I find that the traditional rivalries within ad agencies are starting to disappear. When I got into the biz in 1986, there was a creative department and there was an account servicing department.
(Of course there was media, accounting and production, but they weren’t the Big Two.)
The stronger of these defined the agency in the eyes of the market. You were either a creative shop or a suit-driven shop. There was a lot of dynamic tension between these departments. The distrust was intense. We plotted against each other, set traps, hooted at our petty triumphs. The alcohol didn’t help much of course.
In 2009, the ideal candidate for an account coordinator’s job can write some decent copy. We just hired that guy.
The perfect art director can flick his flinty opinions around during strategy sessions. And deal directly with the client, open jobs, estimate and set a timeline. We have three of those.
The account manager can throw an eye-popping media plan together, the media executive can project manage a campaign or lead a strategic brainstorm.
It’s all about cross-over skills. Our talents are being liquefied by the speed of the business. This would have been unheard of during the cloak and dagger days.
By the way, our accounting manager also bakes a mean chocolate cake. Not lately though. I’m hoping she reads this.