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12th April 2017

Someone asked me yesterday if I thought the industry still needs suits. I asked with what or whom he would replace them with? “Creatives or UX guys”, he said, and I chortled.

There are many good ways to manage operational expenditure and killing the revenue generator should not be one of them. The roles within any agency environment are ancient, well defined and born out of necessity. Let’s talk about the much maligned suit.

She starts her year battered and bruised after a recent EOY review where her very satisfied clients who, having benefitted from double percentile growth, award our hero, recently divorced after one working weekend too many, a C+ for all her efforts. After a kick up the bottom from the agency boss she sees once every quarter, she promises an A+ next year. She also commits to an outrageous organic growth target of 20% and to lead the new business charge. To this end she receives her new business targets fro management, which resemble the yellow pages ripped up and reassembled by a cartload of chimps. After two weeks without sleep she manages to get past the PA and speak to one Marketing Director and a pitch brief is won. She then briefs the creative department enthusiastically and with optimism. Only suits can do this.

The creative team receive the brief and after spending the last few weeks visualizing their new start-up and polishing some existing turds, they are relieved to get some proper work. However, the excitement soon wears off when they realise the client is a plastic pipes company in Huddersfield. Disappointment put aside, professionalism kicks in and an excellent creative solution is born through an insight hidden on page 36 of Plastic Pipe monthly. It’s a gem.

Our hero knows that although it’s a breakthrough idea for the plastic pipe category, she will be forced by the agency management to also deliver another two supporting concepts, both without artistic merit or relevance. This challenges her very being, but she still delivers. A temporary bond of battlefield brotherhood is created twixt suit and creative before the former heads off with the pedigree idea and the two runts. If she sells it in, its all in the idea, if she fails its all in the presentation.

It’s in opposition that this unique partnership works best and always will.

Creatives and suits are tea and biscuits, north and south. Totally different but reliant on each other for their very existence. It’s in opposition that this unique partnership works best and always will.

Phil Lynagh
Director SHA.

“The opinions in this article are that of the author alone and in no way, reflect the opinions or viewpoint of the agency. Unless of course we happen to agree with those opinions completely, in which case they might, but otherwise they don’t”
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