PERSPECTIVE: Time to break down the barriers between creatives and media

By the time you read this I will have lost my D&AD virginity - surrendered my innocence and emerged, no doubt feeling slightly soiled (I gather it’s a good night out), into the world of advertising creativity.

By the time you read this I will have lost my D&AD virginity -

surrendered my innocence and emerged, no doubt feeling slightly soiled

(I gather it’s a good night out), into the world of advertising

creativity.



It’s ironic that my deflowering should occur in a year when there has

been so much furore over the pitiful calibre of entries in the D&AD

press category.



Ironic because part of the problem with the press category undoubtedly

lies in the gulf between media owners, media agencies and creative

departments; and ironic because I suspect the reason I’ve never been

invited (or managed to elbow my way in) to the D&AD awards before is due

to my, ahem, specialisation in all things media.



The truth is that the gap between media and creative is growing and it’s

never more apparent than when either side of the business gathers to

celebrate or debate the merits of its profession.



How many media agencies will have been at Olympia to cheer on their

clients and their creative colleagues this week? How many media owners

will have have been there to applaud the most brilliant advertising work

of the past 12 months, work that - when it’s this good - enhances their

medium and fills their pockets?



Despite the recent efforts of the IPA, there remains not only a lack of

interest in each other’s functions but sometimes a lack of respect.



A couple of weeks ago Campaign carried a front-page story about a pounds

360 million media review. One creative agency rang to complain that

their latest creative win (worth a fifth of the media account that was

up for grabs) had played second fiddle on the news page to a story they

considered to be of significantly less interest because ’it’s only

media’.



The media auditor John Billett claims to know of several instances

recently where media agencies have planned and bought campaigns for

advertisers without ever seeing the creative work that will run in the

spots and space they’ve booked.



Also, how often do creatives and media owners take time to talk to each

other about the editorial environments in which ads will run?



Would there have been more press work worthy of D&AD entry this year if

publishers had really sold their medium into creative departments?



It’s fatuous, of course, to argue that TV has fared perfectly well

without the broadcasters wooing creatives at every turn. But radio

creativity has thrived, in part, because of efforts by the Radio

Advertising Bureau to drive home the creative potential of this less

sexy medium. It’s surely time for a similar focus from newspapers and

magazines.



It’s time, too, for creative agencies to focus less on media because

it’s exciting and sexy to produce work for (TV?) and more on those media

which are the most effective and cost-efficient for clients. Press

surely can’t be this far behind on such criteria.



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