Money Versus Creativity: A Conflict That Needn’t Be

Steve Henry, writing for Brand Republic, says most agencies these days put profit above creativity, which is totally obvious but worth saying nonetheless.

Bill Bernbach famously said “a principle isn’t a principle until it costs you money” – but most of the current wave of agencies would point out that time is money and they wouldn’t even think it’s worth a five-minute conversation.

The funny thing about this is the more creative an agency is, the more clients they can take on, and the more secure their income becomes. You can get paid for taking orders and stamping out an acceptable campaign for your client. But you can get paid even more to raise the bar creatively and move the needle for your client.

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.

Comments

  1. “The funny thing about this is the more creative an agency is, the more clients they can take on, and the more secure their income becomes.”
    Yes, but proven and passionate talent costs money, wants regular opportunities to do great work, and will very quickly be unhappy in a hack shop.
    If all you care about is making a buck, the easiest way to do that is to hire order takers, compete on pricepoint, and crank work out as cheaply as possible. You don’t need to employ proven and passionate talent to do that.