The Point Of No Return

Lewis Lazare of the Sun Times simply can’t get cozy with the idea of a direct marketing hustler like Howard Draft sitting pretty atop venerable FCB. But that’s the state of affairs today. DraftFCB’s Chicago office has a staff of 1100, making it the city’s largest shop.
But size is not what’s bothering Lazare. Like any aesthete, he’s concerned with commerce’s grubby hands encroaching on the arts, in this case the lost art of advertising.

First, the new DraftFCB has taken on a new tag line of sorts: “Return on Ideas.” Sounds kind of clever, but it really suggests this is an agency focused on a sobering and newly in-vogue aspect of the advertising industry, namely “accountability.” That term pops up in what may be the single most telling comment in the eight-page document: “Ultimately we see DraftFCB as an organization where creativity will supersede everything but accountability.”

How like a tweed-clad gentleman in an ivy tower is the position of advertising columnist.



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.