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Some of marketing's biggest names tell us what makes them angry


By Rebecca Levy | Editorial Account Executive

October 25, 2017 | 7 min read

As The Drum publishes its special anger issue, we asked some of the most influential people within the industry what annoys them or makes them the most angry in their profession. Here's what they told us.

What makes me angry?

What makes me angry?

Lindsay Pattison

Lindsay Pattison is chief executive officer & chief transformation officer at Maxus/GroupM

What makes me angry is simple really, we’re a people business so how you show up, how you behave and treat others remains key. Really, it’s about basic human values. So, in no particular order, I get angered by laziness, entitlement, cynicism, negativity, selfishness, people who endlessly talk (moan) and do nothing. We have drains and radiators in this world; go find your radiators…

Mike DiNorscio

Mike DiNorscio is vice president sales at Amobee EMEA

There’s a lot of talk and not a lot of walk when it comes to transparency, media efficiency and the desire to understand one’s audience. I see it all the time - companies have either heavily invested in siloed technologies, which as we know creates a number of inefficiencies along the way, or they have become over-reliant on industry juggernauts for the sheer purpose of convenience. This is a missed opportunity for both brands and agencies alike. Luckily, we’re now starting to see a fundamental shift in mindset, with more players taking the time to do their homework and understanding the options out there.

Danny Hopwood

Danny Hopwood is executive vice president EMEA PM Precision at Publicis Media

I get really annoyed by companies who promise the holy grail. When a company or platform claims to solve all of the industry’s and advertisers’ challenges, you have to wonder how much is marketing jargon. If you don’t have a robust system to separate the truth from the overpromising, it can be a tiresome and often costly exercise, and at times soul destroying to hear "we are a full funnel marketing and advertising technology stack that can handle your entire media budget if you sign this IO". Through our Publicis Groupe Verified process, we rigorously audit the marketplace to understand what works, what doesn’t, and what might be hidden. So, I can tell you honestly, there is a lot of overpromising in the industry.

Adrian Cutler

Adrian Cutler is global agency director at Microsoft

The one thing that really grates on me is the use of dated terms in this modern-day age. For example, my biggest annoyance is the use of the term ‘reverse mentoring’. I hear it used at conferences as if it’s a good thing when it is not. The term is supposed to explain that a senior person is being mentored by a junior person in the industry. Actually, mentoring is mentoring - there is no reverse about it. If someone has some knowledge to impart and someone has a willingness to learn, this is mentoring, nothing reverse about it. If we are going to create a truly inclusive industry where every voice and every idea can be heard, we have to break through these barriers. Let’s change this industry for good.

Sarah Wood

Sarah Wood is chief executive officer and co-founder at Unruly

Stereotyping makes me mad, and it’s not only gender stereotypes that harm the creativity of ad campaigns and jeopardise the future of our industry; millennial bashing is just as bad. All too often anyone with the chronological misfortune to be born between 1984 and 2000 gets unfairly labelled by pundits and politicians as an avocado-mashing snowflake with the attention span of a goldfish. It’s simply unacceptable to write off a whole generation in this way. Instead, we should be championing our rising colleagues and learning from their sense of purpose, professional agility and remarkable resilience. I’m lucky enough to see this in evidence every day as I watch my brilliant colleagues at Unruly learn new skills, realise their professional potential and navigate their way through the harsh economic realities of student loans, unaffordable housing and an unpredictable geo-political landscape.

Rick Hirst

Rick Hirst is chief executive officer at Carat

I get angry when I see how we’re failing to ignite a passion in the next generation to want to get into advertising. It irks me deeply that agencies hardly feature in the latest top 100 UK ‘creative businesses’ league table so we’re obviously getting it wrong. Be that because of our low starting salaries, old school recruiting techniques or our poor profile amongst school-leavers. We’re an intellectual capital business and our future is going to be determined by our ability to attract the very best young talent and keep them. That’s what gets my goat. That and when I’ve cycled into work, had a shower, and realised my towel is still upstairs.

Alessandra Di Lorenzo

Alessandra Di Lorenzo is chief commercial officer media and partnerships at Group

What angers me in this industry? The constant distraction with all things new, every latest trend or fad. It feels like so many marketers are lured in by the shiny and the new. I’m absolutely not against innovation – I love it when I see brilliant examples of brands using new technology to create something exciting. But so many people jump on the bandwagon and do something new just to showcase something new, often with limited impact or results. Doing something simply, but doing it really well, is far more important, and actually far braver.

The Drum’s next issue is sure to get you riled up as we explore the complex emotion of anger. Can anger be a positive force in the right environment? From what pisses off some of our industry’s brightest minds to reflecting on some of the most complained about ads in 2017, get ready to release that fury.

The Drum’s anger issues features the results of BMB’s research into what’s making us angry, an interview with the ever-outrageous Johnny Rotten about how anger fuels his art, and a profile on Black Lives Matter to find out how it remains so resolute despite Kremlin-led attempts to stoke racial tensions.

You can get your copy now from The Drum Store.

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