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"Our product has got worse" claims Sir John Hegarty in rallying call to ad industry

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By The Drum Team, Editorial

December 14, 2011 | 2 min read

Advertising has got worse over the last two decades and today's admen are not doing enough to grip the attention of consumers.

That is the view of advertising legend Sir John Hegarty, who has warned that audiences are losing interest in ads and young creatives are spending too much time on YouTube instead of dreaming up great ideas.

In a rallying call to his peers, the founder and global creative chairman of ad agency BBH said: "I can’t think of any other industry in the world that thinks it can succeed by making a product worse. And our product has got worse. That’s not an opinion, that’s a fact.

"What we’re not doing today is coming up with the kind of ideas that are game-changing, that change the fortune of brands. Our audience, the people we are talking to, their appreciation of what we do has consistently gone down since 1990... it’s now less than 10 per cent. Our industry really has to look at that.

"Great creative work is the result of somebody’s individual passion to drive something through and that isn’t about collaboration but about having a vision, a vision to do something really great and then bringing people with you.

"It really disappoints me that I go round and look at creatives and they’re all watching YouTube. Why are you watching YouTube? What’s the point... it’s been done!"

Hegarty, one of the world's most awarded and respected admen, was interviewed as part of The Blank Sheet Project being run by Arjowiggins Creative Papers.

You can see more of his forthright interview with D&AD chief executive Tim Lindsay on The Blank Sheet Project website.

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