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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : March April 2008
TH E INDU STR Y the day I get out,” he says. Also, it ’s import ant to ask the clients who they want to deal with – Putnam recalls an anecdot e ab out an agency getting rid of the old guy in the agency because he wa s past his used by date, but as s oon as he left, sev eral majo r cli ents f ollowed because their chairmen didn’t have anyone to talk to at the agency. The one time Putnam was on the verge of openi ng his own age ncy was wh en interest rates were at a premium and the fin ancial advisors said it was n’t a good time. Still, he wishes he’d done it anyway. “I would hate to think that people were being bunged o ut beca use of age when t hey sho uld r eally be bunged out for lack of app lication and enthusiasm,” he says. “When I was in a pos ition of manage ment I abhorred laziness, th ere are so me important people out there who are not just experienced, but incredibly enthusias tic, assiduous an d har d- working, and if the se p eople have been un justly overlooked by age n- cies because of their age, then it is an enormous shame.” When aske d about ageism in advertising, Micah Walker, th e 37- year-old c reative leader at Publicis Mojo Sydney, defers to Lee Clow, the chai rman/chief creative offic er of TBWA\Worl dwid e, who on ce quipped that advertising has always been considered a young person’s bus iness bec ause as peopl e g et olde r t hey start to wor ry about things other than the work. “Le e sai d that people sta rt to worry about their salaries, the cor - ner o ffice, whether or not they’ve been i nvited to the right lu nches, whether or n ot they have a hig h enough profile. What they forge t i s the th ing that is so e xciting about young people is they are not afraid to fuck up,” he says. Asked whether he would hire peo- ple over 4 0 in his crea tive depart- ment, Walker says it is already more middle-aged than he wants it to be . This isn’t a reflection on anyone in the creative department, but rathe r on the advantages youth brings. He says: “You want young people to be showing you all this shit and you going oh man, you can’t re ally do that or keep going, l et’s do this. Everyone says clients get the agen- cies they deserve, or visa ve rsa, and you can a pply that to the indust ry and a sk is the i ndustry getting the work it deserves? Are we saying no, enough? Are we le ading? Are we pushing a nd stretching, or ar e we taking this? It’s my job to calc ulate whether that applies to us … the last thing I want my guys thinking of is every single thing that could go wrong. I just think that’s a shame , so yes I definitely want more young people.” Walker doesn’t have a st rategy in place to e nsure he’s in it for the long h aul, saying he doe sn’t ha ve regional aspirations or the desperate desire to move u p some ne twork hierarchy chain – for h im the onl y thing he can think to do is focus on the work as much as he can. “As you get older, one thi ng that 18 CAM PA I GN B RIE F Vaughan (left) with Brown: “It seems odd how readily some now bite the hands. Of course, younger people have always pushed back against their elders. Some of that’s healthy and necessary. The art students in Renaissance Florence overtaking their masters; no doubt that was the master’s aim. I sense, though, that those students wouldn’t have been so eagerly dancing on the grave - or putting the slipper in - about it.” certainly becomes especially true, is as much a s i t’s your re sponsibility to i nspi re and help g uide the department to do interes ting and innovative work, you are also there to try and manufacture opportuni- ties,” he says. Brow n s ugg es ts some of the statesmen leaving the i ndustry i s just natural attrition. He says some people get into advertising because they aren’t sur e what they want to do with their l ives and the y have a bit of talent in t he ar tistic are a, which is why they ar e a ttracted to the creative d epartment. But i t’s not unusual for some of these peo- ple to decide it’s not for the m and leave. For example, Dave Rollins is the latest advertising creative to give it up to write books ful l-time and there are quite a few creatives who have gone on to carve out success- ful careers a s wri ters (R ushdie, Carey , Cou rt enay , Ma yle) a nd artists (Done and Marchant). The good news i s ot her c reative fields don’t especially care how old you are, you are judged solely by the work. As Vaughan points out , i n fi lm and TV there are still ac tive roles for the l ikes of Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson, Meryl St reep, Ro bert Redfor d, Su san Saran don and Helen Mirren. And in music, Elton John, Police, Dave Gilmour, Beach The good news is other creative fields don’t especially care how old you are, you are judged solely by the work. As Vaughan points out, in film and TV there are still active roles for the likes of Harrison Ford, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep, Robert Redford, Susan Sarandon and Helen Mirren. And in music, Elton John, Police, Dave Gilmour, Beach Boys, Bryan Ferry and Steely Dan still seem to pack them in. In neither field do younger actors or acts seem to resent older players. Boys, Bryan Ferry and Steely Dan still seem to pack them in. In nei- ther field do younger actors or a cts seem to resent older players. When AWARD School started, it was the give-back gesture to help induct new talent into the arcane world. Says Vaughan: “It seems odd how readily some now bite the hands. Of course, younger people have always pushed back against their elders. Some of that’s healthy and neces- sary. T he art s tudents i n Renais sance Florence over taking their masters; no doubt that was the master’s aim. I sense, though, that those s tudents wouldn’t have been so eagerly dancing on the grave - or putting the slipper in - about it.” Rebecca Carrasco, executive cre- at ive d ire ctor of Colman Ra sic Carrasco, who is in her thirties, says advertising is a job that demands a lot of time but those who stay pas- sionate and focus on ideas have staying power. Says Carr as co: “Our indus try trad es on pas sion an d hu nger . Young people tend to have a lot of both. But t hose quali ties aren’ t exclus ive to young people. The value of an idea doesn’t change, but the technology a round it does. If you stay enthusias tic and exci ted about the change time brings to the industry, you stay relevant”. 7 MARCH /AP RIL 200 8
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