From the pulpit

The Editor’s introduction

Issue 44 | September 2017

Cannes, back in June, seems a distant memory now we're in September.

It's one of the hazards of publishing a quarterly magazine. Our news is old news.

So what we try to do is take a loftier view of events.

Under less pressure to knock out quick copy in response to the events of the week, we can be more measured.

Look for the signposts to the year ahead.

And I think our contributors to 'Cannes Unpacked', pages 3-14, have done a great job in identifying those markers.

Steve Latham, who works for Cannes Lions, reminds us that the festival is a fantastic opportunity for the youngsters in our business to learn.

Laura Jordan-Bambach tells how gender is still an issue. But maybe, just maybe, change is afoot.

And Nadya Powell, one of the Innovations Lions jury, asks the question, what exactly is innovation? What it is not is the pregnancy detector kit for men, which allows them to know first whether their partner is pregnant.

Yes. Exactly.

Wouldn't you like to get inside the minds of the people who designed that pointless bit of kit? Not that there would be much to see, I suspect.

Elsewhere, Nadya has been making waves for her 'Dear John' letter in The Drum. It is a break-up note to the advertising community, written with former Ogilvy CCO Bo Hellberg.

They write: advertising has become a cheap commodity.

Clients are using data as a let-out. They don't need ideas any more.

They just want an influencer to endorse the brand.

Agencies are "about as inclusive as the KKK."

Of course, the intention was to provoke.

And they did a pretty good job of it.

I'm not sure they are right in being so doomy and gloomy.

There is no doubt that advertising is (finally) being disrupted, as most of our clients' markets have been disrupted.

They're rather enjoying watching on as we get to feel their pain.

But as the media mirror shatters, every fragment is an opportunity.

Looking through Directory 44, you will see an amazing breadth of work.

DM, print, TV, outdoor, they still exist. They still work.

The one thing common to every campaign over the next 107 pages is they have all required the oxygen of social media to be meaningful.

Now that's a big topic. For another day.

Until then, if you're interested, I am writing a regular blog for The Drum ( about this wonderful world of advertising.

Pip pip.

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