Sunday, September 27, 2009

7132: Advertising Week Tweak Two.

Came across this asinine reporting hatched at the equally asinine Advertising Week. Read the pap quickly—then check out the brief MultiCultClassics commentary immediately following…
The shortage of digital talent in advertising

By Brian Morrissey

It might seem like doom and gloom on the jobs front in the ad industry, but there are some who are still in demand, notably digital talent. Check out the jobs sections of shops like R/GA, AKQA, Organic and others, and you’ll find dozens of openings. MDC Partners organized an Advertising Week panel to shed light on the difficulties agencies have in recruiting and retaining digital talent. The biggest problem, according to participants: Techies aren’t that crazy about going to work in agency land as opposed to startups or tech giants like Google. “There’s a talent pool out there, but they’re in spots we’re not looking,” said Darren McCormick, digital agency cultural lead at Microsoft. Instead of ad schools, these app developers are as likely to learn the tricks of the trade during Mountain Dew-fueled coding sessions in dorm rooms, added Scott Belsky, CEO of creative talent network Behance. This is a problem even for the hottest of agencies. Jeff Benjamin, executive creative director at Crispin Porter + Bogusky, said recruiting these individuals involves more than padding salaries. It’s about making advertising a cool and rewarding career choice. “The question is, How do you position the agency as something exciting for these guys?” he said. Even with next-generation ad schools like Sweden’s Hyper Island, agencies aren’t belles of the ball. Instead, the biggest demand comes from “traditional network agencies,” according to Mattias Hansson, CEO of Hyper Island, yet that’s among the least appealing options to students. Benjamin spoke to us after the session (see above) about the talent shortage, how to overcome it, and what’s the one question he asks everyone he interviews.

Hmmm. The advertising industry is unable to woo candidates into a field where they’ve historically been dissed. Plus, agency leaders openly admit failing to recruit outside of the standard talent pool. Let’s not forget that the stereotypical Mad Man is incapable of relating to potential prospects on all cultural levels. Why does this sound so familiar?

The obvious solutions include launching inner-city youth internships, appointing Chief Digital Diversity Officers, promoting segregated digital award shows and broadcasting a TV program starring digital talent in advertising agencies. Eureka!

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