Unfortunately, Andy, you’re essentially making the same argument as those saying the advertising industry is dying. Yes, the people are there, the creative people, anyway, and yes conglomerates are responsible for the “safe” approach. What you haven’t touched on (despite this extremely wordy piece) is the role of account executive. Years ago, I remember going to the client with some work. I was worried it was “too out there.” The account director said to me “Don’t worry, I can sell anything.” I doubt one in twenty account people can sell “anything.” They don’t feel it’s their role today. What we have instead are messengers. “This is what the client wants,” is the most common phrase used in advertising, and that’s killing more inventive creative than anything else. Agencies have forgotten that our business is selling — especially our own work. Until we get back to that, sadly, all in the innovation in the world isn’t going to help agencies at all.

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I did a poor imitation of Don Draper for 40 years before writing my first novel. I'm currently in the final stages of a children's book. Lucky me.

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