TBWA Ain’t Scared

Stuart Elliott is in Dana Point for the 4As Conference.
He heard some top people at TBWA distance themselves from all the wallowing about change.

“Stop whining,” Lee Clow told the estimated 380 attendees. The new realities “shouldn’t be scary,” he said, because they offer “a huge opportunity for us” to become far more useful to marketer clients as they seek more effective ways to sell products.
“If you want to participate, you’ve got to start hiring young people,” Mr. Clow said, “and don’t tell them what to do — ask them what to do.”
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“We should just stop talking about what was,” Tom Carroll, president and chief executive at TBWA Worldwide, said.
“It’s like driving in the fog,” said Mr. Carroll, who is also the chairman of the association, known as the Four A’s. “You’re not sure what’s ahead of you, but you have to keep driving.”
“All industries recalibrate themselves,” Mr. Carroll said, illustrating his point with a rhetorical question, “How’d you like to be in the CD business?”

Speaking of the CD biz, did you hear Coldplay is pulling a Radiohead?

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About David Burn

Copywriter and brand strategist in Portland, Oregon. Co-founder and editor of AdPulp.

  • http://tangerinetoad.blogspot.com Toad

    “If you want to participate, you’ve got to start hiring young people,” Mr. Clow said, “and don’t tell them what to do — ask them what to do.”
    Wow. Could he have said anything more effective at promoting age-ism in an industry that’s already full of it.
    I mean I know the comment made a bit more sense in context, but the bottom line is to reinforce the notion that only 20somethings can “get” anything beyond TV/Print/Radio

  • http://adpulp.com David Burn

    Right on, Toad. Either you know your shit or you don’t.
    Age is just a numbah.

  • http://tbwa.com steve jobs for youngsters

    Don’t mean to disrespect Lee Clow, but his comments made him look very old and outdated.
    Additionally, his agency has a tradition for ageism. Probably sexism too, when you consider the number of young, white men employed there.
    He’s still thinking about 1984, in more ways than one.