Bruce McColl AND David Lubars

McColl and Lubars share top tips for doing terrible work

In a fascinating presentation entitled How To Do Terrible Work, Mars global chief marketing officer Bruce McColl and BBDO worldwide chief creative officer David Lubars used their combined expertise and a few campaign case studies to explore some of the reasons why brands end up with bad advertising.

One of the key issues identified by McColl was a tendency for clients to “imprison creatives”, watering down their ideas by making them jump through too many bureaucratic hoops. To get the best results, “you need to free up creatives and you need to be prepared to be told by the agency why you are wrong”, he said.

From the agency angle, Lubars said there is a related problem, which is that creatives can be “maliciously obedient”, effectively imprisoning themselves. He advised creatives not to “yes yourself out of the door by not adding value”.

McColl also brought up the issue of risk-taking, saying that agencies need to take creative gambles: “The biggest risk is putting up with bad work.”

Lubars again added an interesting agency insight: “Clients generally try to avoid risks, so make sure you add some rigour to prove your idea is not really a risk.” He used work for the Pedigree, Wrigley’s and Skittles to illustrate his points.

Both agreed that bad advertising is bad for business. McColl said Mars had taken an evidence-based approach to its work that demonstrated improved creativity grows revenues. Lubars agreed that “creativity is an economic multiplier”.


Jerry Odlin, Sales Director

T : +44 7768 860 417

Boutique Editions Ltd.

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June 24 | Special Report