The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

Are You Judged By The Company You Keep …
May 12, 2009, 6:56 am
Filed under: Comment

So I was on Facebook and out of the corner of my eye, saw an ad …

At first I thought it was one of those teaser bollocks that adland loves to do – but I thought I’d click on it, and I got redirected to this.

Now I don’t know this guy and without doubt he’s had plenty of experience, however I can’t help but feel his website – given he’s a Creative Director and copywriter and all – was a bit errrrrm, bad.

Given he describes himself as a media guru, I’d of thought he of all people would realise how people don’t like reading tons and tons of copy … especially when it’s all laid out in one giant clump and expressed with little flavour, imagination or flair.

But that is just a personal point of view.

Anyway, regardless of all that – I wish him luck in getting a job, I know how tough it is out there at the moment – however my question is whether you think it is good to advertise your availability [work wise] on Facebook?

Of course, if I was a media person, I’d say the potential of being seen by tens of millions is a great thing, however I’m not a media person, which is why I would point out that by a media persons logic, advertising on a postcard that is placed in a post office window that is located on a busy road also has the potential” of being seen by millions … in other words, potential counts for little unless you also take into account elements like context and impact.

Then there’s the other thing … the thing that demonstrates how pathetic our industry really is.

“What’s that?” I hear you cry.

Well, it’s the fact that adland views anyone who is openly and seemingly blindly pitching for a job, as desperate. In other words, they think people who behave this way can’t be very talented otherwise they’d be snapped up regardless of the economic situation.

I have always loathed that attitude.

I know some absolutely brilliant people who are looking for work either because their agencies ditched them in a desperate attempt to save a few bucks [having taking it up the ass from a client over the monthly retainer] or because they hit a birthday beginning with a ‘4’ and were deemed too old, too irrelevant, too expensive or – believe it or not – too experienced!

Saying that, I also know some of these guys are not openly publicising their situation for fear of falling foul of adlands psychological -questionable hiring policies, so are scurrying around the edges of the industry just trying to get one of their contacts to call them back.

Seriously, we’ve evolved/devolved from ‘survival of the fittest’ to ‘survival of the financially prudent’.

The thing is, these current economic times are an equal opportunity affector … sure those who enjoyed higher paid jobs may be able to keep things going for longer, but that still doesn’t mean they’re not being affected so getting back to the question, do you think advertising for a job [especially an adland job] on Facebook is a good thing or a sign of desperation?

40 Comments so far
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on a mobile!

I have a confession. I love Facebook ads and so Im a saddo. This guy just offer a planner. Hes already got the attention of the industry but in the wrong way.

That doesnt mean hes Gary Glitter.

There’s an awful lot of contextual plus on FB. Id hire a poet and invest in heavy message rotation.

Lots more views but predictive text is not sanuk.

Comment by charles

Just grazed the snoresume . Fatal error. Blew it.

Comment by charles

its not just context its content, delivery and performance and thats why this guy should change his resume because before you see what his work is like youre turned you off like seeing a fat chick in her fucking smalls prancing round your bedroom.

tough times so i hope he gets a job he likes soon

Comment by andy@cynic

His site is throughouly lacking in any creativity whatsoever, which is a worry for a creative. But as for the Facebook thing… perhaps the fact that he chose to pay for an ad on something as mainstream as FB will work against him. Like you kinda touch on Rob; especially in an industry like this full of egos thinking that they’re above the rest of society, Facebook might be seen as so “2008, pal” and he’ll be ridiculed.

Though I hope I’m wrong and he finds what he’s looking for.

Comment by Age

To be honest, I would imagine he doesn’t give a fuck if people thinks he looks desperate being on Facebook or not – he can handle that issue once he’s got a meeting – however I must admit, I think the way he has presented his resume is more of an issue than promoting his availability, but then he is not alone, so many people in adland have CV’s that present themselves as ‘uncommunications’ experts.

Hope someone isn’t as petty as me and gives him a job though …

Comment by Rob

Isn’t putting an ad (for this is an ad) anywhere (FB or in a magazine or the television) always just a little bit “desperate”?

Comment by Marcus

… any ad, for anything?

Comment by Marcus

Interesting post. as so rightly has been pointed out if you are gonna say you are a comms expert, you should behave like one. One can always do something with a bit of charme and style.

However his target audience may find his skills very impressive indeed and view him as the comms creative they need. He may not be michael angelo, but not all clients are cardinals.

And as for adland being critical: the recent
t-mobile thing got “bubble gangbanged”, yet outside of adland it is getting quite nice feedback. Off course adland needs to have high standards as an industry and fight mediocre work, but all is relative.

I quite like the shamelessness of the dude. closed mouth don’t get fed.

Then again I would say that..

Comment by niko

i’m undecided about this one. for all the similarities that advertising has to prostitution, you’d have thought that a ‘calling card’ like this would be perfectly acceptable. but i’m swaying on the ‘it seems a little desperate’ side.

mainly because, like prostitution, it’s not who you are, but what you do that attracts people and perhaps that’s what should have come across in his FB spot, rather than ‘this is who i am, give me a job’.

Comment by miss brown

His website was a bit of a turn-off: there seems to be an information overload. But regarding his use of FB: hey, desperate times, desperate measures. When you are scraping the bottom of the barrel, you really need to get ‘creative.’ If FB gives him additional visibility – and a job! – then it did work for him. Even here, we are criticizing him but we are still talking about him.
The job market is nasty and it seems to be getting worse every week. Those employers that decide to offer a job can really take their pick from such a talented pool, and in the process don’t disdain being fracking cheap.

Comment by Claudio

I think it’s weird that in the résumé he doesn’t talk about the quality but quantity of ads he has done. 134 that is (113 in a senior position). So basically he’s the Procter&Gamble of creative directors. If you can’t win them with quality baffle them with quantity. A few months ago I saw a German ad agency looking for clients on facebook. Interesting as well. Good luck to both anyway. Gotta challenge new media.

Comment by Seb

I agree that adland has an ability to judge creativity at a level the masses don’t … hell, we have an ability to give a level of importance to creative advertising that the masses don’t … but that shouldn’t be an excuse for sloppy or lazy presentation – especially because the people who pay the big bucks aren’t the general public, but the folk who think this person can help them financially and egotistically.

Comment by Robert

Nice idea if you are the first, and your website is good. Oops.

Comment by Rob Mortimer

I agree with you Claudio that desperate times call for desperate measures but I don’t agree that just because we’re talking about it means it’s good … especially when most of the comments tend to be errring on the negative.

Saying that, it’s more about his resume than his work so hopefully he doesn’t meet a bunch of pedantic fuckers like us and gets work soon.

Personally if I am ever out of work, I’ll happily use anything to get an income again – be it Facebook or bloody ads in industry press – because hopefully my track record [like this guy is doing] will overcome any view that a person who advertises can’t be very good because if that’s the case, then we’re all taking the piss out of clients when we say we can ‘enhance’ their value.

Comment by Robert

Why is it you sometimes comment with Rob and then other times with Robert? Is your personality split into a witty/mean and wise/responsible/boring personality? Always thought you would split that up with Andy.

Comment by Seb


looking beyond the pedantic, what do you think of the quality of his work? on a scale of 1 to 5

Comment by niko

Judging his work, seems to me that he’s a capable and skilled creative… not quite a 5, but a solid 4. I think the reason there’s such a quantity of work on his site is that its his portfolio, and he’s done a lot. I’m not sure how the site is, em, bad.

Comment by Robert Dobbs

I’ve warned you about looking beyond the pedantic before Niko.

Comment by John

I guess that warning “lacked not just context but content, delivery and performance” John.

Comment by niko

I haven’t clicked through because judging his work is clearly subjective when it comes to someone hiring him. But it sounds to me like he’s an advertising copywriter whose concession to a “post-advertising” world is to use new media but in an old media way.

Comment by John

You are the Oscar Wilde of this blog aren’t you Mr Dodds?

He didn’t get much female action either. 🙂

Comment by Rob

He looks like you Rob. Did Andy finally get his wish?

Comment by Bazza

The guys lost his job Bazza, you don’t have to kick him when he’s down by saying he looks like me.

Comment by Rob

Wilde said “What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing.” I prefer Diogenes’ take on it, but maybe I was wrong.

Comment by John

Wilde also said, “Do me harder up the trumpet” but not many people talk about that.

Comment by Rob


That’s the female comedian who came ‘out’ on her show and now is rivalling Oprah isn’t it?

Why would you prefer her take … and why has this post gone gay?

Comment by Rob

The fact that you ask that question so frequently should provide a clue.

Comment by John

There’s this
and then theres the ad from Rob’s post. Who has a better chance of finding a job?

I am working in a WPP whorehouse and I am a planner. And I don’t advertise.

Comment by pooR\

Obviously malecopywriter has the better chance – but given adland is fucked, it’s going to be in a porn company rather than an agency.

On the brightside, it’ll be more creative, fun and satisfying. 🙂

Comment by Rob

I tried, as you all know, to get back into the industry. It didn’t work. I tried to do it by being creative and showing what I was capable of. I think some of it wasn’t all that bad. But it didn’t work and I didn’t get a job. Showing that you are creative doesn’t really help and it really doesn’t bother me that his online thingy isn’t as “creative” as some of you would wish. It simply doesn’t help.

But maybe I’m wrong. Maybe it didn’t work for me because of other more troubling reasons.

Comment by Marcus

You know how I think it’s fucking ridiculous you didn’t get snapped up … and not just because I put you up for one role in particular … but as much as most “creative” companies are more conservative than a bank, they’re not all like that and I hope one will be able to prove that to you soon.

I know you have an impending birthday so that is depressing, but on the bright side you’re not as old as me which has to be something to be happy about.

Oh, and remember this …

Artists and writers don’t call themselves creative, only those in adland … so whilst you may not have a job [yet] in that field, I can honestly say you have done things that are much more creative than most in adland could muster in 10 years.

Might not be much consolation right now – but when the next opportunity comes, you can show what you’ve done rather than just talk about what you could have done … or worse … what you did but for a client that didn’t actually exist.

Creative is a way of thinking and doing, it’s certainly not a person who has it printed in bold letters on their business card.

Comment by Rob

could you stop using that line without giving me credit for it.

Comment by Marcus

And you’ve just basically answered your own question haven’t you:

“but as much as most “creative” companies are more conservative than a bank”

So his approach is actually quite apt.

Comment by Marcus

fuck me…Mr Brown, you got dissed??? really? you?

Surely you are just a bastard in person or something..cause if it is a skills thing I need to go back to the drawingboard…or the waste management business

Comment by niko

It’s odd and true that I get more queries about how to print things than anything else (maybe sitting on a toilet reading other people’s tweets is just soooOOOOoooo obvious that it requires no further advice).

Comment by Marcus

Hi Rob,

I’m formerly regional ECD of Euro RSCG across Asia and have worked for most of the MNCs at some point over the last 20 years, with a passable swag of awards to my credit. I retired a few years ago and recently launched an industry magazine – so I’m not entirely out of touch with the ‘game’. I’ve got to say that I know Jeffree Benet and have worked with him. He’s a hugely likable, super motivated and pretty darned talented chap. He’s not a Droga, Serpa or Thaidumrong [love those Thai names] – and I believe he is arguably guilty of including a tad too much on his page. Looking at his creative work, however, I don’t feel that putting an ad on Face Book should be mistaken as a sign of desperation. I’d proffer that we have a talented guy here who just wants to get some work. Fair enough? I personally think it’s a good road to take. I’m disappointed to see someone getting dragged down, rather more than anyone deserves in these tough times, don’t you? I am sure that was not your intention. Rob, I will include my own folio site for you to be able to decide if you personally think I am qualified to judge other people’s advertising work. What disappoints me the most about 2.0 is that there are too many people in too many forums waiting to be too critical – especially without identifying themselves. At least you have the decency to sign your name underneath – or up above – your words. Anyway, to the best of my knowledge he is not a wife beater or child molester, so maybe we should cut the guy some slack here. Keep up the good blogging!



Richard Henderson
+85293860934 Hong Kong

Comment by Richard Henderson

Hi Richard, thanks for your comment – very fair and very honest.

I hope my post and my comments were less about Jeffree’s creative talent and more about the way adland judges people with some sort of condescending arrogance – especially when they’re looking for work.

I also hope that you will see the comments – including mine – only talk about how he has presented his CV and not his work. That was never the purpose of the post which is why no one commented on it – besides, it’s obvious he has a long history producing well executed, solid creative for a variety of brands so any comment to the contrary would be nothing more than personal subjectivity, especially when you consider what the usual standard of [real] Asian advertising is being put out there each and every day.

Of course you could argue talking about the layout/quantity of his CV is still petty and sad and that his work should be judged on what he has done and not his resume … and you know what, that would be fair … but I believe those comments are valid even though the real issue I was trying to understand was what people thought of this approach to job hunting and as much as I/we appreciate its a shit situation, they are entitled to express their view even if it seems harsh.

I don’t know Jeffree and I am very sad that he – and countless others – are in this situation through no fault of their own and if in any way my post or comments [or anyone’s comments for that matter] have been misconstrued to read like I/we are attacking him personally, then I apologise because that was not the intention [I am especially bothered that you feel I may of characterised him like a wife beater, god I really hope I didn’t] and all you have to do is read posts where laying into someone WAS the intention to see the difference.

In all seriousness, I appreciate your comment and I can assure you I in no way think I hold the monopoly on judging creative … however like everyone else on this blog, we wish him the best of luck … and I will happily email Jeffree to ensure he knows the views expressed were less about him per se, and more about the way adland judges those who happilly ‘put themselves out there’.

[As I said in one comment, I’d definitely follow the same route if I was in the same situation and fuck anyone who has an issue with that]

Thanks again … I mean that.

Comment by Rob

Hmm. Well, I just checked out his site and it looks to me like he’s looking for freelance work -so in that sense is not any different from all the agencies out there looking for work with their websites. (And as someone who loves freelancing, it doesn’t strike me as sad that he’s not in an agency) And so then the question becomes, what is an ad? Is it an ad to post your agency in B&T or other industry reference lists? To list your agency in LinkedIn? Of course I know there are different ‘messages’ each of these media send. But it has always struck me as odd that it’s uncommon (or uncool) for agencies to advertise themselves.

Comment by Emily

adland are a bunch of fucking hypocrites emily we all know that but the people on this post are saying it as they see it, nothing more.

no one is being a snidey fuck, no one is talking about his character or values, no one is talking about his work, everyone wishes him well were just saying the first impression he makes with his site (not his ad) is not what we would expect which is a fucking compliment about his standard of actual work..

i know why richard would be upset and i wish i had mates like that but campbell isnt picking on jeffree hes asking a question about the industry due to something jeffree did and if most people share the same concern (as well as admitting adland is full of sad, judging wankers) maybe its friendly advice rather than being the kind of spiteful shits you find on scamp and adbriefs blog.

Comment by andy@cynic

Just for the record, I wasn’t responding to Richard’s comments -I just think this topic is pretty interesting. But since we’re talking about Jeffee’s site, I actually think that if his target is marketing clients (vs agencies) I expect it would be pretty effective. I think it has all the cues they’re looking for: professional (check), full of examples of case studies and work (uh hu), brands I know (yep), big moving pictures (oh yeah). I bet he has more work than he knows what to do with.

Comment by Emily

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