Wednesday, March 31, 2010
They blew it. Again.
In just the past seven days or so, two Madison Avenue behemoths, JWT and Y&R have appointed new head honchos. Naturally, neither of these appointees come from the ranks of creative. And almost just as naturally, JWT and Y&R and countless other agencies will declare, declaim and otherwise defecate that creative is at the center of all they do. It's at the center perhaps, but it sure as heck ain't at the top.
The best agencies of all time, I'll make this really simple, are run by creatives. Just like the best restaurants are run by chefs. And the best schools are run by teachers. There is no disputing this.
Ammirati & Puris. (AD and copywriter)
Ally & Gargano. (AD)
Scali McCabe Sloves. (AD, CW)
Goodby Silverstein. (AD, CW)
Doyle Dane Bernbach. (CW)
I could go on.
The issue here is manifold. First is that agencies--especially those affiliated with holding companies--have tried to routinize the processes of running ad agencies. They've tried to best practice what is inherently a business that relies on nuts. Creative people tend to be less orthodox in their methodology (the good ones are every bit as methodical as business people but just in their own ways.) Therefore, their peregrinations, moods and attitudes scare the money men who run things now. Therefore in most advertising agencies creatives are isolated and left in a corner to be rolled out like a dancing bear in the circus. Second, good creative people tend to think in macro, not micro terms. They see tectonic movements in popular culture and respond. This means they are "different." Different is to be shunned. Finally, creative people don't usually play golf. And at the end of the day, golf is all that matters.
Posted by George Tannenbaum at 7:09 AM