Ad Peeps Need Discipline

Ernie Schenck thinks we need some rules to guide us. His latest CA column is dedicated to this effort. He has 31 rules in all, so I’ll cherry pick a few for you to consider.

8. Art directors will not be permitted to use Photoshop until an actual concept has been determined.
11. No meaningless taglines that don’t add a damn thing to the campaign other than give the client something to put on coffee mugs and T-shirts at the annual sales meeting.
14. Whining will not be permitted under any circumstances. This includes budget whining. Account executive whining. Client whining. Client’s wife whining. Lack of creative freedom whining. What-do-you-mean-I-can’t-use-Nadav-Kander whining.
15. No goatees.
20. During office hours, no billiards, dart games, Nerf basketball or other distractions masquerading as creative stimulators will be permitted. If you want stimulation, get on a plane for Amsterdam.
25. Copywriters shall glue their laptops shut for a period of one month during which they will reacquaint themselves with a pad of paper and a No. 2 pencil. No, not a pen. Not a Pentel. A pencil.
28. Creative teams shall produce one campaign per year for a nonprofit organization of their choice with no intention of entering said campaign in any awards show anywhere on this or any other planet.

Rule 15 and rule 25 seriously infringe on my style and methodology, but you know what they say about rules…

About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.