What does an ‘advertising person’ look like?

16th August 2018

What does an ‘advertising person’ look like?

Our job in the advertising industry is to communicate with all sorts of people. But when the industry only hires the same sort of person you get the same kind of thinking. And when we say ‘same’ what we mean is sameness in background, education and opportunity. Diversity isn’t only about ethnicity or gender; it’s about including people from all walks of life. Our job is to be able to communicate ideas to people from every sort of background, and to do that we need to employ people based on more than just their degree.

Creativity can literally come from everywhere. Some of the most well-known names in advertising such as Bill Bernbach, David Ogilvy, Steve Jobs, Ian Haworth and Siimon Reynolds either haven’t been to university or have come to the industry in a non-traditional or interesting way. And each one has brought something different, innovative or game changing to their field. Looking around our office it’s surprising the number of people who got into this industry by accident. Who found their way here out of a desire to be creative. But too often these days the reality is more about employing off the university graduate production line than it is about what they can bring to a business. We’re not saying that university graduates won’t do a good job; we’re saying that other people can do a good job as well ­­– we need difference to create difference. Inclusivity goes beyond diversity in that it’s about going out of our way to include people who would otherwise be excluded.

Creative thinking isn’t necessarily something you can learn at university and often, grades aren’t an accurate indication of how good someone will be. It would be a shame if the industry became exclusive or elitist because that’s not what it should be. Creativity can come from anywhere, not just the one shallow pool.