Sir John’s Talk

The theme is why this is a great time to be a creative in advertising (Details here).

The skeptical amongst you might consider that to be a thinly-veiled talking up of the recent-ish achievements of BBH’s offices worldwide, but as I’m never, ever skeptical about anything I’ll take it on face value and believe that Sir John of Hegarty truly believes that this is indeed a great time to be a creative.

But a couple of questions couldn’t help springing to mind:

1. Why is point 5 (agencies can persuade clients to be brave) illustrated with an ad from early 2002? Does he really mean 2002 was a good time to be creative?

2. ‘Creativity means ideas and ideas will get us out of the mess the bankers have got us into’. Um… yes, and ideas also got us into the mess. Creativity might well mean joining hands to promote world peace and saving Chilean Miners, but it also means invading Poland, bumming donkeys and inventing new torture devices. ‘It’s not intrinsically a good thing, but it’s all we’ve got’ would be more accurate.

3. Agencies have tackled ‘growing social issues’ for years. Unless I’m missing something, BBH’s new Barnados work is no bigger a deal than several campaigns Saatchis have done for NSPCC over the years. I guess Sr JoH is right that a creative’s current ability to take part in this reinforces his point but he might as well have said that you get to make stuff people see on TV.

4. Hats off to BBH for making products. Does anyone know how well they’re doing? (That’s not meant to be a facetious question; I’m genuinely interested). And well done for innovating through things like BBH Labs.

I guess creativity is very important to BBH right now. If you look at the current churn in their London creative department and the move to get rid of Kevin Roddy in the NY office they must be trying to get things exactly right to move forward as they see best.

Good luck to them.