Share |

Dec 22, 2011

Planning is an odd job title

Fern Miller, head of planning EMEA at LBi, explains why good planners are usually in great demand...

When I took up my new job at LBi, I used a Facebook status announcement to advertise to my social network that I was interested in recruiting new planners. The response rate was gratifyingly strong, but included several pitches from good, highly capable, friends of mine who work in event management, office services and other useful, organisational roles.

Planning, they all said, was exactly what they were good at. This was personally surprising and professionally interesting: as I say, these were people I have known for some time and who must presumably be baffled at my job title, since I am probably the least organisationally skilled person they have ever met. How on earth did they think I'd managed to hold onto a job for so long let alone become a head of it?

And on a more professional note, it was another reminder that what I call planning doesn't have much to do with what anyone outside an advertising agency might call planning. As I told my friends, what we do in planning in the companies I work at is more like strategy, or creative thinking, or consultancy. Few of us could organise our way out of a cardboard box.

Unlike my previous employers, my new company doesn't define itself as an advertising agency. At the last count, LBi's services included social media strategies, website design and build, CRM strategy and delivery, online communications, branded content development, managed services, analytics, user research, SEO and media, technology and several other disciplines I have no doubt missed off the list... it seems that the deeper you engage with your clients' digital futures, the more things there are to think about. The elegant simplicity of the Pollitt/ King agency account team has fractured into a proliferation of specialists and all-rounders, working together in a variety of combinations according to client needs.

Yet at the same time, there have been a series of industry-wide warnings that planners haven't made themselves invaluable or even necessary to clients. Some of these proliferations of specialists have come together without strategists present at all, and appear, to the general consternation of the planning community, to be functioning rather well. Perhaps our strange title hasn't done us many favours in defining what the point of our role is. Perhaps we have too long harboured an assumption that we'd be required, as the 'clever people'. Perhaps we've become a 'brains trust': awfully intelligent, but not awfully useful...
So, how do our 'new-fashioned' planners make themselves most useful? It seems to me there are many useful ways a smart person could help an agency. Providing a simple understanding of how ordinary folk respond to the messages your brand is putting out in all these newly available channels would be a good start.

As Jeremy Bullmore recently pointed out in his speech at the ICA, this would be an extension of the original vision of the planner as a dedicated member of the team whose job was to consider response rather than stimulus in the creation of marketing campaigns. There are useful roles in providing connections between disciplines too: I see my new colleagues in strategy working with teams comprising user-experience creatives, technologists, mobile specialists and media buyers, providing the overall strategic thread for the team.
There are also fantastic opportunities for those who can use their consumer insight to invent new ways for companies to express themselves, or even to invent new products and services altogether. Lastly, given the current economic climate, people who can use the many sources of data now available to define the value and relative effectiveness of any marketing activity should find themselves highly sought after.

The truth is, good planners are usually in great demand, whichever agency you work in. That's what prompted my original advertisement for more of them. And if they're any good, there will be people throughout the business tugging on the sleeves of people like me to send more of them in their direction.
In light of this, the upcoming IPA course, Excellent Account Planning, is going to call upon those people to tell us what they want from planning, so that our bright young things can consider how they can continue to develop the discipline in the future. My hope is that they'll think of new things to do altogether. Or at least a new job title that makes more sense to my friends.

Oct 6, 2011

The State of Cosmetics in 2011 With Exclusive Commentary About Becoming a Socially Conscious Spa

Re-write from :

With the cosmetics industry earning record revenues, with niche sectors, such as “men’s” and “organics” rapidly gaining market share, and with social media, eco-consciousness and cause-based consumerism greatly impacting product purchasing decisions, the cosmetics industry is an ever-changing behemoth that’s become integral to the national economy. But, what makes this insatiable industry tick, and will it continue to thrive amid consumers' collective quest to remain youthful, attractive and self-confident?
Veteran cosmetics executive Edward Schack, principal of EES Cosmetics Solutions, Inc., offers insight on past and current personal care industry trends and how the beauty industry has become far more than skin deep.

Buoyancy of the ‘beauty bubble.’ Despite an ailing recession, the U.S. cosmetic and toiletries sector generated more than $10 billion in revenue last year from 13,000 beauty-centered stores nationwide, according to Ibis World Reports. How will the industry remain recession-proof?

The burgeoning men’s cosmetics sector. American consumers spent $4.8 billion on men’s grooming products in 2009, according to market data firm Euromonitor International. In 1997, the figure was half that—$2.4 billion. The fastest-growing men’s segment is skin care (nonshaving products such as facial cleansers, moisturizers and exfoliants), with the category growing more than fivefold during the period, to $217 million from $40.9 million. A 2009 report by market research firm Packaged Facts also expressed optimism for the men’s cosmetics sector.

Role of ‘emotional bond’ in consumer loyalty to cosmetic brands. Cosmetic brands scored high on a Brand Keys “Loyalty Leaders” report, which found that, even in a bad economy, consumers stick with their favorite premium cosmetic brands alongside cheaper ones, also noting that the emotional connection forged with cosmetic brands is due to impact on self-image.

Why cosmetics top the list of shoplifted goods. "Health and beauty care items" accounted for 20% of all items stolen from supermarkets in 2008, according to a survey from the Food Marketing Institute, with Oil of Olay skin creams topping the list of swiped items.

Youth and cosmetics. According to The NPD Group Inc., in 2005 the average age a woman began using beauty products was 17; today it is 13.7. Experian Market Research shows that 43% of 6- to 9-year-olds are already using lipstick or lip gloss, 38% use hairstyling products and 12% use other cosmetics (J. Bennett: Newsweek article “Generation Diva”).

Cosmetic buying habits related to perceived health and safety concerns. According to Datamonitor, 28% of consumers currently deliberately avoid certain cosmetics or toiletries because of fears about certain ingredients, and 39% are somewhat or extremely concerned about parabens or petrochemicals used in beauty product formulations. U.S. Food and Drug Administration statistics confirm that cosmetics are one of the safest categories of products used by Americans: With more than 11 billion personal care products sold each year, only 150 adverse experiences (mostly skin rashes or allergies) have been reported.

How being ‘green’ affects consumer spending in the cosmetic category. According to Grail Research, a full 93% of consumers feel that a company being green is important to their purchase decision, with 80% of consumers citing “natural” as the most important green attribute for cosmetic/toiletry products. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2008 Annual Survey, manufacturers of beauty products consumed less than a third of the kilowatt hours of electricity relative to the average of other U.S. manufacturers. However, most are either not aware or cannot recollect companies' green initiatives.

The importance of socially conscious business practices. Consumers also value brands that support causes—85% of Americans have a more positive image of a product or company when it supports a good cause. The cosmetics industry is very involved in philanthropy and contributes twice as much to charitable causes than any other industry. Each year, beauty companies donate more than one million individual products and raise more than $2 million for cancer patients through the Look Good... Feel Better Program.

Schack tells how can a company be socially conscious as well as make their clients aware of its social consciousness? First of all, the spa must genuinely have a heart for social consciousness. You can’t fake caring about the world around you and not just profits. When companies try, it’s usually quite evident and often fail miserably. In the realm of cause-driven commerce, actions speak louder than words and ultimately lead the way. It’s a way of thinking, and all staffers must be on board as social consciousness is a company culture, not a marketing strategy. Whatever the socially-driven mission of the company and no matter the cause being supported, it must be known to staffers at every level of the operation—from the CEO down to the receptionist—and implemented on a daily basis. 

A company’s social consciousness often starts quietly, behind the scenes. Spas should be engaged in the community that they are in while maintaining the bigger picture as well. They should be seeking opportunities to give back and looking for areas of need that, in this economic climate, are seemingly endless. The most successful social companies today typically send a portion of their profits to charities of their choice—something consumers are now monitoring closely. Consumers want to feel good about where their money is being spent and are even willing to justify higher expenditures in kind.

Some of the best ways for a company to convey its socially conscious values is to weave information about its efforts into applicable marketing vehicles: websites, brochures, spa menus and the like. Spas can also tactfully use elegant signage highlighting the charities they contribute to and events they have supported, as well as ways they are specifically safeguarding the environment. For example, “We use all natural, organic products.” It’s also effective for spas to teach their staff members to engage this type of discussion in their conversations with the clients. Clients will sense the pride staff members have in being a socially conscious business, and clients will soon share that pride in frequenting a spa with charitable, cause-conscious values.

Ad Agency Trend : Talent / Crowdsourcing

 Re-write from Florrie Cohen on the report titled : Ad Agency Trends and Forecasts

At this year’s 4As Transformation Conference recruiting talent was one of the main points of discussion. Three holding company chiefs – Interpublic’s Michael Roth, WPP’s Martin Sorrell, and Omnicom’s John Wren – agreed that the industry needs to do a better job at recruitment. And, getting young people fired up about advertising is an issue. In fact, WPP’s Martin Sorrell called it “criminal neglect.”

While recruiting talent is a concern, retaining talent is also a challenge. Consider that Alex Bogusky (Crispin Porter + Bogusky), Gerry Graf (Saatchi & Saatchi) and Eric Hirshberg (Deutsch) all left their creative jobs last year. This movement among executives is a trend that is likely to continue as the market recovers.
To further drive home the challenge of employee retention, a survey by Arnold Worldwide and the 4As found that “30% of the collective agency work force will be gone within 12 months.” And, 96% felt they could easily get a job, partly due to the recovering economy.

Since digital is at the forefront, many agencies are turning to students for their digital knowledge. For example, WPP’s direct marketing unit Wunderman has apprenticeship agreements with over a dozen schools globally whereby students work a three-to-six month stint for Wunderman, receiving stipends and sometimes college credit in return. WPP’s JWT last year had a reverse-mentor program where children (aged 9-14) of JWT executives worked on specific client projects, under the assumption that kids have a better understanding of the digital world than much of the workforce. Meanwhile, Publicis’ Leo Burnett has a group called “energy pool,” which consists of 35 US young adults, many right out of ad schools and digitally savvy, who go into different accounts as needed. And, just recently, Campbell Mithun used Twitter to choose six summer interns, a way to interest students in an advertising career.

And, many agencies are ramping up their training programs to train both current staff and new recruits. Training was an area that went by the wayside during economic difficulties. JWT North America’s CEO, David Eastman, says the advertising industry now knows that training is “critical.” Currently, big agencies are said to spend some $750,000 to $1.5 million on training programs – many having formal online and in-house workshops with classes in social media marketing and mobile marketing, and others send executives to take classes at digital ad schools. JWT and Leo Burnett are two agencies that are making digital training mandatory for most employees, and Burnett is rolling-out full day or week-long “digital boot camps” for many executives.
And what about crowdsourcing? It’s here to stay was the conclusion at the 4As Transformation 2011 conference. It’s a way to gather a variety of ideas for a lot less money. In fact, some see the agency of the future as being small but garnering support from many external people.

Future of Agency Relationship

Marketing Leaders Must Shift Their Expectations Of Their Agencies

Beyond “digitization” of media, the impact of the Internet on the way people communicate, absorb content, and interact continues to evolve.2 Forrester believes that these changes will drive us into the next phase of marketing, which we call the Adaptive Marketing era:
A period in which marketers must become more adaptable as new channels and constructs for interacting with consumers flood the market that must be tied to the overall brand promise.
In the Adaptive Marketing era, marketers’ new reality — and consequently those of marketing partners — is a world in which the ability, desire, and pace of change are constant, supported by a shift in focus:
· From outbound to surround. Consumers tell us that the marketing that they are exposed to is irrelevant to their interests3 And now consumers can opt out of telemarketing, direct mail, and email; they skip TV ads; and they will publicly blow the whistle on unacceptable advertising practices. Marketers recognize this problem: 62% believe that their TV advertising is less effective than two years ago.4 As Larry Flanagan, CMO of MasterCard, points out, his organization is now “moving from decades of push strategy to a more holistic 360-degree consumer strategy” in order to keep consumers engaged.
· From campaigns to experiences. In an Adaptive Marketing era, the old campaign mindset has to be put out to pasture, but most marketers and agencies still organize, sell, and service from a campaign mindset. The advertising ecosystem is ill-equipped to capture, analyze, and use insight about how to engage best with customers to improve their ongoing experience with the firm. As the former CMO at a global car rental company pointed out, “As media fragmented, agencies approached each channel the same way: as a new means of bombarding the consumer with our message. We found the quality of work declined over time while agencies floundered to layer on skills that just weren’t native to them.”
· From segmented “audiences” to individuals. The days of reach and frequency as effective advertising metrics are on their last legs. But most agencies still apply broad segmentation strategies to new channels. Consumers don’t want to be “targeted” as an audience — they want to participate. Yet most marketers and agencies have a long way to go to fully embrace the notion of customer participation. As one senior marketer commented, “We’re keen to embrace social media, but there’s also a part of me that thinks that anyone with a keyboard is dangerous.”

Most marketers say that they will always need to outsource work for a variety of reasons. But as marketing challenges become ever-faster and more complex, marketers must rethink how, why, and to whom they outsource their marketing needs. In the Adaptive Marketing era, Forrester believes marketers must tap outsiders for (see Figure 3):
· Ideas: emotional connections that can be adapted to all touchpoints. The big ideas behind the “Mad Men”-era campaigns remain relevant because brands must still connect emotionally with their consumers. But digital experiences adapt faster. Consumer control and media fragmentation will require new approaches that help the message hang together wherever they are encountered.
· Interaction: ever-changing dialogue between brand and consumers. As marketing shifts to focus on pulling in customers, marketers need to rethink the interplay between paid, owned, and earned media.6 This requires marketers to find firms that can stay on top of the conversation wherever it is happening.
· Intelligence: real-time insight into customer behavior. The volume and interdependency of data gathered in multiple fragmented channels provide an opportunity for marketers to learn more about their customers than at any time in the past. The challenge is to gather, analyze, and create actions as these insights materialize.

Aug 10, 2011

Is ad agency ‘star power’ overrated?

Reblogged from Campaign Asia Blog
Originally written by Mike Fromowitz

Two nights ago, I found myself at a local pub engaged in a rather heated discussion with some agency colleagues. The topic was about whether ad agencies should or should not hire rock-star creative people to build their reputations and their bottom lines. The following are the highlights from that discussion.

The hiring of rock-star creatives can increase an agency’s ability to win new business, perform better in awards shows, raise awareness and enhance the agency’s reputation. On that point, everyone agreed. For some agencies, however, it’s proven to be a rather brief engagement.

Unless the ad agency has developed a culture for creativity that runs through the whole company, star-power can sometimes be a short-term band-aid. When the star performer picks up and leaves and takes his talent to another agency, the recognition, and the awards go down the elevator and out the door. Sometimes staff and clients follow.

Star power does not always guarantee the long-term success of an ad agency. A rock-star creative can drag down an otherwise positive environment. They are talented, no doubt about that, but when they are totally focused on their own interests, their often fragile egos and destructive bad habits can cost the agency a great deal of time, resources and make peoples’ lives miserable.

Primarily because of their past successes, star creatives are also unwilling to fit easily into the new organisation, without wanting to change it. Moreover, they don’t often stay with agencies for very long, despite the astronomical salaries firms pay to lure them away from their rivals. Once stars start changing jobs, they often keep moving to the next highest bidder.

Star power is no guarantee
For these reasons, agencies do not always gain a competitive advantage by hiring rock-stars. Instead, they should focus on growing talent within the organization and do everything possible to retain the stars they do create. Agencies shouldn’t fight the star wars, because winning could be the worst thing that happens to them.

The arrival of a highflier can result in creative coworkers becoming demotivated. Weeks before his arrival, they may worry that their jobs are in jeopardy—should the new star creative not think highly of their work. Stories are rampant of newly hired creative directors cleaning house and hiring on people they’ve worked with before. Coworkers’ suspicions are further fueled by the fact that the star creative will provide more resources to his newly hired staff than to the existing creative stalwarts. Loyal employees become embittered, because without similar resources they cannot perform as well as the new hired guns. Worse yet, they believe the new guy isn’t interested in tapping their potential. That often results in a demoralization within creative groups.

Most of us have, in our minds eye, an image of the rock-star creative. The person has extra-ordinary intelligence, has commitment, is a non-conformist, shows some absent-mindedness, can be stubborn, reveals a bit of volatility bordering upon madness, and above all, exudes an egocentricity so powerful that it often disregards the attitudes and opinions of others. Indeed, the star creative is not quite like the rest of us. Thus it is important for agency management to identify and understand the differences, as mismanagement of the star creative can lead to poor results, and can stifle his creativity rather than induce it. The most common mistake management makes is to “manage” the creative star by using the same standards they apply to their more conventional members of staff.

The cult of the creative personality

What drives creative people is plainly different than what drives others in an agency. Indubitably, they crave and enjoy fame. They don’t, in many cases, care about making money, either for the company or for themselves. Their motives are different. They are prepared to be judged by their output, a very important decision in their life. The work is their focus. It’s proof of their worthiness. They have a great need to be appreciated. Only politicians and sportspeople are equally subject to the cult of the creative personality. The vast majority of workers do their job anonymously, while the names of star creatives glitter around the world at the awards shows.

The fact that the creative star is judged by his/her output, exacerbates and makes them dependent upon egotism. Without an ego, creatives don’t seem to get very far. They are much more influenced by their own, inner standards than they are by those set by their profession. Indeed, this does breed some negative by-products. For example, most creatives are career-driven rather than company-oriented. Their innate rebelliousness inevitably leads them to dislike taking orders, and because creative genius is so rare, agencies have to learn to live with their whims and their tantrums.

The majority of star creatives are driven by the need to create and to achieve perfection, and difficult and painful though it often is, they put their hearts and souls into their work. A simplistic explanation for this would be that creative people enjoy what they do far more than others do.

The best creatives want to work in an agency with a creative reputation

To build their business, agencies often attempt to hire a creative person they can easily plug into their existing culture. Some agencies hire a creative star to increase the agency’s reputation. The smart ones, hire a creative star who has leadership qualities and who understands the importance of building a distinctive, long-term ‘creative’ culture.

It’s always been a bit of a controversial issue for the advertising world, but from my point of view, it’s really important that the agency Creative Director build a strong, award-winning team for the ad agency, rather than build his own reputation first. The ‘star’ model does not always guarantee success, and may be shortsighted and sometimes harmful to the agency and its image.

Without a creative reputation, however, most agencies are unable to recruit top stars, top writers and art directors, top talent of any kind. The talent will be concerned about the effect upon his own reputation for working in an agency with a poor creative image. The best creative people want to work with agencies that already have a creative reputation. That way, they believe they are guaranteed some good work for their portfolios. Some may accept less money and even lousy working conditions to do so. Working alongside top creative stars also helps to burnish their talent and provide them with the opportunity to enhance their own reputations and value for the future.

One of the creative directors in the group opined: “You can’t argue that someone who is exceptional in their role is not just a little better than someone who is pretty good. If you hit it lucky, you may have found someone who is a thousand times better.”

He added: “I think smaller agencies often do not try to hire the best and the brightest, because they are incapable of understanding real, game-changing talent. Usually, when a small agency hires a star, the star rocks the status-quo too much because the small agency just doesn’t understand the brilliance of the creative idea, or the idea just scares the shit out of them. But larger agency brands have to jump on the next shining star, or their competitors will.”

Creative stars keep the agency culture alive

The big agencies groups have jumped on the trend to find star talent, enthusiastically buying up a string of small start-ups, especially digital ad agencies. Neither the acquired nor the acquirers like to talk numbers. But the acquisitions are generally for a lot of money. Agency heads say the deals are worth it because they need creative stars and entrepreneurs who can help them keep their creative culture alive.

There is not a lot of proven creative talent in areas like social networking. Some ad agencies are sure to look back and realize that they overpaid in some cases. But in the heat of the moment, clients have put the pressure on agencies insisting on more creative ideas and engagement. Since they don’t believe they have a lot of options, agency management feels justified in hiring creative rock-stars.

I reflected on the time when, after six years with The Ball Partnership, I was headhunted by the chairman of BSB/Bates out of New York. I was not at all interested in joining the agency because of its lackluster creative image and its “suit” lead management. Word on the street was that the ‘suits’ got in the way of the creative work, and many creative staff were disgruntled and ready to bail. The Ball Partnership, on the other hand was an ad agency where every suit did a great job. They lived and breathed their work; they believed in the creative ideas and in selling them with conviction. Not all suits do that, and unfortunately, Bates had a number of them.

However, Carl Spielvogel, the Chairman and founder of the company, was able to convince me that I could turn this to my advantage. He pointed out that “here was a unique personal opportunity, to improve the quality of the work and build the company’s creative image”. His strategy worked on me, and after our second breakfast together in the Mandarin Oriental Grill, I felt like a hawk inspecting a tasty morsel. Turning around a big lumbering agency is never easy. You have to work hard to make the dream come true. But it can happen if you can get everyone to focus on great creative work.

Talent is everything

No discussion on the topic of “star power” can take place without some great examples of creative star performers. One name kept surfacing in our discussions—David Droga, the young creative star who happily traded his dream of becoming the next great copywriter/art director for a shot at superstardom as a creative director.

No one in the business has won so many awards as David Droga and he’s still on top with his own agency Droga5. David has won more than 40 Cannes Lions, a dozen D&AD awards and 23 One Show pencils. He’s achieved the Global Agency of the Year at the Cannes International Advertising Festival in 2002, 2nd Most Awarded Agency in the World according to the 2002 Gunn Report, was named the World’s Top Creative Director by Ad Age Magazine 2002, and was named one of the 40 most influential people in Europe under the age of 40 by Media Magazine 2001.

David started at Omon in Australia and after winning a few lions, he became creative director and partner at the age of 22. He was then hired as Creative Director of the Saatchi & Saatchi operation in Singapore. The agency rapidly became the best in the world, and Droga was promoted to Executive Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi in London. Of course, the agency became the best in the world some years later, promoting him once again as Worldwide Chief Creative Officer of the Publicis group. Naturally, he became bored with it all and wanted to return to his true creative roots, so he escaped and opened his own shop Droga5 in New York and Sidney.

Another brilliant creative man who really doesn’t need an introduction, is Neil French. Neil, who led Ogilvy’s worldwide creative for many years and then moved to oversee the entire WPP network, put O&M’s culture in perspective: “Talent is everything. Don’t look at what people have done: Look at what they could do, given the chance.”

Mr. French, a brilliant writer, wonderful art director and savvy Creative Director said: “I wouldn’t hire recognised creative ’stars’. I’d hire people I admire, who’d quite like to be stars, but wouldn’t lay down their lives for it. Want some names? Al Jackson, Richard Johnson. Edward Ong, Mike Sutcliffe, Tim Crowther, Jack Fund. Never heard of most of them? I’ve got dozens of names in my file, all of whom could be demi-gods, and some of whom will. With these people an agency would become great in no time. Talent is everything. Don’t look at what people have done: Look at what they could do, given the chance.”

It’s hard not to admire what creative people like David Droga, Neil French, Tham Khai Meng, Gerry Graf, David Guerrero, and other creative stars have accomplished. In an economy that relies more heavily now than ever on creativity and innovation, the gap between what a highly creative and productive person can do and what an average creative person can do is getting bigger and bigger.

It must have been close to midnight, yet our discussion group of nine senior ad agency executives remained fully engaged, especially with the following questions being tabled: “If you are building a company, would you prefer one standout person over one hundred pretty good people? If you were launching a new ad agency or a product, would you rather have one great creative mind rather than 100 average creative people?”

Can one star outperform 100 mediocre people?

Perhaps the question of superstar vs 100 good people will continue to be debated for years. Is success tied to individual brilliance or group genius, self-possessed superstars or well-rounded teams? Are we fielding a team, or assembling a small collection of creative people lead by a rock-star? Is one Shakespeare worth more than one hundred Bukowskis, Dostoevskys, Huxleys, Steinbecks. Tolstoys, Faulkners, Joyces, or Hemingways?

In today’s ad industry, the strong may take from the weak, but it’s the smart that take from the strong. As was noted earlier, large agency brands shell out big dollars to acquire a company, not to buy clients any longer, but to hire a few creative superstars and make a huge impact.

Case in point: WPP’s buyout of Batey Ads in Singapore—the ad agency famous for creating the ‘Singapore Girl’. The agency was known for bringing in creative stars from around the globe. Their work was often times nothing short of brilliant. But it was also a swinging door and its creative stars never stayed on too long. However, once it was bought out by WPP, and its long serving management had left the agency, its unique culture was no longer. Today, the agency doesn’t exist, though its reputation still lives on. The same holds true for The Ball Partnership which hired Neil French as its Regional Creative Director. The company was bought out by RSCG, the name was changed, good people moved on, and the culture slipped out the door. The Ball Partnership name no longer exists, yet it’s reputation as one of Asia’s top ranking creative shops far exceeds that of it’s buyer.

Certainly ad agencies like DDB, O&M, BBDO, Leo Burnett, and JWT have stayed in the game for decades because they understand that groups are as important as individuals, that character counts along with credentials. Yes, they have bought their superstars and mavericks, and in many cases they have made their companies more attractive to young hotshots that might otherwise gravitate to companies like Crispin Porter, BBH, Wieden & Kennedy, Goodby Silverstein, Fallon, Mother, and Taxi. Or to digital agencies like Razorfish, R/GA, AKQA, Organic and Sapient. To their credit, they have immersed themselves in a system that emphasizes group cohesion and collaboration over me-first individual achievement.

Some companies continue to believe in star creatives, because they don’t believe in systems. In a way, that’s understandable. Groups don’t write great TV scripts, and committees don’t conceive the next great campaign idea. Ad agencies don’t just create, they also produce their ideas and coordinate the efforts of many different people. The system is the star.

Is their more to long-term performance than the excellence of one individual star player? Are winning teams more than just a collection of talented individuals? Do you think that most creative directors of ad agencies hire people better than themselves?

David Ogilvy once said: “Hire people who are better than you are, then leave them to get on with it. Look for people who will aim for the remarkable, who will not settle for the routine.”

This article is certainly not an argument in favour of mediocrity. Nor is it a plea for some ad agencies to give up their superstars. Perhaps it is more a plea for agencies to find a way to navigate a world that goes in and out of endless booms and busts, of bubbles and popped bubbles, battles for talent and extended periods of unemployment for some very talented people.

A few more points were tabled by the discussion group before we broke up at about 1:30 in the morning:

1.The best creative people to get great work out of are the ones that want to please themselves, rather than please you.
2.It can be frustrating to work with some star creatives. The secret is not to deal with them but to deal with their work. Liking them or disliking them need not come into it.
3.You have got to be willing and able to work with star talent you dislike. Otherwise you could cut yourself off from a great deal of good talent.
4.To manage creative people you have to understand their personality traits and idiosyncrasies, and never treat them like weirdos.
5.Smart creative people surround themselves with even smarter people who do the things they can’t or don’t have time for.
Your turn. How do you manage star creatives? Are they worth the trouble?

Aug 1, 2011

So, You Want To Work In An Ad Agency?

Reblogged from The Atlanta Egotist

I sometimes get notes and phone calls from random college students and recently graduated job seekers that heard from someone that I work at an agency they admire. I was on a roll and just wrote this latest kid a novella, since I can't sleep tonight anyway. Thought it might make for a blog post if you're having trouble sleeping too.

WARNING: If this doesn't make you go to sleep then you may need to go into advertising.

On 06/01/11 3:31 PM, XXXXX XXXXXX wrote:

Thank you for getting back to me so soon. A lot of my questions revolve around two main points. I am new to the whole idea of working at an agency. Until recently it hadn't even hit me as an option. But now that I have been more involved in my advertising and design classes I realized that is where my strengths lie. So I guess my main questions for you are what are the different opportunities/positions available at an agency, and what can I do to prepare for an internship at an agency?

I would also love to hear your story and experience. Xxxx Xxxxxxx told a bit of your background with working for Volkswagen, but it would be great to know more. I'd also love to hear from you what agency life is like. Pros? Cons? Favorite aspects? I am just an ad agency sponge that wants to soak it all in.

Thanks so much for taking your time to help me out with this. I appreciate it.


Oh dear. So much to learn. It's good you want to learn. But you'll have to become your own student and not rely just on school and formal programs. Be a geek if you enjoy it. If you don't enjoy it, what do you enjoy? Do that. Here's a giant checklist to start so you're never bored.

1. Subscribe to the daily AdAge and AdWeek Emails. Read the articles. Other options are BrandWeek, and a quick updating, kinda gossipy ad trade blog Be in the know. Know way more about agencies all over the country (and world) than your young gun peers. If you are the most ad industry savvy of your peers at BYU-I, that doesn't mean much, but it's where you should be anyway. It's a good start.

2. Pick up books by ad veterans, like Paul Arden (i.e. "Whatever You Think, Think the Opposite," and "It's Not how Good you Are, It's How Good You Want To Be." They are super cheap and worth owning and reading about once a year.) Watch movies like "Art & Copy." Read books about culture that interest you. Know what's going on, even if you don't have time to know everything deeply, just know it's there.

3. Get digital. Follow websites like, be a geek on and understand what flash is, HTML 5 is, different types of web banners, email marketing, CRM schemes, social media trends of the hour, social media marketing campaigns of the hour. How does an agency go about building an entire website to serve a client's goals? Why do the sites do what they do and how do people end up there? Where do they go from there? What's a KPI when it comes to online marketing? This will evolve about as quickly as you learn it, so it's a fun hobby to stay on top of.

4. Become a fan and student of advertising that's not advertising at all. Powerful messaging comes from a powerful product truth. How can the company bring that product truth to life in the consumer's life in a way that changes culture, not just takes advantage of current, already existing trends?

5. Get an internship at a big agency for the exposure. Doesn't have to be giant with offices all over the country/world, but should have national accounts and do really smart, strategic, creative work. If you start there (EVEN FOR FREE), you'll have many more options in your future. You can always settle down for a boring job that isn't as chaotic and demanding later. But you may not always be able to jump into the creative bandwagon. Be willing to move and live in Miami, Minneapolis, LA, NYC, Portland, San Francisco, Austin, Boulder, Richmond and other cities I'm surely leaving out. If you're hesitant to drop your life in one location and go for the gold at a crazy low paying job at a worldly agency in a place you've never been, then you'll be limited to what your options are in the future. If you're flexible and adventurous in college and the first 5-8 years after (and work like a mad man and never stop learning), it'll open up more doors and put you near the top of recruiters lists later. Be willing to work your butt off - nights, weekends, be the guy that will go pick up food at midnight and build binders or proofread copy when what you'd rather be doing is hanging out with your family and friends. It'll get better, promise. Kinda.

6. Be humble and smart. Although you may be intimidated by all the progressive hipsters that seem to fit in so well in this industry, you can be yourself. Be natural and real. But make sure that "yourself" is super smart and nice to have around. Of course, if you're a creative urban type, that's an advantage and will help you fit in on top of your smart humility. But first and foremost surround yourself with people smarter than you and soak in everything you can.

7. The resume and interviews: What makes you stand out? (Not just 'what makes you qualified,' although that's obviously important.) Find it early and make it something worth having, hiring and paying for. Make sure it's clear on your resume and the cliche' stuff isn't getting in the way of seeing why you would be the kind of person that a CEO would want representing him and his company / agency. If you think that person wears pleats and looks like he just got his hair cut with the #3 clippers on the sides and back, then you may be right. But you're probably not interviewing at my agency.


Good thing I'm a bit of a loner insomniac this week, working out of town. I'm pretty sure I just wrote the skeleton of a presentation I could give at the next BYU-I Communications Day. Know who puts the guest speakers together? Ha.

As far what job you want in the agency, that's something only you'll know. If you don't know what departments are in a typical larger agency and how they tick and roll along, learn that. Here's a really basic agency structure 1.0 resources i just found with one Google search:

Scour agency websites about the jobs they have open to see what on earth they are even called at various agencies. i.e. Some places call Account Management "Content Management." Account Planners (or just "planners") can be "Cognitive Anthropologists." Not kidding. But most agencies share the same or similar names for positions.


Planners find the cultural and business insights that shape a creative brief and the strategy we sell to clients and build work from. In a good agency, they are the unsung heroes of the best work.

Creatives take that strategy and come up with how to apply it to the media. They are copywriters and art directors, creative directors. There are also studio workers and designers, creative technologists and other specialties, but mostly writers and artists that are supremely creative and hard working.

Traffic Managers (or Project Managers) help guide creative and account Managers toward a deadline. They keep all projects on track, organized and on schedule internally.

Account Management (or Account Services or Content Management) are the liaison between the clients and the agency. They are the central hub of organized, client friendly ad experts that work with every department inside the agency as well as vendors and partners outside the agency, not to mention clients, of course, to guide a campaign or project from before its inception (when the client comes to the agency with a task, i.e. a new product launch, or rebranding) all the way through the brief and concepting and back and forth with clients, and media planning and into production to create the TV or Radio or print or OOH (out-of-home) or online work or all of the above, to the details of pushing that work out into the world through whatever means or partner companies you work with to get it into the real (or digital) world, to the post-launch analytics and post-mordems and continual beta tweaking and optimizing (for digital work, it's rarely "finished," even after launch)....then it all starts over and projects overlap so you're always juggling and managing something. This is what I do. Account people need to be experts of their clients' industry within weeks, whether that's cars or phones or pizzas or credit cards or online services, and they need to be friends and champions of everyone within the agency as well. A good account person remembers that he works for his agency, not his client. That is sometimes easy to forget.

Production: producers are the cool cats that actually create the TV spot or digital marvel the creatives thought up but have no idea how to actually create. They have the resources and knowledge to guide the approved ideas into actual work that consumers end up seeing and interacting with. There are broadcast producers, interactive producers, print producers, etc. Each is pretty specialized.

There are more, i.e. media planners, media buyers, business affairs, art buyers, analytics, interaction designers, and all the overhead positions that keep the employees paychecks coming and building functioning, of course. At least in a big agency. The smaller the agency, the more that stuff may be done by anyone from the owner to the "new kid."

That's all I've got in my system tonight. I'd recommend you get out there and get inside some agencies so you can see what they look like on the inside. Talk to more people and see if I'm just full or crap, so you can get a wider perspective.

But above all, do #5 above. The rest will come naturally if you're actually excited and interested in it.


This piece is cross-posted from Eric Forsyth's blog and The Denver Egotist

Jul 24, 2011

Google+ , U Got One Already?

Google+ is a big hit in the world now, with over 20 million users and it's dominated by male! Although it's not that booming in Indonesia, (there are around 5 millions Google+ users in US, and around 3 millions in India), but some Indonesians who are social media geek and those working in creative field, already signed up for this. So, what's so different about Google+? They have Circle (it's about interest centric interaction, you can split into some, e.g : friends, family, colleague, following, etc) which defines how u'd share your relations to anyone connected to you, Sparks (your interest), Hangouts (group video chat), +1 (for how you can share any articles u read to Google+), and more importantly, PRIVACY! The privacy here let you modify how your connections can view your profile, and you can modify who can see anything you post, either it is a person or one of your Circle.

BUT... most of Indonesians currently not really into it (means using it daily as well as Facebook and Twitter), BECAUSE... most of their connections are on Facebook and Twitter. In reality, most Indonesians are only have less than 50 connections / friends on Google+. So, how can u increase the numbers of your connections? Will you just randomly add anyone on Google+ you saw? It's not like that. U can actually transfer thousands of your Facebook friends into Google+ so you can expand large amounts of connections that you already built.

Just watch this video tutorial

You can also gain more contacts on your Yahoo! Messenger directly imported from ur Facebook contacts' automatically. So you can chat with them whenever you see them online in Yahoo! Messenger (rather than using complicated new Facebook chat features). Let's have a try, and see how many connections can you gain! FYI, I found nearly 100 connections from Facebook in Google+.

Jun 5, 2011

How much will you value your friends and your data on social network?

The video illustration case of Friends on Facebook

After you saw the video above, you could be surprised when you thought like : "Does Facebook have such an application like that?" Or maybe some of you may thought that the application on the video was the idea of how the video creator thought about the social network or Facebook should be. The correct answer is the second guess. When you have seen the full video, you absolutely will know the reason for that. In the social networks, especially Facebook, some Facebook users have so many friends, exceed 1000, or even close to 5000 friends. The question is : Do they know all of their friends on Facebook or can they remember all of their Facebook friends' name? The answer will be 'definitely no.' The research from GoodMobilePhones surveyed over 1,522 Facebook users and found out that the average Facebook user doesn't know a fifth of their friends!

So, it seems that lots of Facebook users are friending only to have more friend collections and probably so that they will seem more to be popular when they have more friends than others. The next question, do one and other friends on Facebook you have are equally important? Well, Facebook might think so. Even when you can customize your parents, brother, sister, or cousins and give them the right title of who they are to you as the actual condition, what about the rest of "non family friends" you have? Besides, this title only just appear on your profile, not more. Facebook respectably see that all the friends you have on Facebook are equally important to you, your family, your classmates, boyfriend, girlfriend, colleagues, people you met at conference, neighbors, or even people that you never met, both in case when you actually know who they are or you don't. In fact, whether you have 400 or 4000 friends on Facebook, you only communicate with some of them in the real life, and so does on Facebook. For example, when you post some information on people's wall to ask them for support, most of the time, you may only post information to someone's wall that you really know, for the reason that the probability of them supporting you would be bigger. Then, maybe you'd do this to 50 of 600 friends you have. See? Only some friends on Facebook that really "that important" to us, in a way that we can communicate with them a lot in a wide range of topics.

But would you be willing to sacrifice the rest of your 550 friends on Facebook to be removed? Maybe some of you would be, but only few people that you really really don't know. Why not all? The reason might be, because I still want to see the updates from them, their status, photos, videos, and also their birthday, so that I will be able to post birthday greetings on their wall when they're having birthday. Or I can talk to them when I need them someday through their wall or message. Anyway, you must have been noticed that now Facebook is integrating Facebook message and chat in one stream. So, when you want to send a message to a person, and the person is now online at the time you send the message, then you will chat directly with them through the chat window. Personally, I think that the feel and situation between when you chat and send a message to someone is somewhat different. You would be dare to chat with them when you really know them and you think that they will be available at that moment to talk to you. But with the message, it's more free, means you will still be dare to send a message to your killer professor, for example, when you are scared to chat with them directly. But when your killer professor is online and you want to send a message to them, then you will have to wait to see him offline, so you can send "an offline" message.

Well, the little illustrations above may have already explained that the connections you share on Facebook between one friends and another are different. Just like, for most person, they only often (means almost everyday, or at least they do it once in a week) have wall-to-wall conversation with less than 10 friends they have. The situation will be the same with the activity of commenting or liking photos and status of their friends. Even at one time they see many status from 20 of their friends in the news feed, they may only give comment or "like" to the person that pretty close to them (whether in real or cyber world) compared with the other friends that they don't share a close connection, even when those other friends post very interesting photos and status and you see and read it on your news feed.

Talking about news feed, sometimes you might ever be in a situation when you see in your newsfeed that few of your friends (or not few?) post something (status, pictures, etc) that is really irritating, annoying, or make you angry or jealous, don't you? Or are you a kind of person who will post anything about your life on Facebook and somehow you don't want certain of friends to see it? So, maybe you ever wish that you can hide your status from some friends, and vice versa, you may not wish to see someone's status? Well, the good news is that on Facebook you can control it by modifying your privacy setting (under the Account tab), and then click the "customize settings" (the one written in blue color letters). You can change it by changing on "post by me" between Things I share by clicking the customize option and you can hide it from some friends that you desire (to hide your status, photos, etc that you post in order those person will not able to see it on their news feed). And if you don't want to see any annoying updates from some annoying friends that you have on your newsfeed, you can change on "Can see wall post by friends" between the Things others share, and you can select customize then type the name of your friends in "Hide this from These people...."

Was that easy? No, it wasn't, the bad news is, when you want to select many friends (e.g. around 70 from your 800 friends. Those 70 are all your seniors at college). So here, it is important for Facebook users to customize their connections and interactions, so they can classify between their 1500 friends, which one are their classmates, friends at the same school at the same extra activity with them, people they met at conference, family, boyfriend, ex-boyfriend, neighbors, employers, colleagues, high school friends, people thay they never met but they know, or even people that they don't know at all. Aside from that it can make easier for Facebook users to post information, share story, or hide their updates; it will be easier for them to remember their tons Facebook friends, where they meet, what connection they share, etc. Just like in the illustration video from Youtube above, you can classify your Facebook friends that you ever met under the Facebook "I know your name" application. But it should be highlighted that this mechanism is totally different with Facebook group. You can still see all the updates from all of your friends in your news feed no matter what connection you share if you wish to, or you can give a restriction "only for your colleague friends", for example, that will only be able to see your updates in their news feed. It will be much easier than selecting one by one name of your 1500 Facebook friends to check "who are my employers on my friend lists?"

So, maybe you will start thinking about the "interest-centric-interaction" on social networks. Because nowadays most social networks have the same perception that between one and another friends that the users have, all of them the are the same important, so when one shares something, it will worth the same to all of their friends. Yet, the real condition, is that it will have the same value to all of their friends who have the same interest with them or share the same connection, such as under the same company, or else. Now you can check your Facebook newsfeed, and you can make a selection between the recent updates from all of your friends, "which one is relevant to you?" After that, you can go to your friend lists, can you classify in 3 minutes who are your classmates among your 1000 friends? And when you see someone's (or more) name and photo in your friend lists or in a tab of Friends having birthday, have you ever been in a situation when you start thinking who is he/she, and how did you know he/she? That is similar but different with the story in the video above, when someone forget someone's name but actually they know each other. That is, Facebook fails to address that issue. Friends are important, but do all of them share the same connection, have the same interest with you, and equally important to you?

Ok, now let's talk about the data or content you have on Facebook and other social networking sites. Do you think that when you post something and add information on your Facebook wall or profile, those contents will only be yours and only visible to your friends? Ok, maybe my friends will see my cute photos and save it in their laptop memory. No, it's way more dangerous, complicated, and worse than that. It's not only me who have that kind of perception. In 2010, Sophos's "Security Threat Report 2010" polled over 500 firms, 60% of which responded that they believed that Facebook was the social network that posed the biggest threat to security, well ahead of MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn 

Writers for The Wall Street Journal found in 2010 that Facebook apps were transmitting identifying information to "dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies". The apps used an HTTP referrer which exposed the user's identity and sometimes their friends'. Facebook said, "We have taken immediate action to disable all applications that violate our terms." As Tom Eston, creator of the web site points out, the very business model Facebook, and other social networking sites like Twitter, stands on is making user information as public as possible in order to generate new ways to make money. What kind of business is it? We reveal it later. Facebook said in one of its privacy setting, "The more info you share, the more social the experience". Ok, so, how social it would be? It would be too surprisingly social, as Facebook also change its settings to Facebook users info.

The changes were introduced on April 18, 2010. Before, the users can hide some information, such as friends list, hometown, and likes and interest. But after those changes, it became publicly available and couldn't be hidden. Even more,"As a result of these material changes, Facebook requires users to designate personal information as publically linkable 'Links,' ‘Pages,' or ‘Connections' or to no longer make such information available,"the complaint states. Many Facebook users previously restricted access to this profile data, which includes users' friends list, music preferences, affiliated organizations, employment information, educational institutions, film preferences, reading preferences, and other information." When the changes went live, Facebook presented users with a pop-up screen compelling them to link their profiles to various pages selected by Facebook based upon content entered manually into the user's profile. The user could either link their profiles to all selected pages, choose pages individually, or click the "ask me later" button.Well, those are the complaints given from Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and Federal Trade Commissions (FTC) demanding that Facebook cancel new features introduced in mid-April that compel users to share more information than before.

EPIC writes in the complaint, "Even if users designate content as private, Facebook will hide the information on the user's profile but disclose it elsewhere, such as on friends' pages, community pages and third-party websites. For example, even if users disable Facebook's new "instant personalization" feature, their information may be disclosed to third party websites if any of their friends have not disabled the service." Talking about third-party, it must be about business and the money always comes from advertising and other business involved in it, such as applications you sometimes use on Facebook. In the latest episode of the gang that couldn't get privacy straight, it was revealed by the Wall Street Journal that many of Facebook's popular applications were unintentionally transmitting the names of the social network's members and, in some cases, their friends' names to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies.

According to Symantec, certain Facebook applications have been inadvertently leaking "access tokens" to third parties such as advertisers and analytic platforms. Symantec estimates that close to 100,000 Facebook apps were enabling this leakage in February 2011.When you install an application on your Facebook account, a little window pops up. This window usually asks you to give the application certain permissions, such as the ability to see your info and publish posts to your wall. When you click "Allow," the application is granted these permissions--which are also known as "access tokens." Most of these access tokens expire after a short period of time, but Facebook also allows applications to request "offline access tokens." Offline access tokens allow the application to access your Facebook account even if you're logged off, and do not expire until you change your Facebook password.  

Facebook has been alerted to the situation and has fixed the problem, Symantec is happy to report. However, third parties may still be able to access your information if they were given offline tokens that don't expire until you change your password. So this means you should change your password. So, what kind of our information can they access? Facebook merely said that it will only be the basic information that we set to "everyone". Case in point: A quiz designed by the ACLU that shows Facebook users just how much information they hand over to application developers every time they agree to install a new app. Want to take that quiz to find out who you were in a past life? Each time you do, almost everything on your profile, even if you use privacy settings to limit access, is made available to the creators of that application.Yes, almost everything on your profile. You may check at 'Privacy Settings' under the 'Account Tab' and click on 'Edit your settings' under the 'Apps and Websites' at the bottom of the page. On the 'Apps you use', you may see what applications you currently ever and still use. And when you click on Edit Settings, you will be directed to a page where you will find "You have authorized these apps to interact with your Facebook account" and the names of the apps. Click 'Edit Settings' on the app you desired.

For example, when you use, and you click on 'Edit Settings', you will see something like this :

It said that "This app can : access my basic information, access my profile information, access my contact information, access my family & relationship, access my photos and videos, access my friends' information, post to my wall, and access my data any time. At 'post to my wall' and 'access my data any time' on the right side you can find 'remove' tab, means you can remove that function from the app, so that the app won't be able to post to your wall and access your data anytime again. But, what about other functions? It said 'required', means you can't change them and the app will still be able to access those information from your profile. It seems that EPIC complaint was right, Facebook still disclose the information to the third party, which in this case the app developers, even when we set it to private. If we don't like it, we can remove the app, but just bear in mind that the app still has our data and information before we remove it. Just like what it stated on Facebook FAQ about the applications on Facebook, "Does deleting an application from my profile mean that the developers no longer have access to my information?"
No. Deleting an application from your profile simply means that an application will no longer have access to any new information that you share. If you would like a developer to permanently delete all of your information, you will need to contact the developer directly by following the directions outlined here.
and another point that Facebook mentions, "Keep in mind that if you'd like the information that you've shared with the application to be permanently deleted from their records, you will need to contact the developer directly."
Just like what EPIC complained to Facebook "... their information may be disclosed to third party websites if any of their friends have not disabled the service." The service means applications on Facebook. So, even we are not using or has removed the application, but our friends are still using it, so the application can still access our information, and vice versa, when we're using the application, but our friends aren't, the app may be able to access the information from our friends. But we can control it just like what it stated under "General Application Support : Application Safety and Security" on Facebook, "You can control which of your information is available to applications and websites when your friends use them by going to the "Info accessible through your friends" section on the Applications, Games, and Websites page. To get to that page, go to the Privacy Settings page from the "Account" drop-down menu located at the top of any page on Facebook and click on the "Edit your settings" link under the Applications and Websites section towards the bottom of the page".

You can unchecked the boxes, if you don't want that information to be accessible by the apps through your friends when they use it.
Has it done already? No. There is another shocking thing. On May 2010, Network World discovered that Facebook apps are added to our profile without our knowledge. "If you visit certain sites while logged in to Facebook, an app for those sites will be quietly added to your Facebook profile. You don't have to have a Facebook window open, you don't need to be signed in to these sites for the apps to appear, there's no notification, and there doesn't appear to be an option to opt-out anywhere in Facebook's byzantine privacy settings. The apps appear to be related to Facebook's latest sharing features and tools. The sites currently leaving this trail all have Facebook integration, and the list includes heavyweights such as the Gawker network of blogs, the Washington Post, TechCrunch, CNET, New York Magazine, and
It isn't entirely clear what information these apps are pulling from user profiles or feeding back to Facebook. They aren't automatically visible to friends viewing your profile page, but if you go to an application's profile page, you can see a list of your friends who also have that app installed, essentially getting a unintentional peek at their browsing habits. On the other side there are sites like the Washington Post's, which has a Facebook Network News box showing a list of your friends who have recently shared a Washington Post article on Facebook".

Too sophiscticated, but too far to cross the users privacy. There are another complained by EPIC to Facebook on April 2010, "Moreover, the act of "liking" pages may reveal personal data "without clearly indicating to users when their personal information is being given to third party websites."
Facebook's privacy settings limit users' ability to browse the Web anonymously because of integration with third party site." "Facebook uses cookies to track its users," the complaint states. "Thus, whenever a user is logged-in to Facebook and surfing the Internet, he is also transmitting information about which websites he's visited to Facebook. A user does not have to click on or interact with a social plugin for his information trail to be transmitted to Facebook." EPIC and the other privacy groups that filed the complaint said Facebook's privacy practices are prohibited by the FTC, and asked the FTC to force Facebook to restore its previous privacy settings, restore a previous requirement that developers retain user data for no more than 24 hours, and make data collection practices easier to understand and give "Facebook users meaningful control over personal information provided by Facebook to advertisers and developers."

Oh my, so Facebook track too much from the information that we give, even when we set it to private. We never know when, how much, to whom, and under what terms would our data will be given. And what about the intellectual property of our data? You must read the "Statement of Rights and Responsibilities" of Faebook point 1) and 2) below. 
You own all of the content and information you post on Facebook, and you can control how it is shared through your privacy and application settings. In addition:
  1. For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos ("IP content"), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook ("IP License"). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.
  2. When you delete IP content, it is deleted in a manner similar to emptying the recycle bin on a computer. However, you understand that removed content may persist in backup copies for a reasonable period of time (but will not be available to others). 
For those of you who concern about your contect and its IP, such as the good quality photos and videos that you created and posted on Facebook, don't be too stubborn in the future to claim that those beautiful stuffs are yours and nobody can never use them. Ok, so now and forever, Facebook will have all our stuffs and use them in any purpose that they wish.