State Farm V.P. Reveals How Ad Agencies Pitch to Her as a Black Woman, and Why it p****s Her Off
During an Advertising Week panel on sexism in the agency world, El said she’s fed up with agencies that bring in a token black solely because they’re pitching to a black woman.
“It’s so irritating when agencies walk in the door and they feel that they have to bring a black person — and we all know that they don’t have any — so they bring in the intern to present to me,” El said to a crowded room.
“And it’s really hard for them to bring the black female intern,” she continued, laughing, “because they really don’t have any of those!”
The panel on sexism was spurred by ad exec Colleen DeCourcy’s testimonial published by Digiday:
There are, of course, crudely sexist moments. Here are two special quotes from my career that never fail to materialize when I close my eyes to fall asleep in whatever far-flung hotel I’m sleeping in tonight. “I like that necklace, I could choke you with it while I f**k you from behind,” I was told. After a none-too-pleased response came the capper from this guy: “You’re not offended are you?! We only say those things because we forget you’re not one of us. It’s a compliment!” Really.
Digiday revealed its own sexism when it originally cut that paragraph from DeCourcy’s testimonial, saying it distracted from the overall theme of her comments. The paragraph was eventually published at DeCourcy’s request.
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