NEWS: Fink denies anti-women bias on D&AD panel

Graham Fink, the president of D&AD, this week hit back at critics who have attacked his selection of judges on this year’s panel, which controversially includes artists such as Damien Hirst but excludes women in any significant numbers.

Graham Fink, the president of D&AD, this week hit back at critics who

have attacked his selection of judges on this year’s panel, which

controversially includes artists such as Damien Hirst but excludes women

in any significant numbers.



In a talk at the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising on Monday,

Fink responded to the challenge over the lack of female jurors. ‘I would

love to have more women, but I feel the panel is balanced and roughly

reflects the number of women members of D&AD. You shouldn’t put women on

just for the sake of it,’ he said.



He pointed out that no women had put themselves forward for the six-

strong executive committee this year, and as this is the main body that

selects the jury, having only men on the committee lessens the

likelihood of female representation overall.



Kiki Kendrick, an art director at Euro RSCG Wnek Gosper, who attended

the talk, praised Fink’s attempts to update the jury, but said to

Campaign: ‘If he can make a conscious effort to choose artists, he could

make a conscious effort to find females. Why pick Bob Mortimer and not

Jo Brand? It’s outrageous when 23 per cent of members are women but

there is less than 8 per cent on this year’s D&AD jury.’



Liz Whiston, a partner at the HHCL Brasserie, was also present at the

meeting. She said: ‘Men are lazy and just invite their friends on to the

jury. The same kind of male stuff wins awards every year - if there were

more women on the jury, the value of female creativity would get

recognised.’



Kendrick added: ‘Someone has to break the vicious circle. Seventy per

cent of what we sell is to women, so we should be over-compensating

instead of having them as a token gesture. If there aren’t enough women

in creative departments, they can be found in many other areas of the

business.’



Fink countered: ‘I am listening, and hopefully we will get more women on

the jury next year. There aren’t enough black people on the jury either,

and it will take time to redress the balance.’



Feature, p30



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