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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > articles >  Let’s Abolish Advertising Students

Let’s Abolish Advertising Students

Posted on July 30, 2002 and read 18,620 times

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Get them out of my sight, I never want to see them again. Ever.

For an industry that boasts about its creativity and communication skills, we are being very bad teachers and students. I thus propose an intellectual revolution—a change from this idiotic mind frame we are growing accustomed to.

I propose to eliminate the distinctions between the workers and students. The walls separating the salaried from the young aspiring creatives are not filtering out the best from the worst, as many creatives who had to climb those same walls, have hoped. Just the contrary, it is producing insecure and inexperienced creatives who are learning to be jealous and selfish after learning that from the echoes of the voice mails that never answered.

Canada—open you eyes. Our feet are atop the same piece of land and our responsibilities as an industry are the same; to create the best ads in the world. Only by destroying this invisible barrier will we be able to achieve this.

From now on we shall all be peers regardless of position, salary or status and work together as one. How? I propose a simple plan of action:

Students: Pick up the shovel and dig. Dig hard. Dig for your life.

This is your industry. You love advertising—so show it. Don’t wait for a creative director to give you a contract to start working for your industry. Play hard and question what your industry is doing. Don’t like what some creative told you or said in an article? Write to him, call him, don’t leave him alone. In fact write an article yourself, do a pro bono ad, join an international competition, call an art director or copywriter and ask him for a couple of minutes of his time. The foundations of ihaveanidea were born from this same principle. If you don’t like the industry as it is—change it. Individuals, regardless of how small they are, have the power to change the world.

Creatives: Show them how to shovel.

Once you are ‘in’, you shouldn’t close the door on those behind you. Reach out and try to get as many across the bridge. That nervous guy that left a stupid voice mail this morning and whose message you deleted is the junior that will have the idea that will make you an award winning creative director one day.

The Economic Argument

The faster you give Johny the Junior a break. The faster he will be making ads and making YOUR industry a better one. It makes sense right? Economics 101?

Right now we are in a slump. Clients don’t want to advertise and nobody is taking risks. Clients don’t believe that your advertising will sell their soaps and chocolates and cars. So what are we waiting for? For people to start magically spending or for advertisers to convince people to start spending? Chicken and egg right? The answer lies in the our product offering.

The great depression was a big problem that baffled economists. Was it people not spending? Was it people not selling? Where did it start? Economist John Maynard Keynes, is credited for getting the US out of the depression by convincing the government to actually spend money like crazy. Inject the economy with Benjamins. Get things going.

The parallel to us is clear. In a time of advertising slow downs, we should look to our young workers and train them hard because they are the cheapest most productive segment of our industry. If we wait until the economy starts pumping to train them, we will have wasted several months of the booming economic cycle.


Ask creatives what they think of the latest portfolios they’ve seen from young creatives. They will tell you, “These kids think that all you need to know in Advertising is Photoshop, they don’t know their typography, the concepts are poor…etc.”

Young creatives do not have less IQ or determination than you did when you started. The problem is that they cannot know what you need, what the industry requirements are, and the actions they have to take if they are not allowed to cross the “moats of darkness” that currently surround our imperial industry.

The quality of the books must improve if Canada is to compete par a par with the international advertising community. Our young ‘peers’ need to start on a right foot so that you, Mr. Creative Director, can spend your afternoon thinking strategy and not teaching kerning.

Improving our national “book” quality is the responsibility of all. The know-how lies with you Mr. Creative. One of the reasons I made ihaveanidea was to channel know-how. If you know what it takes to make an ad win Gold at Cannes that’s great for you. If 10 people can learn from you that’s a national achievement.


Public Relations is all about maintaining good levels of communication with your publics. I don’t really think that young creatives are placed at the same level as clients and suppliers. Your client calls, you call back. Your supplier calls, you call back. Young creative calls, maybe you call back. Most likely you ignore, “After all, they know I am busy and almighty.”

Think big my friend. Treat all your publics equal because the frustration young creatives feel when they get turned down 10 times by you, will never be forgotten. In a small industry like this, word of mouth will feed you or kill you.


Serious energy has to be channeled in order to break these walls of separation. Doing this is not hard. Breaking old habits and norms is.

I invite you to join me in this absolutely revolutionary way of thinking and actually start helping each other as peers. Hey who knows, perhaps we will even get to like each other.

Ignacio Oreamuno




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