Suspicions Confirmed: We’re A Bunch Of Stiffs

from The Independent: Viewed from commercial America, British advertising looks like something bent out of shape by a culture so consumed with embarrassment it can’t look a salesman in the eye when he’s making a pitch, particularly if that pitch is laden shoulder high with emotion – love of country, family or God. From a mainstream US perspective our quirky elliptical leave-them-guessing advertising approach is kind of charming, but kind of unworkable too in America, with its fragmented audiences and ethnicities, its raging sensitivities and, above all, its huge risks. American advertising is risk averse because there’s so much at stake with those huge clients and their mega-spends. It means everything is researched to death so all backs are covered.
In the US giant agencies things work differently. The client is God for a start. You work with him; you get to know his business and you give good meeting, meetings at which consensus is reached to an almost Japanese degree. It is very process driven. In Britain, everything, but everything is secondary to the creative work.
In America, advertising isn’t that socially glamorous – they’ve got Hollywood after all – and its practitioners aren’t so famous, but they make millions and it’s an acceptable career choice for a decent MBA graduate who thinks creativity is something best left to window-dressers.
Thanks to PSFK for the pointer.

About David Burn

Fired up to write it down. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. Chief storyteller at Bonehook, a guide service and bait shop for brands.