Editorial: Creative Britain needs to find a greater credibility

What exactly is Creative Britain? Although two events have been held under its banner, adland remains somewhat bemused by it.

It has no staff and no clearly articulated agenda. There's no website and no membership list. It isn't run out of offices in Soho. All it possesses is a logo and a rallying cry that creativity is vital to the future of Great Britain PLC.

It's hard to escape the feeling that there's more front than substance to it. Not surprising, perhaps, when Creative Britain is really a piece of opportunism by the IPA, which wants to make hay while the Government sun shines favourably on the creative industries. If a few disciplines, such as music and design, can be induced to join it, so much the better.

The IPA's immediate task is to blow away the fluff surrounding the initiative and show how it can translate laudable intent into action. Inviting 200 London schoolchildren into the media companies around London's Soho Square and arranging a debate at Bafta doesn't suggest the concept is being well enough thought through.

This isn't to say that the IPA isn't on the right track. It may well have something to learn from the way other creative industries have established themselves in key export markets. But there are other more immediate concerns. As David Pattison, a former IPA president, told the Bafta audience: "One of the issues we have as an industry is that we don't think of ourselves as very important."

That kind of collective insecurity will only disappear once agencies are remunerated not so much for process but more for what their brainpower brings to clients' business.

Creatives probably recognise this more than a lot of suits. The best creatives have always looked beyond the conventional and understood the importance of other disciplines. Walk into many agency creative departments these days and you're likely to find a broad breadth of talent from online games specialists to animators and website designers.Without the active involvement of such people Creative Britain is in danger of having as much credibility as the Wizard of Oz.


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