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

Why Creativity Isn’t The Best Thing Wieden+Kennedy Do …
September 12, 2013, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

So this is going to come across as a massive corporate toady post.

I should also point out that the fact my contract is up for renewal is purely coincidental.

When we’d sold cynic and I was looking for ‘options’, the one criteria that was really important to me was I needed to feel I had ‘a home’ … somewhere that let me feel I belonged, somewhere that embraced me for me.

Now that might sound easy enough, but having come from being a partner of a company I started to an employee of a company someone else started meant that some of the ‘quirks’ my previous colleagues basically had to accept, might suddenly be deal breakers for someone else.

Anyway, as you know, I ended up at W+K.

I really like it here.

It’s challenging, exciting, creative, provoking, demanding and invigorating … though if I’m being honest, it took me 9 months to feel that way, because at the beginning, I was trying to work out how the fuck things worked given they embraced chaos far more than I embraced chaos and I was someone my previous bosses and clients had defined as ‘a shit storm starter’.

But that’s not why I am writing this.

You see a few weeks ago, some stuff happened to me, stuff that had the potential to dramatically affect my time at W+K.

Because I have a modicum of professionalism, I told my MD the situation and – as you’d expect – he was considerate and compassionate.

Of course you should expect nothing less from your boss, especially when [1] you sit next to him and [2] you work together every single day … but it was still good to have that level of unwavering support.

But then something I didn’t expect happened.

I got emails.

Lots of emails.

From people throughout the company.

Sure, some were from folk I work with on global business … sure, some were from colleagues and peers dotted around the network … but others were from the sort of people you’d think have far, far better things to do.

Like our global ECD’s.

And our global CFO.

And our global COO.

And our global HR Director.

And they were all nice and sent encouragement and offered to help me in any way that they could.

Real help, not bland bullshit designed to make them feel better without actually committing them to do anything.

Think about it for a second … some of the most important people in the whole fucking industry, wrote to some planning twat in China to send their support.

Hell, I’ve worked in companies where colleagues didn’t acknowledge my existence, let alone the MD … and they were MD’s who had all the industry impact and influence of a muffled fart in a lift.

Hell, I once had a CEO who genuinely thought – after 3 months of me working there and seeing me every single day – that I was the fucking photocopier repair man. I kid you not.

So with that in mind, those emails from those people meant a lot to me … a hell of a lot.

Christ, I hardly have anything to do with them and yet they all took time out of their day on the other side of the World to get in touch.

That doesn’t make them great advertising people, it makes them great people and that’s why I think W+K is special – because for all the incredible talent they have residing in the walls of their 8 offices, they accept and embrace people for who they are as opposed to evaluating their value purely by their level of productivity … which is handy given the amount of time I spend writing the rubbish on this blog.

Anyway, as much as I know they would hate that I’ve written a post publicly highlighting their compassion [which they’ll never see because, fortunately for them, even their worst nightmare could never imagine something so mindblowingly horrific as visiting here], I just want to say thank you to them – and all my other colleagues and companions – because apart from being wonderful, it absolutely demonstrated why I made the right decision 3 years ago, so if you could just renew my contract, that would be tops thanks. Ha.

33 Comments so far
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so dan sent you fuck all? hes still got it.

Comment by andy@cynic

except he gave you your fucking job so he still has a lot to fucking answer for.

Comment by andy@cynic

no wonder theyre still independent, if someone at wpp did this shit, theyd be out on their ass quicker than a charlie sheen girlfriend.

Comment by andy@cynic

only campbell could be such a corporate toady and bastard at the same time. those poor fuckers have worked an age to get where they are and in one bastard post, campbell destroys their cred in the blink of his one fucking good eye. theyre only hope is no one of any fucking worth sees it.

the good news is they wont. only 2 people of repute come on this shithole and one is too busy giving campbell free flights to wherever the little prince bastard wants to go and i wouldnt tell a soul or people would i pop on this shithole which would be like admitting you like queen or come from the north or have a job called planning.

surely this sort of shit is a sackable offence? come on global hr person, stop being nice to the fucker and get that severance letter sorted.

Comment by andy@cynic

Pulitzer worthy.

Comment by DH

you better be meaning my fucking comment rather than this blog. even the sunday fucking sport is more informative than this bollocks.

Comment by andy@cynic

There is no other alternative possible.

Comment by DH

Feeling better now?

Comment by Rob

It’s great to hear a company, especially an ad agency, caring about their employees. It doesn’t take much to make a big difference but most of them still fail to achieve it.

As you said Rob, it’s less about the process and more about the character of the people running the company and given W+K’s success, it’s not surprising to learn they are of the highest standard.

More importantly, I hope whatever thing caused this situation is now sorted and all is well with you.

Comment by Pete

I have to congratulate Andy. He might not comment as much as he used to, but when he does, it is like he has never been away. Hilarious evil.

Comment by Pete

Getting there matey, getting there.

But all is good, promise.

Comment by Rob

I was supposed to put my comment under your other comment so now it looks like I’m praising your analysis of Andy which we both know I’d never do, ha!

Comment by Rob

This is all very laudable, but have you checked the toner today?

Comment by John

And delivered the mail.

Comment by DH

The mail? He’s only been there three years.

Comment by John

I hate that I laughed at this. But I did. A lot. Damn.

Comment by Rob

This shit wouldn’t have happened if Dave Kennedy hadn’t retired.

Comment by DH

Any company would be proud to have an employee write a post like this about them. What a shame you undermine it with your subtle contract renewal request. Only joking Robert, this is great to read. W+K have an enviable reputation and all this will do is make people want to work there even more.
Are you OK now? Has your situation resolved itself? I hope so.

Comment by George

Yep. Thanks matey.

Comment by Rob

I’ve just thrown up in my mouth. Not as much as all those people you mentioned in this post will be.

Comment by Billy Whizz

You’re almost right Rob, to know what your colleagues and clients used to really call you, just remove “storm starter” from your example and you have it.

Comment by DH

I hope my colleagues feel the same way about us. A very generous post Robert. Thank you for sharing. Is all now well in your World?

Comment by Lee Hill

not if you keep giving some planning twat freebies they wont.

Comment by andy@cynic

I can smell your bitterness from here.

Comment by Rob

its resentment. not bitterness.

Comment by andy@cynic

Nice post, Rob. Good to know there is still a tiny corner of the industry that values people over dollars. Pity the same can’t be said of the vast, leaden empires that constitute most of it.

A nitpick: One criterion, two criteria. #grammarchengguan

Comment by Ian Gee

You keep forgetting who writes this blog Ian … you should just be celebrating the fact that I am capable of using a computer, even if my grammar is utterly crap.

PS: W+K like making money, it’s just they think they get it as a byproduct of good work thanks to good people rather than their focus simply being whatever makes them cash … which in adland often gets translated as cheap people, bad work.

Comment by Rob

Hey Rob – Can you share what “stuff happened” to you that triggered that chain response?… Good luck with contract renewal.

Comment by TonyD

Hahaha … no TonyD, I can’t.

But good try.

In all honesty, it’s some personal stuff – but it’s all good and it’s all going to be OK. I think. Unless the Chinese Government come to their senses and kick me out. Like every other bloody countries immigration department. Ha.

Comment by Rob

did it involve telling dan he should build a w+kmobile? it fucking was wasnt it. twat.

Comment by andy@cynic

Good to see there’s a cormer of the industry thay understands the value in valuing people.
But you really need to find another corporate picture, or is this is mandatory as the + sign instead of the &?

Comment by northern

It’s just my favourite picture of them

But you’re right about the ‘+’ … which is why it’s so funny that people know to say W+K rather than WK or W&K, but people still don’t know how to pronounce our name. Weeden or Whyden.

Though you may remember that when I announced I’d got the job, I spelt Wieden, Weiden – and you kindly corrected me – so on the bright side, I’ve improved. A bit. A little bit.

Comment by Rob

The only occasion I have been correct about spelling.

Comment by northern

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