Advertising Needs More People Who Give a Shit

Advertising needs more art directors who will fight for the great layout, the killer image, for the best photographer or artist, or to keep something simple.

Advertising needs more copywriters who will write the 800 headlines needed to get the four great ones. And then fight for the great ones.

Advertising needs more creative directors who will sweat every detail, fight for the time their people need to do a great job, support their people when it gets tough, and not let any crap out of the door.

Advertising needs more planners who will fight to simplify the brief, who will resist multiple propositions, who will support great work.

Advertising needs more typographers and designers who live and breathe the detail of type and design, who give a shit whether every word is kerned properly.

Advertising needs more account people who know that the best work comes out of a strong, honest relationship with the client, who will say no when the time is right, and fight for the best work.

Advertising needs more agency execs who give a shit about the work they're doing for their clients, who will stand up to the holding company or the financial guys to make sure things are done properly, people are paid properly and have the time to do a good job.

Advertising needs more media people who wont just rehash last year's plan on autopilot, or recommend something just because the agency makes the biggest cut off it, or stands by while dodgy media is being sold-in.

Basically, advertising needs more people who really give a shit.

If you're involved in mediocre or crap work, and you're blaming someone else, maybe take a minute to take a hard look at yourself and ask if you really fight for great work.

Do you give a shit?


  1. Nailed it. With both barrels. Although I'm not sure you can actually nail something with both barrels, but I'm sure you get my drift!

  2. "It's the last taboo, for a man to do something sincerely and well." Stew Lee

  3. Good post. But does Martin Sorrell give a s**t? Did you see the article in the FT? Apparently the Government/MP's want to ask questions about the state of Advertising? Tech companies are taking over, and in alot of ways things have "come home to roost".

  4. Yes, but giving a shit tends to get you branded as 'not a team player' or worse 'difficult.' Guess you just have to wear it like a badge...

    1. Yes good point, but also… There are too many people willing do to mediocre work! This is partly due to the high costs of living in London meaning you have to work very hard just to get by, as the rates are heading down (Major Players - Art D £250 per day, Gemini Recruitment - Mid Weight Copywriter £13 per hour).

      The industry is man made, it's corrupt (to a certain extent), and people are holding lies together, so you need people to never "push back" and hold the lie together because it's mostly BS (especially in Digital). The outcome is dire work, companies thinking "we can do this in-house", planners becoming the new Creative Directors (rightly or wrongly).

      But of course this is after the 30 years+ of the Madmen style highly awarded Creative Directors pulling up the ladder, making it impossible for anyone else to get by, let alone move forward, surprise, surprise! Just think all those Senior Art Directors and ACD's that have been contracting for nearly 10 years now (going to the Doctors with heart pressure problems) are maybe starting to realising it's not going to happen for them? And with mediocre work you can be replaced quite easily can't you? So it's built into the system isn't it? It's a circle!

      Even good places to work have taken a kicking on Glassdoor this year. Mirrored by the share prices.

      But hey ho just "go along with it" and watch the industry get eaten up by Tech. Because as the clients say "why would I need an advertising agency?".

      At this stage does anyone have the answers? Other than try to produce good work that is tough to replicate or looks like it's not just been bashed out? Oh look this person is difficult (Satan) ;-)

      It's all quite toxic!

    2. Oh so no reply... And following on from Dec 4th... This rubbish is killing craft too: "Bash-it-out-flash-in-the-pan-social-media-nonsense" that is ok for "getting your name out there" but it's no better than people uploading stuff on to Shutterstock in the long term. Oh look they do a One Minute Brief Award show, I hope that c**p lasts "One minute". Pile them high sell them cheap, ideas that is!

    3. I think you make very good points, Anon, tend to agree. In a way I hope it's the start of the demise of 'big advertising'. There are too many many people, of too low an average quality working in agencies that are too big, to produce great work.


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