OLD Media Moves

Roehm profile in Fast Company shows male/female bias

June 29, 2009

Jim Edwards, the former managing editor of Adweek, finds little to like in the Fast Company profile of Julie Roehm, the former head of advertising at Wal-Mart now struggling to find a job.

Edwards writes, “Don’t get me wrong. I read the story right through to the end. There’s something eminently readable about the Roehm train wreck. She’s had to sell her house in Michigan to continue living in much cheaper Bentonville, Ark., even though she obviously hates it, since she left Walmart.

 “But its publication says more about the business media than it does about the world of advertising. Specifically, that female reporters often harbor the belief that Roehm got the short end of the stick (would a male ad chief who exchanged steamy emails with an underling have been pilloried so thoroughly?); and that male editors like to have a good looking blonde who admits to a sex life in the mag.

“As usual in the Roehm profile ritual, we get something old and something new. The old bit is a rehash of how Roehm, while at Chrysler, commissioned ‘the Lingerie Bowl, a pay-per-view Super Bowl halftime show featuring supermodels playing football in their panties,’ and other Chrysler ads involving urinals and wife swapping.”

Read more here

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