African American creative leaders call on senior marketers for change at Advertising Week


By Doug Zanger | Americas Editor

September 24, 2016 | 4 min read

Back in July, Saturday Morning, a collective of four African American leaders, came together with the intention of building across creative industries to bring about societal change. Keith Cartwright, ECD at Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners, Geoff Edwards, creative executive at Creative Artists Agency, Jayanta Jenkins, global group creative director of advertising at Twitter and Jimmy Smith, chairman, CEO and CCO of Amusement Park are leading the charge — and during Advertising Week next Thursday, will launch “The Peace Brief,” their first major push to engage the industry.

"Along with influential and visionary individuals, such as athletes and musicians, the heads of brands greatly influence culture and our American way of life,” said Smith. “Phil Knight co-created the exercise movement. Steve Jobs set the tone for the tech and digital movement. Coke educated the world on how it could sing and come together in perfect harmony. Now, today, General Mills's Ann Simonds is demanding that general market ad agencies actually reflect the general market in their creative departments. Brands can and do move mountains. Brands solve all types of problems. They create jobs. They generate profits on Wall Street. They change people's perceptions. Saturday Morning is another opportunity for brands to dramatically move the needle of our nation's consciousness. Attending our Saturday Morning session is bigger than sales, bigger than profits, it's bigger than ALL of that ... yet, at the same time, it will affect his or her brand in a very positive way. I think visionary brand leaders understand this.”

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To that end, the quartet issued an open letter to senior marketing leaders, encouraging not just attendance, but direct and deep participation.

To Marc Pritchard, Keith Weed, Marcos de Quinto, Debra Wahl, and all the other leaders of agencies and brands nationwide, we invite you to attend the most important conversation to be held during Advertising Week.

On September 29 at 1pm at the Times Center Stage, Keith Cartwright, Jayanta Jenkins, Geoff Edwards and I will officially launch Saturday Morning.

On that Thursday, we have every intention of creating a movement that will become extremely divisive.

We will draw a line in the sand.

Not between Blacks and Whites. Liberals and Conservatives. Nor Police and communities.

No, within the walls of the Times Center Stage, we are determined to draw a line in the sand between love and hate. Peace and war. Order and chaos.

Saturday Morning stands on the side of love, peace and order.

We ask that the CEOs, CMOs, COOs, CIO’s of the brands we serve and have served … the Coca-Cola’s, Pepsi’s, Gatorade’s, Nike’s, adidas’, Google’s, Apple’s, Samsung’s, Chrysler’s, Ford’s, Walmart’s, Harman’s, Mondelez’s, etc., etc., etc. … stand with Saturday Morning on Thursday afternoon.

We will be presenting the Peace Brief, and it will be the likes of you - not just the likes of us - who will have the power to bring about change. Your participation is imperative for our collective success.

United we stand tall. Divided … well, you know.

In Truth and Love,

Keith Cartwright, Jayanta Jenkins, Geoff Edwards and Jimmy Smith

The 13th Advertising Week begins Monday.


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