When The Work Stinks, Make A Stink

Richard Huntington, Director of Strategy for Saatchi & Saatchi in the UK, is looking for planners to stretch during difficult times on an account.

Whenever I come across thinking that simply doesn’t excite me but where there are extenuating circumstances for why the strategy is as it is, I always ask the planner for their skunk strategy. A skunk strategy is that alternative bit of thinking that they really wanted to land. Who knows, with a following wind we might be able to create some new energy around it and even if this isn’t possible it is a reassuring sign of professional pride and personal standards.

The fact is, it is so easy to become discouraged in this business. There are countless factors conspiring to ruin the work at every turn. All of which means ad peeps must constantly strive to be incredibly resilient and resourceful.

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. High Standards says:

    It must be nice to work at an agency where the account-types don’t spread their cheeks for the client at a moment’s notice and then throw the creatives under the bus.

  2. Not sure I get the part where he says, “A skunk strategy is that alternative bit of thinking that they really wanted to land.” what does he mean by “land” I’m confused. Maybe it’s because I’m dumb. Yeah, that’s probably it. I probably shouldn’t ask this question cuz it’ll make me look dumb. Forget it.