Is democracy always good for creativity?

It has become fashionable for agencies and studios to offer everyone a chance to share their views on projects – but does this make for better creative work? Our advertising correspondent Ben Kay is skeptical

Have you noticed how gosh-darn democratic creative advertising has become? In many agencies it seems to be a collective process where lots of voices have an equally important say in the quality of the work, and what should be done to improve it.

So you might have a situation where an inexperienced person from the account management department chips in with a copy suggestion, and everyone has to welcome it, consider it and possibly act upon it, all in the name of inclusion.

The justification goes something like this: when the ads go out into the world they’re going to be evaluated by all sorts of people, so why not begin that process as soon as possible? That way we avoid the limitations of being in a creative department bubble, where things can get a bit wanky and esoteric. And why, when it comes to the impact of the ad, is any one person’s opinion more valid than another’s? Get the receptionist in, or the planner’s second cousin.