Ramsey Naja is CCO at JWT MEA
“Nature, as we are taught at school, abhors vacuum. But what our teachers never told us is that nothing abhors vacuum more than talent. Talent just needs to express itself – a desire so irresistible it can leave no gap unfilled. In our advertising ecosystem, this is where a useful organism comes in: opportuneurs. Opportuneurs are a cocktail of opportunity hunting, entrepreneurship and hypocrisy, without which talent would remain unfulfilled, but also devoid of the burning anger that actually drives its endeavour whilst combusting it with righteous fury.
Just like sharks and pilot fish, opportuneurs and talented people live in synchronised symbiosis. Neither will acknowledge the other’s contribution until the moment they succeed. Then, mutual accolades will fly and credit will be distributed like candy. That is until everyone returns to work and the opportuneurs identify a new gap that begs for talent to rush in once more. This is where the nose for opportunity comes at a premium, and where talent’s value is both weighed and used. “But what about hypocrisy?” Well, it is when opportuneurs’ own motivation comes into question, as well as the carrot with which they encourage talent with.
Cynics will tell you that commerce and art are mutually destructive, and that, as long as talented people will feel that their gift is exploited for reasons beyond its own self-expression, the feeling of frustration will be a pervasive negative force that will gradually consume our industry from within. And they have a point: if I were to collect a dollar for every time someone waxed lyrical about creativity and innovation whilst unlikely to recognise either, I would be in a yacht right now. All this industry needs for talent to feel recognised, and for opportuneurs to occupy an equally worthy position is for both to be conscious of the dangers of hypocrisy and, simply, to be transparent towards each other.”