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Campaign Brief (AUS/NZ) Online.
Campaign Brief Magazine : March April 2008
SHOWMETHEMONEY FBI Recruitment proprietor Patsy Peacock and Droga5 founder Dave Droga believe creatives should be realistic about the fact that they could well be out of a job by the time they are 45. You may be able to afford to party every night, but it’s better to save some money to invest in your career - whether it’s in the bank or a house - because you’re going to need it. Peacock with Droga in Cannes: “Like an award-winning actor, you need to support yourself while you wait for the right project. To win awards you have to be willing to reject the blackmail of pay rises if you’re in the wrong job.” tant because it ensures they have a real commitment to the business. It also enables them to leave the busi - ness with some money. “A lot of c reative d irectors have big sal aries, p robably big l ifestyles to go with it, so I think it’s fantastic that we are able to get s ignificant, wealth-creating, e quity i nto t he hands of the most important people in our company,” he said. Peac ock sa ys ma king it bi g i n advertising is more than the innate creative talent you were born with; it’s a lso hugely about a ttitude and how you run your career. “The a verage marketing di rector stays in their job for eig hteen months, co-incidentally the average account moves eve ry fe w ye ars or so, which mean s the average cre - ative has a g ood c hance of be ing retrenched. The message i s: don’t be a verage. Think of y ourself a s a sole tr ader s elling y our i deas f or salary,” she says. Peaco ck su gge sts w rit ing y our own bus iness plan; after a ll, if you don’t kno w wh ere yo u’re g oing, you’re never going to get there. “You n eed t o p lan you r c areer, THE STORY OF A FORMER advertising creative now working as a cleaner to make ends meet is enough to send a shiver down the spine of even the most succes sful creative director. However, there are things you can do to shore up y our financial secu- rity so you don’t go from running the show to cleaning the toilets. “Like an award-winning actor, you need to support yourself while you wait for the right project. To win awards you have to be willing to reject the blackmail of pay rises if you’re in the wrong job. Equa lly, if you’re up for new challenges, you have to concede that trying to break the mould creativ ely can see you pote ntially fall hard,” says Patsy Peacock, who runs the premier rec ruitm ent sho p in the region. “You are an independent thinker, so you can’t be scared and reduce your standards because of financial pressures at home. Unless you are prepar ed to starve like an artist , have some money in reserve.” The money could a lso be plied back into your career - you could pay your way to Cannes and make new cont acts, trave l and expl ore new markets or open an agency. However , just fol lowi ng the money when you are considering what job to take is a big mistake, warns Peacock. This is because how much money y ou make is deter- mined by how much you know, not just your raw creative talent, some- thing that makes learn ing more important than earning. MARCH /APRIL 2 008 “Think of t he wor k, not the money. Like a professional athlete you’ve got to keep training, make the right moves or risk early retire- men t. Smar t peopl e have been known to drop fifty thousand dol- lars for the right job. That way, you’r e not cap tive to an agency that’s not taking you anywhere. If you ar e wor king for an ag ency that’s n ot getting your work out there, i t’s time to g et working on your CV,” says Peacock. Droga5 founder, David Droga, concurs that if y ou follow the work and seek out the best people as mentor s, you ’ll end up ear ning more than anyone el se. Urged on by his more financially savvy broth- ers, he learnt early on that s aving some mon ey g ives you g reat er career freedom. “I was lucky because I w as a CD relatively young, so I w ent through that whole blowing my money on cars and holidays, and everything you could, and didn’t have a cent to show for it,” Droga says. “One day, I thought you know what, I want my li fe to be secure and all money does is get y ou o ptions, it’s not about how much money you have in the bank.” He advises people to be as creative as they possibly can, but bring a cer tain bu sines s-mi nd t o thei r career as well. He suggests ‘negoti- ating like a prick’, something he did in every job he went into. “If you negotiate like a prick you make yourself vulnerable, if you get pai d ve ry w ell then y ou h ave t o deliver on that. You can’t expect a good salary and then not work your arse off, but then again, I like being under that s ort of pressure,” s ays Droga. “There’s a sayi ng th at the further you are away from the idea the mo re mo ney you ma ke and i t annoys me s o mu ch t hat i t’s the creative p eople wh o ar e t he on es that are hot, hot, hot, and then they are just out, and don’t have much to show for it.” Creati ves te nd t o use award s as the benchmark o f whether they’ve had a go od y ear, but he sa ys it is equally impor tant to look at whether you have s ecured yourself financially. “I think management should defi- nitely go out of i ts wa y to pr otect crea ti ves. For cr eati ve s the re ’s something g lamorous about be ing vague and aloof and all that sort of stuff, that’s part of who we are, but you can’t afford to do that in every- day parts of your life. Try to get a stake i n the b usine ss t hrou gh a management r ole, t ry and e levate yourself so you are not just another creative,” says Droga. Clemenger BBDO gr oup ch air- man, Robert Morgan, a cknowl- edged the crash-and-burn nature of the industry for c reatives when he announced the new creative line-up for the agency across Australia and New Zealand late last year. His phi- losophy is th at p utting th e major shareholding i n th e h ands of the network’s creative leaders is impor- not just the n ext j ob, but th e job after that, and the one a fter that. People like Droga and Craig Davis planned whe re they wa nted to go and took the jobs to get them there. Creatives like Rob Belgiovane, Ted Hor ton, War ren Brown, Tom Moult, Andr ew Killey, Fr ank Morabito and more recently Droga, Nobby a nd L eo Premutico k new they didn’t just want a job, but an agency of their own,” Peacock says. Marketing yourself is another cru- cial s tep y ou c an t ake, e specially bearing in min d that age ncies pay for cr eatives who mak e them money: “People who c an a ttract and hold business, attract staff and drive PR f or t he a gency. They’re the f irst p eople hired and th e la st fired. This means you have to mar- ket yourself as well as any product you work on. How? Write a rticles for industry magazines, ensure you get y our l atest work i n c reative reviews and on netsites lik www.bestadsontv.com, wr book lik e David Ogilvy, e ite a Jim Aitchison, Nig el M ar sh, Paul Wilson or David Rollins. Be public property l ike Siimon Reynolds and John Si ngleton or be an ind ustry commentator like Rob Belgiovane. “Despite the debate over awards, they do m atter to yo ur car eer pro- gression, as does knowing your lim- itations. This means don’t try to be a creative director just because you think that’s the way to make the big dough – t he skills th at make you great may n ot be t he s kill s t hat make a great creative director.” 7 CAM PA IGN B R I E F 19
January February 2008
May June 2008