A change at the top

Those leading ad agencies today are taking increasingly unconventional paths to the top and often emerging via the worlds of design and film. It is a change for the better, says our advertising correspondent Ben Kay

I’m delighted that advertising appears keen to redress decades of imbalance in gender, ethnicity and socio-economic circumstance, but I’d like to point out another kind of diversity that is quietly finding its way to the very top of the creative side of the business.

The usual route to the corner office is by creating enough very good ads for the more senior people to notice what you’ve done and continue promoting you to an appropriate level. When I started out, almost all creative directors (there were no ECDs or CCOs back then) in London had either done ads you had heard of, won some major awards, or both.

But if you look around today, you’ll notice this is far from the only way to find yourself in charge of a creative department or agency.