John Winsor continues his uncanny streak of commenting on matters where he has no credibility or intelligence—which is actually an unlimited space for the man. Of course, he’s found the perfect soapbox at Digiday, whose editorial staff remains ignorant regarding all things related to the business of advertising.
Winsor’s latest column—The Agency Talent Problem is Really a Culture Issue—is pathetic on multiple levels. And offensive on a few levels too.
Winsor opened by referencing Kofi Annan. Sorry, but a White huckster quoting Annan is the equivalent of a Grand Wizard saluting Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. That Winsor immediately transitioned to a sports analogy and the New York Yankees demonstrates cultural cluelessness of the highest order.
Winsor claimed that in baseball and advertising, “it is the team of underdogs, unsung heroes and washed-up has-beens that comes together to beat the team with impeccable talent.” The theory, however, has not proven effective in Major League Baseball or any professional sport—and it certainly has not worked in the ad game. Winsor’s thinly veiled attempt to validate crowdsourcing appears to have been inspired by a single viewing of Moneyball. Um, Winsor being placed in the same league with Billy Beane is about as unlikely as Winsor being mistaken for Brad Pitt.
It’s appalling for Winsor to speak about culture and talent in agencies when his current failing business model is rooted in drawing from an anonymous crowd of unpaid freelancers. Plus, he’s directly tied to Havas, which is arguably the global holding company featuring the worst talent in the field.
Winsor stressed the importance of creating culture around a vision. He didn’t mention that two of the three founders of Victors & Spoils have already bailed out. Guess they realized the vision was really a fantasy.
Winsor closed by declaring, “Leaders have only one job: create the culture. They must develop the culture, then support it and get out of the way, leading from the bottom up, serving the people instead of creating a kingdom, commanding from the top down.” Winsor ought to take his own clumsy advice and focus on his one job—versus writing inane opinion pieces that show he’s thoroughly unqualified for the one job.