Mark Fenske speaking to his students at VCU Ad Center:
I’m concerned that you may make the mistake of thinking that work which “answers the client’s problem” as written in the brief is work that has done the job of advertising and is therefore good work. Answering the client’s problem is only part of the job a good ad does, and not at all the most important part.
If all you care about is the client, that’s who will listen. Care about the audience sitting out there more than the client and you’ll have a chance at connecting with that audience. Don’t, and you’re a shill, that’s all.
Naturally, this insight has been uttered before. Kirshenbaum and Bond made it a central theme in Under the Radar, for instance.