Why must account handlers start out as graduates? I mean, what do
we want account management for? Well, bugger me, it’s to manage
So when the chips are down, the pressure’s on and we don’t have time for
the politically correct claptrap where everybody is allowed to play in
the creative sandtray, creatives should create, planners should plan and
account handlers should handle accounts.
Yes, they have to be able to think, plan, judge, take the wider view and
be opportunistic; but, primarily, what the rest of the agency needs is
people who can co-ordinate, prioritise, organise, and eventually lead
Without those talents, there ain’t no ads, there ain’t no awards and
there ain’t no business. They are rare and essential skills and no-one
else in the agency has them.
Your clients aren’t going to be the least bit interested in the
qualifications of their newest account manager if he or she keeps
cocking things up.
And since nowhere is it written that Oxbridge double firsts give you
automatic organisational and management potential, why are we so
obsessed with them?
Contrast the value of art students as management in industry and
Because they’ve had to organise and produce something tangible for their
degree course, as opposed to simply writing essays, they have far more
project management experience than most other graduates. And not all of
them can get, or even want, any of the few jobs going in the art
This isn’t to say we should hire art graduates for account handling, but
we must look beyond our traditional trawl. Drop the word ’graduate’ and
start looking at people from other jobs. Or other training
establishments. People who’ve actually gone out and done something.
Why not? Where’s the proof that the current system is more likely to
throw up the best candidates?