The talent is out there; we just have to find it

Thanks to Kathleen Sampey for her article “Room at the Top” [Feb. 9]. It ended with clear thoughts. However, some of the comments earlier in the piece from industry leaders were a crock:

1. “Dearth of talent.” Sorry, there’s plenty out here. And if our leaders feel there isn’t, what’s being done to address this? Investment? Training? Recruitment?

2. Advertising seems “less glamorous.” Again, what’s being done to address this?

At least Steve Blamer was honest. There are a lot of talented and qualified people; he’s just “picky.” This makes a lot of sense, because it’s obvious that chemistry, creativity and productivity are naturally entwined.

“In this insular world of advertising, there is too much inbreeding: not only writers who simply work a variation of someone else’s idea but who take the same ideas with them from agency to agency … who never break out of the cocoon of sameness.” Leo Burnett wrote this many years ago. The same can be said of industry leaders today, who go from agency to agency without significant leaps or stretches in staffing to gain insights and fuel growth.

Top jobs are going around like a closed game of musical chairs. Yet inbreeding stifles creativity. And creativity is the lifeblood of our industry. Our environment and behavior have not been conducive to attracting, injecting and retaining fresh talent at the top.

Younger, smaller agencies prove over and over again that talent can be found. “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”—to be creative in staffing and to advance creativity, service and productivity.

Robert Gibralter
Co-founder, chief marketing officer
GMW Inc.
New York

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