26 Oct 2011

Why Advertising isn't totally f-ed, yet

There's an interesting article on FastCompany.com that talks about the woefully inadequate time, effort and resources spent on training people in Advertising Agencies.

Agencies are losing status as go-to thought leaders because frankly, leadership is in short supply. Clients are parceling out their projects to consultants and 'specialists.' The best and brightest grads aren’t choosing advertising the way they used to, nor taking it as seriously as other talent-based businesses.

So Advertising isn't attracting the quantity or quality of talent we used to!

Ad Agencies also have, for years now, expected new hires to jump right in and hit the ground running - very fast. Nothing wrong with it - except that they never get to slow down long enough to understand, let alone imbibe, create or nurture, a unique 'work culture'.

The FastCompany article also sites another article titled "Why the Average Barista Gets More Training Than Most Agency Staffers" by Andrew McMains of Adweek, which was based on a study of Talent Management.

The study described the Advertising industry’s "talent retention and development problem in hourglass terms: some training at the bottom levels, very little in the middle and more at the top." Naturally, the study found that one-in-three Advertising people they talked to were looking to move within 12 months!

So Advertising isn't able to retain talent either!

The FastCompany article says,
The next generation of leaders appears to be missing, according to creative directors we spoke to around the globe... The next level down looks like a giant case of arrested development: hard-working, heads down. But the mature, big-picture perspective once typical of people ready to step up has given way to hands thrown up when the going gets tough, tantrums, and myopia.

So the 'depth' of talent in Advertising is already wafer-thin!

Frankly, I don't think that 'training' per se is a solution for Advertising. After all, how do you train people to think creatively?

No, actually we just need to make our people feel - nay, convince them that - what they are doing (which is Advertising) is going to change the freaking world... That has, and always will, attract intelligent, imaginative and passionate people like moths to a burning flame. Trust me - I've met a few of them.

Let's light the fire, the moths will come.

And let's perhaps even 'bill by ideas' instead of merely by hours.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like 2 things about this post
1. It oozes positivity (well a lot, by the Inkstained Mind's standards)
2. It has a solution.
Over a decade what I have seen is the change in attitude towards what advertising agencies can deliver and general loss of faith in people delivering the ideas. The primary reason which I believe, is the lack of conviction in the product/ business/ idea sold by the clients that permeates the strategies conjured by the agencies. So let's start with choosing intelligent causes that need communication, ideas that can actually make a difference to our lives.