This is the letter sent to the Times Up Advertising call to arms meeting we attended today. Held at Weiden+Kennedy in downtown Portland, the auditorium was packed to the rafters with advertising woman and people of color. It was moving and motivating and the opening letter by Gloria Steinham, the American feminist, journalist, and social political activist, set the stage of what was to come.
Here is the letter in its entirety. Please forgive my transcribing mistakes.
A letter from Gloria Steinem for Times Up Advertising first event, May 14th, 2018:
I wish I could be with you today, raising consciousness and standards in the ad world. The biggest influence on human behavior. Create ads with men raising children, and millions know that it’s possible. Show girls playing sports, and girls see that our bodies are instruments and not ornaments. Show diverse people together and diversity becomes community. That’s why Times Up in the ad world will become such a multiplier effect for us all.
And there is a dark side of advertising where you’re are also needed. More than personal wealth, experience or political parties, advertising creates the Trumps of the world. It does this by supporting media and delivering the maximum number of hits. Nevermind weather the media is accurate or fair, whether they deny global warming or support destroying men’s brains in football. All that matters is the number of hits.
Remember when the head of CBS said; “Trump may not be good for the country, but he’s damn good for CBS.” Well he wasn’t kidding, the celebrity apprentice a show that drew viewers like a roadside accident, created an authority figure named Trump. When asked why they voted for him, the number one reason was that he was a good businessman, and he could run the country. Nevermind that in real life he was a lousy businessman who would have been richer if he would have just re-invested the money that he had inherited.
The truth is that media, not political parties, now create our candidates and advertising creates media. Without media that we pay for ourselves advertising will go right on creating media that elects candidates. In the ad workplace, woman can make it clear that trust is actually way better for selling anything and for staying loyal to that anything, more than simple hits. Women in advertising should turn media on its head by rewarding accurate and trustworthy media. Women in advertising can help the whole Times Up movement gets its message across. That's why nothing is more important than what you are doing today. You are demanding equal power at the source of power.
With love and hope
As Nina Shaw put it today, this is the last great civil rights movement, creating equality for women and people of color. Take action over perfection and learn more about how you can be involved in your small space in the advertising world.
For more information about this movement, learn more at Times Up Advertising.