Walmart Removes Mississippi Flag From Stores; How the Creative Process Is Changing: Thursday’s First Things First


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Walmart Quietly Chooses a Side (Sort of) in the Debate Over the Mississippi State Flag

Pressure is mounting for Mississippi to redesign its flag, the last in the U.S. to still include the Confederate flag. Starting about two weeks ago, Walmart very quietly took a side in the debate by removing the Mississippi flag from the 78 stores it operates in the state. The retailer didn’t offer much in the way of explanation, but described the removal as “the right thing to do.” The move comes after Nascar banned the Confederate flag from its events, and the NCAA decided to prevent championship events from being played in states “where the symbol has a prominent presence.”

A call for change: Other organizations are also putting pressure on the state, whose population is 38% Black.

Premium | How the Lessons of Quarantine Will Reshape Advertising’s Creative Process

Lockdowns are beginning to lift, leaving companies that went fully remote to consider the lessons they learned from working in quarantine and apply them to the future of their processes. Adweek spoke with several creative executives about their thoughts:

  • Karl Lieberman of Wieden + Kennedy said that remote work has removed barriers between hierarchical levels, with collaboration via Zoom making creativity more inclusive for junior employees, and hopes the trend continues.
  • Gut’s Anselmo Ramos anticipates that corporate travel will not be as common in the future because “there’s no meeting you cannot join remotely.” The same goes for production, according to GSP’s Margaret Johnson: “This has made us all realize that you can be anywhere, make anything and still be excited.”
  • Working with clients has proven a challenge—but wasn’t it always? And quarantine adaptations have humanized the process in some ways, said Forsman & Bodenfor’s Matt Creamer.
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In a similar vein, Adweek also explored how kids clothing brand French Toast paved the way for creatives to do professional photo shoots that maintain proper social distancing protocols. The brand kept things pandemic appropriate by shooting the kids who modeled the clothes around their homes, wearing masks and in more solo motifs rather than group shots.

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French Agency Rosapark: ‘We Will Be Rethinking the Name of Our Agency’

Following Twitter criticism Tuesday about the juxtaposition between the name of French agency Rosapark and the three white men who lead it, those leaders say they are rethinking the name. Although they’ve previously said that they didn’t name it after Civil Rights icon Rosa Parks, they said they “fully understand” why the name is receiving criticism and apologized for causing offense.

An ongoing conversation: The agency also discussed it with Nathan Young, president of 600 & Rising and group strategy director at Periscope, who initiated the conversation on Twitter.

Inside Panels and Presentations at the 2020 Digital Content NewFronts

  • Vice Media called for advertisers to stop blocking keywords like Black Lives Matter and protesters to help news organizations avoid cutbacks.
  • CMOs from Lowe’s, Cadillac and Snap talked with Forbes on a panel about navigating pandemic messaging. Key takeaways included being ready to halt plans and pivot, show empathy to consumers and support the team and the company to move forward.
  • NPR, AMP and NewFronts newcomer Vibenomics addressed the future of audio in their presentations. The first two focused on the ways their radio and podcast hosts forge reliability and trust during the pandemic, while Vibenomics touted its Audio Out-of-Home marketing.
  • Leaders from the agency, digital, finance and mass media held a conversation on the diversity revolution and racial equity. Moderator Monique Nelson of UWG pointed to massive market growth from Black, Latino and Asian communities, as well as Gen Z’s desire to see their values reflected, as signs that change in the industry is overdue.
  • A panel with three news executives from BBC Global News, Vice Media and NPR addressed the state of the news industry in 2020, expressing a degree of optimism and confidence about its future despite numerous challenges.
  • In their presentation, The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s Group executives talked up their data on consumers, especially the new paying readers who signed up during the pandemic.
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