Technology, Venture Capital, Private Equity

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Archive for June, 2009

“Creatives”- the rogue traders of the ad world?

Posted by Arun Uday on June 5, 2009

Had gone into a slumber for long (as far as blogging goes i.e.) partially due to increased work loads and partially because of laziness. Had a few ideas I was contemplating on to blog about. But, thought I will resume with a post on the “creative” world of advertising. Was watching an interview on a business channel recently of one of the most prominent creative directors of a leading ad agency. The journo asked him on whether he thought that having an understanding of business or domain knowledge of the client’s industry was a requisite for being a good advertising professional, to which the expert’s answer was an emphatic “no”. He said in as many words that he viewed an ad agency as a “factory of ideas” and that just as an IT company produces s/w code or an auto company makes cars, ad agencies “made ideas”. Therefore, it was not expected of them to really have too much understanding of specific industries or companies. I have to admit that I was almost petrified by that answer. I have had the chance of working with media companies in the past as a consultant servicing them. And coming from the IT industry at that point in time, it was some kind of a culture shock to me. Every industry has its idiosyncrasies. If pinstripe decked, tiepin adorned “suits” typify the now much maligned investment banking industry, then the pony tailed, floater flaunting “creatives” are their professional cousins in the media world. And any professional manager working in the media industry will probably admit in private that keeping reins on them is as unenviable a chore as managing a bunch of unruly kindergarten brats.
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