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The Cat Herder: The Role and Function of the Agency Creative Director
Unformatted Document Text:  THE  CAT  HERDER     24   an electronic attendance system and an 8:30 a.m. start time expected of all employees, including creatives, while at the large New York agency, creative people rarely surfaced before 9:30. S3 had an agency creative director change four years prior, and numerous respondents reported how the tenor of the entire agency had changed from serious to more playful since his arrival. In smaller agencies, a single culture pervades, while in the large agencies the department or creative group is the lexis of culture. Creative directors play an important role in establishing and maintaining a creative culture—whether that includes a free spirit and playful pranks (S3), agency hot dog lunch outings and ratings (S1) or expectations that “everyone wants to work and work hard” (CW L3). Headhunter Creative directors played a role in identifying and recruiting creative talent to the agency, however the extent varied tremendously based on agency size. The CD at S3 made a concerted effort to recruit creatives from outside the local market in order to build a richer talent pool. In order to accomplish this, creative directors utilized their professional network and alma mater. Future Force An agency’s chief creative officer or creative director has important role in shaping the creative vision of the agency, especially in these tumultuous times of media change. This was vocalized in the three small agencies studied, perhaps because at large agencies other personnel such as creative strategist or interactive creative director may be responsible instead. DISCUSSION

Authors: Mallia, Karen., Windels, Kasey. and Broyles, Sheri.
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THE  CAT  HERDER  
 
24  
an electronic attendance system and an 8:30 a.m. start time expected of all employees, 
including creatives, while at the large New York agency, creative people rarely surfaced 
before 9:30.  
 
S3 had an agency creative director change four years prior, and numerous 
respondents reported how the tenor of the entire agency had changed from serious to more 
playful since his arrival. In smaller agencies, a single culture pervades, while in the large 
agencies the department or creative group is the lexis of culture. Creative directors play an 
important role in establishing and maintaining a creative culture—whether that includes a 
free spirit and playful pranks (S3), agency hot dog lunch outings and ratings (S1) or 
expectations that “everyone wants to work and work hard” (CW L3). 
 Headhunter 
 
Creative directors played a role in identifying and recruiting creative talent to the 
agency, however the extent varied tremendously based on agency size. The CD at S3 made a 
concerted effort to recruit creatives from outside the local market in order to build a richer 
talent pool. In order to accomplish this, creative directors utilized their professional network 
and alma mater.   
Future Force 
 
An agency’s chief creative officer or creative director has important role in shaping 
the creative vision of the agency, especially in these tumultuous times of media change. This 
was vocalized in the three small agencies studied, perhaps because at large agencies other 
personnel such as creative strategist or interactive creative director may be responsible 
instead.   
DISCUSSION 
 


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