Advertising’s Star Search

Advertising holding company leaders gripe that the industry lags in tapping and nurturing good talent.

WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell, appearing on a panel with IPG’s Michael Roth and Omnicom’s John Wren at the 4A’s conference in Austin, blasted the advertising industry’s “criminal neglect” in finding, recruiting, and keeping top talent. Instead of devoting time and resources to executive development, “if we need talent, we steal them.” he said. Holding companies should have a “chief talent officer” who identifies and nurtures good performers.

The three execs, in a rare appearance together, agreed that the industry needs to do a better job recruiting from business schools, film schools and art schools.

Sure, the ad biz competes with other industries for talent. But with so many people out of work and young college graduates eager to join the workforce, are promising, potential stars so hard to find?

These top industry executives probably weren’t around for earlier sessions at the conference when college students studying advertising and marketing in Austin asked questions about opportunities in the industry. (Perhaps the 4A’s should include promising ad students in part of their program next year…?)

Three cheers for Ronda Carnegie, TED’s global partnership director. She spoke up after the bigwig panel, saying “the best talent is sitting in your organization and you don’t know who they are…They’re there.”

Posted on March 10, 2011, in 4A's Transformation 2011, Melanie Wells and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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