Are Good CCOs MIA?

It’s always interesting to see how the ad business gets reported in mainstream press. Today’s Wall Street Journal looks at the open vacancies for Chief Creative Officers at big shops:

While ad chiefs are eager to tap top creative talent that can work in the digital realm, they say the bigger priority is finding someone who can break down the walls that exist inside ad firms and get people with different skills to work together. A lack of such teamwork is one of the biggest gripes marketers have with the ad business.
Finding the right person is no easy task, says Bob Jeffrey, JWT’s CEO. “There is not a lot of great creative talent at the senior level.”
The lack of seasoned executives with both digital know-how and the knack for molding a cohesive creative team has caused some ad chiefs, including Mr. Jeffrey, to extend their searches outside the ad business.
They say they are looking to other industries such as film, design and technology for new types of creative thinking.

If there’s a lack of teamwork, it’s because there’s a need for creative types to get credit, internally in an agency and externally in the industry, for work created. That’s how you get awards. That’s how you get promoted. That’s how you become a CCO. Or so I think.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. I suspect this is also because ONE person is now expected to fill a role that three or four people would have handled in years past.
    It used to be that a some CDs were craftsmen, some were good managers, and some were great with clients. And agencies put together whatever mix served them best.
    Now the singular focus on short-term margins mandates that one person be great at everything.
    There are few people who can do that, and even those who can “wing it” are bound to have shortcomings.
    The same thing happens at every level of the food chain, exacerbated by the fact that agencies don’t train people anymore.