This time last week at Cannes in Cairns, A star-studded Q&A panel session moderated by Aussie Merciadez and featuring Dee Madigan, Jane Caro, Mel Fein and Darren Woolley answered the questions that everyone was too afraid to ask.
But due to time constraints, not all of the questions were answered. Heading back into the lion’s den, Woolley, CEO of global marketing management consultancy firm TrinityP3, answers more of the questions you can’t ask.
There were a few terrific questions we managed to answer in the session with great honesty and humour such as:
- Please provide an example of the best brand comeback story and why?
- When will advertising embrace the four-day week?
- It’s YOUR fault your kids eat crap and are fat, not the advertising industry. Right?
- How do you feel about pitch consultants being on the books of media agencies?
- Jane Caro, what advice do you have for someone who also aspires to be a “lifelong troublemaker?”
- How do we crack the young talent bias (ageism) in the industry?
- What was your biggest professional failure and what did you learn from it?
- Where are all the plus-sized men in advertising? (To which Jane Caro answered, “Making the ads” which caused an explosion of laughter).
- Also for Jane Caro, are there any practical tips on how we can deal with boys’ club behaviour in our organisations today?
Here are some more outlandish adland-ish questions from the audience:
What’s the most outrageous thing you’ve heard? Mine is the CEO asking a business director which of the potential new clients he was going to bang to try and win the business.
Mine is a client insisting that an agency be included in the pitch consideration list, only to find out that it was an agency owned by a family member.
What is the most outrageous thing you have seen at media events like Cannes in Cairns?
Open use of illicit drugs. It was suggested that there have been more outrageous sexual acts, but these will have hopefully occurred between consenting adults.
Dee Madigan – let’s talk campaign politics. What’s your most outrageous but shareable story?
The ‘shareable’ bit makes it tricky!! So much happens that is 100 per cent NOT shareable!
We had a candidate once who wasn’t in a marginal seat so we weren’t doing ads for him but he asked if I would write him a 30-sec radio ad. He would pay himself to record and run it. I said ‘Sure’ and sent him the script.
Turns out he could only afford 15-second spots so he recorded it speaking at breakneck speed and then had it artificially sped up some more to fit into 12 seconds (there is a compulsory three-second authorisation on political ads). It sounded like Alvin and the Chipmunks. On Speed.
Would like the panel’s thoughts on some of the banks demanding employees to be in the office 50 per cent of the time?
Employers have the right to define the ways of working and the behaviour of their employees. Just as employees have the right to withdraw their services and work for a more accommodating employer. Having said that, half-time in the office is more reasonable than those demanding they come back to the office full-time.
Is it ethically justifiable to continue promoting the fossil fuel industry, including new polluting projects, when they are primarily responsible for climate change?
If the advertising conforms to the laws, guidelines, and regulations then it is certainly legal. The question of ethics falls on the individuals and their agencies to make that call. But greenwashing is neither legal nor ethical.
How do you get the right balance to represent diversity in ads without looking tokenistic?
By being genuine and considering representation in the ideal and not just in the execution.
Is there a world where agency and in-house can not only work together but excel together?
What agency is best at pitching?
There are many agencies that are particularly successful at pitching. But they are also the ones that are very selective on what they pitch for and therefore increase their chances of winning. They are also inclined to win brilliantly or fail spectacularly.
Should B&T’s daily newsletter be able to report on industry office affairs?
No. Consenting adults have a right to privacy. The only exception is where it gives rise to business issues such as a conflict of interest.
Everyone’s overcharging the client, right??
No. There are a significant number of agencies underpaid for the work they do and the value they create.
Why does adland refuse to address its unhealthy relationship with alcohol and coke?
This is an ongoing social problem based on the ethos of work hard, play hard. There is certainly a duty of care for employers to intervene and provide support for employees who are negatively impacted by using either alcohol or any other form of drugs.
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