Why the ad industry is talentless

Who the hell wants to work in an ad agency these days?

All the fun and moolah is in video games. Or dazzling startups. Or nifty apps.

Agency talent either stays so long it dies in the chair or turns over within a predictable 18-month cycle.

Understanding technology, embracing new talent, making things and not just imagining things, evolving traditional agency practices, and leveraging new ways of working are redefining 21st-century agencies’ competitive advantage.

Yet many agencies remain stuck facing big questions. Where do we start? Where do we invest? The industry struggles to evolve, react, and fully embrace the new rules for retaining (and attracting) the brightest minds.

A snappy Fast Company article by Allison Kent-Smith outlines the training-centric steps agencies can take to build a real digital workforce.

Sure getting digital has merit. But does an advertising agency’s future really lie in developing and educating talent to build more code? Are the best minds of our generation really that keen to code more web banner ads for beer?

Are we turning to technology at the expense of ideas? Technology is the distribution and delivery system. It doesn’t generate ideas and value.

Expressing ideas was always the purview of agencies.

Maybe agencies should leave the technology alone.

And go back to the drawing board.

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