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

Credit Where Credit Is Due …

One of the things that has always bugged me about adland is the ad ‘credit list’.

Sometimes you’ll read about a one-off print ad that has a longer credit list than a bloody movie.


Look, I get the importance of having your name on things – this is an industry obsessed with that – but it kind of gets ridiculous when people are mentioned because they put the stamp on the invitation for the client launch.

That’s why I always loved that Mother credited everything as Mother.

Sure, you could claim it robbed those involved in the making of the work from getting the credit they deserved – but I can tell you for a fact, there’s no way those people would be anonymous for long.

Of course the worst is when people take credit for things they didn’t really do.

Or big themselves up to make it sound like they were instrumental in what was created.

With that, I want to tell you a story that I heard from my friend – and creative extroidinatire – Kash Sree.

A long time ago – in the 80’s to be precise – there was a phenomenal writer called Richard Cook.

The creative director he worked for was notorious for not giving credit to the people who deserved it and had left Richard’s name off numerous previous pieces of well received work.

One lunch, the creative director handed Richard an ad and asked him to write some copy for it before he got back.

Richard – in a demonstration of his talent – wrote the piece over his lunch break.

It’s the ad at the top of this post.

The ad went on to win countless awards.

In an award-obsessed industry, Richard wasn’t exactly surprised that the creative director yet again denied Richard had anything to do with the work. So Richard unleashed his weapon.

He simply stated if anyone needed proof that he was responsible for the ad, they should read the first letter of every paragraph of the copy.

I’ll save you the bother. It spelled out ‘Richard Cook wrote this’.


18 Comments so far
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fucking great story.
bit ironic a planner wrote it though. you fucks are the ultimate in credit parasites. after the bag carriers.

Comment by andy@cynic

Yes … but aren’t you impressed I credited Kash for the story. I thought it would be a bit ironic if I talked about ‘credit’ and didn’t give it to the person who told me the story.

Comment by Rob

youre right about the length of credit listings these days. but its not just because every fuck wants a piece of the credit, its because adland has invented so many fucking “new” departments it means for every role that existed 20 years ago, theres 2 with double the number of fuckers doing it.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by DH

Yep … you pretty much nailed it. Of course that’s because most agencies have sold the value of creativity so far down the river that the only way to make money is now based on the number of people ‘sold on to the business’.

Planning is a perfect example of this.

There’s now so many different types of planner, I get confused … especially because only a few are genuinely doing something different to what planners used to do 15 years or so ago.

If you can’t make money on output, make it on process. []

Comment by Rob

Scary thing is I can imagine this is the sort of thing you would do Rob. Maybe it with copy, but with something.

Comment by DH

Except this is much better than the version you would do.

Comment by DH

that would be too much work for campbell to do in one stint.

Comment by andy@cynic

I see it David. Mischief, mayhem and control.

Comment by George

I was thinking manipulation.

Comment by DH

I’m going to take all of this thread as a compliment. I know it’s not meant as one, but I don’t care.

Comment by Rob

Long lunch.

Comment by John

the fucking good ol days.

Comment by andy@cynic


Comment by George

I love this story.

Comment by Bazza

Bet you wish you wrote your old briefs with this deviousness in them eh Baz!?

Comment by Rob

Every single time.

Comment by Bazza

A classic example of classic British advertising.

Comment by Lee Hill

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