Omnicom's New All-Female Ad Shop Belies Bewhiskered Joke

03 July 2008

NEW YORK: Here's an ancient sexist joke with which Omnicom clearly disagrees ... Female student: "Where do I enlist for the accounting for women seminar?" Male professor: "Sorry, but there is no accounting for women."

Convinced that the opposite is true, the world's largest marketing services firm has enlisted seven senior women executives from across its agency networks as founding partners of G23, a new specialist consultancy that will focus solely on accounting for female consumers.

G23? G as in 'Group' and 23 as in the dual chromosomes that carry the sex differentiators between women and men.

The founding partners led by the concept's originator, Omnicom evp Janet Riccio, boast multi-disciplinary skills: among them public relations, cultural anthropology, corporate identity, media services, behavioral planning and digital marketing.

They in turn will be advised by a board that is also entirely distaff.

The other distaff demi-dozen are Julie Bauer (president at BauerWorks); Emma Gilding, (president at In:site, a cultural anthropology consultancy); Tracy Lovatt (evp and behavioral planning director at BBDO North America); Sharon Love (ceo of  consumer marketing and communications specialist TPN); Andrea Sullivan (evp client services at Interbrand); and Julie Winskie, (Porter Novelli president and chief client officer).

Describing himself as "the cheerleader in all this," Omnicom president/ceo John Wren stressed that "targeting women is something that is at the core" of the industry, adding that "the need has always existed to do it in a fashion that adds value."

Enter Riccio who, says Wren, "took it on herself to formulate the idea and gather the people."

The partners are already making presentations to potential clients.

Data sourced from New York Times; additional content by WARC staff