Adland has lost ability to make mistakes, says Steve Henry

Steve Henry, the founder and former creative director of ad agency HCCL and a co-founder of Decoded, has said that adland has lost the creativity that allows people to take risks and make mistakes.

Steve Henry: believes the advertising industry has put safety before creativity
Steve Henry: believes the advertising industry has put safety before creativity

Speaking in the video above, Henry said: "I define a creative company as one that allows people to make mistakes.

"I think the ad industry, as a whole, has lost that attitude and it has become about safety and it’s about making sure the client's happy rather than doing what's needed. It's lost touch of what it's great at."

Jason Goodman, the chief executive at Albion, where Henry was formerly a non-executive creative director, said that entrepreneurs and a start-up culture have helped the agency prosper.

The agency has invested in start-ups and entrepreneurs with Albion Space, an incubator for startups based in London's Tech City.

Goodman said: "Learning from entrepreneurs has helped us grow our business over the years. I think the start-up scene works out how to birth a business very effectively.

Danielle Newnham, a co-founder of the creative digital studio We Make Play and the author of the book on entrepreneurs ‘Mad Men of Mobile’, also highlighted the difference between start-ups and agencies in the video.

She said: "You've got start-ups that work in a very lean way… they need to be agile and they need to be innovative. With big agencies, the difficulty is that they're not looking at innovating, they're looking at pleasing the client."


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