Imagine A World Where Advertising Awards Go to the Brand and Agency, Not to Individuals Therein

Adweek has been reaching out to the ad community for thought pieces. They’re running one now from Mark Wnek, chairman and chief creative officer at Lowe.
He says stop worrying so much about who gets credit for an idea.

In his book Good to Great, Jim Collins begins his chapter on Level 5 leadership with a beautiful quote from Harry S Truman: “You can accomplish anything in life, provided that you do not care who gets the credit.”
This is a thought of such simplicity and yet such profound wisdom that you can stare at it for an hour without entirely plumbing all the positive consequences you would accrue by living by it.

Given that ad people work in a cesspool of ego, I can’t think of a better audience for this message.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Great post, David. For years and years we’ve put “Team Brains on Fire” as the recipient for the award.

  2. I’d love to know how many people he’s hired that haven’t won awards.
    Or maybe it’s a new philosophy for him, because a few years ago:

    NEW YORK — Mark Wnek, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Lowe New York, announced today his radical new creative leadership team. Fernanda Romano, 30, winner of the 2005 Cyber Lion Grand Prix will be joining Lowe from DM9DDB Advertising, Sao Paulo Brasil. Star Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) New York creative directors, John Hobbs, 38, and Peter Rosch, 32, complete the line-up.
    Fernanda Romano is THE global darling of the interactive world, having won a total of 7 Cyber Lions at the Cannes Festival this past year, catapulting her agency to the top spot at the competition–Cannes’ Interactive Agency of the Year–a remarkable accomplishment for a general agency. She has also served as a jury member for The One Show Interactive Awards and the LIA Awards, and has taught at the Interactive Communications and Design Miami Ad School/ESPM Sao Paulo. When she’s not building brands with award winning work, Fernanda writes guest columns for technology publications and appears on Brasil television as an expert on all things interactive.
    John Hobbs and Peter Rosch have won multiple Cannes Lions and Clio’s for their work for Levi’s, Rolling Stone and Axe. In 2003 they were recognized by Adweek in their annual “The Best Creatives You Don’t Know.” This past year, the dynamic team tackled one of the most challenging projects in their career–targeting young men with a safety campaign for SUV’s without actually showing an SUV. The now famous campaign, depicting a fictional hairy monster called the “Esuvee” garnered massive press coverage across the country.

    Not saying they’re not talented folks, just that they’ve gotten the well-deserved credit.

  3. Gee, imagine a world where awards go only to campaigns that work – as in increasing sales, profit or market share.

  4. “Ego”?
    The extreme talent pool in this industry is 15 and they are worth every penny. The point of any of it is to try and recognize and reward them. Unfortunately, it rarely works out that way. There are far too many talkers, fakers, svengalis, and agendas.

  5. Sorry, I meant 1%, not ’15’.