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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : May June 2010
THE BUSINESS 20 CAMPAIGNBRIEF MAY/JUNE 2010 lot of it isn't as important as it used to be," he says. "I believe it is the model. It is the new way to do stuff. There will always be multinational agencies, and they'll change expedi- entialy, there's a new breed of client coming through, they are in their thirties, they are focused, ambi- tious, digitally savvy, and they are walking into big organizations going, there are better ways to do this. As long as those clients exist, then the Indys will always exist, because the Indys are organizations that are built to cater for that demand." Already he's relishing being out of the spotlight and is looking forward to spending more time with clients. He says is if you are running a big agency where you have a 150 or 200 staff you can only have a super- ficial relationship with your client. "If you only have a handful of clients you are going to be spending a good amount of time with clients, building the best possible relation- ship," says O'Sullivan. "The net- work system dictates that you don't spend as much time as you should do with the clients you have got. That's not around retaining busi- ness or getting business, it's actually around the work. I believe if you have a good client relationship then you'll do great work." O'Sullivan refutes the idea that being the creative director of a net- work agency is a cushy job, saying it comes with enormous amounts of pressure. You go from being an art director or a writer when your job is to come up with the best idea for the client, something that becomes just one part of the job when you become a creative director. He says: "Then you've got man- aging the staff, the quality of the work, the client, the Effies, and likeability of your work -- so at any one time you've always got five spinning plates. To move from one plate spinning, which is, I'll do the best work possible, then moving into five it is quite hard, and the bigger the job, the bigger and more creative the organization you work for the more difficult it is to keep all of those going at one time." This sentiment was echoed by another creative director at one of the major network agencies who preferred to speak off the record in saying it's a high pressure job that often lacks the freedom to do the work you want to be doing. "The network agencies can be slow, cumbersome and conserva- tive. They don't want to rock the boat, especially down this side of the world where they are not lead- ing the charge, but are more a smaller, satellite office. You've got these clients who are internationally aligned and they don't necessarily Rasic: "Almost three years on, we've still decided to keep it wall free. If you want to get something done, you just do it. There's no knocking on doors, no forms to fill out, no meetings about the next meeting." The obvious advantage to going out on your own is getting to create and define your own culture from the ground up, says Dejan Rasic, who left his role as ECD of Lowe Sydney in 2007 soon after gaining international recognition for Unilever's 'LynxJet' campaign to start Colman Rasic Carrasco with the former CEO, Ben Colman, and creative Rebecca Carrasco. The agency was renamed Colman Rasic in March this year when Carrasco departed the agency. want a rock star agency, they just want someone who can continue along and not change too much," he said. "If you want to rock the boat, if you really want to push things then you are probably not best suited to a multinational agency. That's not saying there aren't amazing people in the multi- nationals, there are, but the people who are really trying to push things are probably not there." However, he added, a lot of agen- cies that start as outsiders with the intention of taking on the estab- lished players end up attracting some of the world's biggest clients and then they get snapped up by one of the big networks and then it takes someone else to reinvent the model. For young creatives starting out what's more important than whether they are working at a multinational or an independent is whether they are working at an agency that does good work. "It's pretty hard for young talent to get an opportunity if they have spent five or six years at an agency that is not doing good work. If you haven't done it by the time you are thirty you are in trouble, it is a young person's industry. Creative people need to follow the work, that's their career, that's their cur- rency," he said. Furby: "I do work in my own way. I have my own foibles and approaches to problems and that needs to be understood. But the results have been proven so something is clicking. I guess I like challenges."
January February 2010