No adland wankers, agency tells new recruits

Marketing consultancy Step Change has launched a recruitment video campaigning against advertising agency wankers.

Directed by Dan Ilic, the video focuses on unloveable adland types.

Step Change GM Jeff Cooper said: “We wanted to attract staff who love the industry but hate the politics, egos and rigid, demarcated roles of the big agencies. It’s ridiculous to the point of offensive that only ‘creatives’ are capable of great ideas or that only ‘suits’ know how to talk to clients, so we’re looking for people to do both in the one role.

He added: “The one great thing about wankers is that they need no explanation, so we were able to forego the traditional recruitment channels and approach candidates in a far more direct way. Ours is a pretty simple message: wankers don’t work here, so do you want to?”

Creative credits:

  • Script: Tom Glasson
  • Director: Dan Ilic
  • Cast:
  • General Manager: Jeff Cooper (as himself)
  • HR Director: Tom Glasson
  • Alan (Creative) – Cale Bain
Simon (Planning) – Phil Willis
Jess (Production) – Megan Ormsby
Antonie (Account Manager) – Steve Lynch
Clive (Senior Manager)- Greg Flynn


  1. tim
    8 Mar 11
    12:14 pm

  2. awesome! I want to work there.

  3. Logic
    8 Mar 11
    12:14 pm

  4. lack of lols for a ‘funny’ video.

  5. Nezma
    8 Mar 11
    12:18 pm

  6. Genius!

    I disagree with Logic, massive lol

  7. Ian
    8 Mar 11
    12:19 pm

  8. If you have more than 8 years experience, is it a problem applying for a role with this agency?

  9. Anonymous
    8 Mar 11
    12:27 pm

  10. No politics or egos = no fun.

  11. Mr Corbett
    8 Mar 11
    12:27 pm

  12. Disclosure: I know the Step Change guys and like them.

    However genuinely I like it. Humour is always subjective and you can’t make everyone chuckle. But ‘ wankers don’t work here, so do you want to?” is neat and it’ll work I suspect. And I did laugh when the bloke started playing the foosball table.
    Nice job.

  13. Nick.
    8 Mar 11
    12:30 pm

  14. ‘Like’ “Who would first seek to understand the key, without first understanding the lock????”

  15. Kevan Baker
    8 Mar 11
    12:30 pm

  16. Great concept, Im sure you’ll circumvent the recruiters with this! I have personally met too many of these wankers about time they were sent up publicly. Just going to pop out now and find a creative director to punch…

  17. Jeff Cooper
    8 Mar 11
    12:32 pm

  18. Hi Ian, You sure can mate. We’re building a business for the people, knowing the rest will come. We’re not trying to squeeze people into a pigeon hole.

    Job description is here –

    If you’d like to know more.

    Thanks for your interest

  19. Simon
    8 Mar 11
    12:33 pm

  20. Fantastic – I’d love to work for you buys but I’m not sure that my creative spirit will meet your requirements

  21. Lauren
    8 Mar 11
    12:40 pm

  22. I love the way these guys have used the skills that they sell to their clients, to sell their own business. It is a great example of “practising what you preach”.

  23. Craig
    8 Mar 11
    12:40 pm

  24. Awesome – if you’re looking for people just like that, I think I’m qualified!

  25. ed
    8 Mar 11
    12:41 pm

  26. How does ‘No politics or egos = no fun’?

    Anyway, I love this clip. Great work guys.

  27. David Solomon
    8 Mar 11
    12:42 pm

  28. Brilliant – it shows why you guys are different. Congrats on the concept and execution. Oh, and the courage.

  29. Logic
    8 Mar 11
    12:44 pm

  30. good luck getting ppl with that salary range

  31. Gezza
    8 Mar 11
    12:46 pm

  32. Just feels like I’ve seen this type of portrayal of advertising people too many times to laugh. Sorry. Nice try but no cigar.

  33. Nathan Bush
    8 Mar 11
    12:48 pm

  34. More importantly, who will provide the entertainment at the Christmas party if you don’t employ any wankers?

  35. Simon
    8 Mar 11
    12:50 pm

  36. “the consumer is the lock my friend”

    That is one of the funnies lines / sexual references I have heard for a while.

    Can’t believe people are debating whether it’s funny or not. That’s not the point. What matters is that it’s an effective filter. If you don’t like it, you are not on the right wavelength to be their employee or client.

    Well done guys


  37. Duncan
    8 Mar 11
    12:55 pm

  38. Love it, how true.

  39. peanuts
    8 Mar 11
    1:15 pm

  40. Sounds like a fabulous role but you can’t be serious with the salary! When will people like you guys learn? What happens when you pay peanuts?

  41. Jeff Cooper
    8 Mar 11
    1:28 pm

  42. Hey Logic – you have a point there mate, you certainly got down to the weak link quickly. We need multiple hires and this is the ‘broadcast’ end of our search… I toyed with your point myself.

    For all those thinking the way Logic thinks: We’re taking all applicants very seriously for multiple hires across that spectrum and we’ll clear up any questions around your salary expectations and brackets offline before you’re asked to commit your time.

    Thanks Logic.

  43. macsmutterings
    8 Mar 11
    1:31 pm

  44. Great work, i loved it and I would so want to work there

  45. Di
    8 Mar 11
    1:37 pm

  46. What a great idea! Loved the video- thanks for the laugh.

  47. Anonymous
    8 Mar 11
    1:39 pm

  48. “It’s ridiculous to the point of offensive that only ‘creatives’ are capable of great ideas or that only ‘suits’ know how to talk to clients”

    Weird because most creatives I know do talk to clients. And suits should never be allowed anywhere near a pad and a squeaker pen because this is exactly the sort of dross they serve up.

    Good luck attracting talent with this. You’ll need it.

  49. Louisa Farrar
    8 Mar 11
    1:39 pm

  50. Makes me want to work in advertising

  51. Mills
    8 Mar 11
    1:40 pm

  52. Some funny bits. Foosball. Classic.

    But seriously, if you’re looking for mediocrity, then a suit who thinks he/she’s a creative is exactly what you need.

    Clients beware.

    Also beware of any agency that needs to put “Advertising” Communications” or “Marketing” in their agency name.

  53. Emma
    8 Mar 11
    1:40 pm

  54. Absolutely Brilliant!

  55. Ian
    8 Mar 11
    1:41 pm

  56. Up to 8 years experience! Another crop of agency people who have done very little and contribute little to clients. No wonder the industry is full of shallow wankers

  57. Suzanne Michaels
    8 Mar 11
    1:45 pm

  58. Wit without the wank-factor – Love it. Nice way to attract the folks they’re looking for.

  59. Kieran Brazil
    8 Mar 11
    1:46 pm

  60. Nice work – As a recruiter I take my hat off to you, positions sounds great in theory too- best of luck guys!

  61. Glen
    8 Mar 11
    1:47 pm

  62. Yes! Dewanking the industry has to start somewhere. Big job boys but great start.

  63. AndrewL
    8 Mar 11
    1:48 pm

  64. Great spot, well done guys.
    I wonder if AM’s from media agencies are welcome to apply as well?

  65. Mark from the Internet
    8 Mar 11
    1:48 pm

  66. “I am cutting through the noise”

    I really liked this, well done

  67. Darren
    8 Mar 11
    1:54 pm

  68. Love it!

  69. Anonymous
    8 Mar 11
    1:56 pm

  70. I love it, because i’m a suit!

  71. Sharon
    8 Mar 11
    1:57 pm

  72. Love you guys! Funny, funny, funny. If I didn’t have my own business (which is frankly taking up a bit too much of my time) and I didn’t turn dinosaur today (that’s over 40) – I’d love to work for you.
    Good luck, I hope you and your new recruits set the world on fire.

  73. DisplacedCanuck
    8 Mar 11
    1:59 pm

  74. Where’s the tits and ass

  75. Ned
    8 Mar 11
    2:01 pm

  76. Disclosure: I know these guys too and they’re brilliant! Anyone wanting to work with them should go for it. You won’t look back…..

  77. m.
    8 Mar 11
    2:04 pm

  78. “No adland wankers”

    “Step Change are the Robin Hoods of marketing.”

    ….might want to make sure you’re sending a consistent message there, folks.

  79. Leah Gibbs
    8 Mar 11
    2:10 pm

  80. That is fantastic. Well done 😉

  81. Goldmember
    8 Mar 11
    2:10 pm

  82. I checked Wikipedia for the origins of the word wanker. MIA!
    Anyone know ?

  83. Neil
    8 Mar 11
    2:12 pm

  84. Good to see someone trying a different approach to recruitment.
    They’re nice guys too.

  85. Juz
    8 Mar 11
    2:13 pm

  86. For an agency that’s supposedly wanker-free, the job description is damn heavy on jargon, buzzwords and cliches. And hopefully once they hire someone who is “Able to proof copy with good spelling and grammar”, their next position description won’t be full of typos.

  87. Sarah L
    8 Mar 11
    2:16 pm

  88. love it! really enjoyable and entertaining – ripper!

  89. Liam
    8 Mar 11
    2:26 pm

  90. I enjoyed it. The creative guy. Nailed it.

    I was disappointed there was no “clutter-buster” but I will get over it.

  91. Jeff Cooper
    8 Mar 11
    2:31 pm

  92. Juz… You got me, I’m a shocker on spelling, Dyslexic from head to toe. But I’ve got a good joke for you… “So, a man walks into a bra…”

  93. Jeff Cooper
    8 Mar 11
    2:33 pm

  94. AndrewL – I can’t see why not. We’d love to meet you.

  95. Tom
    8 Mar 11
    2:41 pm

  96. I would hire the planner. He knows what’s up.

  97. Jacinta
    8 Mar 11
    2:46 pm

  98. Yay finally. Someone is cutting through the wank. Do you need freelancers?

  99. BK
    8 Mar 11
    3:01 pm

  100. How is this in funny in any way?

  101. Jeff Cooper
    8 Mar 11
    3:17 pm

  102. Hey Jacinta – We’re always looking, but be warned, if you’re great we’ll probably try to hire you full-time. We can cross that bridge when we come to it.

    Thanks for your interest.

  103. GH
    8 Mar 11
    3:20 pm

  104. Well done,
    it’s funny and engaging, and we are all talking about it

    big tick

  105. Clara
    8 Mar 11
    3:31 pm

  106. Oh my lord. Hilarious. These people exist I deal with them EVERY day!

  107. Groucho
    8 Mar 11
    3:32 pm

  108. It’s wonderful.
    But it won’t work because everybody who has advertising experience plays with themselves with their hands, their minds and even with their bicycle seats.
    Ergo no suitable applicants.

  109. talkingboonie
    8 Mar 11
    3:42 pm

  110. Anyone who even thinks of throwing comedy into this bear-pit of commentators has a fair set of ‘nads, just ask Ben Elton…

  111. Jacinta
    8 Mar 11
    3:46 pm

  112. Jeff Cooper, you’ve done very well. I work in an agency that does creative & strategy for talent hiring & engagement, and I’ve sent this to all & sundry. Gold.

  113. Nic Halley
    8 Mar 11
    4:39 pm

  114. love it – best of luck

  115. HalfPreg
    8 Mar 11
    4:49 pm

  116. Does anyone think it’s a bit weird that they are launching an agency with a video poking fun at agency stereotypes and cliche`s with the name “Step Change”?//!!?

    Or is that the real joke?

    Aaah OK I get it….

  117. The Lamplighter
    8 Mar 11
    4:53 pm

  118. I love everything Greg Flynn does. My hero.

  119. Matthew Bywater
    8 Mar 11
    6:12 pm

  120. Love it, good to see someone not taking themselves too seriously

  121. Dave the gay art director
    8 Mar 11
    6:58 pm

  122. The creative guy was pretty cute even with a beard….

  123. js
    8 Mar 11
    8:01 pm

  124. Quite enjoyed this; I’d be strongly considering sending you something if I were returning to agency work. Or moving to Sydney.

  125. Chris
    8 Mar 11
    8:17 pm

  126. Nice one! A brilliant, no nonsense message that, ironically, ‘cuts through the clutter’.

  127. its a bit wanky
    8 Mar 11
    9:07 pm

  128. please, try harder

  129. huh?
    8 Mar 11
    9:26 pm

  130. @Juz

    I don’t notice any typos with that copy…

  131. Anonymous
    8 Mar 11
    10:19 pm

  132. good luck. As an aside has the person who wrote that ever managed an account? you’ll quickly find why the two roles are seperated

  133. Fraser
    8 Mar 11
    10:30 pm

  134. As cliched and instantly forgettable as that advertising ‘comedy’ on foxtel…..what was it called again?

  135. Anonymous
    9 Mar 11
    8:52 am

  136. My God the astroturfing in this thread is nauseating.

  137. David
    9 Mar 11
    9:10 am

  138. Poor old advertising.

    Gets such a bum rap because of a few bad grains (I actually know a creative who, when asked what he does, after the shrug and a prolonged silence answers “I AM advertising”, and Simon sets new heights for planner-speak).

    I like this though. It grabs your attention, clearly defines the company’s value proposition and the kind of culture you can expect.

    They’re bound to get a strong response and after all, isn’t that what it’s all about?

    Good work.

  139. Anonymous
    9 Mar 11
    9:43 am

  140. What are some of your brands besides Bavarian Bier Cafe?

  141. BigW
    9 Mar 11
    9:47 am

  142. I say, Clive’s awfully dishy!

  143. Same Brain
    9 Mar 11
    10:53 am

  144. Groucho,
    when was the last time you were creative?

  145. jeannie cave
    9 Mar 11
    11:39 am

  146. Enjoyable.
    Nice mix of wankers.
    I always thought the term was gender specific to the male.??
    Thanks for the update.

  147. Jacob
    9 Mar 11
    12:50 pm

  148. This is pretty funny; I think we can all recognise these characters, whether we like it or not. I do hope that Step Change can produce better work than that logo, however. For their own sake.

  149. A
    9 Mar 11
    3:41 pm

  150. Oh dear, I just saw myself there.

  151. Anonymous
    9 Mar 11
    11:26 pm

  152. This is more lame than :30 seconds. Unless it’s supposed to be an anti-recruitment ad.

  153. jeannie cave
    10 Mar 11
    8:36 am

  154. Can I have a job?
    I have in fact watched all five seasons of L O S T in a fortnight?

  155. Brianne
    10 Mar 11
    2:48 pm

  156. Hit all the stereotypes dead on! Brilliant!

  157. LJ
    11 Mar 11
    1:15 pm

  158. The problem is that no-one on this planet actually thinks they are a wanker. They think everyone else is though!

  159. bitter and twisted
    11 Mar 11
    2:36 pm

  160. We all laugh at these wankers and we all talk about the idea of working in an agency that didnt have people like these, but thats all fairy tale stuff. The industry is based on the personalities highlighted in the video.

  161. GC
    14 Mar 11
    6:07 pm

  162. Can you creative types do one of these videos targeting recrutiment consultants? You know, the ones who love you up front then forget you exist when the trail goes cold.

  163. TalkWalker
    15 Mar 11
    2:33 pm

  164. Disappointed the job description reads like an excerpt from AdWanker 101

  165. HS
    16 Mar 11
    2:03 pm

  166. This is fantastic. Watched the video three times now and laughed out loud each time!

  167. Steve Fontanot
    16 Mar 11
    4:29 pm

  168. Crack up!

  169. Anonymous
    17 Mar 11
    3:36 pm

  170. jean cave
    18 Mar 11
    3:56 pm

  171. And I also do the best diagrams everr.
    I always thought one good diagram is worth acres of copy

  172. Rick
    21 Mar 11
    6:56 pm

  173. Trouble may be that if someone admits to being an “advertsing wanker”- They are probably too self aware and honest to actually be one! Good luck guys

  174. Pri
    25 Mar 11
    11:11 am

  175. As someone that worked in HR & Marketing I’d like to say well done. It’s not the funniest video but it certainly makes its point and I wish more companies would do that!!!!!

    Best of luck. You’ll certainly attract a very different type of candidate.

  176. Agency Person
    26 Mar 11
    11:27 am

  177. This reminds me of every ad agency I have ever visited. Loads of air kisses, use of the word “darling” and “excellent” (when I am not their darling and what was discussed did not in any way warrant an enthusiastic “excellent”.)

    Ad agencies cannot exist without wnkers; that is what the industry is all about! Middle men ripping off clients(.) Not all, however probably 3/4’s…

  178. Wild Oscar
    29 Mar 11
    3:11 pm

  179. Every place in every industry has their fair share of wankers. They’re easy to spot:
    (a) They spend 47% of the day quoting statistics;
    (b) They describe everyone else in the office as a wanker;
    (c) They are quick to point their callused fingers around the office in disgust;
    (d) They come into organisations claiming that they are creating an organisation free of wankers;
    (e) Their CVs get magically better and better by the month on LinkedIn; and
    (f) They wank a lot.

  180. jean cave
    29 Mar 11
    4:19 pm

  181. I am still very dubious that wanker is a term that can describe a female adequately.

  182. Clair
    30 Mar 11
    12:49 pm

  183. Love!

  184. Channel Surfer
    31 Mar 11
    11:29 am

  185. Love it…thats JWT in 2.38 seconds!!

  186. Michelle
    31 Mar 11
    6:09 pm

  187. Bravo, hit the nail on the head… good luck with the recruitment drive!

  188. Matt
    5 Apr 11
    12:42 pm

  189. Not bad!!! Thought it was a fail in the beginning but I had a few lols. Loved the creative guy. Good stuff.