Creativity Sucks! discusses fame in advertising and design

CR’s editor Eliza Williams sat down with three creative leaders during last week’s Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity to discuss what legacy means in today’s industry

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Working in the commercial creative industries usually means that you are bringing your skills to bear for others: primarily clients and brands.

But the industry has also produced many famous individuals too – these may not always become household names (though some do achieve this) – but their position in the industry acts as a guiding light to help define its future, and attract new talent.

In the past, these would be the names on the door of agencies and studios, but as the industry has evolved, this practice has fallen away, in favour of more ambiguous titles (see Uncommon, Creature, Mother etc) that focus less on the individual and more on a collective creative endeavour. This is perhaps even more the case with the rise of in-house creative teams, which are usually named after the brands they are part of.

Lisa Smith, Laura Jordan Bambach and Kay Hsu in the Spotify podcast studio at Cannes Lions
From left: Lisa Smith, Laura Jordan Bambach and Kay Hsu in the Spotify podcast studio at Cannes Lions

So what does this mean for fame in the industry now? Does it still matter? For a special edition of Creative Review’s podcast, Creativity Sucks!, host Eliza Williams sat down with three leaders from the industry to get to grips with the topic: advertising creative leader Laura Jordan Bambach, who has recently co-founded a new agency, Uncharted; Kay Hsu, head of creative lab at Spotify; and Lisa Smith, global ECD at JKR.

The episode was recorded at Spotify’s podcast studio at last week’s Cannes Lions event. During the conversation, Bambach, Hsu and Smith discuss their own journeys in advertising and design; why maverick leaders still matter (but why the toxic versions of these would be better left in the past); and the importance of female leadership in evolving the industry. You can listen to the episode below, or wherever you get your podcasts.

This is the last episode in the latest series of Creativity Sucks! But don’t despair, you can still check out all the previous ones at