Posted by: Huq | Date added: Mon 08 Oct 2012
Lord Sugar, who once described himself as the ‘advertising man’s nightmare’ took to the stage on Friday 5th October to face a 500-strong audience of ad men and women, all in aid of NABS.
Lord Sugar gave candid views on the structure of the ad industry and was predictably forthright in his opinions.
He lamented the 'traditional approach' still taken by a lot of the media industry and criticised its relentless focus on conventional advertising channels such as TV, radio and print, without fully acknowledging the enormous range of newer digital opportunities.
Additionally, while he acknowledged the value of the creative function in developing and communicating key messages for corporates and brands, he questioned the role and value of other functions in a typical agency structure or as he put it the 'lot in the middle'.
He also dismissed ads 'that just win awards' in favour of those that adopted a hard sell approach. He praised Marks and Spencer's Mrs Jones ad as a perfect example of this, but wrote off Compare the Market’s Meerkats as a spot that was more style than substance in its execution and that he ‘didn’t have a clue’ what the animal was selling.
Talking more broadly about bigger issues affecting the industry, Lord Sugar expressed his concern for the 'forgotten 50 percent' - those young people who are not academically gifted but have as much to offer in the workplace.
The exclusive event for NABS Partner Card holders, was hosted by Campaign editor, Claire Beale and Marc Mendoza, chief executive officer of MPG Media Contacts. Questions came from the floor and a live Twitter stream, with over 200 Twitter questions sent in.
Lord Sugar said: "The plight of many young people leaving school these days concerns me. Those who are academic are likely to be fine - teachers are interested in them because they get them Ofsted points. The rest fall through the system."
“Apprenticeships are the answer, specifically learning on the job. But the government needs to incentivise companies to take on these 16 year-olds and acknowledge the resource this consumes."
Zoë Osmond, chief executive officer, NABS said: “Lord Sugar's views about our industry are well known, but the reason we were so keen to hear him speak is because of his commitment to the professional development of young talent. It's an ethos that NABS champions within the advertising and media industry, through initiatives such as the NABS Partner Card.
"We were really pleased we were able to offer our Partner Card holders an audience with someone of Lord Sugar’s profile. He’s a controversial figure in the business, so we were expecting to have an interesting night, and he didn’t disappoint.”
The evening’s audience with Lord Sugar was a special benefit to NABS Partner Card holders, who can enjoy a range fantastic talks, high street offers, career development guidance and one-to-one mentoring schemes with industry heavyweights, for a charitable donation. Launched in July, the card has now been distributed to over 5,000 industry employees.
The next NABS event is Speed Mentoring on 9 October with the likes of Jeremy Bullmore, Adam Freeman (Guardian), Charlie Rudd (BBH), Mark Howe (Google), Claudine Collins (MediaCom), Chris Maples (Spotify) and many more. Speed Mentoring is NABS’ light-hearted approach to mentoring which gives participants the opportunity to glean knowledge from industry leaders, whilst networking with their peers.
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