I-Hsien Sherwood
Jun 23, 2016

VaynerMedia CEO takes responsibility for sexist Cannes email

A vendor sent the party invitation, but "when you're the CEO, it's your fucking fault".

Gary Vaynerchuk
Gary Vaynerchuk

Despite the increased visibility of gender equality efforts in the ad industry, a brazenly sexist party invitation made the rounds at Cannes on Wednesday. An invitation email for a party thrown by VaynerMedia and Thrillist demanded "attractive females and models only" and directed potential attendees to send "recent untouched photos" or link to social media profiles.

Ad consultant Cindy Gallop brought the email to the attention of VaynerMedia CEO Gary Vaynerchuk, who responded with an apology video. Vaynerchuk insisted the email wasn’t representative of his company, but he took ultimate responsibility for it. "It’s a ludicrous thing to think that’s something I’d be excited about or want us to be associated with, but at the end of the day, when you’re the CEO of a company, it’s your fucking fault," he told Campaign US.

Vaynerchuk said the email was sent by a promoter hired through a chain of outsourcing. "We hired a production company on behalf of the party that then hired a French production company to build the stage and do the promoting, and then they outsourced it to a local promoter," he said. "That’s what I’ve got right now."

The phone number listed in the email goes directly to voicemail, but previous reports say it connected to event promoter iGetIn.

But Vaynerchuk said he doesn’t see the email as representative of sexism in the ad industry per se. Rather, it’s typical for the club scene. "I think club promoters roll like this — the end," he said. "I’ve gotten 500 emails like this in my life — it’s not advertising, it’s the world."

Vaynerchuk said he plans to be much more careful about outsourcing in the future. "I think the only thing I’ve learned from this is, you know, just got to be smarter about if you hire somebody," he said. "Have a lot more control over anybody having the ability to outsource anything."

That’s the only change likely in VaynerMedia’s policies in the aftermath of the email. " I think common sense individuals understand the difference — this did not come from my company or from any company associated with this event," Vaynerchuk said. "I don’t want to be full of shit and say, ‘Heads are going to roll!’ "

 

Source:
Campaign US

Related Articles

Just Published

6 hours ago

Coles CMO Lisa Ronson departs

The marketer announced she will leave by the late September. The news comes just one week ahead of Coles delivering its full financial results for 2022.

11 hours ago

How Western commerce platforms increasingly look to ...

SHANGHAI ZHAN PODCAST: Western commerce platforms such as Amazon remain distinctive, but are taking on more characteristics from their Chinese counterparts, says Victoria Glanz, who runs European operations for Chinese commerce company Fulljet.

11 hours ago

The many misunderstandings of using AI in creative work

SPIKES ASIA ACADEMY: The head of creative tech at Publicis says AI won't replace anyone in the industry anytime soon, but can be an incredible help to creatives.

11 hours ago

Asia-Pacific Power List 2022: Mits Minowa, Allbirds

The former Red Bull and Nike marketer is leading a sustainable brand out of its D2C origins and onto the global stage by launching new campaigns and entering new categories.