or amazing for going through the ordeal of working in advertising and keep being true to themselves and sane.
Lisa Leone thank you a thousand times for this story. The advertising industry is the most sexist place ever, and it is down right dangerous for women’s health. It is a place where not only women are continuously dimmed, but somehow all the males have super inflated egos that simply crush everything around.
I have lasted for six years total in this industry. It was great for me as an experience. But I can guarantee the stuff that happened to you was all around me for all those years at all levels. Even in freelancing for advertising agencies and clients it was the same thing. Those constant jokes and looks and downright impoliteness and lack of respect for women as human beings, all were cultivated as bonding behaviors. Merits of women were simply glossed over. I know for a fact they were underpaid because they were the wrong kind of chromosome combo.
It amazes me how well the advertising industry advertises itself, hiding all this sexist and racist and, very often, elitist attitude that simmers inside every creative office.
Sexism in advertising is alarming and bad for brands
I have had the horror to go through a pitch for a national TV campaign for the company I work with a month ago. Our user base is in a big majority made of women. I had literally gone through 4 sausage parties with a bunch of dudes that were so disconnected from what women are as consumers, it amazed me they had wedding rings on their fingers. I could barely stand them!
We had a brief detailing our user base, they could have simply browsed around to see what we do and sell, and it should have taken them about 10 seconds to figure out who they’re talking to. Instead, at one of the pitches one of the dudes told our female CEO that “if you really, really want to, we could use a chick in the ad”. A chick! That was the professional way of describing our core target.
And these are not your “creative shops” made of a bunch of people winging it. These are part of international corporations that represent brands and clients worldwide. They live off their ignorance!
Things like your experience with the partner that wanted to sleep with you are common place in advertising agencies. God forbid a workplace relationship become public, because surely the girl is “sleeping her way to the top”.
And the women in advertising. They are either suffering in silence or they become a mutant of sexism turned against their own. HR people? Please, they are doing nothing, and by nothing I mean they are making it worse. I think somehow the sole role of HR is to enforce norms, that and nothing else.
I think you did a great job by coming out with your story. This is not about women or feminism, although it is. It is about a group of well paid professionals who have created a stronghold of stereotypical sexism and who work day in day out in the business of persuasion. Are we crazy?