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The Economic Costs of #MeToo: Quantifying a Movement

Les Moonves, the longtime CBS chairman and CEO, is out as the latest #MeToo casualty in the wake of sexual assault and abuse allegations detailed by The New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow.  Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer, Charlie Rose, Roger Ailes, Bill O’Reilly, Louis C.K., and Kevin Spacey - also gone, but not forgotten.  As the list continues to grow, so does the outrage and price of keeping a sexual abuser on the payroll.  Just consider the astoundingly low opening receipts of Spacey’s latest film release, Billionaire Boys Club:  $126.00.  Not $126 million, or thousand, but just 126 dollars.  Less than the cost of a new pair of designer jeans. If you wondered how much Spacey (who denies the allegations) would suffer, you can now do the math.

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Generation Z: Giving Ad Agencies a Makeover, Telling It Like It Is

The youngest crop of teenagers - known as Generation Z and born between 1996 and 2010 - represents perhaps one of the most complex and misunderstood customers in advertising history. A highly mobile, social media-fluent, and socially conscious generation of multitaskers, they are expected to account for 40% of all consumers by 2020 with the potential to wield billions in buying power, making them a larger and more diverse cohort than Baby Boomers or Millennials.  

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Hey Advertisers, Here’s a Lesson: Teachers Are Changing the Game from the Grassroots Up

If advertisers understood the importance of social media before, the protest marches and unprecedented string of teacher strikes provide even more confirmation of digital media’s critical role — when used well — in engaging an audience and shaping public discourse from the grassroots up. K-12 education is a particularly tricky industry for advertisers. It’s one of the two largest industries in the US - comparable with healthcare - accounting for 7.2% of the nations GDP and the largest employer in every state, but spends only a fraction on advertising compared to other industries, according to Forbes.


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Never Again? The Power of Advertising to Move the Gun Debate

It’s a classic ad. Gun-related death statistics from around the world run in a vertical column down the page:  48 people in Japan.  8 in Great Britain.  34 in Switzerland.  The list goes on, finally jumping to 10,728 in the United States.  A handgun is painted red, white and blue to resemble the nation’s flag. 

That was 1981, not long after John Lennon was assassinated.

Nearly four decades later, Progressive Turnout Project, a Democratic political action committee, launched a billboard campaign inspired by 2018 Oscar nominee, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, demanding stricter gun control laws. The group called out US House Speaker Paul Ryan for repeatedly not passing gun reform legislation, particularly after the Valentine’s Day school shooting in Parkland, Fla..  

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The Power of Ad Agencies to Combat Climate Change

Less than three months ago the North American Climate Summit, held right here in the Windy City, brought together mayors, civic leaders, and businesses from across the U.S., Canada and Mexico to sign a charter pledging to reduce greenhouse emissions and address the impact cities have on climate change.  But despite the overwhelming support, some of the most important players living at the forefront of innovation, strategy, storytelling and creative thinking were missing from the table.  Advertising and PR agencies.  These are the professionals who determine what and when we buy, and much of what we believe.  Their job is to tell stories, deliver on the most powerful ideas and campaigns that in turn change our behavior and perception of not just brands, but of society as a whole.

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Women, Production, and an Age of Reckoning

Working together is more powerful than working alone, and that particularly holds true for women who work behind the scenes in critical yet often unrecognized roles in advertising, music, film, live performance, and broadcast media.  

That’s just one reason why our team here at Curmudgeon Group recently launched Scope, a wide-ranging conversation focusing on the most visionary and emerging female producers of today. As a women-owned creative agency, we are in the unique position of being able to cultivate a community of veteran producers, creative leaders, and industry newcomers to alter and diversify the landscape, along with shifting attitudes and expectations.  

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#MeToo: A Q&A on Women in Leadership with Curmudgeon Group Founder Josie Davis

At a time when the Twitter hashtag #metoo has officially become a thing — and hopes for serious change along with it — we thought it was time to ask our own Josie Elizabeth Davis, Curmudgeon Group’s founder and Chief Creative Officer, for her take on being an entrepreneur/woman/risk-taker/go-getter at the frontlines of experiential marketing, creative production, PR and advertising.

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Times Of Transformation: Art Imitates Life As Gender Is Redefined

In what might be the most significant attempt by a major museum to tackle the subject of gender fluidity in contemporary art, Trigger:  Gender as a Tool and a Weapon opened last month on September 27th at the New Museum.  The exhibition gives voice to over 40 intergenerational and multi-disciplinary artists investigating “gender’s place in contemporary art and culture at a moment of political upheaval and renewed culture wars.”  The collective work explores “gender beyond the binary to usher in more fluid and inclusive expressions of identity.”

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