With hundreds of thousands of employees around the world including the regions targeted by Trump’s travel ban, it’s not surprising that the major advertising holding companies have concerns about it.
And CEOs at three of Adland’s biggest firms — WPP, Interpublic Group and Omnicom Group — have issued statements regarding the ban.
IPG CEO Michael Roth issued a companywide memo today that stated: “As you all know we have long been committed to making diversity and inclusion a core part of Interpublic's DNA. Another fundamental belief that’s central to our company and our success is that we understand the benefits of being part of a global community. In light of events that unfolded over the weekend, we felt that it was important to reaffirm that we will continue to embrace these values and do all that we can to show our compassion and support for all people.”
It wasn’t immediately clear whether any staffers from the holding companies were detained or otherwise caught up in the controversial ban, which was stayed in part by a Federal Court judge over the weekend. An IPG rep said he could not comment on specific personnel, “but as a global company with 50,000 employees and multinational clients spread across all world regions, including the middle east, you can appreciate the importance of the issue to us.”
Here’s more from Roth’s memo:
“To the IPG Community:
For any multinational business, the free flow of talent across business units is key to success. For a service business like ours, and a company that has been a pioneer in bringing open architecture solutions to our clients, it is even more important that we be able to build teams seamlessly and call upon colleagues, no matter where they sit in the organization, where they are based geographically and, most important, regardless of their nationality, religious beliefs or place of origin…
While it's too early to tell what impact the travel ban announced recently may have on our company, we wanted to remind all employees that IPG is committed to protecting you, and that we will provide whatever assistance is necessary to keep you and your families safe and a valued part of our organization, no matter your citizenship or religious beliefs.
Our travel, human resources and legal departments are here to offer assistance if any employee or family member is detained or concerned about entering or leaving the United States. As an employee of IPG, you have access to our company’s dedicated 24/7-travel notification center, which can provide support for any security, legal or health issues during travel for you or your family.”
WPP issued a press statement from CEO Martin Sorrell indicating that he had an “instinctive dislike” for the ban. He noted that his grandparents were Eastern European immigrants to the UK. He said there had been no “immediate impact” on WPP personnel, “But we are concerned about the impact it may have on our people and their families both inside and outside the USA and on innocent people generally.”
Omnicom CEO John Wren stated: "Our people are our greatest asset and right now, our top priority is to protect and support employees, their families and all those otherwise affected." A rep for the company indicated that no one so far from the firm seems to have been caught up in the ban.