Sean Cummins speaks out on adland's boys club

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 4 March 2016

Sean Cummins has spoken out against adland's boys club in his speech as an AdNews Hall of Fame inductee.

Cummins, founder of Cummins&Partners, says that as a copywriter, most of his collaborators were women, and criticised the lack of recognition women receive in the industry.

“There was and probably still is a boys club out there and I recognised it years ago – and I didn't want a bar of it,” Cummins says.

“The minute you allow yourself to be that guy, well you're that guy.”

“I am an openly white heterosexual male and I'm glad for tonight's honour. But I hope we see a woman in the Hall of Fame soon.”

Cummins was announced as the latest inductee into the Hall of Fame during last night's AdNews Agency of the Year Awards; a black tie event at The Star, in Sydney. He joins previous recipients including Whybin\TBWA founder Scott Whybin, Clemenger BBDO executive chairman Robert Morgan and Mitchell and Partners founder Harold Mitchell, among others.

Cummins has had a stellar career, spanning agencies and long running brand campaigns, including work coining 'Oh, What a Feeling' for Toyota and 'You'll Love Every Piece of Victoria' for Tourism Victoria.

Cummins was adamant that while he was being given an “individual honour” in being inducted into the Hall of Fame “you realise very quickly that... your career was never a solo journey”, taking the opportunity to thank clients and staff for their role in the process.

“I honestly think some people in advertising see clients as the enemy or certainly irritants – getting in the way of their unfulfilled brilliance,” Cummins says.

“Clients are the only reason I do this – not the awards. They are your benefactors and partners in a world you wouldn't otherwise have a chance to see.”

Cummins was presented the accolade by Jim Kiernan, formerly of Pope Kiernan and Black who called Cummins a particularly worth recipient of the award.

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