the creative’s bill of rights

Today AdPulp linked to George Tannenbaum’s Advertiser’s Bill of Rights and it is worth a read My favorite amendment to the bill is: You have the right to disavow anything cheap. Cheap brands do cheap work. You are not a cheap brand, we will spare you from the temptation of cheap by simply refusing to comply.

But it also got me thinking…maybe this Bill of Rights could be extended to how agencies work internally.

With that, I bring you my first, decidedly un-Jeffersonian, version of the Creative’s Bill of Rights:

1. You have the right to demand a brief that has been fully thought-out, includes at least one insight and is complete. If such a brief is not presented, you have the right to not start working, knowing that you will just spin your wheels and waste time otherwise.

2. You have a right to reasonable timelines. We all know that clients can be demanding…but we all also know that the account team’s job is client management and that includes saying no to requests like “we need an outdoor campaign for this new product we can’t tell you anything about and would like to show senior management by the end of the week.” Great work doesn’t happen in a day…or at least it shouldn’t.

3. Feedback should come from the right people. The creatives are the professionals…failed copywriters turned Brand Managers and wives of VPs who ‘have an eye for this sort of thing’ aren’t. Feedback is good. Direction is bad. Re-writing and art directing ads by non-professionals is very bad.

4. You have a right to present an idea you are passionate about even if it may be a bit different than what the client asked for. Thinking is your job and if you have an idea that goes beyond or to the side of a brief and you believe in it, it should be included. People who don’t include it hate fun. And rainbows.

5. There is no need to feign a creative look. Creativity isn’t tied up in your ironic t-shirt and cool rimmed glasses and you aren’t going to be judged by how you look but by what you bring to the table. Great creative wins awards, great looking creatives bang the receptionists…all that time they are spending with hot girls is time that your Dockers-clad ass could be writing the next Cannes-winning campaign.

Those were my top-of-mind thoughts…not necessarily based on recent events or anything. If there are others that should be included, I would love to hear them.


One response to “the creative’s bill of rights

  1. gordon phillips

    1. You don’t have the right to expect any complete thought from the account group. If they were complete they’d be in the creative department. Anyway you can pretend to spin you wheels while you figure out the answer without their help.
    2. You can’t expect reason from people who can only plug things in. You can only hope they know the difference between the male end and…well never mind.
    3. The vp’s wife is not smarter than you are. But you have to be honest if his 10 year old kid hates it. Then it probably does suck. Scrap the WHOLE thing.
    4. Always present that big idea third. I swear this works. Plus it’s fun to watch the confusion.
    5. There is absolutely nothing wrong with resting your award on the receptionists deck while you look for your (stuff). You never know, maybe she likes dockers. That’s when you’ll know you’re really good.

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