Regional creatives are spreading the rubbish virus

By Andrew Durkan, creative director, The Tribe

“You’ll remember this notion from a few years ago: If you sleep with someone, you’re sleeping with everyone they’ve ever slept with, and everyone that they’ve ever slept with, and so on. In the end you walk away with whatever germs may have been lurking about.

I feel like that every time I walk into a meeting with a client. It’s a contaminated environment. And for once, this is not a moan about clients. It’s about every other creative director who has shared space with this client. Because, with a few exceptions, they’ve spread the rubbish virus.

Let me start at roughly the beginning. About 20 years ago, in Soho, Sydney and Sandton, a group of talentless soaks had run out of chances and burned too many bridges. Their future careers looked bleak. But what if there was a place where mediocrity would go unrecognised, even be rewarded? And so they came. With accents talking the talk, a bit of rock and roll swagger, and stories of when they shot with Ridley.

And for close on two decades, they collectively produced a pile of unmitigated rubbish. Work that was bad for the consumer, bad for brands, bad for agencies, bad for the region and – the part that I’m particularly concerned about – bad for every single person who succeeded them.

Here’s what happens when an agency presents work to a client: they talk a big number two about ‘thinking outside the box’; they talk everything up as a ‘big idea’; and they do so with expertly honed confidence. They say everything a client wants to hear about their advertising and the clients lap it up. They’re the experts after all. And so the seeds of mediocrity are sown again and again.

Here’s a reality check. The ‘Best Job in the World’ campaign was a big idea. There were perhaps two others in the world last year. They’re very, very rare and they don’t come cheap. But the whole notion of a big idea has been cheapened by every single one that pretends to be, but is barely an ad.

In my darkest moments, I question myself as honestly as possible about whether, if I were the client, I’d buy the piece of work that I’m presenting. And I always get to thinking: ‘No.’ Not because of the work, but because I suddenly think that being constantly deceived by people in advertising must make it very difficult to recognise the moment when you’re actually exposed to even a reasonably good idea, never mind a great one.

As a postscript, the above rant only has relevance to the approximately five creative directors in the Middle East who actually know what they’re doing. Who are they, you ask? Consider this: if there are 1,000 agencies in the region, that would mean that there’s a half per cent chance that any given piece of business is being handled by someone who has the skill and talent to do it justice. I know who they are. So do they. The problem is that everyone else is pretending they’re one of them.

I’ll get my coat.”

Source: Campaign ME

Link to source:


2 Responses to “Regional creatives are spreading the rubbish virus”

  1. 1 home delivery london
    May 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm

    I would really like to have my very own internet site so I’m looking at loads of websites and learning all about WordPress. So thank you for your site !! Would you mind posting what theme it is ??

  2. May 28, 2011 at 1:09 am

    Theme: Redoable Lite by Dean J Robinson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


Louai Alasfahani

ANUBIS was a very old god of the ancient Egyptians, universally worshipped throughout the land and became considered the gatekeeper and ruler of the underworld; the “Guardian of the veil“ he was “Lord of the Cleansing Room” and the opener of the roads of the North. “He observed the weighing of the deceased’s heart against the feather of Maat [Truth] and reported his findings to the jury of the gods.


Skype: louai.asfahani

Oman Mobile: +968 94 009977

Kuwait Mobile: +965 66 009977

QR Code


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.


Creative Commons

Power 150 Power 150 Badge

Blog Stats

  • 362,787 hits


November 2009
« Oct   Dec »



Poll Dady

Flickr Photos


%d bloggers like this: