Anomaly CEO Thinks Maybe Creatives Shouldn’t Be in Charge After All

By Patrick Coffee 

For a bit of aggregation fun, Campaign published a saucy response to Mark Figliulo’s July piece in which he argued that creatives should probably run things at agencies because advertising is about storytelling and they are, after all, the ones who write and illustrate the stories.

Today, Anomaly CEO Carl Johnson is like, don’t even go there.

We’re not going to reprint the whole thing here because you should really click on Campaign and give them the traffic, but he starts by asserting that he just couldn’t stay away from this argument because Figliulo made such a poor case for himself and other creatives as agency leaders!

First, Johnson asserts that leaders don’t need to be creatives—they only have to understand the value of that creativity, duh. Here’s another line:

“[Figliulo’s] second desperately old-fashioned implicit assumption is that the creative department are the only people with ideas. God this is so dull.”


He goes on to bring Radiohead into the mix in arguing that every department displays some form of creativity … even management, accounts and PR. (Hey, there!)

We are a little surprised that no one has weighed in on this back-and-forth in the comments, but then that’s why we’re writing this post in the first place.

A final question: Have either of these guys talked to Rob Schwartz? He did score Johnson’s old job at TBWA New York a while back…