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Tuesday, October 25, 2005  

News: Ad exec says women workers inferior

One sees over and over again that beneath the easygoing veneer of 'things are just fine the way they are,' a great deal of hard work goes on to maintain a status quo that is unfair to much of the population. Hurrricane Katrina exposed the disproportionate poverty low-income African-Americans are still subjected to. 'Morals' guru William Bennett revealed the racism lurking behind many a conservative's bonhomie. Now, Neil French, a very successful advertising executive, has dismissed women as fit to don a French maid's outfit and serve him drinks, but not to succeed in the business. It is true that much discrimination today is systemic, but it takes individual bigots to maintain even systemic discrimination. They are the most active in convincing people that failures of the system are because of the shortcomings of the people harmed, not because of inequities built into it. As long as such men dominate corporate Anerica and the government, efforts to achieve diversity will be stifled.

The Associated Press reports French is out of a job himself.

LONDON - One of the world's most flamboyant advertising gurus has left his job after reportedly telling an audience that women made poor executives because motherhood made them "wimp out."

Marketing giant WPP Group PLC said Friday it had accepted the resignation of Neil French — a one-time debt collector, trainee matador and rock-band agent who served as the group's worldwide creative director.

The firm, which is based in London and New York, told Britain's Press Association news agency that French had offered his resignation, and it had been accepted. WPP could not immediately be reached for comment by the Associated Press.

. . .French made the contentious remarks during an industry discussion in Toronto on Oct. 6. According to a report in the city's Globe and Mail newspaper, French said women did not make it to the top because "they're crap."

Nancy Vonk, a Toronto-based creative director at WPP subsidiary Ogilvy & Mather who attended the event, said French described women as "a group that will inevitably wimp out and go 'suckle something.

French's resignation should not be interpreted to mean he regrets his intemperate remarks. Like Bennett, French (pictured) steadfastly defends his belief that his views are accurate and acceptable.

Reasonably related

Blogger S. at The Accidental Runner, is more than passingly familiar with Neil French. She says better the devil you know than the devil you don't.

7:30 PM