Dyson Vacuum Guy Says Agency Biz Stinks

Agencies Suck

Over at the Adrants Soflow Network group, Robert Loch posted a quote from vacuum man Richard Dyson in which he claims suits are useless and creatives stink. Dyson said, "The agency business just isn't working for me. I don't want to talk to account planners, and account managers and these other assorted suits. I need to talk to the 'creatives' directly, and explain to them what I am trying to achieve. But they won't come to meetings because they are 'creative.'

"And the fact is that they are not creative at all. They are doing the very worst thing you can do, which is to sit staring at a drawing board trying to come up with an idea out of nowhere. You need dialogue to create. Of all the creative jobs I have encountered it is advertising people who make the most song and dance about creativity. And, you know, they are not creative at all. When I think of the real creation that my designers are involved in, and compare it with these 'creatives' who are earning so much more to just sit around the Groucho Club and be generally useless, it makes me vomit. I can't go on supporting an industry like that, I'm afraid."

What do you think. Comment here or see what others have said in the forum (yes, I know it's a pain, you have to join).

by Steve Hall    May- 6-05   Click to Comment   
Topic: Agencies, Opinion   

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Maybe creatives don't come to the guy's meetings because controlling suits don't want them there.

Posted by: David Burn on May 6, 2005 11:49 AM

The man was right. There are many professionals who deserve the title of "creative" better than anyone in advertising. Advertising keeps talking about "creativity" and is in fact one of the least creative industries.

Posted by: kdogg on May 6, 2005 12:01 PM

He is absolutely right.
Advertising and marketing go hand-in-hand. Most marketing meetings are all bullshit, so creativity is thrown out of the window. It's all about the money and money makes creative people betray themselves to please the market.

Posted by: todd on May 6, 2005 12:54 PM

Ready, imagine this. A suit, that doesnt wear a suit. AND, creatives, that attend meetings. And, brainstorming while out in the field, not in front of the 'drawing board.' This guy is right - but not entirely. There are some agencies that ARE creative.... these agencies, and you know who you are, keep doing what your doing - one (or many) bad apples don't need to spoil the bunch.

Posted by: DP on May 6, 2005 1:00 PM

hogwash! "I can't go on supporting an industry like that" !?!?! This industry has made him millions. Yesterday,nobody needed a $500 vacuum cleaner...today, everyone is now buying that $500 yellow monstrousity.

Posted by: Kiki on May 6, 2005 1:33 PM

I think it's entirely accurate. There is nothing creative about tapping into memes and stereotypes, it's rather formulaic.

Posted by: Peter on May 6, 2005 1:44 PM

He doesn't tend to fly off the handle, does he?

Sounds like Dyson has a hard time expressing himself and his "vision." I guess the sale of a $1,200 vacuum is a tough vision to impart.

Perhaps ad agencies should start doing uncreative pro bono work for the Hard Wood Floor industries and the Broom industry while Dyson's creative monkeys fiddle with the Rubik's Cubes that are advertising campaigns. Here's the key... the monkeys won't wear suits.

Posted by: JZ on May 6, 2005 1:46 PM

He should keep making his own ads, which are a aweful by the way, and pontificate his way out of business.

Posted by: Steve on May 6, 2005 2:26 PM

FYI - I believe it is James Dyson, not Richard Dyson, who runs the Dyson vacuum company.

Posted by: Jackie Huba on May 6, 2005 4:09 PM

is a man who's ads resemble those of used car salesmen qualified to criticize the ad industry? his account's agency might lack the creativity he seeks, but they most likely didn't include his ego tripping ass in the storyboards so he's venting online.

Posted by: jimmiejo on May 6, 2005 4:33 PM

From what I have seen on TV of late, I have to agree with him 100%. The sum total of the creativity I have seen is "watch what the other agencies are doing and then copy it", i.e. Earthlink-Arbies. For every original idea, there are 10 look alikes.

Posted by: Jackson43 on May 6, 2005 5:11 PM

I agree partially with Dyson's comments. However, I don't think the "creatives" should carry the blame. If they (creatives) were allowed to do what they do best, which is create, then I think things would be different. Yet most often than not, they are micromanaged to a point of exhaustion by those wearing the suits.

Posted by: chileflower on May 6, 2005 5:13 PM

Don't forget about the creativity that's stifled by censorship, and companies that reach horizontal instead of vertical.

BTW, Dave Oreck is right about the bag benefit. Dyson has the style, but Oreck has the functionality.

Gotta love a business where it pays to suck more. :-)

Posted by: btn on May 6, 2005 9:59 PM


Posted by: Sarah Connor on May 9, 2005 1:06 AM

His comments suck. Geddit? Geddit?

Posted by: Mcthingy2 on May 9, 2005 4:24 PM

Anyone know which agency Dyson is referring to?

Posted by: turnkey on May 9, 2005 4:25 PM

It neither fair nor accurate to sum up what is wrong or right with client/agency relations in regards to creativity. Dyson is obviously a very smart man but he also doesn't corner the market on smarts. There are those out there who are doing it better and those doing it worse than Dyson has managed in his ads.

As for his product, has anyone used one? Does it do what he says it does? After all - "
A great ad campaign will make a bad product fail faster. It will get more people to know it's bad." - W. Bernbach

Posted by: Bruce DeBoer on May 9, 2005 5:26 PM

The continuing battle between the account side and the creatives is a problem that we find in all large agencies. Smaller, independent, boutique creative shops tend to get the job done faster and with much more flare and ingenuity.

Often, I find the game of "telephone" being played when our designers aren't allowed into conference calls an meetings. Then the spread of disinformation progresses horribly. The agency needs to rethink its practices... creatives often want to be there.

And... yeah, those vacuum cleaners are the best I've seen on the consumer market. Seriously great stuff... but seriously expensive.

Posted by: Hafiz on May 9, 2005 6:03 PM

The advertising industry has plenty of creative people working in it but is stuck in an innovation-free zone.

The 30 second ad slot was such a successful product that the industry forgot about innovation in about 1971, a mistake that would spell the end for most industries.

The problem is structural, not human.

Posted by: James Cherkoff on May 10, 2005 3:33 AM

Dyson is partly right in his comments, however he forgets that many agency clients get all crazy when they are allowed to openly interact with the 'creatives', what often happens is a convoluted mess that pushes no message to the consumer at all.
James Dyson is a self motivated inventor, so he generally will question anything that he thinks can be improved (including ad creativity) it doesn't mean he will get a 'better' product. With physical product design you can quantify results - "it doesn't lose suction..." but large scale ad campaigns are virtually impossible to quantify because they target huge and varied audiences. James should stick to his Prod Des, and find himself a niche agency and push them hard for what he considers better creative advertising, then he can compare results and remove the blanket assumption that agency creatives suck.

BTW - I am not an agency creative, no ax to grind

Posted by: J Stirling on December 8, 2005 2:55 PM

That is a harsh critique, but one that rings true.

Posted by: Rainbow on March 20, 2006 12:38 PM

Oh don't get me started on Rainbow. I owned one and it was the biggest piece of shit ever made. No suction. Shitty attachments and the whole inconvenient water filtration bullshit made me throw the thing away after less than a year. 2-3 email to Rainbow both crapping on and constructively offering suggestions for improvement went unanswered. I was suckered, embarrassingly, into paying almost $1,000 for this useless door stop.

While the above comment is likely spam, I'm letting it through to make sure anyone considering a vacuum cleaner purchase does NOT buy a piece of shit Rainbow.

Posted by: Steve Hall on March 20, 2006 1:33 PM

His vacuum is a piece of shit.

Posted by: sam on September 13, 2006 8:25 AM

Really good creatives, in advertising or any other field (advertising has no lock on creativity) want as much information as possible before they start work. If any agency isn't helping with that, it's a serious mistake. I don't think creativity is guesswork but a matter of framing the problem and solving it.

Posted by: ouija repair on November 19, 2007 8:03 AM

Creative people who move from brand to brand need inspiration. That's why the best work is done for the most supportive, most inspiring clients.
It's easy to see why Dyson hasn't seen great work - he's the anti-inspiration type. Intimidation isn't very motivating.

Posted by: Hoover on March 17, 2008 2:02 PM


Posted by: Enoch_Root on May 16, 2008 8:55 PM