The Week: Best of the blogs - Amateur or Professional?

Years back, when I was a young writer at BMP, John Webster said: "The difference between you and me is that you're a gifted amateur and I'm a professional."

I asked him what that meant.

He said: "At the end of the day, you'll come out of the office with something brilliant or nothing. I'll come out of the office with something brilliant, or something usable."

When John said that, it was like a light going on in my head, I got what he meant. This isn't art, this is business. At its best it should be a beautiful and inspiring business. But it is a business.

You (can) go straight to the 55 million consumers in the streets and houses of the UK. Did what we did work for them? Did they repeat your strapline, tell someone about your joke, sing your song, buy your soundtrack, or use your mnemonic in conversation? Because if they did, every time they did it was a free OTS. Media you weren't paying for.

Of course, having said that, the criteria differ for some of us. For a lot of us, the target isn't the 55 million consumers on the street. It's the awards juries.

Because, if you work for an international conglomerate, you have to stand up and present your agency's work against all the other agencies from all over the world. And how your performance will be measured is by how many awards you've won. The person who's won the most awards must be the best ECD, right?