Pedersen calls for revolution to save ‘bloated’ ad industry

 Per Pedersen

Per Pedersen

 

Grey Worldwide global creative chairman Per Pedersen made a powerful argument for a revolution in the advertising industry at The Future Belongs To The Rule Breakers presentation: “Everything we thought we knew is wrong,” he started. “Because change is the only constant in life. The truth is that most of the work being produced by agencies is shit, and it’s shit because we have become the opposite of what a creative agency is. We have become bloated and corporate. Our industry is run by CFOs and people who were good at business school, whereas what we need to happen is for creatives to be running agencies, instead of them sitting back and letting corporate culture run the show.”


Pedersen took his global creative team to an ice hotel in order to show them his vision of the future: “Those places are not comfortable, in fact they are the opposite of that,” he admitted. “But while we were there it became clear that in fact our industry needs to be much more like them, because they melt every year and then have to be rebuilt. And it’s the same in advertising. We need to constantly seek fresh inspiration, fresh thinkers and people who are un-hireable by the corporate world. That way our industry would be able to position itself at the heart of pop culture by really making a difference, so that brands become more relevant to people’s lives. The truth is that most people hate advertising, and who wants to work in an industry whose work most people hate? We have to stop doing ads that look and sound like ads. And we have to realise that the only thing that solves problems is truly great work. But at the same time we must never forget that the work that puts you on top will not keep you there.”

 

 
Harriet Palmer