Your call: Are incidents of sexism in marcomms isolated or systemic?

Publicis Groupe CEO Maurice Levy faced a backlash over comments that seemingly downplayed sexism in the marketing, advertising, and PR industries.

Image via World Economic Forum / Flickr; Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license
Image via World Economic Forum / Flickr; Used under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic license

Several prominent industry figures have waded into the controversy surrounding former J. Walter Thompson CEO Gustavo Martinez, who resigned from the ad agency after being named in a discrimination lawsuit that alleged he had made frequent sexist and racist jokes.

Publicis Groupe’s CEO, Maurice Levy, furthered the controversy by stating that the JWT case was an isolated industry — "one man’s mistake." Levy’s comments were quickly rebuffed by WPP CEO Martin Sorrell, who said he "[disagreed] violently" with Levy, who "has a habit of ignoring the facts."

And Cindy Gallop, founder of IfWeRanTheWorld and of Publicis Groupe’s BBH New York, condemned Levy’s comments in a series of blistering tweets on Twitter.

So, readers, we ask you: Is sexism a systemic problem in the marcomms industry?

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