Creative Or Account? You Can’t Be Both.

By SuperSpy 

Now is the time for innovation with this recession on and all that. It’s the new mantra, yeah? So let’s talk the very frustrating point hiring practices and keeping talent in this business.

Howard Bragman is a big dawg American PR man. He was vice president of Burson-Marsteller Public Relations for a bit. After that he founded Bragman Nyman Cafarelli. In the video above, Bragman talks about his journey from his first job to his grand finale of selling his agency to Interpublic in 2001. Here’s the thing – in the first two minutes of the video, Bragman says that he originally started out looking at public relations’ way cooler step-sister, advertising, as a career path, but diverged. Why?

“-I was interviewing with ad agencies and they said, “are you the suit or are you the creative?”… Well I can do both. I had worked at a small ad agency in Ann Arbor and I met with clients. I wrote ads and I designed ads. I can do it all. And they were like, no you can’t. Not at a big agency. You have to choose. Well, I ended up getting a job at a magazine…”

One of the things that drives folks to smaller agencies, to start their own shops or far out of the industry is the strict line between creative and accounts or planning and creative. Sure, some shops let those lines blur a bit, but there are plenty of agencies at which if you are a designer, forget about your input into how to increase revenue from the client. Even if you’ve run your own business at some point. All that knowledge goes straight into the garbage. We’ve all seen great creative suggestions by account directors get ignored. Forget about it.

Creative or accounts. It’s one of those unwritten rules that keeps many advertising agencies trapped in a mind numbing stases, watching accounts and talented bodies fly out the door.

More: Square Pegs: Innovating Advertising Agency Hiring Practices In A Recession