December 4, 2023

5 hot takes from Adweek’s Jameson Fleming

By Christian Jaekle & Rigbe Zemicael

Did you miss the latest Question Everything podcast? Not into the podcast thing? Hate fun? Whatever your reason, we got you covered. We distilled all 35 delicious minutes of our interview with Jameson Fleming, Managing Editor of Adweek, into these five can’t-miss takeaways.

Nobody talks about safe work

If you’re not pushing the envelope, you’re not getting noticed. Standing out in a crowded marketing landscape requires disruption and impeccable timing. Brands, your agencies aren’t out to get you. Trust your partners, and do everything you can internally to strike while the iron’s hot. The “Bless Your F*-ing cooch” campaign from Eos, for example, is a masterclass in finding the viral middle ground between insight, timing, and act of God.

Yes, there is such a thing as bad press.

But bad press can sometimes present an opportunity. Tide’s swift action during #TidePodGate demonstrates a brand’s ability to transform negative press into an educational opportunity. Savvy CMOs have the power to change the narrative, proving that not all press is bad and highlighting the importance of strategic communication during crises. Viral challenges aren’t the only kind of bad press, though. When agencies take on clients with poor track records, the scathing headlines can be contagious. For example when B Corp Havas won the Shell business

Don’t be shy: share your work

Besides getting extra eyeballs on your work, seeking press coverage demonstrates transparency and authenticity. Plus, lesser-known agencies benefit from such openness as potential talent is always on the prowl. Jameson insists, “If you’re not talking about how great you are then you’re just hurting yourself … at its core, advertising is a people business.” Also, if you’re worried about competitors getting an advantage, don’t be. Chances are, they already know. 

Invest in young minority talent 

The industry’s lack of diversity has long been under the microscope. While many agencies look to hire diverse leaders, they often forget that the route to leadership requires an entry point and mentorship. Investing in young minority talent not only fosters diversity but creates more empathetic leaders. Plus, this inclusivity adds a new set of lived experiences to your agency’s problem-solving toolbelt. For Jameson’s article on the subject, tap here.

In-office or WFH? It needs to be both.

In the words of Jameson, “There’s no way NYC is going back to in-office 5 times a week.” That’s not to say there’s little value in in-office collaboration. Striking a balance between remote and in-office work is crucial for tapping into your team’s most effective work styles. While remote work offers flexibility, in-office collaboration fosters creativity through face-to-face interactions. Finding the right balance (not one-size-fits-all) ensures that agencies harness the benefits of both approaches.

That’s it for now. If this recap piques your interest, tap here to listen to the whole episode or subscribe to our podcast on Spotify – new episodes drop the first Tuesday of every month.

Connect with Jameson on X (Twitter) and LinkedIn, or shoot him an email

About the Question Everything podcast

Part interview, part therapy, part Price Is Right, the Question Everything podcast puts your favorite CMOs and thought leaders in the hot seat. That means while they're facing off against our game board, you'll learn from the successes and failures of the best in the biz who were daring enough to be curious.

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