Always wondered why Grey Advertising was called something as boring as “grey’ – it once was really as boring as grey of course – and now we know: it was founded 100 years ago by two Jewish entrepreneurs called Valenstein and Fatt.
Whether Laurence and Arthur (Fatt) changed it through a fear of anti-semitism or just because Val and Fatt didn’t sound right we know not.
But Grey London is changing its name to Valenstein and Fatt (it grows on you) for 100 days to signal its commitment to diversity in the febrile aftermatch of the Brexit vote (and Donald Trump) as well as its centenary.
It’s also launching a cross-industry task force to identify the barriers to staff recruitment and retention among ethnic minorities.
Anti-semitism used to be a big thing in the US business community and elsewhere with Jews excluded from country clubs and the like. Maybe it still is. In adland that’s even more of a reason to celebrate Doyle Dane Bernbach. Even my hero Mad Men’s Roger Sterling disapproved of Jews (he also liked to black up as a minstrel at his birthday parties.)
Here’s Roger showing his good side.
Well maybe not.
Anyway, Grey’s to be congratulated.