I don’t expect this blog post to get many hits.
Mentioning the word “account executive” is like mentioning colonoscopy — poison. It’s a traffic killer. (Even worse would be mentioning “account man,” but even I have my limits.) Nevertheless, that iconic “man in the gray flannel suit” is the missing link it today’s ad world. IMHO.
And this is coming from a creative director – me – who was trained from my earliest days in the business to HATE the suits.
But think about it. Creatives? Well, everyone’s freaking creative these days aren’t they? We’re all latte sipping iPhone surfing Android obsessed hang-gliding Tom Waits-listening hipsters, aren’t we? We are all liberated geniuses, right. (If you detect something snarky in that last sentence you are paying attention.) At any rate, based on what I’ve been seeing in the business lately, I have to ask one question: “Who is minding the store?”
Truly, the lunatics are running the asylum. When everyone is a genius, who is around to make sure the client gets what they need, when they need it, and how they want it? Or even better, get what they need, even better than they want it?
I’ll tell you.
I can count the truly great account executives I’ve worked with on the fingers of one hand. And each of them has gone on to run a SUCCESSFUL huge agency. Some have even bought pubs in Ireland as a result, just for fun. They are the people who are grown-ups, but who also GET creative.
They are magic. They are much maligned. And boy do we need them these days.