10.09.2008

heartbreaking: ethics & advertising



secretly, it's not a secret. i would give one of my toes to have lunch with Dave Trott if only in the hopes of sucking up some of his awesomeness through a straw and osmosis. i love his insights; i think his perspective on creative is empathetic and inspiring; i think that his circular logic and penchant to relate unrelated things marks thought processes i find enviable and intriguing.

but i did read his blog--as i do every day--and last week i read something that broke my heart a little. often times Dave will write something that will make me think; sometimes i will outright agree, sometimes it takes me a minute to see it, and i like that. but this i just couldn't come around to. and i'd let it be my own seething sadness until David Griner picked it up on AdFreak earlier today.

maybe it has something to do with how jaded i'm feeling lately. how everything can seem corrupt from the top down. but that's just it: from the top down. i want to believe that advertising doesn't have to be unethical and corrupt. that's one of the reasons i picked the shop where i'm at now. i want to believe that idealist kids are a good thing if only because it provides a steady stream of reality check; of honesty and integrity before the biz taints it and spits us out funny colours.

i don't want to believe that stealing is okay. because i don't think it is. being inspired by, and stealing, are two different things. most people can tell the difference, i would hope. but to outright take something just to get your first job? i know the first one's hard--and probably the 15 after it, too--but to be that unethical from the get-go surprised me, especially from a man whose creative thought i so intensely admire. it made me confused to find that such creativity couldn't find its own merit and outlet.

clearly his methods got him in the door, and his own talent carried him the rest of the way, to the respectable and successful place he is now. but i give kudos to his prior boss for flipping out. because accepting it would have set one more unethical precedent. i am hoping this emerging trend for transparency will create bosses and hirers who are looking for that integrity. not just a nice book. but then again, i am that kid.

"So you choose what works for you.
Either the means justifies the end.
Or the end justifies the means."

it's not about endings. it's not about Machiavellian meets Darwinian tactics.
it's about looking at my own face in the morning. i'm not saying he shouldn't be able to. i'm saying i couldn't. and that's just me.
he's the larger than life, epic adman of awesome. i'm just a girl in advertising.

[in other news: i'm also heartbroken because VICE sent me an email today to RSVP to an event TWO DAYS from now. if i'd had more notice, i could have gone. instead, i am missing going to a live taping of my hero, Kathleen Hanna. i am so depressed.]

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more. Trott can go toss for all I care now.

bob hoffman said...

One of the interesting things about life is that talented people can be awful. Witless, dullards can be wonderful.

I have observed no correlation between creativity and morality.

Gavin Heaton said...

In the end you have to live (and act) according to your own conscience. I now choose who I collaborate with based on a sense of respect. Life's to short for anything less.

Gavin Heaton said...

Oh, and you might like this to see where it can lead ;)
http://adage.com/article?article_id=131725

Reputation is all.