Wednesday, December 5, 2012

An absence of creative.

About 30 years ago there was a big fat directory publication called the Advertising Agency Redbook. The book basically listed every AAAA's agency, their key accounts and their key people. It was valuable if you were looking for a job, because in those days there weren't eight or a dozen agencies in New York, there were literally hundreds.

When I was job-hunting I would turn to the Redbook. Agencies that had creative people at the top of their listing were, to me, more attractive prospects than agencies that had account people on top, or worse money people.

Today, of course, that world is gone. In fact most holding companies don't even have advertising people on top. They recruit from the insurance industry, or, of course, from the financial community. The better to rape you with, my dear.

Of late I've also seen more and more agencies who list their "leaders" on their websites. There are scads of managing directors. There are indecipherable titles a-plenty. What's missing is the presence of any creative people whatsoever.

That's right. Agencies without creatives.

Listen, I know creative people--myself among them--are a pain in the fucking ass. Speaking for myself, I'm moody, angry, argumentative, stubborn, sarcastic and, I suppose the biggest sin of all, I am a lousy subordinate, mostly because I don't have a tremendous amount of respect for very many people.

All those are reasons I'm firmly at the middle of my agency. Not at the top.

However, I create work that works in the market and works for my client. That doesn't really matter anymore. What matters is being genial.

As far as I'm concerned the genial should go and shit barbed wire.


Todd said...

Sigh. So true.

Remember McCabe, Bernbach, Lord and Einstein, even, dare I say, Rosenfeld and Sirowitz.

Remember when agencies were called "shops," which, to me, meant a place of craftsmanship.

KL said...

I love your compaints about open offices. When I've had to work in them (as a media person) and complained, the rationale was that the "creatives" wanted it that way.

bob hoffman said...

You got me with 2 LOLs today, Geo. Great work!

Anonymous said...


Tis an ornery, trendy, bureaucratic, political, fawning, mean, cool, uncool, redundant, formulaic, sometimes original business were in.

Open offices to open are one of a kind you cantankerous SOB

We love you..for now