Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Difference is that No One Is Going To Die From Bad Creative

From AdAge:

Take a look around the room at your next gathering of professionals. Each of the following is classified as a "professional" based on experience, education, certifications and credentials.

Lawyer: college + law school + a little thing called "The Bar"
Architect: college + apprenticeship + test for licensing
Doctor: college + med school + internship + residency + lots of tests

Now, let's take a look at the training, testing and certification of an account executive, graphic designer or other agency professional. (I will pause for a moment so you can imagine the sounds of crickets breaking the silence.) Yep. All you need to call yourself an art director or copywriter is a computer, phone and a copy of "place any do-it-yourself marketing book here."
Even Realtors and interior designers require testing and certifications to practice their trade, and it just seems wrong that our industry does not require the same amount of quality control. In the end, I guess the question we need to answer should be, "Is what we do important?" How can we expect clients to respect us if we don't even take our industry seriously enough to insist on testing and licensing?

What about continuing education? Yoga teachers and speech pathologists are but a few of the professionals that are required to attend continuing-education classes to maintain their licenses. Yet advertising and marketing professionals have no such requirement. I don't think the human body has changed nearly as much as our industry in the past 10 years.

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