Every school has its clique. For me, it was a bunch of girls with greasy perms, gold hoop earrings and hi-tech backpacks. Grammar School was run by a collection of hockey and netball players and, at University, it was a gang that dressed up each day and paraded up and down the corridors. These folk that seemed to deem themselves above the rest because they had the right clothes, the right look and the right attitude. Hell, I sound as though I were never a member of one of these little posses. Believe me, I’ve had my fair share of narrow-minded living, but at some point you become unstuck and, usually, that comes with a massive tumble.
Working life isn’t that dissimilar, especially in the creative industries. People always have an opinion about what is and isn’t good or bad. No place is worse than the advertising press. Many of the people who work as journalists within our trade publications have never worked within the industry. Never made cups of tea as a runner, been in a pitch meeting until 4am, have never been at an agency, production or post house. I once met a journalist who had no knowledge about the industry. Alas this person was in Cannes reporting and critiquing on the work and talents around them. Some however have. They may have studied the subject or been around it so long that they have a wealth of knowledge that is irreplaceable. When it comes down to it though, no matter what your heritage is, each and every appraisal is, after all, just one person’s opinion.
So what makes LBB so different, I hear you say? Well, I could go on about the team’s combined experience, but to what gain or merit? It’s not what drives us and I’m hoping it’s not what makes us an interesting proposition for you good folk. LBB is about democracy. Democracy in the distribution of information – anyone can read us because it is not run on subscriptions. Companies listing with us, showcasing their work and creating their own online archive of news, stories and facts concerning their shop pay our wages.
This leads me onto the content of LBB. We’re no clique. The audience of LBB, be they a runner or a CEO, dictate the work that we feature.
I remember past roles where I would sit in front of a DVD player with a pile of submissions and watch everything, tossing aside anything that the team and I didn’t like. It seems rather arrogant now, but at the time, I thought my opinion really counted. That my few years in production and my fine art degree made me some sort of creative connoisseur. Time in an advertising agency certainly changed that. Sitting with the ECDs and the CCO, comparing work for the creative council, I would naively put my point across - a perception that I’d had little time to construct. I’d knock down an experienced creative who’d worked hours and hours, with the constraints of clients, to create the best possible work that they could. It seems bizarre that some creative departments use creative publications as a guide to ‘keeping up with the best work’: I’d say it’s a great snapshot. Surely one selection can’t be a good overview of the industry as a whole… it’s only a handful of people’s opinions. Also, considering the cost of such publications, which is high, does every person in an agency or production house have access to their own, individual subscription? If not, how do they access the content? Is everyone allocated a time slot?
I think there is danger in the clique, that one group of people can decide what is and isn’t good or great. I think there is a concern that those individuals can have too much influence. This is, after all, a creative industry. As such it hosts a variety of opinions and approaches. I believe it’s good for work to be celebrated, but that is, after all, just another channel of opinion. For me, access to content is paramount and I strongly support the idea that each individual should be given the resources to make their own educated appraisal. Like anything in life, if you’re prepared to put in the work, you should have access to tools that will help you.
LBB is about community and we strive to foster its democratic editorial remit. One of the great things about the company listings is that they provide a concise archive of all the news, features and work of a company or individual.
If you like our approach and you also believe in the above, then help us to help you, and join the LBB community. We need your support to continue and help us grow into the best resource we can be for you and your team.
Get in touch if you haven’t already. We’d love to hear from you and have you on board.