Monday, May 3, 2010

This is what we call "borrowed interest". Sort of.

Just saw a something about an agency that has decorated part of their office with an icon from a campaign a senior staff member created at another agency in another city.

Actually, it's a major element in the lobby.

And it's misleading I think.

Yes, it was a successful campaign and parts of it are still in use and yes, this person was a major factor in it. But, as I said, it was another agency and another city and a while back.

I used to work for a company that made the A-10 fighter jet. Should we put one in the lobby? Tracy used to work for an agency that regularly does some absolutely wonderful, award-winning spots for a national association, so should we run a loop in the lobby? Karen used to work for an agency that used to clean up on creative awards regularly, so should we put those awards in our lobby? Even though that agency is out of business?

(Funny thing - we actually could have done that last one. The creative director at that agency moved and jokingly told me I could have all those Addy statues he'd won, since he didn't want to go the hassle of packing them. )

I think it makes absolute perfect sense to use a previous success at a previous agency as part of the wonderfulness of a staff member at his or her current one. Make sure everybody knows this person was involved - no question. Totally legitimate. But when you start to make too big of a deal about it under your flag, it starts to get a little untoward. Misleading even if you're not careful.

Besides there isn't a campaign on the planet that was a one-person show. A lot of people - client included - contribute to the success of any advertising effort.

I believe advertising should contain an "essential" truth. Not a sliver of truth.

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