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CREATIVE GARDENING

Published on .

reative talent is hot property in the ad agency business, and there are some pretty good jobs for creatives going unfilled at some big, established organizations. It appears that a lot of creative types today are preferring to open their own shops.

You might wonder why a talented ad professional would pass up a very healthy six-figure salary to ply unchartered waters as a new agency. Perhaps many

of these new entrepreneurs have observed the problem of culture clash.

Most large, well-known shops have a unique culture, fashioned over many years by the founders, the clients and the staff-including previous creative leaders. Often times a hot creative person imported from one big agency to another-even from overseas-has suffered flame-out in the new locale, unsuccessful in trying to change direction of the creative ship. It wasn't a bad choice, really, just a bad fit.

Then, too, a creative who goes off on his or her own can at once achieve a bit of parity with the likes of industry greats Fax Cone, Leo Burnett, David Ogilvy and Bill Bernbach-their name is on the door. And success in that situation can reap more rewards than Huge Agency Inc. can possibly offer.

The ad agency field often has been criticized for a reluctance to train creative people, preferring to steal away proven talent. And the personnel downsizing of the last several years has done nothing to improve that image. But the trick seems to be, as Dan Wieden of highly successful Wieden & Kennedy said, to grow your own. Yes, agencies will lose a share of these rising stars to start-up agencies or other shops, but those you keep will know your culture, know your people, know your clients.

Not a small benefit for taking time to train.M

So Klein did it

olumnist Joe Klein's disclosure that he is Anonymous, author of the best- selling political novel "Primary Colors," is nothing more than the latest use of publicity as a marketing tool and it's sure to spike sales of the book and its paperback edition, due out in two months.

®¯That much was clear at a press conference called by Random House, at which Warner Books President-CEO Larry Kirshbaum, who will publish the

paperback version, was quoted as saying, "If anything, the notoriety and the controversy ..... is very helpful."

To book sales, maybe. After all, Warner Books will now have a flesh-and-blood author to send on the publicity circuit to promote the novel. In the meantime, however, Mr. Klein's bosses at CBS and Newsweek are squirming about this little literary charade.

We now know that Newsweek Managing Editor Maynard Parker knew Mr. Klein had penned the book and allowed his newsweekly to carry an item by its media columnist, Jonathan Alter, that speculated the book may have been written by others.

Gleeful politicos, whose ethics are constantly under media scrutiny, think Mr. Klein and Newsweek have been been caught lying. Or was it just going along with marketing razzmatazz to sell books?

Journalists pen lots of books. The anonymous source is their stock in trade. But they and book marketers, as in the Klein case, can raise unintended issues of honesty when journalist/authors play the anonymous game themselves.

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