Why we want extra creatives within the C-Suite

The relationship between the creative workforce and top-tier executives within agencies and studios has often been fractious. The divide can be characterised as a battleground between money and ideas, between floaty types who couldn’t possibly understand the responsibility of being at the top and corporate suits who crunch numbers and crush creativity.

There is a way to bridge this gap, of course: installing people who have a creative background in the C-suite. As pointed out by David Droga, CEO and creative chairman of the freshly rebranded Accenture Song (formerly Accenture Interactive), creatives have run businesses before. “In the agency world, the most influential agencies have been built by creatives,” he says. But that usually happens when it’s their name above the door. To have a creative director move into the C-suite within the confines of an existing business is less common.

Droga’s title of creative chairman – carried over from Droga5, the agency he founded in 2006, which is now part of the Accenture Song network – was, he admits, very much made up. It was a way of showing people that “creativity wasn’t a thing on the side or a bolt-on”. Yet to him, words only go so far. “I always say, a title tells everyone who you are when you walk into a room; your belief system and character tell people who you are when you leave the room.”

This, and his track record at both Droga5 and Saatchi & Saatchi before it, is what he hopes will allow people to trust in him amid the ambitious changes that have been brought in during his first year at the top of Accenture Song.

When you create things, you’re constantly looking to prove things. So that’s why creative people being put in these positions is powerful

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