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Scott McKay is a Toronto strategist, writer, creative director, patient manager, half-baked photographer and forcibly retired playwright.

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    "They had their cynical code worked out. The public are swine; advertising is the rattling of a stick inside a swill-bucket."

          – George Orwell






    "Advertising – a judicious mix of flattery and threats."

          – Northrop Frye






    "Chess is as an elaborate a waste of time as has ever been devised outside an advertising agency."

          – Raymond Chandler


    « the way I hope yesterday didn't start for you | Main | "if you're not on the team, you're not on the team" »

    hey, aren't I better than this?

    A follow-up to my recent post about those who want to break into the business and what they need in their books...

    Assume that you've put together a kickass book. Assume that you impress a creative director. Assume that the creative director has enough budget left to hire a new junior. Assume that he/she chooses you.

    You're sitting at your desk at about 11:15 on your first morning. You've had the HR info session, you've got your passcard, you've had a tour about which you remember nothing. And...

    You realize that you're sitting across from the washrooms. You realize that your new computer is actually someone else's very old computer, which is nowhere near as fast or useful as the shiny MacBook you've got sitting at home. You realize that you're sitting under some pretty horrendous flourescent lights. And you remember that you're about to get paid not very much.

    At this moment, it's tempting to begin to feel a little... undervalued.

    Haven't you slaved over a great book? Haven't you impressed the shit out of this CD? And this is how he/she rewards you? With a view of the washroom?

    Yup. Get used to it. All of the great work you've put in is only spec; for phony clients with you playing the client, account director and creative director. Through this spec work, you and your book have merely demonstrated that you are ready to learn. Nothing more.

    That may sound harsh. You may be brilliant. But being able to come up with concepts and knowing how to design or write is just the first step in coming up with actual ads. There are briefs, clients, account people, production, creative partners, creative directors and more to deal with, all of whom are trying, you'll feel at some point, to destroy your work.

    Your lovely view of the washroom means it's time to learn.

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