in the Philippines, by the way). In high school, I was asked to “prove” that I was Filipino and was told “there’s no way you’re Asian”. I have been challenged to pronounce my maiden name correctly many, many times (“No, that can’t be how you say it”). As recently as January, I was told it would be great to have me in the room as a woman of color because I would “check a lot of boxes”. I don’t share these stories for pity and understand that there are much larger issues at bay when it comes to race in the United States. Rather, I point them out as common examples of micro aggressions against racially ambiguous and/or mixed-race people because I know that these comments and prejudices derail progress being made toward journeys of self-discovery and contentment. Today, I feel very confident in who I am and have a deep appreciation for where my family comes from. Two big things have led me to this: In 2014, I visited the Philippines with my entire family for the first time. I have since described the trip as an “Eat Pray Love” moment for me. It enhanced my connection to my dad’s life before he moved to the US and helped me appreciate all of the sacrifices that my grandparents (two school teachers) made in order to leave and start a new life. Three years ago, I became a mom. (Actually, my son, Miles, would be quick to remind you that he’s three and a half, so, I became a mom three and a half years ago.) My daughter, Lucy, turned one in August. In parenthood, I’ve found a renewed sense of responsibility and honor to share their heritage with them. I want them to be proud of their darker skin and hair. I want them to speak up when someone assumes something about them based on their looks. I also understand my responsibility to lead by example, especially in the face of prejudice and assumptions. The purpose of writing this during Filipino Heritage Month in 2020 is to simultaneously share a small portion of my experience with racial identity in the hope that it will resonate with others, but also to encourage readers to consider Filipino Americans and Asian Americans as a growing, contributing, wonderful group of Americans that we should be thinking about more often – both professionally and personally. I would also encourage everyone reading this to understand that you are enough. Do not shy away from your heritage. Don’t entertain the belief that you fit into just one box – learn more about where your family came from and speak up if someone doesn’t quite get it right. These conversations are lessons that I’ll certainly pass down to Miles and Lucy. Thank you for reading. I’d love to share a few resources and articles if you’re interested in more information: - Why We Celebrate Filipino American History Month (HuffPost) - Cora Cooks Pancit (Children’s Book) - Jo Koy: In His Elements (On Netflix) - Float Disney Short (on Disney+) - Raising Mixed Race (Parents Book) - Mixed in America (Instagram)
Spanning September 15 - October 15, Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates the contributions, history and culture of Hispanic and Latinx communities in the United States. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we wanted to share how some of our AMPers are celebrating and what their heritage means to them. Check out what they had to say below. Shayne Ortiz, Senior Analyst “We are resilient, hardworking, passionate, caring and unified. We have heart, spirit and soul, sabor Latino. We celebrate the importance of family, tradition and most importantly the culture that continues to inspire people outside of the Hispanic/Latinx community generation after generation.” Michael Mish, SVP, General Manager “I think it’s important for all of us to appreciate where we come from. I’m proud of my Puerto Rican heritage, the family & cultural values instilled in me, and the examples of hard work, strength, sacrifice, dedication and passion that have guided me. The food and music is kind of good too :)" Sam Cabrera, Associate Director of Experience “I’m a proud daughter of immigrants from Mexico and Nicaragua. My childhood was spent with my mom’s small family here in the states for every holiday or visiting my grandparents in the summer in Guadalajara, Mx (this picture is of me by the famous cathedral). HHM is a time for me to reflect and celebrate my mixed culture, language, food, family, and music with others.” Jon Bishop, Director of Creative Technology “Family is everything. It doesn’t matter how far or how long we’re apart. My favorite memories are the food, the dancing and visiting la finca in my mom’s hometown in Puerto Rico.” Eva Parlato, Senior Art Director "There are so many things I love about being Puerto Rican, so to celebrate, I try to enjoy things like our delicious food, music, and dancing. When it comes to Puerto Ricans, where there's music playing, there are probably people dancing. And if there isn’t music playing, we'll usually bring it ourselves! Being part of a culture that is so vibrant, warm, and energetic is something I’m very proud of, but my absolute favorite thing is probably the love for dancing!" Gabe Sousa, Junior Creative Technologist “My favorite thing about being Brazilian is how friendly and welcoming Brazilians naturally are especially when we find each other outside of Brazil” Interested in working at AMP? Check out our careers page for our current openings.
We’re excited to announce that Ken Blake has joined the AMP team as the new VP of Analytics. In his new position, Blake will help elevate the analytic footprint of the agency while working with notable clients, such as Zillow. Check out what General Manager, Michael Mish had to say about the hire: “Our agency value proposition is grounded in driving growth for our brand partners. Advanced analytics, data science and modelling is an area that AMP will continue to invest in to enable us to identify, recommend and prioritize high value initiatives. We’re excited to welcome Ken to the team”- Michael Mish Here’s what Blake aims to do in his new role on the AMP team: “We want to continue to enhance the analytics practice at AMP and lead with analytics as a service offering. Many agencies have strong measurement and dashboard capabilities, but fall short with predictive analytics and customer insight. For us, it’s about using data to figure out which customers our clients should invest in, and then applying deep insight to help them better serve those customers.” Prior to joining AMP Agency, Blake was the Senior Director of Customer Analytics at Staples, Where he led a 45 member team. Want to know more about our newest AMPer? Take a look at these industry publications: https://adage.com/people-on-the-move/ken-blake https://www.lbbonline.com/news/former-staples-executive-joins-amp-agency-as-vp-of-analytics Learn more about AMP Agency’s analytics practice.
We want to acknowledge our silence on social media these last few weeks. Like many in the industry, we took time to listen to BIPOC voices and discuss our role in systemic racism as an agency, but also to make concrete, action-oriented commitments to anti-racism at AMP. We’d like to share those commitments today—as a start, not a final solution. To our friends in advertising, we call on you to join us. Let’s continue to listen, but more importantly, to act, continuously and with purpose, to make our industry a better place to work for everyone. As advertisers, we’re in a unique position to reach wide audiences, to tell stories and uplift voices, to help shape culture. That’s a lot of power. It’s time we used that power to implement policies and practices that are actively anti-racist and work to make advertising an equitable industry. At AMP, our internal conversations have focused around our BIPOC teammates and how we can better support them, and also our role in the wider advertising ecosystem. We’ve brainstormed around how we can update recruiting to bring more BIPOC into advertising, and how we can be better citizens in the communities where we do business. These are the initial commitments we’ve made as an agency to help put our reflection and conversation into action: Evolve Our Operating Plan Moving forward, we will dedicate 10% of our agency billable time to do work for Black and Latinx owned businesses, at no cost and as an evolution of our existing pro-bono work. By putting tangible resources back into the local communities where we live and work, we can help these businesses grow and thrive—and contribute to long term change. Change How We Recruit Our internship program will become an apprenticeship program. To help bring more Black talent to the industry at large, we will partner with established nonprofits to develop an apprenticeship program and offer hands-on, paid training to young talent who may not otherwise have access to launch their career in digital advertising. Furthermore, we fully acknowledge that BIPOC are under-represented in director and above positions at AMP. Our HR & Talent team is developing new recruiting practices to bring in more diverse talent across all seniority levels, not just at the entry level, so that diverse perspectives are represented in our leadership, too. Establish an Internal DE&I Team We’re creating a formalized diversity, equity, and inclusion team to establish workflows for diversity- and inclusion-centered projects, develop concrete timelines, lead future initiatives, and keep AMP accountable. We’ve already accepted internal applications for a leader to help build out this committee and will make a formal selection in the coming weeks. Join ANA’s Commitment to Equality, Inclusion, & Systemic Change We co-signed and joined in with ANA’s industry-wide initiative, pledging to achieve stronger diverse representation in our industry, increase spending in multicultural marketing, demand accuracy of multicultural and inclusive data, and work to achieve an equitable creative supply chain. Invest in Implicit Bias and Anti-Racist Training We’ll be providing extensive bias training to Human Resources leadership and AMP executives/management to understand implicit bias and promote anti-racist values from the top down. Our HR leadership has already compiled and assigned informal anti-bias training for AMP employees at all levels—we invite you to take the Harvard Implicit Association Test along with us. Do the Work for the Long Term There’s so much more that must be done, so there must be more to come. We’ll dedicate more of our social feeds to talking about anti-racism in advertising, and keep everyone posted on our progress on increasing diverse and inclusive representation at AMP. This may be the first time you’re hearing from us on the subject of anti-racism, but we can promise it will not be the last.