We put away our childish things
In the previous issue we celebrated
10th birthday. And in this issue we are turning it into a joint party. Not only is Ogilvy 70 ( see page 22, and keep your eyes peeled for my interview with regional CEO Patou Nuytemans in an upcoming issue), but ( the UK issue, where it all started) is 50.
We have dedicated much of this issue to content that celebrates our parent title’s half century. Look to your left, where we have a message from Sir Michael Hesseltine, the title’s founder. And on page 16 M&C Saatchi’s Moray MacLennan interviews Maurice Saatchi, who founded first Saatchi & Saatchi and then MacLennan’s agency – and had a hand in creating this title.
Claire Beale, our global editor-in- chief, looks back at history and the history of ( primarily UK) advertising on page 14. And Keith Weed, Unilever’s global chief marketing officer, also looks back on his beginnings on page 18.
In his final ‘On the Couch with JB’ column last July, Jeremy Bullmore takled the question: “Dear Jeremy, Was advertising really more glamorous and sexy back in the 1960s and 1970s? And, if so, do you think the industry is worse off for losing some of that magic?” His answer was simple: “Yes. Yes.” Even for those of us who weren’t there, it seems from reading books like Sam Delaney’s
or watching films like the 2002 BBC documentary both of which look at UK advertising’s golden age from the 1960s to 1980s, that advertising was more fun back then.
And then the industry grew up. It was more playful then, more lighthearted, and from the stories people tell, it took itself les seriously. Now, like a child getting older, the industry has to think about money, it has to use its brain more than its heart. There are more pressures, more responsibilities, more people watching and more to lose. Like all of us as we grow and mature, the industry has got better at what it does, but it has also lost some of its passion.
I have read that in democracies the young tend to vote for more liberal parties and candidates. They want to see change in the world, to make a difference, to do all those aphorisms you see plastered on your Instagram feed. They want to change the world. But when people grow older, they start to vote for the more staid, conservative candidates. This is because they want things to be as good for their children as they were for them.
The era industry is 50 now, and it is more responsible and serious than it was back then. Because of the fun it had and wants to pass on.