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WPP’s Sorrell on why we’re wrong to think creativity is just about so-called creatives

Are wrong to assume that creatives are the people who produce 60-second TV commercials? Is that a relic of Mad Men days?

One person who thinks so, you won’t be surprised to hear, is WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell. In this NABS Tuesday Club interview with Alastair Stewart he enlarges on the point at about 50 minutes in (not suggesting you ignore the rest of it).

While he’s no doubt right to say that “scientists can be creative,” and his team of programmatic wizards at Xaxis likewise (although arguably not when he says finance directors can/should be creative) there’s a danger of missing the point.

Which is that the stuff consumers experience – the ads, content, whatever you call it – requires particular skills and experience and there seems to be less of that around than hitherto. Or less trust in such abilities, perhaps.

There’s also an interesting piece in Digiday by an unnamed former agency head honcho (thanks George) saying that holding company-owned agencies don’t innovate as much as they should because their owners don’t want them to (it’s too expensive and they’re obsessed by margins) and the talent that’s needed has headed off to the likes of Google and Facebook, who can pay top dollar.

Is it all about money? Looks like it sadly.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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