'He who can, does. He who cannot, teaches,' said George Bernard Shaw. We all know the quote. It goes down just as well with teachers as this Oscar Wilde comment does with hacks: 'Journalism justifies its own existence by the great Darwinian principle of the survival of the vulgarest.'
A bold move, then, by the Teacher Training Agency to reference Shaw's condemnation of teaching in a new campaign which ends every execution with the strapline: 'Those who can, teach.'
The new campaign, executed by McCann-Erickson's Manchester office, has a spend of pounds 7 million and consists of a series of nine ads that aim to convey the professional benefits of teaching such as salaries, career advancement and training grants.
The new strategy is the brainchild of the TTA's new director of communications and marketing, Anna Campopiano. 'We want a stronger recruitment focused campaign,' she says.
Campopiano is looking to target the '45 percenters' - the group that might teach rather than the 50 per cent that never will or the 5 per cent that would teach regardless.
The work will be rolled out in the national and specialist press with online backup. The next stage will be cinema advertising starting on 22 December and TV spots six days later. Campopiano is hunting those looking for a change in career in the new year. Sue Little, managing director of McCanns' Manchester office, elaborates: 'In the past what was communicated was the worthiness of teaching as a profession. Now we are saying the mercenary side of your nature can also be catered for.'
Mercenary teachers? Greg Delaney, chairman of Delaney Lund Knox Warren, doesn't like the sound of that at all. 'It's very disappointing,' he says.
Delaney Lund produced the TTA's previous campaign, the award-winning 'No one forgets a good teacher' series, which included prominent figures such as Tony Blair reminiscing about their favourite educators. 'It was unarguable. Teachers themselves were proud of it. What they are suggesting now simply isn't true.'
Delaney accuses McCanns' campaign of lacking emotional engagement and having, as a result, a cold approach. He continues: 'To sell teaching as a litany of different skill sets is wrong. Teaching isn't a career decision about money and status - it's about the difference you can make.'
Delaney says his agency's refusal to stray from its emotional stance was the reason it lost the account: 'We didn't waver and I'm proud of that. They didn't understand the necessity for emotional connection in recruitment.'
Campopiano counters: 'McCann showed a better understanding of the brief and the direction in which we were taking it.'
Gary Duckworth, chairman of Duckworth Finn Grubb Waters, evaluates the two efforts: ''Those who can' seems to be built on the idea that people have something within themselves and that teaching can liberate it. The previous campaign was charming and true, I'm not sure it was so motivating.'
So who's got the right approach? Campopiano says that since McCanns took over in May, enquires have doubled. But this campaign tackles the real test - turning these enquiries into teachers.