Wheel of Truth highlights adland’s self-obsession | Mumbrella360 video

Missed a session during Mumbrella360? Don't panic, because we'll be releasing videos from our most popular sessions during the coming months. In this video, watch Kim Portrate, Kieran Moore, Brent Smart, Nick Garrett and James Greet provide blisteringly honest answers to some tough questions.

During the following Wheel of Truth session from June’s Mumbrella360, former travel marketer and CEO of industry body ThinkTV Kim Portrate says a big part of the Australian ad industry’s issues come down to its own sense of self-importance.

“Accountants don’t sit around waxing lyrically about whether they’re a force for good or a force for bad. I think we’ve got our head up our arses, and what we should be thinking about is ‘Are we what we’ve got on the tin?’…. I don’t think anybody is sitting around worrying about whether [our output] is good or bad, I think they’re worried about whether [it] work[s].”

During the session, which you can watch in full below, CEO of Clemenger BBDO for Melbourne and Sydney, Nick Garrett, hits out at Australia’s creative output and urges the industry to do better.

“This is an amazing country [but] we seriously fucking underperform creatively,” he says. “We’re doing our best work for small clients on small projects and it’s not good enough…. You look at [the industry’s] work. It’s short-term. It’s unimaginative. It’s not disruptive. It’s not standing out. And it’s not doing enough societally, and it should have a greater impact commercially. And if you’re really, really interesting, you’ll have a commercial impact.”

James Greet, who departed Cummins & Partners late last year, agrees – contending that the industry has somewhat lost its way.

“Inherently we were born in a creative, pioneering environment. [Fast-forward 60,000 years] and no-one’s still figured out how we created a boomerang.

“In our latter years, we sort of innovated through necessity more than anything else. You look at the businesses that we created…. But then somewhere we got really lazy. And it is just good enough. And I think the last 10 years, not just in the creative sort of industries, but industry at large, somewhere we’ve just got really, really lazy because [of the perception that] the sun is shining, we’re digging heaps of money out of the ground and we don’t have to worry about the future.”

Brent Smart adds that in his previous life, he was constantly frustrated by clients who said no to good ideas.

“For me, the whole reason I went client side was I got sick of running agencies and asking clients to do things that they should have been doing, and they kept saying ‘no’. So I’m like, ‘Well what if I could be the guy that says yes?’

“So the motivation for me [moving client side] was all about making that happen. Honestly. That is why I did it…. I find myself at an insurance company. I was really worried it would be the most restrictive, constrained environment for a guy like me – look at me – but it’s so liberating for me to be a CMO, and to be able to actually make stuff happen. I’ve never been more excited.”


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