Posts Tagged ‘Creative Directors’

It was announced yesterday that the Creative Director of one of our agencies is leaving: pushed, rather than jumped, it seems.

It’s about time: I worked with him a couple of times and have seldom been so struck by the division between reputation and reality. Here are a couple of reasons to celebrate the bearded twat’s departure.

  1. He spoke of himself in the third person.
  2. He earned £500, 000 p/a – yet did less than ten hours work a week.
  3. Instead of coming up with an idea, he used to flick through You Tube, looking for funny videos, or iD looking for nice art direction: he would then present these bits of set-dressing as “the idea”.
  4. He presided over the loss of a dazzling number of accounts – never once losing his baffling sense of entitlement and genius.
  5. In addition to his exorbitant salary, he requested that if we were to win a particular pitch (an existing client, as no new business can be persuaded to walk through the doors), an extra £100,000 be placed in his bank account on that same day.
  6. He did this against a background of people in his department being made redundant.
  7. He made this request from Barbados, where he was holidaying as the rest of the agency worked on the pitch in question.
  8. He is dismissive of everyone’s ideas, other than his own.
  9. He’s a two-faced coward.
  10. He thinks  he belongs to an elevated company that includes Mozart, Keats, Bernbach and Bullmore – in fact he belongs to that sad group of men in their forties who think they can turn back the clock by forking out £89 on an ironic T-shirt, with “Bum Monkey Empire” written on it in Japanese.

His departure has been met with unqualified glee, unsurprisingly – and there is no-one more delighted than Old Friend At Work to see the back of him: she has had to put up with self-aggrandising bullshit more than most over the year’s, and so it’s hardly surprising to see her frolicking about.

The agency now resembles nothing so much as Narnia, hot on the heels of the return of Aslan.

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I haven’t written of Fearless Leader recently. I have been working intensively with Travesty of All Things Gay, and so she has been somewhat in the background (which is not her natural habitat).

I’m beginning to feel a bit sorry for her. Everything that needs sorting out (from Woody Allen in Robert de Niro’s Body Creative Director’s housing allowance to the hotel we’re having our next conference in in Shanghai) seems to end up on her plate. I suppose that this all goes with the territory (and she’s been at the agency for twenty eight years, twenty five of them working on The Client), but what makes it all so moving (to use a slightly overblown word) is that she is so uncomplaining about it all. Unsurprising to hear that her favourite character in literature is Elinor Dashwood…

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We’d been in a Client meeting, which went well, and were waiting to catch the shuttle back to the train station. Amongst the congratulatory chat of the post-meeting session, and the overly English lining up to board the shuttle, was cast the apple of Discord, with the appearance of Mercurial Creative Director We Fired.

Clearly she is now working for the outgoing agency on the Client, and had been there for a previous meeting, but it wasn’t the happiest of coincidences, as it’s never “fun” to be sharing an elbow rest with someone whom you’ve told to fuck off out of the building. It got me thinking how I would handle an equivalent situation – probably with a sneer and a muttered “Fuck off”: she had the grace to go for the uncomfortable smile and “Oh. Hello.” angle; and then I wondered if I had ever BEEN in that situation myself.

The nearest I could get to was the occasion when I saw Famously Ruthless and Unpleasant Chief Executive some time after he had been got rid of, but he had convinced himself that a triumvirate of myself, Best Friend and a new business director known (appropriately) as The Walking Vagina had been responsible for some kind of coup. We were at the wake for a friend we had worked with, at which Famously Ruthless was to deliver the eulogy, but I (who had no idea that he had formed this coup conspiracy theory) made a couple of attempts at talking to him, and was greeted with the sort of “Oooh, what’s that noise? IS IT THE WIND?” sort of response that would shame a five year-old.

So, all things considered, it was a pretty good example of etiquette and tact on both sides. It was almost like we were grown ups, rather than people who worked in advertising…

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