Here's The Brutal Paragraph Cut From This CEO's 'Confessions Of A Female Ad Exec'

Colleen DeCourcyColleen DeCourcy, the CEO of digital media agency Socialistic.

Photo: Colleen DeCourcy / Twitter

Colleen DeCourcy, the CEO of digital media agency Socialistic, has outed herself as the author of “Confessions of a Female Ad Exec” on Digiday after deciding that Digiday’s editing of her story sanitised her confession too much.The unedited version contains an upsetting anecdote about sexism she has faced in the business. We’ve re-published it below. Be warned, it’s not nice.

DeCourcy’s original Digiday column—part of a series in which execs tell it like it is while cloaked by anonymity—was originally a bland affair. Her main point seemed to be, “the truth I’ve not heard spoken is that it is a very large part of why some of us make it through the gate and others don’t. The sacred question agency execs are answering with their hires is, “Are you like us?” The affirmative answer if they hire is, yes.”

But editor-in-chief Brian Morrissey cut a crucial, dramatic paragraph from her confession because, he wrote, “the shocking nature of the account would detract from the more nuanced message of the rest of the piece.”

The paragraph was also the most interesting part of the entire account, however. Here it is, as republished by Digiday upon DeCourcy’s request:

There are, of course, crudely sexist moments. Here are two special quotes from my career that never fail to materialise when I close my eyes to fall asleep in whatever far-flung hotel I’m sleeping in tonight. “I like that necklace, I could choke you with it while I fuck you from behind,” I was told. After a none-too-pleased response came the capper from this guy: “You’re not offended are you?! We only say those things because we forget you’re not one of us. It’s a compliment!” Really.

Do you have a story about sexism in the agency business to tell? In light of the proposed class action sex discrimination lawsuit filed against Publicis Groupe, we want to hear your story. Email us anonymously. Or use the comments section below.


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