Rushkoff On Roberts

Marc Babej asked Douglass Rushkoff about Saatchi & Saatchi CEO, Kevin Roberts, a.k.a. “Mr. Lovemarks.” Rushkoff interviewed Roberts for his PBS/Frontline documentary “The Persuaders,” so it was a question, he was prepared to handle.

Kevin seems like a smart and sweet guy to me, for sure. I’ve got no problem with him. I just think his company – what’s left of the ad agency that used to be Saatchi and Saatchi – really lost its way. Their original error was leaving the ad business to become an ad conglomerate. They weren’t experts at being a holding company – the Saatchi’s were experts at shmoozing clients. So they lost the plot of their own business, and lost it.
Now, Roberts is in charge of what amounts to a boutique agency. And his way of marketing his skills is to brand them as “lovemarks.” At best, he’s doing for brands what Aristotle did for plays. Still, it has nothing to do with creating them.



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 head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.