M&C Saatchi’s UK chief creative officer, Justin Tindall, has reneged on his comments last week about being bored of adland’s obsession with diversity.
As reported on B&T on Friday, Tindall immediately found himself in hot water after a column he wrote for UK industry site Campaign declared he was “bored of diversity being prioritised over talent”.
Tindall’s apology – again on Campaign – comes in the form of a letter to Cheil London executive creative director, Caitlin Ryan, who was scathing of his original piece. You can read his apology in full here.
Ryan wrote a response to Tindall’s comments where she asked him to “see diversity not as a threat to good creative work, but as a way to get better work out there.”
Her response ended: “Wake the fuck up and do what’s fair and right for every young creative who is female or from a different background to you. Not because it ticks a diversity box – but because it will make the work that we all love better too.”
In his apology, Tindall said: “The binary wording of that particular statement was wrong. Which is particularly poor when you consider that I am supposed to be at the sharp end of the communications business.
“Your perspective on building a career in a male-dominated creative environment is both sobering and humbling.
“As I have recently explained to my agency, the frustration that I feel around the term diversity, particularly when it is used in isolation, is provoked by a deep sense that ad agencies continue to prioritise predictably short-term solutions to what is a long-term issue. A long-term issue that requires long-term strategies to maintain and cultivate our industry’s strength and depth of talent,” he wrote.
However, not everyone’s buying Tindall’s newfound contrition. Many commentators on social media suggesting he only apologised after being called out.
One wrote, he only said sorry after “someone of his career level within his industry said something”. Another added: “Too little too late” and they were “not buying it at all.”