Monday, February 6, 2017

Audi's Wage Gap Pratfall

I've treated the mythical "wage gap" multiple times before, but yesterday's Audi ad during the Superbowl was a sort of tour de force of unrepentant cant:

Of course, with an organization as large as Audi, it's almost impossible to keep everyone within the organization on message:

You've gotta wonder about ends of the organization that came to such wildly differing conclusions about the role and pay of women in the workforce. What are they saying with that film? That everyone else in society is the bad guys, but Audi isn't one of them? Oh, and, do these faces look terribly female to you? (Notwithstanding Jeri Ward, who was presumably in charge of this fiasco, and HR director Christine Gaspar.) The story about how this ad came to be made would be an interesting one, and is lightly touched upon in an Ad Age piece issued contemporaneously with its release:
What is notable about Audi's spot is that it was directed by a woman -- Aoife McArdle, a top director repped out of Somesuch and Anonymous Content who has directed big-brand work for the likes of P&G (Secret), Under Armour, Honda and Samsung. Last year, Ms. McArdle directed a spot for Secret that also carried an equal pay message.

Gender inequity remains a huge issue in the ad production business. Women comprised only 9.7% of the rostered directors of the production companies that made Ad Age and Creativity's Production Company A-List in 2015, according to an analysis Mashable did of the list for a story published last year.
Previously, the Ad Age story mentions a "Free The Bid" initiative to address the lack of women in the field, but it takes with it the cast that women are in need of special protection from the same environmental hazards men are, i.e. it perpetuates women as "damsels in distress".

Keeping everyone on the same page is a tough thing, especially as your company gets larger. This disjoint fiasco shows why.

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