The Martin Agency, part of Interpublic Group, has created a new department called Talent & Culture.
It’s the latest move by the agency to transform its culture in the wake of a horrific scandal that came to light late last year. That involved its longtime creative chief Joe Alexander, who allegedly sexually harassed women at the agency for decades.
Let’s be honest — no one gets away with such behavior unless agency upper management isn’t doing its job or is looking the other way. Which appears to be the case here. Google it.
Credit IPG for taking swift action last year when it became aware of the situation. Not only was Alexander quickly dismissed, but the holding company installed a new CEO at the agency, Kristen Cavallo, who in turn, did her own weeding out of the old guard at the agency.
And she quickly took steps to double the representation of female leaders on the agency’s executive committee. She’s also taken steps to close the gender pay gap at the agency and get involved with other movements to promote gender equality, like #FreeTheBid and Times Up Advertising.
Cavallo has also made moves to broaden the agency’s culture beyond gender, by appointing Danny Robinson to the post of Chief Client Officer. He’s the first African American on the agency’s Executive Committee. She also appointed Karen Costello as the shop’s first female Chief Creative Officer.
The new unit will be led by Carmina Drummond, Chief Culture Officer at the agency.
To help drive the new effort, the agency has hired Kelsey Larus as director of strategic engagement. She has a background in strategy implementation, including stints with the Obama Administration and the Democratic National Convention.