Blogs & Comment

Don’t shoot the revenue generator

Phil Lynagh is managing partner of LightBlue

“Someone asked me yesterday if I thought the industry still needs suits. I asked with what or whom he would replace them with? “Creatives”, he said. I chortled. There are many good ways to manage operational expenditure and killing the revenue generator should not be one of them. The roles within any agency environment are ancient, well defined and borne out of necessity.

Let’s start with the suit. He starts his year battered and bruised after a recent EOY review. After a kick up the bottom from the boss he sees once every month, he promises an A+ next year. He also commits to organic growth of 20 per cent and to lead the new business charge. To this end he receives his new business targets, which resemble the yellow pages, assembled by some senior lunatics who haven’t set foot outside of the agency for 30 years. After two weeks without sleep he manages to get past the PA and speak to a marketing director and a pitch brief is won. He then briefs the creative department optimistically. Only suits can do this.

The creative receives the brief and after being on Facebook for two weeks solid, feels like he could do with a break. The excitement soon wears off when he realises the client is a plastic pipes company in Al Quoz. However, professionalism kicks in and an excellent creative solution is born through an insight hidden on page 36 of Plastic Pipe monthly for the plastic pipe category and an idea which will never be sold. Our hero emotionally drained after the internal review with his boss is forced to deliver another two supporting concepts both without artistic merit and execution. This challenges his very being but he delivers. A bond of brotherhood is created twixt suit and creative before the former heads off with the pedigree idea and the two runts.

Creatives and suits are tea and biscuits, north and south, totally different but reliant on each other for their very existence. It’s in opposition that this unique partnership works best and always will.”


  • Very true phil – Creative’s should be creative and suits should manage the business, one cant do all

  • Oh Phil, how well you know the creatives. I’m happy to read your entertaining views, they make my day bright and bring a smile to my wizened face. Hope all is going gang busters over there at LightBlue.

  • Thanks for the note Shakemo, gangbusters would be a tad strong but very well would cut it. After 23 years doing this you would hope i’d be left with some insights into the creative psyche.

Comments are closed.