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The DON’Ts Of Advertising Agencies: The Women’s Edition

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Earlier this week, we posted a DON’Ts list for dealing with black folk in the advertising industry. It was our way of helping to move the “diversity” conversation along on a tactical level.

Well, welcome to the Women’s Edition. Gentlemen, as many a lady would like you to know, this isn’t the era of Mad Men. Welcome to the wide world of gender diversified agencies. To help you along your way, the ladies of the business and myself have assembled this short list of DON’Ts. You may find this list tacked above the photo copier in the next few days. Ladies? Print out, post and thanks so much for your DONT’s.

1. DON’T… Call me a bitch when I am actually just doing my job managing a project, creative or employee. When you tell a junior that their work is subpar or aggressively haggle with a vendor, you get called “assertive” or “leadership material.” When I do it, I must “be on the rag.” It’s so fucking boring. Don’t worry though. I’m not taking your balls by doing my job.

2. DON’T… assume that because I am in charge at work, that I push my husband or boyfriend around at home. Although you may require someone to watch over your every fricking move to ensure your bit gets done on time, that does not mean that my significant other needs the same sort of clammy handed, hand holding.

3. When I change my mind, after you make a suggestion on a piece of creative or a possible partner DON’T… assume that I’m a “waffling woman” who can’t be certain of her own thoughts. There is no need to ask me “If I’m sure” in every meeting after that. Everyone can see you trying to undercut me and it makes you look like shit. Believe.

4. DON’T… assume I’m a lesbian because I have short hair. Really. DON’T… tell me I should grow it long because men like that look better. Do I tell you to drop 30 pounds off your beer gut because women prefer a six pack? Maybe I should. Go to the fucking gym!

5. DON’T… ask me why I don’t wear more skirts. Do I tell you to stop wearing the same old, stained faded black t-shirt to work every day? Do I mention that those corduroy pants make you look 200% unattractive? Nope. I don’t, because how you look or how visually appealing you are to me has zero impact on my job or how we perform it as a team. This isn’t Porky’s Revenge, kiddo.

6. DON’T… stare at my breasts. They’re not lurking inside my bra, waiting to pop out and wave hello, no matter how large they are. Or not. They don’t care about you. Do I stare at your zipper when you’re trying to make a point? Of course not. It’s just not that interesting.

7. DON’T… tickle me. Your junior high attempts to cop a feel are pathetic and yes, after cursing you out, I will tell human resources. Pervert.

8. DON’T… comment on how many men there are in our meeting (or how many women there are not) and then guffaw about the real work getting done when the women aren’t around. Considering that half our clients have CMOs that are women, I gotta wonder – are you blind or just desperate for the other boys to like you? Guess what? They don’t.

9. When we’re working on a female oriented brand, DON’T… tell me you know what women need when I make a suggestion. The double entendre is so banal. By the way, since when did you grow a uterus?

10. DON’T… assume I am a producer or an account manager when you meet me at Advertising Week. Yes, women are creative directors, editors, art directors, product designers, interactive CDs, CEOs, VPs. It’s happened. We’re everywhere. Muhhhwahahaha…

11. DON’T… make derogatory/sexual comments about your girlfriend and expect me to laugh. And when I don’t chuckle, DON’T… tell me I’m frigid. If I made a joke about small penises, you wouldn’t laugh either. I know, because I tried it once and you looked like you might puke in your cube. Then again, we all know your sexuality is voracious since you tell us about it – All. The. Time. Yeah, yeah we get it. You’ve got a big one. Girls like you, yadayadayada.

12. DON’T… discount me in pools and fantasy sports. I may not always like sports for the same reasons as you, but I can do the research and make picks, too. That’s why I won the pool for the Super Bowl last year? Remember?

If there is some other minority group or hell, majority group (yes, I’m open to single, white, heterosexual men getting their own list) that would like their own list, holla – superspyin at gmail dot com.

More: AdAge’s 2008 ‘Women to Watch’

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