Here’s more from David Thomas’ interview with Sir John Hegarty, creative director and co-founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty. Yesterday, Hegarty told us what he felt was wrong with advertising. This time around, we managed to sneak away a bit of the iPad exclusive portion of the interview, which deals with broader economic issues, procurement and the dearth of creatives leading the business forward.
Hegarty will be in town next week to speak at Future Flash, an annual event organized by the Institute of Communication Agencies.
Agencies all complain they are being squeezed on their margins and by new procurement policies. What about the growing financial pressures they operate under?
I think every industry is being squeezed by procurement. I don’t think advertising or the communications industry can plead a special case.
I mean, you talk to anybody, any manufacturer in any industry, they’d say we’re being squeezed on prices. I think what we need is we need people within our industry to preach the value of what it is that they’re doing.
How can they do that?
First of all, and this is the bigger issue, I think the industry doesn’t have enough creative people at the front of the industry. I think creative people have lost faith in themselves. They’re not pushing ahead. They’re not creating the kind of work that makes change.
And, therefore, clients are increasingly looking at what we produce as a commodity because they don’t see much difference between one thing and another. They don’t see success being built out of brilliant ideas that agencies can fight for. And I think that’s the failure of creative people. I mean, the big revolutions in our industry have come from creative people. They don’t come from planners and they don’t come from account people.
They’re fundamentally important to the functioning of our industry, but you go back over the history of what we’ve done as an industry and it’s creative people. And where are they today? You know, where are the creative people standing up and making a difference, and that’s the thing I’m really concerned about.
• Hegarty: What’s wrong with advertising
What about the economic backdrop? You hear a lot of people saying they’ve come out of the recession and, you know, while things have gotten out of crisis mode they haven’t really felt the same.
Well I think [economic pressures] give the industry tremendous opportunities because I think, you know, I am cursed, David, as an optimist, you must realize that. And I do feel there is a fantastic future for our industry if it commits to its creativity because that’s what the future needs. The future needs creativity.
There’s more! To read the full interview – including exclusive digital content – check out the May 20 issue of Marketing on the iPad. Use your subscription number and download the issue today.
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