Melbourne, here’s how not to be like Adelaide

In this guest posting, David Campbell responds to a comment made at Mumbrella Question Time last week that Melbourne has become ‘the new Adelaide’

Monday’s article on Mumbrella quoting a pitch consultant declaring that Melbourne is the “new Adelaide” sparked some interesting debate. It also upset its fair share of people from Adelaide, unimpressed about again being the butt of a very depressing joke.

Adelaide is a lovely place. But no one is going to argue that it’s the pinnacle of creativity. My guess is Melbourne would prefer not to wear a badge bearing its namesake.

So, as a former member of the Adelaide advertising fraternity, I thought I would offer some sage advice for how Melbourne about how it might avoid becoming too much like us.

Tip #1: Don’t leave all the old people in charge
From client-side to senior agency people all the way through to government and community boards, Adelaide does a terrific job of keeping old hats at the head of the table. As experienced as many of these people are, this isn’t exactly a recipe for new and fresh thinking. Melbourne, get yourself some young guns and put them in charge of some things. It’s amazing what difference it will make.

Tip #2: Don’t rely on your local clients
While watching a vintage “SA Great” commercial from the 80’s I noticed that most of the brands it featured have since moved interstate. Our industry has made the mistake of relying on (and being happy with) the handful of clients that remain. To grow, it needed to look interstate and overseas for bigger, exciting clients. Melbourne should pinch as much work from Sydney as it can.

Tip #3: Don’t play politics
Adelaide is great at politics. We’ve got our conventions, clubs and cliques, all carefully administered to make sure nothing, or at least not much, ever changes. It’s unspoken, of course, but it’s everywhere. Melbourne, when doing business make sure you forget what school people attended or what family they belong to
and try to work with people based on nothing more than merit.

Tip #4: Don’t celebrate mediocrity
Adelaide’s got a knack for patting itself on the back even when it’s not doing all that well. At the local AADC Awards the coveted Watering Can, an award handed out by the Club’s Presidents to someone for outstanding contribution to the advertising industry, was bizarrely presented to an unemployed 20-year old for starting a website. And the industry is still asking why. Melbourne, don’t forget to celebrate your greats – it’s an amazing way to inspire others.

Tip #5: Don’t be complacent
I was recently talking to a senior marketer returning to Adelaide after two decades abroad. He reminisced about the “Dunstan days”, when Adelaide was considered a creative hot bed. We were, but we got complacent. We got comfortable with our lot in the world and stopped trying. Most people think Melbourne is a bit of a creative hot bed. But if you want it to stay that way you will need to work for it.

So, Melbourne, I hope this helps. You should come visit some time.

PS. We’re still sore about the Grand Prix.

David Campbell is the former creative director of Fnuky who has left the industry to pursue a career in film


  1. Jeremy Campbell
    15 Aug 12
    11:16 am

  2. Five tips when you write an opinion piece.

    1. Proof you writing. Know the difference between a hot bed and a hotbed. And what does this mean? ‘I thought I would offer some sage advice for how Melbourne about how it might avoid becoming too much like us.
    2. Don’t bite the hand that feeds you. The AADC have awarded some mediocre work. Like David Campbell: Online-Wireless/Visual Design/Oxigen
    3. Get your facts right. The AADC awarded the Watering Can to a freelancer. David did make her unemployed earlier this year, but she’s all the better for not working with him anymore.
    4. Show some dignity. Work harder, be nicer and do good work and clients will come. There will always be politics, so stop watching Satisfaction DVDs and read Machiavelli.
    5. Don’t be a dick. When everyone agrees that you are a dick maybe they are right and you are wrong. And you’re a dick.

  3. DC
    15 Aug 12
    11:40 am

  4. Oh the glorious irony, @Jeremy Campbell.

    “Proof you writing”


  5. N Reedos
    15 Aug 12
    11:41 am

  6. I love internet arguments

  7. The Accountant
    15 Aug 12
    11:44 am

  8. Jeremy gets my award for Fool of the Day, awarded for criticising someone for not proofing their writing by telling them they should “Proof you writing.”

    Congratulations Jeremy!

  9. Jeremy Ervine
    15 Aug 12
    1:54 pm

  10. @”Jeremy Campbell” Well done for contributing to the debate. Your points have highlighted some of the those articulated by David above.

    Here in Adelaide, anytime someone raises criticism of ANYTHING it quickly descends into vicious, obnoxious, personal attacks.

    I would challenge you to point out a Creative Director in Adelaide who has done as well internationally as David in the past few years. I am of the view that when a person has proven themselves, they have the right to put forward an opinion, especially when the underlying motive is for the industry to better itself.

    At least he’s willing to put his name to it.

  11. Rob Ball
    15 Aug 12
    2:01 pm

  12. The most ignorant critics of Adelaide are those that either have never been here or have never left.

  13. Justin Wearne
    15 Aug 12
    2:39 pm

  14. Let’s hope to God that our clients aren’t reading this small minded parochial drivel about Adelaide vrs Melbourne/Sydney. They might wrongly conclude that we don’t live in the real world. Gotta go, my trunk call to the eastern states is coming through.

  15. Anonymous
    15 Aug 12
    2:47 pm

  16. @ Jeremy Campbell, totally nailed that. @ Jeremy Ervine. Even if you have ‘proven yourself’ ‘ to who exactly… yourself? No one cares. And to talk about Adelaide and how ‘personal’ they get… You’ve displayed that well recently, slagging the ‘unemployed 20 year old’ who used to work for you (how much more personal does it get?) Let it go. Seriously, you should be ashamed. Just because you had a rough trot getting into the industry. (Can’t possibly think why?) Didn’t your parents ever teach you to respect your elders? These so called ‘Old’ people have been in the game longer than you, and will out last you. Overnight successes come and go. Cool, you’ve won some Awards, but that doesn’t give you the right to wave your dick around. Put it back in your pants and get back in your box.

  17. Anonymous
    15 Aug 12
    3:02 pm

  18. …not that there is anything wrong with “waving your dick around” – run a state flag up and see who salutes.

  19. Bock -CD-SA
    15 Aug 12
    3:08 pm

  20. Dear Forum,
    Normally I read these stories blah etc etc….but I found myself …etc.

    Talk about getting the hospital’s receptionist to advise all the surgeons how to successfully re-attach an arm! FNUK ME!

    I pity the film industry – expect remakes and parodies!

    And … Oh yeh, Im a Creative Director in Adelaide and you should have seen me in Cuba – I did great!

    Honestly … Please Victoria, just ignore all of this unqualified garbage.

    He even mentioned the “GP”!!!! – bloody hell I’m almost embarrassed.

  21. Sue
    15 Aug 12
    3:16 pm

  22. seriously the Grand Prix left after 1995 and can we say it for once and for all – we are completely over losing the Grand Prx – we dont give a toss!!. Most Adelaide people absolutely cringe when we read this type of drivel or worse – see dreadful beer ads still banging on about it…

    The last line blew the entire article for me…

  23. Anonymous
    15 Aug 12
    3:31 pm

  24. But Adelaide such a great place to visit – I spent a whole week there, one weekend.

  25. Easy come, easy go.
    15 Aug 12
    3:41 pm

  26. Adelaide 5th most liveable city in the world. Boom.

  27. Serial joker
    15 Aug 12
    4:16 pm

  28. Visit Adelaide – we’ve got a barrel with your name on it. Boom. Boom.

  29. Derwood Stevens
    15 Aug 12
    4:25 pm

  30. There are exceptions to any rule and please correct me if the following GENERALISATIONS are wrong but;
    Regardless of industry, most people’s peak earning potential (ie at the ‘top of their game’) is 45-55… talent + experience = knowledge + results.
    “Man is a political animal” (Aristotle)… is there an industry or workplace that isn’t political? Networks, communities, relationships are by definition exclusive… this is why good suits are just as important as good creative.
    What we do is advertising (which can be artistic), not art – it’s a business tool, sometimes mediocre is what the client needs to generate $$… I don’t think Harvey Norman ads had a showing at Cannes
    There are plenty of clients in Adelaide, but everyone just wants the BIG ones… give me 10 x $100k clients over 1 x $1mill client anyday.
    Who in Adelaide, in this industry is complacent?
    Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide… people are people, business is business, simple maths (4 times the population = 4 times the opporunity) means Sydney and Melbourne wil always attract more money and more talent.
    And change comes from the inside, it takes time, compromise, failure, wash, rinse, repeat – I’m sorry the reality of this industry hasn’t panned out the way you had hoped – but good luck with your film career.

  31. It's been a long day
    15 Aug 12
    4:41 pm

  32. More like 1,000 one dollar clients (who argue over every bill), two pubs, a church with a Kum Ba Yah lay preacher and an EH Holden Ute.

  33. Guy Turner
    15 Aug 12
    4:52 pm

  34. @Derwood Stevens,
    The generalisation which is wrong is your ‘Regardless of industry’ statement aligning earnings with the creativity debate. Yes, usually middle age owns the earnings, but many elements of creativity peak young.
    Historically poets are an excellent example, likewise painters and composers. Take a look through at the most innovative tech companies of the last 20 years, and they have all succeeded because dynamic young people have been responsible, or at least involved, at the critical decision making level.
    Good work David – cudos for stating some good points and opening yourself up to the inevitable scrutiny.

  35. Sputnik
    15 Aug 12
    5:14 pm

  36. I’d just like to add that I’m not adding anything. For a change. Peace. :-)

  37. Keaton
    15 Aug 12
    6:10 pm

  38. I’d like to ad that David was right.

    I’m 25 and just graduating. In sydney i attended the Change One thing event for mumbrella360. With about 50 ranked professionals in three different divisions with idea’s narrowed down and narrowed down into about 1 idea it ended up being a slight variation on mine. Now what does that say?
    I got offered a job on the spot and then when i tried to take it i didn’t get it because i was on internship at the time.
    And now i’m moving to Melbourne and job searching. I hope i have some opportunity there to make a difference and i understand it’s all a business. But let the young people have a go!
    Work cohesively and be our mentor, but please listen.

  39. Tony Bee
    16 Aug 12
    8:38 am

  40. Speaking as a former Adelaide resident, I think David made some valid points.

  41. Generally speaking
    16 Aug 12
    9:46 am

  42. Speaking as a current Adelaide resident, I think David is full of it and I can’t for the life of me work out why Mumbrella would bother printing such poorly written and poorly argued rhetoric. Is there an Editor? For God’s sake have some standards.

  43. DC
    16 Aug 12
    11:11 am

  44. Hi I’m from Sydney, and just came across this article. Accidentally. I normally don’t click on anything that has the word Adelaide in it. But I thought I’d give my unasked-for comments anyway. We in Sydney don’t care about, think about or give a fcuk about Adelaide. Stop discussing yourselves, please. You’re really not that important. everyone knows if you want to do business you have to be in Sydney or Melbourne.

  45. Ready For Salvation
    16 Aug 12
    11:27 am

  46. So if I live in Adelaide I need to get rid of all the old people. But if I live in Melbourne I need to celebrate them. Excellent advice, thank you.

    Also, Adelaide people should go for Melbourne clients and Melbourne people should go for Adelaide clients. Good, yes.

    And don’t go to school, join clubs or network with other people because it leads to nothing. Super stuff, thanks again.

    Plus, make sure that you don’t give out awards to young people that are actually meant for old people. Well, that just makes perfect sense to me.

    Finally, try to inspire others by celebrating your greats, as long as it’s not Don Dunstan because you’ll stop trying altogether.

    Oh, and Melbourne people are invited to visit Adelaide at some point to see what not to do as long as they don’t mention the Grand Prix.

    David, you simply must put each of these visionary ideas into action. Furthermore, please write a book or start a blog or perhaps put together some kind of compendium of genius-ness that can be released in easy-to-digest stages; not too much at a time, else you create a cultural shift that is too great for most lowly simpletons of the industry to bear all at once.

    Do you have a website? Please tell me you do.

  47. Sputnik
    16 Aug 12
    11:31 am

  48. “You’re really not that important” DC? Seriously?

    I didn’t think anyone would be able to top David by making a comment more ridiculous than bringing up the Grand Prix from a hundred years ago, but congratulations, you’ve managed it.

    It’s more (anonymous) arrogance like that that gives our industry a bad name as being full of wankers. Who say things just like that. Pretty sure we don’t need your permission to “discuss ourselves”, regardless of where and how we do business.

  49. Tony
    16 Aug 12
    11:46 am

  50. If I didn’t know better I’d say that DC is trying to ignite a bit of heated discussion around his poorly articulated article. It’s an old online trick, but still effective. To what end we may only speculate.

  51. Unimportant Adelaide person
    16 Aug 12
    12:34 pm

  52. You know DC – I thought I was nothing and now you’ve confirmed it. It’s hard enough living in Adelaide but now that the Grand Prix has left town, Don Dunstan’s gone, and I guess the Olympic Dam expansion will be canned – we’ll that’s it. I am not even a good banjo player. It’s soooo depressing.

  53. Not DC
    16 Aug 12
    1:06 pm

  54. Yes, that autofill form will get you every time : )

    The young fellow is probably trying to divert attention back to the pointless debate he wants get going, rather than lack of depth in which his meaningless commentary delves into the actual intricacies of interstate relations.

  55. Shamma
    16 Aug 12
    1:22 pm

  56. Where is this ‘Adelaide’ you’re all talking about?

  57. Fail
    16 Aug 12
    1:26 pm

  58. Yeah, the old “I don’t normally… blah, blah, blah…” is a dead give away and Sydneysiders don’t usually talk like that about other states because we don’t really feel the need to. I smell some shit being stirred in the pot as well.

  59. Golum
    16 Aug 12
    2:07 pm

  60. young people are smart and know everything – just ask that Herald Sun intern

  61. Broken Record
    16 Aug 12
    3:21 pm

  62. Before we consider taking on DC’s “sage advice” it’s worth pointing out that his recently failed agency has just sold-out to one of those “old hats” that he so openly enjoys ribbing at every opportunity. This is relevant to the discussion because it’s lucky that one of those “senior agency people” was there to pick up the pieces knowing that very few people wanted to go anywhere near it. Old hats are good for some things, eh?

    The only thing that’s getting old in Adelaide is DC’s relentless passive aggressive postulations about why his hometown sucks and how much better it would be if only he was in charge of things. Tip #6: Grow up.

  63. Unimportant Adelaide person
    16 Aug 12
    3:43 pm

  64. Shamma, “Adelaide” is a quaint little gay community founded by Don Dunstan backed in the 1970’s. You may have read reports in the SMH that they recently installed an electricity network and a sort of primitive telephone system. They’re planning on having their own float in the Mardi Gras this year. I am looking forward to seeing how wagon wheels cope with our busted-up streets.

  65. Deliverance
    16 Aug 12
    4:02 pm

  66. Y’ole betta start show’n sum respect ‘bout uz Adelaide peeples yer hear? Otherwise me ‘n brother billy (he’s biggin me) gonna cum up there to Sids knee ‘n give you shiny bums a wolloping! Yep too write.

  67. Shamma
    16 Aug 12
    4:56 pm

  68. A+ Unimportant Adelaide person

  69. Derwood Stevens
    16 Aug 12
    5:00 pm

  70. Guy Turner – just to clarify, was not talking about individual creativity, I agree that innovation can come from a 19 or 55 year old… we will never know what an older Keats, Shelley, Plath, Owen, Van Gogh could have produced because they died young. But Coleridge, Blake, Milton certainly did ok. Da Vinci started Mona Lisa at 51, at a time when most people were dead by that age, Goya, Rembrandt, Picasso all ‘older’ artists.
    My point was about the INDUSTRY – for DC to suggest that the people who actually sign the cheques in Melb/Syd care more about fostering creativity than the bottom line is, well, horseshit. My guess is that on the whole Syd vs Melb debate people in New York or London don’t give a toss… it’s all relative innit? Sydney? that’s the one with the bridge and the kangaroos, right? Where Crocodile Dundee comes from…

  71. Reality check
    16 Aug 12
    5:47 pm

  72. Saints preserve us. Da Vinci, Goya, Rembrandt? Let’s keep this in perspective. We’re just working in bloody advertising – not painting the Sistine f*cking Chapel.

  73. Reality check
    16 Aug 12
    6:00 pm

  74. …mind you, I just thought of a great idea for Dulux…

  75. No real opinion
    16 Aug 12
    6:25 pm

  76. Now there’s a face you want to slap. I’d fly to Adelaide for that, at my own expense too.

  77. Coke Addict
    16 Aug 12
    6:37 pm

  78. LA, New York, Sydney and Melbourne are great places to work in Advertising but I had to get out while I still had a liver, a marriage, and some of my nasal tissue left. But, I must admit I miss the hype, bullshit, and the sheer excitement that only comes from participating in watching under-educated, ambitious, egomaniacs strut their stuff in an orgy of pseudo-creativity dressed-up as “brand strategy” being pedaled to mesmerized clients. I love the smell of “selling-gas” in the morning. I live in a ‘slightly’ quieter place now – a watered down version of Sydney and Melbourne but with enough Ad-Craft combined with genuine lifestyle to make it more than worthwhile. Knock yourselves out my interstate colleagues – best wishes from Adelaide.

  79. Coke Addict
    16 Aug 12
    7:38 pm

  80. …And I forgot to mention. When I moved to Adelaide, I sold my shitty little terrace house in Sydney-side and with the proceeds bought a renovated stone mansion on a half acre block in one of Adelaide’s better suburbs with pool and tennis court, live 10 minutes from the CBD where I pay $300 per month parking – 1 minutes walk from the office. My boys go to one of the best private schools in Australia 5 minutes from home. When I want to top-up my earnings I drive 20 minutes to the airport and for less than $500 travel and accommodation I “parachute” into Sydney, Melbourne or Perth and offer my extensive Ad-agency experience and marketing expertise to clients at ridiculously low Adelaide rates. When you knock Adelaide – make sure you understand what you are knocking.

  81. Frank Acariatre
    16 Aug 12
    8:18 pm

  82. Not original at all nor is it a good look for a creative industry to dust off all the boring old Adelaide jokes.That is the forte of the unfunny Melbourne stand up comedians as they make their annual pilgrimage to the Fringe festival, begging bowls in hand.

  83. David Campbell
    16 Aug 12
    9:08 pm

  84. I hope you all enjoyed yourselves. I’m happy to see a spirited debate. Although after being called a “dick”, “ignorant”, “full of it”, and a “failure” one has to wonder what ever happened to Mumbrella’s comment moderation policy about personal attacks.

    As for allegations that I would post comments on my own article (I hadn’t even read it until tonight) I have never, and will never, post anonymous comments. I’ve long thought it ‘s a practice that’s gutless and bordering on unethical.

    Put your name to things, people. It’s not going to kill you.

    One final point of clarification: That Grand Prix line was a joke. A poor one, obviously. I was twelve the last time it was here. At least my wife saw the humour in it.

  85. Truth Hurts
    17 Aug 12
    9:35 am

  86. So you thought you’d get away with your pointless-nothing-to-add-rant on Mumbrella because you’d be protected by the Moderator? You’ve put so many of your own personal views in this attack on the the industry and Adelaide that it was only ever going to come back at you because it’s all about you and your very singular opinions. Good writers know this and are adult enough to accept the consequences of this sort of opinion piece. Somebody included a Tip #6 for you in an earlier post, follow it.

  87. mumbrella
    17 Aug 12
    9:46 am

  88. Hi David,

    It’s a fine line. On this occasion, we took the view that in context the comments were on your piece, rather than on you as a person.

    Where somebody offers us an opinion piece such as this, we do allow a robust exchange (although there are still of course limits) that goes slightly further than when somebody has not volunteered to step into the arena.

    PS: I thought the Grand Prix line was funny.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  89. Sputnik
    17 Aug 12
    10:02 am

  90. Maybe they don’t moderate it when it’s true David?

    Oh, come on, that was funnier than your Grand Prix line. Maybe check with your wife. :-)

  91. LOL
    17 Aug 12
    11:18 am

  92. Sputnik, sadly your satirical tone may be lost on the author.

  93. Andy Driver
    17 Aug 12
    2:41 pm

  94. You must be glad he won’t get the Watering Can, Sputnik?

  95. Sputnik
    17 Aug 12
    3:02 pm

  96. Given the current level of decision making I’d say he’s half a chance to win it for this thread…

  97. Seriously?
    17 Aug 12
    4:24 pm

  98. Sputnik/Jeremy/David, You’re all trying to get a glimpse in the spotlight at the expense of the AADC. Pathetic cry for attention. Why don’t you take your three way off to Sydney and shit in that nest. They’ll eat you for breakfast.

  99. Richard Moss
    17 Aug 12
    4:24 pm

  100. I am always a little saddened by any article that warns against employing and or promoting old people. Old does not mean old fashioned, slow, out of touch, any more than young means quick witted, innovative and up to date. Anyone who wishes to argue this with me may telegram or telex me directly, of telephone during office hours and leave a message with my telephonist.

    Adelaide has produced its share of winners, and it is very unwise to divide a nation into blocks and then compare those blocks as if they were micro replicas of the whole. The blocks are components of the whole, and it would be silly to expect Townsville to reflect Nowra, or Perth to reflect Sydney, as it it would be to expect all products to appeal equally in all towns cities and states.

  101. Sputnik
    17 Aug 12
    5:19 pm

  102. OK, ‘Seriously’, I’ll bite on that one. On this particular thread, I’ve had a bit of a laugh, nothing more. No spotlight required here.

    As for my previous outburst on AdTown about the decision regarding the awarding of the Watering Can, and more broadly speaking, the leadership and direction of the club, i stand by that as raising questions that NEED to be asked. I doubt this is the right forum to reply to you, or any other serious question regarding my motives, but you can sure as hell read about them on the articles posted on AdTown – and anyone who wants to tell me they’re not valid things to be questioning should do so by all means.

    In amongst the few that were less than complimentary, I have over 100 emails displaying varying degrees of support for what were genuine questions about where the AADC is headed.

    I won’t comment on David or Jeremy’s motives, because that’s up to them. But for me, I am a HUGE fan of Adelaide and a MASSIVE supporter of our industry. And unlike the people who have nothing better to do than anonymously bitch and make snide comments on here, yourself included, i’ve put my balls on the line week after week for FOUR years writing about our industry in an effort to do something about it for no personal gain. And you? No, i didn’t think so.

    From where i sit, the only people doing the AADC harm are the AADC themselves who (despite the fantastic efforts of many individuals who should be applauded for the energy and time the invest) have managed to become increasingly irrelevant and outdated. No Adelaide jokes here, as I’ve seen MADC, PADC, AWARD and other groups go through EXACTLY the same sorts of issues. It happens.

    Oh, and that’s not a matter of opinion, mine, David’s or Jeremey’s, just a statement of fact. I’ve been in or around the AADC for 20+ years so have no personal beef with it or anyone involved in it, but to see what it’s become in recent times is just plain sad. And bitching about it behind closed doors like most certainly isn’t going to help. So yeah, i put my balls on the line and said out loud what so many already think. If that’s interpreted by some as a grab for the spotlight, then so be it, i’ll wear that. It was more a call to action, to wake a few people up, and maybe even create some change. Crazy, brave and possibly misguided concept, but hey, what can i say? i still believe in people being able to make a difference – regardless of where they live. and how old they are. :-)

    if you want to accuse me of anything, make it that i still care enough about the industry and our club, to stick my neck out and do what i can to raise issues and possibly even solutions with various people including, yes, one of the AADC Presidents this week.

    No offence to David or Jeremey, but i’d rather not be grouped in with them. maybe i’ve lost my sense of humour, but these days i find it difficult to tell the difference between people trying to be funny and just being big mouthed twats. I’d say there’s a fine line and it possibly depends where you’re sitting. But if from where you, or anyone else for that matter, are sitting, you can’t see the effort i’ve put into promoting our industry (not my own business, but everyone else’s!) and you can’t see the good in that, then f*ck me, i don’t know what else i can do?

    It would be nice if even forums like this could be used to float constructive ideas and comment on issues, rather than take personal pot shots at people. it’s cheap and its easy to do so, but not all that constructive. and even thick skinned people like me don’t enjoy it all that much. presuming the people i know and respect in this town are probably above making snide, anonymous comments on here, i’d be more than happy to stack my achievements and credentials up against yours too by the way. For the record, I did just fine when i worked in Melbourne and SEAsia and I’d do just fine in Sydney or anywhere else for that matter. Feel free to email me personally if you’d actually like to tackle the AADC issue for real, rather than on here.

  103. Same Old, Same Old
    18 Aug 12
    12:18 pm

  104. I wouldn’t take it to heart too much Richard. Jeremy and David are always banging on about how much old people suck and that the world will be much better once everyone retires, except from themselves, of course. And I also agree with you about the redundancy of comparing cities – particularly as it relates to installing parts of other cities to try and improve your own. It doesn’t work. These two have been trying to install parts of other cities in the Adelaide advertising industry for a while now and it didn’t work. Which is why David is so frustrated by Adelaide. He doesn’t want a better city, he just wants a place that gives him whatever he wants immediately without having to actually prove himself. It’s juvenile and I’m also an advocate of Tip #6.

  105. Anonymous Coward
    19 Aug 12
    10:52 pm

  106. David and Jeremy like taking the piss out of the local industry, as there are far too many who take themselves way too seriously.

    David’s article was clearly written to bait the type of people who attacked him, who have in turn validated his points.

    I’m sure they are highly amused by the storm created here.

  107. What storm?
    20 Aug 12
    10:42 am

  108. There’s no storm. The only heated discussion going in here is whether or not David knows what he’s talking about, and it’s now painfully clear that he doesn’t. If his goal is to gain notoriety for doing or saying things that don’t make sense or are simply wrong, then I guess he would be highly amused – as would any village idiot.

  109. Too Serious
    20 Aug 12
    11:42 am

  110. If running a successful agency means taking yourself too seriously, then it’s lucky for them that many of us do. David and Jeremy have certainly been quick to take the piss out of the local industry, but even quicker to sell out to it.

  111. mumbrella
    20 Aug 12
    11:50 am

  112. At this point I should draw people’s attention to the fact that I’ve noticed the following posters share the same IP address:

    Too Serious
    What Storm?
    Same Old, Same Old
    Truth Hurts
    No Real Opinion
    Broken Record
    Not DC
    Ready For Salvation
    Generally Speaking
    Already Forgotten

    Tim – Mumbrella

  113. Jeremy Ervine
    21 Aug 12
    12:07 am

  114. Looks like Dave has an enemy who suffers multiple personality disorder.

    Must be one of those ‘old hats’ who don’t know what an IP address is..

  115. Sean Heylen
    22 Aug 12
    1:23 pm

  116. Wow. Riveting reading. Thanks everyone for some great lunch hour entertainment. What an interesting reflection on all of you advertising industry “professionals” – current, former and otherwise. Good luck with things!

  117. Matt
    22 Aug 12
    1:33 pm

  118. Good luck reinventing yourselves as film moguls over the border boys, but I think you’ll find that being the unwitting objects of self parody gets old when you play with the big boys too.

  119. Eastener
    22 Aug 12
    1:35 pm

  120. I moved to SA from the East 5 years ago, why? Long story, not by choice. DC you have hit the nail on the head. Just listen to all the SA’s that avoid mention of change. CHANGE is the big word here. SA pull your heads out of the sand and embrace innovation. Just get out there and DO IT, let it happen and watch the state grow into a better place.

  121. Anonymous
    22 Aug 12
    1:44 pm

  122. Thanks, David. As a creative person in Adelaide, I offer nothing but total agreement with what you’ve said. And I’m confident most young people, i.e., 35-40 years or younger, who have been banging their heads against walls in this place for years, would feel the same. Unfortunately, no matter how much you like the place, until an entire generation of old farts, mostly baby boomers, get the f … out the way, you’re much better off moving interstate if you want fruits from your creative labour. Thankfully, however, I am of the opinion that the process of change has started in Rads. I think this place is going to look a lot different in 15 years time. It just depends on how much new blood is allowed through the creative gates .

  123. Todd Miller
    22 Aug 12
    1:49 pm

  124. Love a good healthy debate – and I HAVE put my name on here. People in Adelaide have always had a self-deprecating attitude, happy to shit can Adelaide, its people, etc. As someone who has worked in the industry for a while and now lives in Adelaide but does business overseas I get the best of both worlds – a great place to live, raise a family, get around – and doing business globally. Like every part of the world Adelaide has some amazing people doing great things along with the others who want to pull them down.

    Here’s my take on David’s article:
    Tip #1: Don’t leave all the old people in charge
    – So do something about it. If you don’t like what you have make a fnuking change!
    Tip #2: Don’t rely on your local clients
    – There is plenty of local business to be had if you are prepared to chase it. The local business goes with whom they know because its familiar.
    – If you build good relationships it comes back at you in spades
    Tip #3: Don’t play politics
    – Fnuk the politics just get on with it.
    Tip #4: Don’t celebrate mediocrity
    – Creativity is subjective, and everyone has an opinion. Just do better work and raise the bar.
    Tip #5: Don’t be complacent
    – Show some passion for what you do

  125. Dan Thorsland
    22 Aug 12
    1:49 pm

  126. Well, I’m an old hat (albeit from another country and city), and having worked with Jeremy and David (as well as oldsters from KWP, Kojo and Martins), I think David makes some very valid points. Adelaide is quite provincial and nepotistic.

    Few people I’ve met in my 11 years here think otherwise, including the oldsters. It is frustrating for anyone in the industry, regardless of age, when the competition wins on networking rather then merit. You may not like the delivery (or the grammar), but I think the message is valid. Just look at our state branding. It’s ghastly, and most Adelaidians hate it.

  127. What the?
    22 Aug 12
    1:52 pm

  128. Sputnik, your posts are way too long. Do you really think people are interested in reading all that? Stop wasting time – go and do something creative.

  129. Alan S
    22 Aug 12
    1:55 pm

  130. Good point by Tim at Mumbrella and repeated IP addresses – but isn’t repetition the key to effective advertising? Nothing to do with clever humour, perceptiveness, infomative discussion or genuine creativity.

    Pity reading comments on websites such as Adelaide Now – why do people like to have a swipe about the place then say they’re leaving? Just go.

    I proof read this twice to keep the pedants (look it up) happy.

  131. Lyn Punshon
    22 Aug 12
    2:21 pm

  132. Entertaining if it wasn’t so sad.
    As one of the old blokes who still works in and loves the industry, it is sad that the basis of this exchange is exactly why our industry isn’t taken seriously in most Board Rooms. Seriously good marketing solutions have nothing to do with age. They have everything to do with hard work, inspiration and meaningful collaboration between creative people – managers, creatives, researchers and, importantly, clients.

  133. mike smith
    22 Aug 12
    2:26 pm

  134. @Tim: Care to share the whois of the IP address? I’ve noticed a lot of those sock-puppet names posting on Crikey as well.

    As for comments on the article, (speaking as an Adelaidian that lives in Canberra) – a lot of accurate points, but you really ought not burn your bridges so comprehensively. It’s like an exit interview.

  135. Rodger Davidson
    22 Aug 12
    2:27 pm

  136. Laughing at the Gen Y attitudes.

    In business you have to work hard in order to be successful. No one hands you success just because you think your talented and you think you deserve it.

    The bottom line of this article is that David has been unsuccessful in Adelaide and it is probably appropriate that he runs away to Sydney, Melbourne or more commonly Brisbane where its easier for mediocre businesspeople to make a go of it.

  137. R Sawl
    22 Aug 12
    2:38 pm

  138. I am a professional (43 y.o) who has lived around the world and interstate & now live in Adelaide. I agree with David. We have so much dead wood old people in management positions with old fashioned values too scared to change or adapt to the technology era. I am sick of this VIC v SA rivalry. Manufacturing is dead in this country. We need to attract companies to SA that need available staff to do jobs other than manufacturing. When someone like David gives constructive criticism – listen to him. Dont shoot him down. (PS. I do not know David or his business partner & have nothing to do with their industry)

  139. Michael E
    22 Aug 12
    2:50 pm

  140. Ignoring David’s dummy spit, Adelaide more than any other city in Australia does allow mediocre people from the old school tie network to survive and do well in a number of industries. Having an office in Sydney and Adelaide, I have seen it first hand. There is nowhere I would rather live and work than Adelaide, but I would like to see more emphasis placed on ability than a privileged schooling.

  141. Steve of Clare
    22 Aug 12
    2:52 pm

  142. Good on you DC for telling it how it is; that annoys Adelaidians even more!!!

  143. Yawn
    22 Aug 12
    3:01 pm

  144. Yawn

  145. Yawn
    22 Aug 12
    3:02 pm

  146. actually.. fnuking yawn

  147. Jumping the Adelaide Ship
    22 Aug 12
    3:03 pm

  148. I have to say as much as I love living in Adelaide if you want a career with viable options, challenges and the opportunity to advance you need to go elsewhere, and hence the reason I’m packing up and moving to Sydney in the New Year.

    I’m sick of the incestuous gossip ridden attitude of the majority of industries in this city. Especially in the creative realm!

  149. Cunning Old Fart
    22 Aug 12
    3:09 pm

  150. Yep, Sydney and Melbourne are bigger than Adelaide. Well spotted. And some “old farts” dominate the local landscape. Well young emerging talent – old jungle saying “Youth and enthusiasm is no match for age and treachery”

  151. Pedro the Republican
    22 Aug 12
    3:12 pm

  152. This article is representative of everything in Adelaide and is not limited to the Advertising Industry… it’s prevalent in Arts, Education, Tourism, Political Parties etcetera etcetera etcetera! Mind you, the issue is not so much about ‘old’ people having control but more about the ‘known’ people keeping control. There’s a huge, huge number of ‘old’ people people who have wonderful open refreshing ideas completely dismissed because they are not ‘known’ and that ‘they shouldn’t be known’ because it takes away their power and influence!

  153. Offal Spokesperson
    22 Aug 12
    3:30 pm

  154. My only question is… Was Melbourne ever likely to become like Adelaide?

    Its a bit like telling a bottle of wine to not become a grape

  155. Alan
    23 Aug 12
    7:43 am

  156. Adelaide – where the only things that change are the traffic lights! Nearly a spot on analysis except there’s nothing wrong with old people, just old thinking. (I’m 63)

  157. ThankGod
    23 Aug 12
    9:15 am

  158. So I see Tim you practice censorship. Good one. I bet you won’t even recant your inflammatory remarks falsely made about IP addresses. Don’t make claims about things you know little of. it shows you off as a fool. You have accused people of being shills without understanding what you are talking about.

    Jeremy Irvines biggest problem apart from being dishonest was he assumed he knew more than the people he was talking to. They nod and agree and walk out of the meeting discussing the the person they just met and not in glowing terms. his dummy spits are nothing new. Never met David but I can assume much from this article.

  159. Mark
    23 Aug 12
    9:33 am

  160. There’s a saying in Adelaide, ‘if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere’. They (Fnucky) never made it in Adelaide, so chances are they won’t make it anywhere.

    Interesting – no mention of clients. Did they have any?

  161. mumbrella
    23 Aug 12
    10:13 am

  162. Hi ThankGod,

    Nope. I stand by my observations. All of those comments came from the same IP address.

    If you’ve got reason to think otherwise, please do share it… (I’m not sure what you mean about censorship either, but please feel free to elaborate).


    Tim – Mumbrella

  163. mike smith
    23 Aug 12
    10:40 am

  164. ThankGod likely does not understand the implications of the IP address. If it is not the same person, then it’s the same organisation. Except some organisations own entire Class A blocks, and you will get your own IP address within the Class A block.

    What are you saying is false about the remarks, ThankGod? Do you really want Tim to publish the IP address? I’d rather like him to.

  165. Mark H Coleman
    24 Aug 12
    1:47 pm

  166. David’s comments hold nothing new, they regurgitate a lot of stereotypes about Adelaide that apply equally to pretty much all other cities in Australia.
    I’ve lived in Melbourne, and travel there and to Sydney almost every month for business; both are full of puffed-up guys dealing with their mates due to school, sport etc connections. Invariably they take the view that there’s no talent to the west of them, completely unable to see that they are themselves totally ordinary and unremarkable.
    I live in Adelaide, and have learned to navigate around the dead wood here, interstate and overseas.
    Hopefully, David, you will learn to do the same.

  167. Tony Bee
    24 Aug 12
    2:02 pm

  168. My move from Adelaide to Brisbane was a breath of fresh air, escaping the Old Boys’ Network and finding a market where I was judged on merit and not by the school I attended.

  169. Chris Oaten
    24 Aug 12
    2:45 pm

  170. Blows raspberry.

  171. Web Monkey!
    24 Aug 12
    5:00 pm

  172. ThankGod has really hit the nail on the head with Jeremy!

  173. Hilarious
    27 Aug 12
    7:47 pm

  174. I always find it funny when people look down their nose at other people.

    The shitbox town I grew up in had more flies than people. All 74 of them. And the ones that lived on the hill used to laugh at their neighbours on the flat, call them inbreds. And the inbred’s on the flat used to call the ones on the hill snobs.

    Pretty much sums up Australia, a shit country blessed with natural beauty but nobody can see it because they’re too busy belittling the other half – whichever half that is.

  175. Me
    28 Aug 12
    9:34 am

  176. Everybody today seems to be in such a terrible rush; anxious for greater wishes and so on; so that children have very little time for their parents, parents have very little time for each other; and the home begins the disruption of the peace of the world.

  177. Nic Eldridge
    28 Aug 12
    12:18 pm

  178. Was I really the only person that read David’s article as mostly tongue in cheek observations?

    He’s not that far off the mark on some of the points he’s raised, although I’d challenge him on the notion that “when doing business (in Melbourne) make sure you forget what school people attended or what family they belong to”. I think this is one area where Melbourne and Adelaide are similar.

    One thing worth noting is that Adelaide has a ridiculously envious lifestyle but we let ourselves down with our parochial insecurity and tendency towards naysayerism. This needs fixing.

    While Adelaide will never be like Melbourne or Sydney or Brisbane or Perth etc, it doesn’t need to be. It just needs to be better at being Adelaide.

  179. not saying!!!!
    28 Aug 12
    2:48 pm

  180. David have you done your homework on your new home? Melbourne is a city that takes what family you are from and where you went to school far more seriously than Adelaide ever has !

  181. gg
    29 Aug 12
    10:40 am

  182. Honestly this drivel still gets written? Just a head’s up: Syd v Melb and Syd v Bris ‘thought’ pieces are beyond tedious too.

  183. Anika Johnstone
    29 Aug 12
    9:10 pm

  184. Guys, this whinging isn’t really going to get us anywhere. David, I’m sorry your experience in Adelaide so far has been shit but I’ve seen the work you have done and it’s pretty amazing. However, didn’t Adelaide help that somewhat, would it have been easy to start a business in the eastern states and the young age you did? There is something to be said for the whole big fish, small pond thing (I thought you creative types would dig that). Me? I’ve worked both agency and client side IN ADELAIDE for a while now and have  collaborated with amazing, passionate and creative people who do crazy things on shoestring budgets with caveats and parameters as far as the eye can see. Many of them do push boundaries for us, in small ways, all the time. Now as a client we are cautious because we have to be – you see we are answerable to our own old timers (the ones running our companies) – and while we would love to let loose we also want to keep our jobs. This doesn’t mean we support mediocrity, it means we have to be ultra intelligent about what we do which is really why I got into this industry in the first place. The challenges I face give me my job satisfaction – if I didn’t have them,  the wins wouldn’t be so beautiful. Also, this type of convo about how crap everything is really does nothing for the industry as a whole or my beloved city – can we focus on being great instead please?

  185. Mark
    30 Aug 12
    6:10 am

  186. This is ridiculous banter. Move on. Getting on with doing the business is far more interesting than debating over two people who never could.

  187. Audial
    6 Sep 12
    1:19 am

  188. As someone who has lived and worked in Adelaide since birth – and largely in marketing and internet roles including for an ad agency, and on client and service side – I can perfectly understand where David is coming from, his frustration at the practices and mindsets here. More progressive and innovative (yes, ideas) people have always suffered here. Senior client and Government staff are often recycled from ineffective roles elsewhere – I don’t get it either but that’s Adelaide. It’s a tough place to make a living but yet a nice place to live. It’s a base from which to operate but not one where anything much of substance is happening (though we have plenty of thinkers in residence). Yes, being nice, conservative and well connected in Adelaide substitutes for quality, creative thinking and merit, so hey, why rock the boat (or bite that hand). I have chosen to work far more internationally in recent years and reduce reliance on local clients for very good reasons, most importantly perhaps, work stimulation and challenge. David, good luck with your film production career, but base yourself in Adelaide for lifestyle.

  189. Lee
    11 Sep 12
    5:50 pm

  190. has anyone seen my bicycle pump

  191. Adrian
    13 Sep 12
    2:31 pm

  192. Yay pancakes

  193. R Sawl
    13 Sep 12
    3:02 pm

  194. Radelaide is buzzing this week. Its so exciting. I fear there will be plenty of depressed people in a week or 2 after the Crows bomb out of the finals. The Advertiser, Channels 7, 9 and 10 will run out of stories. They might have to make some stories up. They could do a story on how SA is better than VIC. Or they could do a story on SA’s massive mining boom.