The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]


Bad Breeds Bad …
November 14, 2013, 6:04 am
Filed under: Comment

A while back, a headhunter in the UK got in touch and asked if I’d “like a chat”.

While I love W+K – and told them that – I said I also love chatting to people, so if they didn’t think it a waste of their time, I’d be up for it if they were.

So we sorted out a mutually agreeable time and made it happen.

I wish I hadn’t.

I can honestly say, the 30 minutes I spoke to her were one of the worst uses of my time ever.

Yes, ever!

Apart from the fact, her view of what great advertising was – and should be – was up it’s own arse, her response to having someone have a different opinion was downright rude.

And lets face it, where rude is concerned, I’m a master of it.

When I said I disagreed with her view that agency creativity and client commerciality are separate things – and then added the whole point of our industry is to help our clients prosper in some way – she replied with …

“You’re a true child of the Thatcher years”.

What an idiot.

Seriously, a fucking idiot.

Putting aside her ridiculous – and utterly wrong – statement, the fact is adland is in the commercial creative business, not the creative business.

It has absolutely nothing to do with political allegiance, it’s got everything to do with making a living.

It was at this point I informed her that it was 2013 and not 1983 and part of the reason our industry now had to contend with over zealous procurement departments and sceptical clients was because of the attitude she was peddling.

The conversation ended shortly after – very shortly after – but what really struck me was that if this was the sort of person our industry was relying on to help fill our agencies with ‘talent’, then for all the talk our industry likes to spout regarding ‘being business focused’, the fact is we have our heads in the sand even more than I feared.

Being commercially focused is not a bad thing.

Christ, it’s a great thing.

Money literally makes the World go round and allows you to do/fix things that might otherwise never get done.

The issue is always HOW you make it and what you DO with it once you’ve got it … and anyone who doesn’t appreciate that – or thinks it means you have to make ‘cliche driven, rationale advertising’ is part of the problem, not the solution.


26 Comments so far
Leave a comment

This blog is so much more enjoyable when you are a pissy, spiteful bastard.

Comment by DH

this is the campbell of old. the mouthy bastard with an itchy trigger finger. i can even overlook the preachy adland bollocks because its so enjoyable watching your piss and vinegar flow out at 100mph. whoever the fuck that stupid headhunter was, i dont hate her, she brought out the side of you that made me sort of like you in the first place. the character that has since faded away as you live the fucking good life. prick.

Comment by andy@cynic

maggie had more balls than campbell ever has. that comment is as much a fucking insult to the ex evil pm as it is to campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

I have to agree … sadly I’m much more mature and considered these days. Or it could be that I’m not working with you any more Dave.

Comment by Rob

Talk to the hand Rob.

Comment by DH

By the way, you were a child of the Thatcher years weren’t you? Not when you were born, but when you were growing up. Doesn’t excuse that headhunters stupid comment or her old school view on what adland does.

If the ad industry attracts the lowest of the low of trustable people, how low is a headhunter for adland?

Comment by DH

and my other comment appeared in the wrong fucking place too. sort your fucking blog out campbell.

maggie had more balls than campbell ever has. that comment is as much a fucking insult to the ex evil pm as it is to campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

Fair point, but [1] it’s still a bloody stupid comment to make and [2] it showed her prejudice to business rather than my prejudice to creativity – given I’m working at one of the most creative agencies in the World and she’s at a headhunting firm in London.

God I hope she reads this … actually, I’m going to go back to the ‘Rob of old’ and email her the link.

Comment by Rob

Andy might even wish you a happy christmas if you do that.

Comment by DH

im repeating my comment because its fucking good as gold and ill be fucked if im ever going to be underneath dave.

this is the campbell of old. the mouthy bastard with an itchy trigger finger. i can even overlook the preachy adland bollocks because its so enjoyable watching your piss and vinegar flow out at 100mph. whoever the fuck that stupid headhunter was, i dont hate her, she brought out the side of you that made me sort of like you in the first place. the character that has since faded away as you live the fucking good life. prick.

Comment by andy@cynic

Doubling your comment influence by copying and pasting previous comments. You could be head of strategy at Mindshare.

Comment by Pete

Happy now?

Comment by Rob

Not all headhunters are bad. Some care about finding the perfect match for employer and employee. This one doesn’t sound like that sort of person. With her lack of empathy and cold commercial focus, she sounds more like a child of the Thatcher years.

Good on you for standing your ground a Rob, I’d expect nothing less.

Comment by Pete

Yes they are. Every single one of them. The whole industry exists because all the talk of the importance of human capital is just talk and thus worthy of being outsourced,

Comment by John

Isn’t that the sort of blanket comment you despise John?

Comment by Pete

If it weren’t demonstrably true, yes.

Comment by John

If hiring people isn’t crucial to your business and thus worthy of your full attention from start to finish, then what on earth is. And with online connectivity, we all know who the interesting people are so we don’t need to waste time and money working out who the least worst intermediaries are.

Comment by John

Not all headhunters are crap John. Maybe all the ones you’ve dealt with are, but not all. I know 3 or 4 who are awesome, including my beloved Lesley – a person who is not only incredibly talented at matching people with companies [and vice-versa] but has fantastic ‘tough love’ advice for anyone who visits her.

Comment by Rob

The only excuse that terrible headhunter has is that despite the advertising industry talking about being focused on their clients business, the reality is they still believe content creation can solve everything. It’s for this reason your post about the QR Code was so interesting. In reality, it shouldn’t be, but seeing an agency develop a real solution then advertise is still a novelty, undermining the industries broader claims.

Comment by George

Yes, that point didn’t pass me by.

Comment by Rob

The headhunter term annoys me. It implies a ruthlessness in approach. Recruitment is a much better term. It conveys understanding, positivity and usefulness. Well done telling her off Robert.

Comment by Lee Hill

If only those words actually translated to how people in those positions approached their job.

Comment by Rob

Headhunters are ambulance chasers.

Comment by Wayne Green

Wayne!!! How the hell are you? Drop me an email with your new number because I tried it last week and it said it did not exist anymore. Unless it was you trying to stop me from ever ringing you again.

Comment by Rob

Late to this. But what the fuck is wrong with being a child of the Thatcher years? I resemble that comment.

Comment by Martin Weigel

Martin, you are a man of great intelligence and credibility, what the hell are you doing commenting on here?

And didn’t you know … people born in the era of Thatcher are not supposed to be in adland anymore. We’re supposed to either be in a retirement home or prison … which is ironic, because that’s where I think people who think like that should be too.

Comment by Rob




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