John Hegarty: TV Shows Are Getting Better, But the Ads Are Getting Worse

The Adman Doesn't Mince Words. But Do You Think He's Right?

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John Hegarty, co-founder of Bartle Bogle Hegarty, has never been one to shy away from speaking his mind or holding a contrarian view. But he seems to be making more of a habit of it since stepping away from running an agency day to day and relinquishing a majority stake in BBH to Publicis Groupe last year.

In March, at Advertising Week Europe, he expressed disdain for the marketing industry's obsession with data. "It's because I've spent my life dealing with people who've got all the data in the world and yet they can't invent anything," he said.

Then today, he expressed the view that TV ad quality is the just the pits. In a live chat conducted via the U.K.'s The Guardian (one of BBH London's clients).

"The ads have just got worse," he said during a live chat with The Guardian (one of BBH London's clients). "Television for instance is going through a golden age. Our work is not matching the quality of writing and thinking that's going into all those great TV productions."

He went on to say that part of the problem with the quality of work today is that there aren't enough people in leadership roles. "I think to re-invigorate creativity in our business, we need more creative people taking an active role in driving their agencies," he said. "Taking responsibility. It's always been the case that creative people in the past made the running in our industry. We need more of them doing it for the future."

You can see more of his live chat here.

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