The changing role of a global chief creative officer

Being a global chief creative officer is certainly no walk in the park. There are quarters who have labeled them as ‘trophy thirsty’ and the like, but the reality is far from that.

According to Ad Age, global CCOs are tasked with creating an identity and signature for the totality of an agency network in order to attract new clients and talent.

“Holding companies need to have a coherent vision and part of that coherent vision, maybe even the central part, is the [creative] product,” says Nick Law, chief creative officer of Publicis Groupe and president of Publicis Communications, speaking to the publication.

Susan Credle, the global CCO of Interpublic Group of Cos. FCB, says that chief creatives should focus delivering their best work for the sake of their client’s businesses and then the recognition will follow.

She thinks her role is that of a gardener. “The garden always looks the same, but no one ever sees the weeds you’re pulling out,” she says.

The global CCO is always the glue that binds the creatives with the business side of things.

“That’s my job. Making sure the weeds don’t pop up; the insects don’t come and destroy it as you rotate the crops,” she explains.

Law feels that a global CCO should be the “artist” among “soldiers”. Essentially, this individual should be the creative complement to the business nous of the chief executive, chief financial and chief operating officers.

Barbara Kahn, professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, believes there is a shift happening in the new guard of creative thinkers.

She feels that marketers are moving from product-focused to customer-focused approaches with the community wanting something different, a thought that certainly gives agency folk a bit of food for thought.

Ultimately, global CCOs like Grey’s John Patroulis said that his job is not centered around winning Lions and Pencils, but around a “creative and business partnership”.

Source: Ad Age

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