To outsiders, the notion of advertising integrity is an oxymoron.  But creative people know there’s a code of honesty and originality that good creative people honor.  But what qualifies as stealing?  Sometimes it’s hard to know.

Hearing a good voiceover and hiring him for your spot is not stealing.  Hiring a director whose work you saw in another spot is not stealing.  Putting work you didn’t do into your portfolio is stealing.  Entering shows with bogus work is  dishonest.   In the short run, you can get famous by ripping off other people.  In the long run, that fame will haunt you.  It will propel you into a role you can’t do, and you’ll fail.  Better to have humble talents and use them honestly, and be respected by your peers.  It’s a long march.  You stay in it by staying true to what you can honestly do.  Here’s a little treatise I wrote once for CA:



David Fowler is a writer and executive creative director in New York.
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