Your Lying Eyes

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20 October 2005

Another Outspoken Male Publicly Castrated

A certain Neil French, an apparently outspoken scion of the advertising world, resigned from his job as a result of fallout from his answer to a question at a conference. The question had to do with the dearth of women in top creative positions, and he apparently gave a somewhat acerbic response. And then there was a firestorm and he had to resign. This follows on the Larry Summers controversy at Harvard where Summers was not forced to resign but merely had to debase himself publicly for several weeks. French, on the other hand, appears disinclined to apologize and happy to resign a job he no doubt does not need.

So, there aren't many women in the creative side of advertising? Who knew? I thought that such male dominance in the top positions in a creative field was a fluke only found in architecture, music, cinema, stage, painting, sculpture, photography, chess, and literature (there might be one or two others with this flukey situation I forgot to list). Obviously, there's something terribly wrong in the advertizing world - time for some serious remedial action!


Anonymous jimbo said...

I think if the this guy really needed the job, he would not have quit, or he would have been a bit more careful with his remarks. Again, he was just saying what has always been understood and there´s no better way to get the issue on the table. At least he seems to retain his sense of humor.

October 21, 2005 5:25 AM  
Anonymous jimbo said...

Speaking of speaking one´s mind...

I look forward to signing up for satellite radio and getting Howard over here on the other side of the pond...

October 21, 2005 5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In an interview subsequent to the "gaffe", French said that he meant women don't have the time to devote to their careers like men do. They have things like families and children and meals to cook, which doesn't enable them to succeed on the same level as men in his field. Since his original comment was "because they're crap", this one's a bit hard to believe. Could be a bit of Larry Summers-like backing off going on. But, who knows.

October 21, 2005 12:54 PM  
Blogger ziel said...

Yeah, that does sound like some back-peddling - he definitely believes that there are few women capable of occupying those rarefied heights (and there is nothing in objective record - including SAT scores and records of achievement in other fields - that would suggest that he is wrong). So his mentioning child-rearing as an explanation is at best disingenuous.

October 21, 2005 5:50 PM  
Anonymous Harlem said...

Advertising is a pretty "clubby" world and those that are at the high end of it are often meeting with client CEOs or Senior VPs, who continue to be predominantly male. The reality is that much of that old guard is still of the mentality that doesn't value female input on the same level as male. Women clearly have an important role in advertising: in front of the camera and, preferably, scantily clad.

October 21, 2005 7:00 PM  

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