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Two men made redundant after voicing concerns at an advertising agency’s intention to “obliterate” its “Knightsbridge boys club” reputation in light of a damning gender pay gap have won their sex discrimination case.
Chas Bayfield and David Jenner won their claim at London Central employment tribunal for direct sex discrimination and victimisation against J Walter Thompson (JWT), after the ad agency made the two middle-aged, white creative directors redundant in 2018.
Their dismissals came just days after the pair raised concerns about a conference presentation titled “Crisis: The Mother of All Change” by Jo Wallace, a creative director appointed to help the agency lose its boys club reputation, and executive creative director, Lucas Peon.
JWT’s 2017-18 gender pay gap report found that women at the company earned 55p for every £1 that men earn when comparing median hourly pay. “In the World Cup of sucking at pay gap numbers, we made the final,” Peon said at the conference, according to The Drum at the time.
In the talk, Wallace said: “One thing we all agree on is that the reputation JWT once earned — as being full of white, British, privileged [men] — has to be obliterated.”
Her comment was made alongside a slide saying, “White, British, privileged, straight men creating traditional above the line advertising”, which then appeared crossed out at the mention of the word “obliterated”.
Much of the presentation was uncontroversial, said the tribunal judgment, while also hard-hitting. JWT d