On being a Creative Lead

Creative Director's must share the credit, but shoulder the blame.

When you're a Creative Director the buck stops with you. There are no excuses. You can't hide from any backlash as it's your job to face the full force of the blast. When a piece of creative work is very well received, it's the honourable thing to ensure everyone involved gets credit. But when it goes wrong, you stand alone.

During this year's Super Bowl ad frenzy, Groupon aired their new ad. Unsurprisingly the public were offended by a cheap gag made about Tibet's social plight (you knew?!). Of course the CD was strung up, but did everyone who worked on the ad never stop to think it might blow up in their faces? It takes a lot of people to make an ad and I'm quite sure the script went through a number of reviews before it was signed off.

Sorry the ad is gone, so you'll have to make do with this crappy report from the US

This, it seems, is the lot of a Creative Director. You gamble your reputation with each piece of work. The only exception to this rule is when you become an Executive Creative Director. Then silly matters like campaign backlash are simple beneath you.