Sydney L!VE - Does the industry have a gut issue?

By AdNews | 23 May 2023

Special Group partner and CSO Rebecca Stambanis used to think of advertising as the devil’s work.

She spoke today at AdNews Sydney L!VE, Indie-Pendence Day, in support of gut instinct.

“I kind of got into this industry by accident,” she told the 200 at the event.

“I never ever thought I was gonna work in advertising. I thought it was the devil’s work. I studied politics and philosophy, which may be your reason why I thought that, and I went into political journalism at a really young age.”

Later she came across advertising and liked what she saw.

“After network television, I went into consultancy. And my first client was Clemenger, Melbourne," she says.

“At the time I was about 22 or 23 and I was tasked with helping Clemenger Melbourne figure out this little thing called the internet.

“When I walked through those doors, I came across the creative process … and I became pretty intoxicated.”

However, she wanted to speak today about guts.

“It's telling us things all the time and giving us signals,” she says.

“And it certainly was what got me into the world of advertising and in the agencies in this giant gut instinct saying, Get out, get out, get out, this is not for you.

“Want to talk to us today about is I think that we are abandoning and intuitiveness too much in this industry.

“What I am referring to those instincts, that persistent nurturing little niggle inside all of us, that reveals itself and says when something is really worth a shot.

“You know when it feels right. Far more importantly, when something doesn't feel right, when there's probably a ton of different opportunities that came across your desk that we went, that doesn't feel right, that's equally important and why that's important when it feels uncomfortable, when it feels inspected, or benign or familiar, contrived, or just boring, or even cringy. Or just plain wrong. We all know this is wrong.

“But I think it's that critical point when you ask yourself, and this is what I asked my strategist to do every day, … why does this matter? Why does it matter to people? Why does it matter to culture? Why does it matter to company? Why will it matter in this category? Why will people care?

“It's not just random guessing.”

 Thank you to our supporting partners: AMOBEE/UNRULY , Foxcatcher, PubMatic, StackAdapt. Associate partners: blis, JUSTEGGS, MIQ, Quantcast. And friend of AdNews: IMAA.

Have something to say on this? Share your views in the comments section below. Or if you have a news story or tip-off, drop us a line at

Sign up to the AdNews newsletter, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for breaking stories and campaigns throughout the day.

Read more about these related brands, agencies and people

comments powered by Disqus