Cindy Gallop fires back after Publicis CEO Maurice Levy says JWT scandal is just a “one-time mistake”

The ad industry has found itself in hot water this month ever since JWT’s global CEO Gustavo Martinez was ousted because of a lawsuit against him that claims he made inappropriate sexual and racist comments to colleagues.

Cindy Gallop

Many have said that his behavior points to a larger problem within the industry, namely the fact that there needs to be more diversity.

Cindy Gallop, founder of Publicis’s BBH New York and gender equality activist, was quick to voice her opinions on the matter earlier this week after Publicis CEO Maurice Levy told an audience at the 4A’s Transformation conference in Miami that the ongoing scandal at JWT was “just one man’s mistake” and that it is not a “fair representation of the industry.”

Gallop took to Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to give her thoughts on the matter, stating that “a huge number of women here say you’re wrong, Maurice.”

She also wrote a post about gender discrimination in the ad industry on Facebook, where she stated that “women are too terrified to speak out publicly, even anonymously, because of feared repercussions within their companies/the industry. These are stories of stifled creativity, foiled ambition, failure to rise, destroyed dreams.”

This isn’t the first time that Gallop has called out Publicis. Last year, she criticized the ad holding firm for its lack of women in leadership positions following its major restructuring.

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Minda Smiley

Minda Smiley is a reporter at The Drum covering creativity and advertising. Based in Philadelphia, she oversees creativity coverage in North & South America and runs The Drum’s weekly “US Creative Works” roundup. During her time at The Drum, she has covered industry events including SXSW, ANA Masters of Marketing, 4A’s Transformation and C2 Montréal and has interviewed dozens of creatives for The Drum’s “What does it take to be a great creative?” video series.

All by Minda