AANA 2022 – They Hate the Advertising Industry


Dee Madigan

The advertising industry is hated, says Dee Madigan, executive creative director, Campaign Edge,

“We’re the reason all our kids are fat and the reason Siri knows too much about us,” she told AANA’s Reset conference.

When she started her agency, she decided to “do things that we were really comfortable with” and feel good about it.

“We have a range of clients that include things as diverse as…peak body for autism, dementia,” she says.

“We also do a lot of political campaigning and we did the 2022 general election campaign for the Labor Party, which went well.

“So in the spirit of positivity, I want you to start with this slide. Everybody hates us. And I think that’s a very important place for us.

“We have a reputation. If you look at the veracity index for all professions, we’re sitting right there at the bottom. Those above a politician.

Why is it important that advertising does not please?

“We need a social license to operate today. Especially if you’re in an organization where you need investments,” she says.

“We want to attract people from the industry. We want people to come to work and be proud of what they do. It’s really important. And we need political power, as an industry.

“Politicians are pushed by the public. And if the public doesn’t like us, it’s very difficult to be part of those conversations. We want politicians to listen to us, we need to have political power.

“These are really powerful lobby groups that are going to hurt our industry. And the only way to protect that is to actually behave a little better.

Back to basics.

“The one thing we have going for us that we’ve always had going for us is creativity and somehow we seem to have kind of forgotten about that.”

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