Cannes Can’s Smith is new WPP diversity supremo

At various times WPP, as have the other ad holding companies, has been accused of being a boys’ club but no more it seems.

Mark Read’s new look empire has hired Cannes Can: Diversity Collective founder Adrianne Smith (below) as global director of inclusion and diversity (a new position) working alongside head of culture Judy Jackson, appointed last year. Quite how the two posts differ remains to be seen.

Smith seems to have caught the eye of WPP at last year’s Inkwell Beach Canes event which featured a number of high profile media females.

Head of culture Jackson says: “Adrianne was chosen for this role as she is an entrepreneur and a trailblazer, paving her own way advocating for change around inclusion and diversity for the advertising industry for many years. Adrianne believes all things are possible, and will bring to the inclusion and diversity agenda a fresh perspective.”

Smith says: “My goal is to get WPP to the point of escape velocity as it pertains to equity, inclusion and diversity — meaning the point of no return for bad industry habits.”

Glad she cleared that one up. Few would argue that the ad business urgently needs more diversity, although not more jargon.

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