“People Don’t Like To Pay For Ideas”: Creative Director of Emerystudio

“People Don’t Like To Pay For Ideas”: Creative Director of Emerystudio

International designer and humble Aussie legend Garry Emery, the founder and creative director of emerystudio, doesn’t think Adland values ideas and design in the esteemed ways it should, and that it’s time this culture changed.

Speaking to B&T, Emery said, “People don’t value what we do. They don’t like to pay for ideas”.

Emery recalled a time when he, a designer who has worked on projects like Parliament House and the Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates, was asked to work unpaid on a pitch.

“The successful enterprise proposes to invite a selected few designers to participate in an unpaid competition to design marketing communications materials to serve a commercial purpose,” he explained.

“The invited designers would propose ideas for review by the chairman of the board, who would choose their preferred option. The successful contender would then develop and realise the selected ideas and donate their professional services.”

Without naming the company, Emery detailed how he called his business partner, outraged by the idea.

“They are asking us to give away our ideas and be rewarded with more work, for free! I am wondering who’s dumb here? Them or us?” Emery said. “As designers should we be expected to give away our ideas? Aren’t they worth something?

“It is true there’s no copyright on ideas. But intellectual property is not just ideas floating in the ether, ready to be plucked by anyone.

“Someone has to develop ideas in the first place. That takes time, intelligence, lateral thinking and expertise. But if no one is prepared to pay for this work, where do we go from here?

“The world has changed, today we live in a world where digital media has decreased attention spans and the ways we perceive and consume information. Content is imagined, created and tailored towards the interests of individuals.

But Emery thinks the Australian landscape doesn’t have the same respect for ideas or integrity it used to.

“It’s a problem, it’s a cultural issue,” he explained. “I’m sure it happens all over the world, but design isn’t really part of our culture, Australia’s is a sporting culture.

“It’s a bit undignified working for no money. There has to be respect on both sides,” Emery added.

“If people don’t respect you, you can’t work for them. There’s no exchange. If they don’t value what you do there’s no basis for having any kind of arrangement.

“Some people do value ideas, it’s not true of everybody, but the people we’re talking about here are not unsophisticated people.

“I don’t even think it’s right for young people either, it’s disrespectful. An idea is a vehicle to communicate something to someone and it has to add value to someone or something.”

And you can snag more insights from Garry Emery in B&T‘s latest mag issue on your desk or office coffee table now, along with other legends like Reg Bryson and Ita Buttrose.


Latest News

Image lead story Melinda Petrunoff: Pinterest Predicts Is A “Cheat Sheet” For 2024
  • Technology

Melinda Petrunoff: Pinterest Predicts Is A “Cheat Sheet” For 2024

We have 18 days until Christmas but for many in the marketing business, the biggest present has already arrived — Pinterest Predicts. The firm’s yearly look at the trends to come has become an integral part of campaign planning for many, with Melinda Petrunoff, Pinterest’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, describing it as […]

Big data and analytics visualization technology with scientist analyzing information structure on screen with machine learning to extract predictions for business, finance, internet of things
  • Media

IAB Launches Fourth Module In Its Marketing Measurement Innovation Series

IAB Australia has launched ‘Evolution in Market Mix Modelling’, the fourth module in its Marketing Measurement Innovation Series, which has been developed by IAB Australia’s Ad Effectiveness Council. The module explores what is driving the increased use of MMM and how the technique is evolving with advances in computing power and machine learning to provide […]

Aerial view of a coal fired power station with large cooling towers emitting co2 into the atmosphere. With its lights already turned on the power station is illuminated in moody twilight.
  • Media

Scope3 Expands Carbon Measurement Capabilities To Include DOOH Advertising

Scope3, the collaborative sustainability platform leading the decarbonisation of media and advertising,  announced the addition of digital out-of-home (DOOH) to its emissions measurement. With DOOH ad spending predicted to grow from $17B in 2023 to nearly $24B by 2028, measuring this channel brings us one step closer to understanding the total impact of digital advertising […]

January 14, 2023 - New York, New York, USA: 2023 NRF Big Show press conference with Composition 2024 NRF Singapore.    Photo by Ian Wagreich / © Ian Wagreich Photography
  • Marketing

Now Open For Registration – NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific

NRF 2024: Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific, is now open for online registrations for the main conference. Jointly organized by the National Retail Federation and Comexposium, Retail’s Big Show Asia Pacific will take place from 11 – 13 June, 2024 at the Sands Expo and Convention Centre in Singapore and is expected to draw thousands […]

DBC2 Appoints Jason Fisher To Newly Created Role Of CEO
  • Marketing

DBC2 Appoints Jason Fisher To Newly Created Role Of CEO

Following a period of significant client growth, leading auto marketing agency, DBC2 has appointed Jason Fisher (lead image) to the newly created role of CEO. The appointment is part of DBC2’s long term growth strategy ahead of the agency announcing a brand refresh and expanded proposition in early-2024. As a new shareholder of the business, […]

Three New Hires At Amplify
  • Marketing

Three New Hires At Amplify

Extra pressure on Amplify's Nescafé Blend 43 catering tin today with the arrival of three new recruits.

Boomtown’s Final Masterclass Of 2023 Attended By Almost 100 Media Reps
  • Media

Boomtown’s Final Masterclass Of 2023 Attended By Almost 100 Media Reps

Don’t treat regional media as a charity, but a real growth opportunity: That’s the message from Boomtown’s final masterclass of 2023, attended by almost 100 media industry representatives from across the nation. The masterclass was part of a series of educational sessions, delivered by Boomtown, the media collective championing advertising in regional Australia. The sessions […]