Souter seeks to end Forum strife

Peter Souter, the executive creative director of Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO, has signalled his intention to turn the Institute of Practioners in Advertising’s Creative Directors Forum into a less combative organisation, after assuming control as chairman.

Peter Souter, the executive creative director of Abbott Mead

Vickers BBDO, has signalled his intention to turn the Institute of

Practioners in Advertising’s Creative Directors Forum into a less

combative organisation, after assuming control as chairman.



The focus on offering practical help to its members is in sharp contrast

to the Forum’s campaigning stance under its former chairman, Tim

Delaney.



Delaney gave way to the Saatchi & Saatchi creative director, Adam Kean,

last October, but Kean quit Saatchis shortly after.



Kean felt that, as he was no longer a creative director, he could not

lead the Forum effectively. Souter, as the Forum’s deputy chairman, will

take over the leadership and has written to the 50-plus creative

directors who make up the membership to ask for their support and to set

out his agenda. This includes ’bespoke training options’ and ’short,

productive’ meetings.



’It’s going to be less about grabbing headlines and more about

productive meetings,’ Souter said. ’I’m run ragged and I’m sure everyone

else is too. But we get paid well for it and we don’t expect any

sympathy, which is why I think we should keep the issues fairly

private.



’This is a difficult job and it’s no skin off my nose if Larry Barker

and Charles Inge are both good at it too. There is a lot we can learn

from each other.’



Souter cites Kean’s situation as a good example of the pressures facing

creative directors: ’Adam is a smart man and he did a good job, but he’s

not there any more. I think that we are very exposed, so I would like

the Forum to be a place where the more experienced people help the less

experienced to protect themselves.’



In the past, especially under the leadership of Delaney, the Forum has

stirred up controversy about a number of issues. It criticised

production companies for the cost and transparency of commercials

production, developed a feud with headhunters over commission charges

and spoke out against the cost of sending representatives to the Cannes

Advertising Festival.



Delaney was in Australia this week and unavailable for comment.



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