Sir John Hegarty: 'Make the bloody work better'

By David Blight | 23 June 2012
Sir John Hegarty

BBH founder Sir John Hegarty has urged the industry to improve its creative standard, while Wieden+Kennedy global ECD Dan Wieden encouraged creatives to focus on emotions rather than "strategy and all this bullshit".

Speaking in Cannes, the two creative icons, Hegarty from England and Wieden from the US, both called for agencies to improve the standard of work.

Hegarty, who is founder and worldwide creative director of BBH, said: “Make the bloody work better. We must be the only industry in the world that actually thinks you can succeed when the work’s getting worse. We don’t talk about this enough.

“Obviously Cannes is about this, but what are we doing about it, how are we changing the way we’re working to create better work.”

Meanwhile, Wieden said: “Work needs to be honest too. There’s so much strategy and all this bullshit, but what is the emotional essence of this issue right now. Clients need to look at themselves in the mirror and say ‘Who have we become, and how do we get back to where we used to be’. How de we have an honest relationship with our clients, a provocative relationship?”

In response to Wieden’s comments, Hegarty said: “One that stimulates them, one that’s exciting, one where people say, ‘Wow, I want to have a conversation with these people’, as opposed ‘I’m doing to my best to ignore them and they’re doing their best to trip me up in some way or another’. Isn’t that awful, we’re an industry that tries to trick people into watching what we do, why isn’t it inspiring, so people want to watch it.”

The session was moderated by Atifa Silk, editorial director of Campaign Asia-Pacific.

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