'Stop tearing each other down and start loving our work a bit more'

By AdNews | 28 November 2023
Credit: Diana Polekhina via Unsplash

The results are in: The advertising industry likes talking about its work. We just need to clean up the toxicity. 

Innocean, creators of F*ck the Cupcakes, and Paper Moose, a B Corp purpose-led agency, joined forces earlier in the year to take a deep dive into how the industry is interacting with other people’s work and its impact. 

The Drop the Shade survey launched in September within the creative industry to help surface and understand the issues around giving and receiving feedback.

It also aimed to uncover the impact of negative, unsolicited and anonymous feedback, both on individuals and the creative community as a whole. 

The preliminary results of the study show a core sentiment that people don’t want to end the industry discourse, they just want it to clean up its act. 

More than three-quarters of respondents feel negative feedback is impacting talent retention and discouraging new talent. Encouragingly, 77% of respondents want to remove anonymous commentary from industry publications. 

The full report will be made available at loveour.work, which also features a first draft of a voluntary charter for the industry, called Love Our Work Industry Charter. 

“It’s been clear to me for a while that change was needed to address the toxicity found in parts of our industry," says Jeremy Willmott, creative director at Paper Moose 

"This survey validates the need for change and has given us a shot in the arm in getting the next phase of our project live. It’s time we stop tearing each other down and start loving our work a bit more. 

“Love Our Work’s mission is to elevate the standards of the advertising industry by holding ourselves accountable to the way we give creative feedback.

"Our aim is to rid ourselves of the toxicity we see and hear in our workplaces and on our professional forums. We believe that giving good creative feedback is crucial to helping nurture young talent and protecting the mental health of us all.”

Innocean CEO Jasmin Bedir says the results of the study speak for themselves and it seems that the industry really wants to change the discourse on the craft in marketing and advertising.

"We want to feel pride in our work, in our teams, our production partners and our clients," she says. 

“The “Love our work” charter is an attempt to bring us together as an industry and lift each other up.”

The full report and the charter draft will be presented in the new year as part of a wider industry discourse. More details will be announced on loveour.work in December. 

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