Lubars And The Creative Director’s Dilemma

By SuperSpy 

Creativity’s 2008 Awards Winners list just went up. The list tallies the results from the major advertising awards shows and spit outs the top winners over all.

BBDO is taking top honors in the agency network with 2015 points. Almost half of that is from BBDO New York, which earned a whopping 845 points. Nice work, guys. Lubars, the great CD in the sky, is naturally in the number one spot on the creative directors list.


The stories about Lubars are legendary, as they would need be at this point in his career. How much of a hand does the Great One have in the work that is produced by the shop? Parker pointed out the rumors today that David has little involvement in the creative process. “Dave Lubars is listed as CD on 720 winning campaigns… which means he must have spent at least two minutes on each one…”

Just like you, we’ve heard that same line. For example, what about Lubars’ barely there involvement with the HBO Voyeur campaign? Cheers to the staff at BBDO for a great concept and execution. However, we hear the big man didn’t come into the picture until it was at end game. Then, like a good CD (?), he firmly defended the shop’s creative process in the Big Spaceship dust up, as if he had been there the whole time and knew the intimate details of how it all went down.

If you recall, in an e-mailed statement to AdAge, Mr. Lubars said his agency was “the source of the idea.” He went on to say that, “On ‘Voyeur,’ BBDO thought of the idea, shot the idea, then brought in Big Spaceship to do what they do.”

Come on Davey. You have no idea what they do! And for the record, we hear that your version of things is a bit off base. We hear that Big Spaceship had a huge hand in taking the concept from one level, a video player, to a dynamic website experience. We also hear that BBDO didn’t even give Big Spaceship a brief, because you know, for a video player, you don’t really need a brief, now do you? There’s more details, but lets skip all the nitty-gritty-shitty stuff, yeah? The campaign, as we all know, went on to win several Lions including a Cyber and an Integrated. Somewhere in there, Big Spaceship, deserves a whole ton of credit on the creativity side.

So, the man can’t get with the program and make nice with digital agencies. Lots of traditional CDs can’t, but you know… they have other good qualities. Consider that Lubars certainly deserves applause for nurturing along great talent and keeping his team together to churn out big campaigns like Voyeur.

The function of the CCO or ECD is a difficult one all around. You are responsible for all of the work that comes out of your shop. You answer to the big guys. You lead. You defend. You inspire and you also take the fall if it goes pear shaped. Not easy to do day in and day out. Some creative directors do it better than others. For example, we hear nary a bad word about Geoff Edwards from TAG. So, where does Lubars fall on the great CD scale? You could argue for the top or the bottom. For now, we’ll say we’re undecided.

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