The idea that Australian advertising is getting worse is rubbish, says global Euro boss David Jones

David JonesThe idea that Australian advertising is on the wane is “rubbish”, former Euro RSCG Sydney boss David Jones – now the network’s global CEO – has said.

“I don’t think it’s true that advertising in Australia has got worse – that’s rubbish,” he told Mumbrella in Cannes yesterday.

“It’s got harder to win lions. Big budgets used to be something that helped developed markets win. That’s no longer the case.”

“What’s happened now is that ideas are cheaper to produce. Budget is no longer an obstacle. You don’t need to hire Tony Kay to produce a great ad,” said Jones, who chaired the Creative Effectiveness Lions in Cannes.

He said he doesn’t buy the argument that conservative clients or procurement is hurting creativity in Australia. “Look at Cannes. All the big clients are here. And they’re here to learn and support the industry,” he said.

“Ten years ago, you could argue that creativity was something agencies wanted to do, and clients saw it as an unnecessary extravagance. That’s not the case now.”

Jones added that it makes a better headline to say that advertising in Australia is deteriorating and that the industry is struggling.

“Our industry is having a rebirth as clients don’t know the rules of difficult marketing problems like social media and turn to agencies for help. It’s our job to show them the way with creative thinking,” he said.

He concluded: “The question I always get asked by analysts is: ‘why is it that years ago the advertising business was underperforming GDP, and now the opposite is true?’ We need to be more positive about our business.”


  1. David Brent
    22 Jun 12
    10:36 am

  2. I and my colleagues believe that the standard of advertising creativity has declined. There are several reasons why, but taking two – Compared to decades ago there is too much reliance on new technolgy in production for effect and the unusual but without substance. Very clever technically but irrelevant for the brand.
    The other factor is a decline in the standards of planning with too many imposters who can’t contribute to more effective advertising and agency chiefs who don’t understand the controversial and complex role at its best. I would add, perhaps, young client executives without the experience and good see what’s happening and at times approve sub-standard creative work. I saw a similar problem back in 1966 and invented the agency planning role. But now there is a move to short cuts in planning which don’t work and trcky creative which is irrelevant. Is the industry “shooting itself in the foot” – again?

  3. Richard Moss
    22 Jun 12
    11:54 am

  4. David Brent’s comments have the ring of truth for me.

    It seems to me that I am seeing sub standard creative work more often than in the past and irrelevant and off the wall concepts that without the product shot would make no impact and very little sense whatsoever.

  5. franka
    23 Jun 12
    7:28 pm

  6. I cant find the MUTE button fast enough when a Harvey Norman ad come one.
    They think this ad still works after so many years,you would expect people to be immune for it by now.And they wonder why they lose business.