27 January 2012

Account. Creative. Planner. Client. Um, Media?

You may have the seen the above chart already; it’s making the rounds of social media among advertising people this week. Summarizing some stereotypes about account people, creative, planners and clients, it also cross-references how they all perceive one another. (Click the image to enlarge it.) It’s funny because it’s true.

In fact it first came to me via an email from Mike Keeler saying, “Sent from my brother. True.” Then someone else replied pointing out that it’s also incomplete: “Genius! But yet again media has been left out!” Ouch. It isn’t funny because it’s true.

The same thing happened last year with another bit of agency satire, an infographic called “The Anatomy Of An Agency”. The roles in that case were accounts, art director, copywriter, developer, and finance. Media was left out there, too.

Do these ads even run anywhere?

Recently we asked if Creative and Media have forgotten each other. Perhaps it comes from the spinoff of media agencies back in the 1990s. Perhaps it’s too much focus on the steps required to get an ad out the door. But at some point you’ve got to ask yourself where is a consumer going to see this creative work?

It’s not an academic question, and it applies equally to SEM copy, Direct Mail, banner ads and TV commercials. In fact that’s why the question is even more important than it was in the days of Ye Olde Marketing. The media landscape is such a Gigantic Venn Diagram that Media, or Comms Planning, is absolutely vital.

In fact, not only is it vital, it’s fun. As we traded comments on this subject, Keeler reminded me that “In this rapidly developing world of new media, the planning and buying of media is one of the most creative aspects of any campaign.”

A Modest Proposal

Anyone want to take a crack at how Media fits into “Perception in the Advertising World”?


  1. Thinking about this, Steve - but I definitely agree with you that this is a serious problem. I've seen this happen many times over.

  2. Are you serious? This feels like it was written by a kid complaining about not being invited to a birthday party. The chart hyperbolic. I don't disagree that it might hold SOME truth, but I thought everybody understood it to be a joke. Are you actually upset/worried that media people are left off a chart that makes fun of everybody else? I don't see butthurt admins, receptionists, studio people, janitors, or any other of the many people not included by these four broad categories...not to mention producers--who frankly seem much more glaringly omitted.

  3. Thanks for the comment, gentle reader. No, I'm not upset or worried about anything, and I definitely understood the joke. It was darn funny.

    This blog occasionally observes the importance of putting great creative in the right place. You can call it "media," "channel planning" or "comms planning" but unfortunately many people overlook it. That's all. Hope to see you here again soon!

  4. True story... Homeboy (homegirl) needs to lighten up.