Tuesday, August 23, 2005

David Droga decides the top is not so hot.

Last week, Publicis announced that David Droga, resident boy wonder and worldwide creative director, was leaving. His tenure at Publicis has been, by most measures, a success — a burnished creative reputation, some new business, the requisite awards.

This is a guy with the kind of job most creatives once dreamed about — power, independence, gobs of cash, perhaps an assistant hired largely to deflect underlings and apply suntan lotion while sitting poolside at Cannes — and he's decided that it's, er, not so great.

More telling is the fact that he's leaving to start a "non-advertising business." As in thoroughly unrelated to the current advertising agency business model. You know things are amiss when a guy who can pretty much write his own ticket takes a walk.

Droga said, "I'm having a great career, but I've spent it working under other people's models."

In other words, "I'm smart enough to see there's not an especially exciting future as the global creative director of a company restricted by a business model that has reached the point of diminishing returns. In fact, I'm too smart to waste my time hanging out here and trying to make it work."

Perhaps even more interesting is that Publicis is backing his new venture, which he called, "...a hybrid of a lot of things." Maurice Levy is no fool. He realizes that supporting intelligent and creative people just might lead to something that would let him ditch the business of being an ad agency holding company czar.

I've written enough about this subject — the traditional ad agency business model — and I'm going to let it rest for a bit. Let's see what Mr. Droga does. And let's look forward to seeing new models for effective communications develop.

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