The Most Powerful Man In Advertising Says Creativity Is Dying In Europe And The United States


Martin Sorrell

REUTERS/Brendan McDermid


Martin Sorrell, CEO of WPP Group, the biggest ad holding company in the world, believes creativity is dying out in Western nations.

According to the CEO's LinkedIn Influencer blog post from Monday, "The 10 Trends Shaping the Global Ad Business," in the coming years the West will see a steady decline in the number of qualified creative candidates.

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Sorrell attributes this problem to declining birth rates, smaller families, and the growth of digital technology.

"Simply, there will be fewer entrants to the jobs market and, when they do enter it, young people expect to work for tech-focused, more networked, less bureaucratic companies. It is hard now; it will be harder in 20 years."

This statement comes at a time when others in the industry are also questioning the future of creativity in advertising. BBH co-founder Sir John Hegarty spoke at Thinkbox's Big Think event in London and expressed his concern for creativity saying, "In our industry we've become obsessed with technology. In doing so, it has lost faith a little bit in the value of that big idea and putting it on TV, the value of broadcast," The Drum reports.


Aside from the dwindling innovative talent that Sorrell speaks to, he also suggests that power in the marketplace is shifting away from the West. He argues that while New York is still the "centre of the world," economic, social, and political power is spreading east and south to places like Latin America, China, and the Middle East.

"Although growth rates in these markets have slowed, the underlying trends persist as economic development lifts countless millions into lives of greater prosperity, aspiration and consumption," Sorrell writes.

The good news is that Sorrell is hopeful that creativity will continue to flourish, it just won't be flourishing in the United States and Western Europe.

Read the entire blog post with Sorrell's other insights and opinions here.