A little while ago, Leo Burnett Sydney hired 5 new creatives. All of them were men. The agency promoted the hires with a very bro-like picture. The agency was then roundly chastised for its seeming disregard for the fact that there are women creatives who exist who can be hired by agencies.
Upon seeing this announcement, former BBH US Founder and champion of equality in advertising Cindy Gallop tweeted to the agency, "It's 2015. What the f*ck were you thinking?" as well as pointing out this creative department bromance has many riled up.
PepsiCo Global Beverages President Brad Jakeman chimed in, tweeting: "Leo Burnett Sydney needs adult supervision given how they are handling this."
Leo Burnett Sydney CEO Peter Bosilkovski defended the hires, saying: "None of these people were hired because of their specific gender, race or nationality. They were hired because they are the best.
It's now being reported that a Leo Burnett Sydney staff member at the agency threatened a freelancer, saying that she would not be hired because she shared a Daily Mail news story on Facebook about the incident along with the message, “Leo Burnett’s in the media for being a boy's club #sexdiscrimination.”
Following that post, the Leo Burnett Sydney staff member posted on the freelancer's Facebook page, “We almost called you about some work today. But since you bad mouthed us without any knowledge of the female quota in the agency, we will think again. #burnthosebridges.”
The freelancer shot back, writing: “That’s an outrageous thing to say. If there’s been a misinterpretation, please correct the record.”
Bosilkovski also defended the staffers attack on the freelancer calling the exchange an "emotional response."
In a statement, Bosilkovski said, “Understandably, this has also created a large emotional response. The recent posts on social media are emotional responses by one employee, and do not reflect the views of management of the company, or a company policy of any kind. We have spoken to both our employee and the contractor regarding this issue to resolve it.”
Leo Burnett Sydney has reached out to the freelancer to see if fences can be mended but the two parties have not yet connected.
I mean really. Like Cindy said, it is 2015, right?
WTF, Leo Burnett Sydney?