Lowe creative chief counters Hegarty’s view on scam: We learn from testing like an F1 team

lowe global creative headThe global creative head at ad agency Lowe has countered the views of John Hegarty, who said yesterday that the Cannes Lions advertising festival was “losing focus” on genuine advertising that builds brands.

Jose Miguel Sokoloff, Lowe’s global chief creative officer, said that he “disagreed” with the BBH founder and described scam – work created to win awards – as like a Formula One racing team.

“I have to disagree with John. I agree that there is a lot of work created just for awards, but think of it like a Formula 1 operation. Honda has a F1 programme just to win races. But also what they learn from testing becomes part of the car’s engine,” he said.

“Brand building advertising has radically changed. It’s not all about television anymore or creating huge ads. It’s about the many small ways that brands affect our lives and become larger.”

“We have to accept there’s a different landscape now, rather than saying that all work is scam. A lot of the work is real, but it’s small scale work,” he said.

Yesterday, Hegarty described scam as an “abberation” and like “drugs in sport.”

“It is a delusional practice, and the problem is we’ve created a beast called awards and it’s taken over,” he said.

“What Cannes should be all about is how creativity aids branding and builds business. But are we really seeing the ideas that are creating effective work? I’m not sure that we are,” he said.

Sokoloff also responded to Hegarty’s views on technology. Hegarty said yesterday that the industry has become “so obsessed” with technology that it was becoming distracted from the real purpose of advertising – “delivering messages that moves people.”

Sokoloff said that adland’s preoccupation with new technology is nothing new.

“We went through an era of overproduced, bad ideas in TV with CGI [computer generated imagery]. In the beginning, there was too much of it,” he said.

Sokoloff added: “We get enamoured with new technology, we love it. But we need to learn how to use it first. Sometimes we use technology for technology’s sake.”

Robin Hicks in Cannes

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