August 6, 2008

A Barbarous Truth

Rick Webb over at The Barbarian Group is one of my favorite industry personalities. On the heels of the Michael Lebowitz comments that were circulating around the industry regarding his Cannes experience and the lack of credit for the HBO Voyeur project.

Rick's comments are here.

Rick chimed in and added his 2 cents to the story and I had this to say about his response...

"This is one of the best responses that I have read from a legitimate source and someone who I would actually consider a real voice on this subject. You hit every point spot on and drove home the real issues that are at hand. As digital partners we are only a single entity in a much bigger picture. We are obviously biased towards our discipline and I am sure the media buyers would chime in a say "well no one would be at your damn site if we didnt throw out 2 million banners to drive traffic so we should get the credit" and so on...

I believe that as an industry that is going through the growing pains of a new medium and as the new kids on the block we need to become a more cohesive group of creative professionals. An idea is never the child of one single person, its an entity that is comprised of the pasts and presents of a collective of creative individuals who have all breathed some life into the idea. We cant single out any one contributor as the only creator unless it was a one man show that made it all happen.

It really boils down to a very fundamental rule we all learned in pre-school. Playing nicely and sharing. Egos are rampant in this business and those who can set aside their egos for the betterment of the idea are the real winners here. No slab of metal fashioned into a lion is worth the strife that our industry has be thrown into, the unity has been compromised and we have been set back because of some petty ego stroking.

Credit is always a nice thing to get, but at the end of the day the check you get is really the only credit any one company can give another, being paid fairly is above all the farthest anyone needs to go. Once we all get past this and start refocusing on the big picture then maybe we will all make it a point to be more sensitive to our respective roles and spread the love a bit more.

This is not a new subject and has been infecting the creative process since the dawn of time. Who did this? Who discovered that? Did the captain of Columbus's ships throw a shit fit when the King and Queen noted Columbus as the founder of the new world? Probably.

I think we all need to take a good hard look at ourselves and keep in mind that we are at a critical stage in the convergence of a new medium with age old traditional advertising and that right now there is no time to bicker over small issues when much larger ones prevail."

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