{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Anyone work with Rich Russo at Arnold before? Had an interview with him and it was weird. As a Hispanic woman, he said I couldn’t be that good if he never heard of me before. When I asked how important diverse hires are, I got an answer from him that was pretty shocking.... something along the lines of how hiring diverse candidates lowers the bar for creative work because they don’t have the same education other [white] creatives have. Maybe I’m reading into him wrong but it was cringe-worthy.", "post_id": "60ac85b749151200208ff65c", "reply_count": 123, "vote_count": 44, "bowl_id": "594f0b7a1753b200102d1a8f", "bowl_name": "Creatives", "feed_type": "bowl" }
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Anyone work with Rich Russo at Arnold before? Had an interview with him and it was weird. As a Hispanic woman, he said I couldn’t be that good if he never heard of me before. When I asked how important diverse hires are, I got an answer from him that was pretty shocking.... something along the lines of how hiring diverse candidates lowers the bar for creative work because they don’t have the same education other [white] creatives have. Maybe I’m reading into him wrong but it was cringe-worthy.

likehelpfulfunny
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Unlike most people commenting here, I do know Rich. And I've worked with him at Arnold. Which is why I find this entire thread highly suspicious. The portrait being painted here - and unquestioningly accepted - doesn't line up with the person I know. Or the culture I saw at Arnold NY when I was there, which was far more diverse and inclusive than most. Plus, I have a hard time swallowing that anyone in this day and age would be so out of touch as to say "diverse hires lower the bar because they lack the same education as white people." That sounds made up. Maybe Marjorie Tayler Greene would be that ignorant, but not Rich. In fact, Rich has always said he hires people not books. He'd rather take a risk on someone with a good book and a great attitude than a great book belonging to an asshole. So, if Rich actually did say "why have I never heard of you," I doubt it was because of your gender or ethnicity as you imply. You probably gave off an attitude of "I'm so much better than the position I'm interviewing for." Dumping on pharma doesn't just happen on Fishbowl, it actually happens in interviews for pharma jobs all the time. Maybe you didn't realize you were giving off that vibe. Or maybe Rich was the one who totally misread your attitude. I don't know because – like everyone else here jumping to conclusions – I wasn't in the room. But I do know that you both work in the same building, with the same HR department. So why not go talk to them to straighten things out instead of doing an anonymous character assassination on Fishbowl. If what you said at the end of your post is actually true, and you did indeed "read into him wrong," isn't it less cringy-worthy to find out the truth instead of ruining someone's reputation needlessly?

likesmart

I won’t name names but I’ve heard the same sh*t about diversity in our agency. Don’t be naive that white men aren’t fans of diversity.

I am a white woman with two decades of experience. I had a bizarre interview with Rich Russo as well. He told me that he would like to hire me but that would upset the male creative directors on his team to have me come in with more experience and talent than them and for me to have a higher position than them. I had no idea what he was talking about. I then had to listen to him name drop and brag about his fabulous career for 30 more minutes. He then hired me as a freelancer and put me on a pharma brief with about eight other teams. The (male) writer I was to partner with was out of town so is came up with a campaign on my own. When we presented the campaign in a conference room with Rich Russo and 7 other men, I was interrupted multiple time’s by both the men and my writing partner. I was told the campaign Art direction was “too Target” and I defended the work by stating that pharma does not need another senior couple walking on a beach while holding hands and with a golden retriever. The pharma client loved my campaign and bought it. Rich Russo then had me rotated onto another piece of business and then laid me off. When he called me to lay me off “due to covid” I reminded him that out of all of the campaigns presented, mine was bought and is being produced. In which case, he should be replacing his hacks with me and my actual talent that produces revenue for the agency. I was completely cut off and now I have to see my campaign on the air 24/7. It is an exact copy of what I presented and what I have proof of in my time stamped boards. This unethical behavior bastardizes freelancers and I am grateful for this forum to share these hideous experiences. These toxic leaders derail careers for women and minorities.

likehelpfulsmartfunny

Don’t believe this ever happened

like
Recent IconRecent

Never heard of Rich Russo sry

likefunnyupliftingsmart

Who is Rich Russo?

likefunny

Rich russian?

Sounds like Arnold. They had no female creative directors for years and their creative department was completely white for a stint.

like

Yuppp, had a friend (female POC) who worked there. Super talented, smart, good at her job. They put her on a PIP citing “attitude issues” or some bs thing.

likefunny

Not Arnold, but I’m also Latina, and also got a “I’ve never heard of you before” just like yours a few days ago. It feels like something people say when they want to say “You don’t belong here,” without actually saying it.

likehelpful

What does “I’ve never heard of you before” even mean? Are they implying there are so few Hispanic women they keep a list somewhere? Saying this as a Hispanic women... this statement is so incredibly cringe. Especially coming from a pharma agency. No one at Arnold(Boston) thinks of Arnold NY and throughout the years I remember people acting surprised it was still in business. So the airs of this person are just appalling and out of touch.

Reminds me of a Pepe Jeans commercial out of Australia from years ago. It’s a UK brand. The line was simply, “We haven’t heard of you either.”

likefunny

My agency is actively hiring diversity and we have an open writer position (ACD). Even if that’s not a fit, DM me. It’s on a fun, award-winning, international QSR brand. I didn’t go to ad school and Rich definitely never heard of me either.

like

What role you looking for? My agency is fairly diverse.

likesmarthelpful

Bam! Best answer.

As a Latina with 30+ years in the business RUN AWAY from this dude & his shop as fast as you can. Anyone who thinks the bar is lowered for us is bound to not only make your life miserable, but justify his doing so

likehelpful

That's such a weird thing to say in an interview.

like

Even if you were a white guy, I don't know why anyone would say that. I barely know anyone at my agency's other offices.

likefunny

Whoa!! This is huge! Am I the only one who thinks Arnold higher ups need to know about it?? OP, there are good people in this industry who want someone with your skills . Keep looking so they can find you, support you, and help you become the future CCO of Arnold. DONT LET THE BASTARDS GRIND YOU DOWN!

like

I did contact HR, but I haven’t heard back.

Guy sounds like a hack.

Hacks think where you went to school determines your creative skills.

Hacks think they know everyone worth knowing, while being an unknown in the industry themselves.

Arnold’s NY office is a sad shop that isn’t even worth a mention when people ask which pharma agencies are worthwhile. And pharma is all they got. You have to be a total hack to be that self-insistent on your cringey views while running things there. I’m assuming your interview didn’t work out but you dodged a bullet. Plenty of other agencies with health accounts with talented CCOs and ECDs who aren’t hacks.

like

Thanks! I’m so happy it didn’t work out... I really did dodge a bullet. I had no idea who this man was to be spoken to like that.... he does sound like a hack!

like

I love how he posts his support for BLM on his Facebook. “Look, I’m not racist see?”

funny

I worked for Rich early in my career and can attest to the fact that he was a great boss, and hired female and male creatives. He was one of the best bosses I’ve ever had but didn’t hand out participation trophies. If your gut told you otherwise, listen to your gut. Maybe his attempt at being candid hurt your feelings. I found him to be a call it like he sees it kinda guy. Maybe he genuinely wanted to know why he wasn’t familiar with your work.

Sounds like you’re looking for someone who tells you what you want to hear. Not his style.

My two cents.

like

@ad2 sansjob = sans job

Whoa.

likesmart

Gross

like

Woah gross, sorry you had to deal with a guy like him. Disgusting. Good for you for taking your talents elsewhere.

likesmart

His pic says it all. Fat pig with long hair. Grounds for a lawsuit?

likeuplifting

Don’t pig shame either. Long hair, fine.

likefunny

Probably the hack 🧐

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