Why the ad industry is recycling talent

ad industry recycling talent

“Why the ad industry is recycling talent” was the Editor’s Note for MARKETING WEEKENDER Issue 331

After a while, you will notice that agencies turn to the same people who did well in the past to lead and train them.

The same applies to middle management. And I don’t blame them.

The industry is no more what it was. The half-good ones who left decry digital as their death knell.

Now it is about justifying spend first, everything else is second.

Critical thinking, free association, dreaming, walking the streets for research is a no no.

ad industry recycling talent 1

People have changed too. The passion is different.

The young don’t find advertising sexy.

They feel thinking 24/7 on one project is too tiring.

They want bragging rights at all costs – hence the high-flying job titles that have infested the agency organisation structure.

For example, we went from Creative Director to Executive Creative Director and Chief Creative Officer before we could learn how to pronounce Cannes correctly.

But then, fancy titles is a known retention strategy.

After years of giving new talent a shot at working in advertising, employers have realised that there will always be the “ready to switch jobs at the flick of a switch” type in their fold.

So they focus on the soul of the agency, usually about 10% of their people.

Talent comes and talent goes. But the soul of the agency stays.

That’s why, in the absence of a talent pool entering the market, we will see recycling the sure way forward.

The advertising business has always been about people and ideas.

Everything else is technology and business administration.


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