Not The First Impression A Black Turtleneck Wearer Wants

George Parker had what it took to sit through the Howard Draft video, now archived on You Tube. At first, I could not do it. I clicked away, but then George’s zeal for the subject brought me back.

Hey, has anyone had the balls to go to the “Draft FCB Group Employee Microsite” and sit through a stomach churning diatribe from new “Emperor of the known fucking Universe” Howard Draft? For an outfit that’s supposed to be on top of new and alternative media, this is a pathetic piece of shit. It opens with a really cheesy piece of stock music, then we suffer though several minutes of a tight head shot of Emperor Howard talking shit in front of a bookshelf stuffed with ten cent remainders from that table outside your local Barnes & Noble. Unfortunately, it’s obvious from the fact that his fucking eyeline is at least ten inches above the camera that he’s reading this “spontaneous” crap from a tele-prompter. Jesus, it sticks out more than the fucking transmitter that was duct taped up the back of Bush’s jacket in the Presidential debate!

It is bad. Draft knew the merger was coming. Why not have an ambitious creative team–one dying to do TV–give it a go?

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. theo kie says:

    If anyone believes this merger is sign of a big turnaround, they only need to watch this video.
    The only thing the merger does is (a) keep FCB afloat as its clients cut traditional ad spending, and (b) bolster Howard Draft’s long-suffering sense of self-worth.
    AdWeek’s interview offered a telling insight into Draft’s backstory. He mentions no Chicago agency would give him a job, so he took a step down into the world of direct. Excuse me? Was the PR team on a coffee break during this interview? It doesn’t take an associate’s degree in psychology to read into this. Aside from any business benefits, this merger is Draft’s way of buying into the old-school boys’ club that wouldn’t have him until now.
    How ironic IPG’s stock tumbled more than 5% today. A sign of things to come?

  2. theo kie says:

    One last note….
    Practice your speech or at least rent a teleprompter that doesn’t make you look above the camera. It’s called “eye contact”. Sort of important when you’re trying to make a human connection with a skeptical audience.
    Truly, this is unbelievable. Does it portend the quality of the work soon to come from this entity? This is akin to running an ad with the headline half off the page. Clients fire agencies for that kind of disregard to detail.

  3. I admit I wanted to see something else in the deal at first. But it’s hard to get past this video.

  4. David, your comment says it all: “Why not have an ambitious creative team—one dying to do TV—give it a go?”
    Better yet, why not have a qualified and competent creative team with television experience make Mr. Draft appear presentable?
    Maybe because no such creatures exist at Draft. Or FCB, for that matter.

  5. Come on now, they’re not that bad. Despite the above evidence to the contrary.

  6. 4 points to the wind says:

    The Howard Draft video is eerily similar to a “fireside chat” held by Bob Bernard in the creative department of Four Points Digital.
    Bernard’s company, Whittman-Hart, had just bought Four Points — intending it to be their scrappy, hip creative center while W-H geeked out on all the technical heavy-lifting.
    During that meeting, Bernard rolled up his sleeves, perched an ass cheek on the edge of a copywriter’s desk and drank a bottle of MGD while giving us his “straight talk” about how great this new partnership was going to be.
    The Draft-esque insincerity became apparent at the end of the chat. A glance at the beer bottle proved that he hadn’t taken a swig the entire time. He was fake-drinking his beer with us little people.
    Long story short, the merged entity merged again, became marchFIRST and died a fiery death a year later.
    The End

  7. theo kie says:

    It always surprises me that management types actually believe the “little people” can’t see through such performances. The hubris that must fill their heads is stunning.
    I’d say only 340% of the upper management folks I’ve worked with at agencies have been worth their weight in salt. The others deserve to be strung from a tree and treated like a pinata. (Although, somehow, I doubt candy would fall out of them.)

  8. theo kie says:

    uhm…that was supposed to be 30-40%, not 340%.
    poor math skills + bad proofing = advertising career.

  9. >>Come on now, they’re not that bad. Despite the above evidence to the contrary.