Facing accusations that he made frequent jokes about rape, Jews and African Americans, JWT’s global CEO resigned this week, marking an abrupt reversal by his company—and sparking an industrywide moment of reflection.
In light of the allegations last week against JWT's now ex global CEO, this article from AdWeek questions whether we've actually gotten past the days of Mad Men. The authors speak to a number of agency leaders about what this means for the industry, not just JWT. It's a good read and gets you thinking.
The allegations that Gustavo Martinez often mocked women and minorities left many wondering if Mad Men’s portrayal of leering, intolerant ad executives in the 1960s truly was an artifact of a bygone era or a lingering reality hidden under a veneer of diversity and inclusion.
To be clear, the case against Martinez and his agency is far from over. Erin Johnson, JWT’s chief communications officer, continues to press her lawsuit against Martinez, whom she claims retaliated against her after she complained that he made light of rape and expressed a dislike for minorities. Johnson is on paid leave as her lawsuit works its way through the legal process.
Martinez has not publicly admitted any wrongdoing, nor has JWT or its parent company WPP discussed which, if any, of Johnson’s allegations were found to be true. But a week after he denied the accusations and WPP announced that its internal investigation found no evidence of discrimination, the holding company announced Martinez was resigning “by mutual agreement” and would immediately be replaced by chief client officer Tamara Ingram.
Read the full article on AdWeek here.