This guy, Nick Law, thinks it is.
He is the chief creative officer of digital agency R/GA, and he expounds his view in this article in Creativity Online.
Nick's big complaint is about digital being added on at the end of the process. His solution? Add a digital person or tech person to the standard creative team.
"The copywriter and art director should now be a part of a flat, flexible and modular creative team that understands technology and how the customer relates to it"
But more worryingly:
"This new team... do not wear backward baseball caps and high five each other in the hall"
What? No high-fiving... ever?
"Some of them have food in their beard. Some of them have never heard of Cannes. Some are women who smoke pipes. This is big tent creativity. It's big enough for designers, technologists and, yes, storytellers. Out of this tent will march the next creative revolution"
I don't know, Nick. You're a funny writer, but it's hard enough already for Scowling A.D. and I to find time for idea-generation together without having to schedule a woman with a beard into the mix.
Yes let's have sessions with tech people, just like we have sessions with planners. Why not? That's already happening here.
But they don't need to be 'in the team'.
Actually, it's a bit of a myth that ideas are the product of a creative team.
I have all my ideas on my own. So does everybody. After all, an idea can only 'appear' in one person's head, right?
The real question is... while I am working on a particular brief, who is putting stuff into my head, and thus shaping the kind of idea that comes out?
The most important person doing that (as indeed I hope I do for him) is my partner.
Then come the CD, the planner, the account handler, the client, my friends and family, taxi drivers, even the cleaning lady if I am really having trouble cracking a brief.
And of course digital shouldn't be added on at the end of the process. It only is for you, Nick, because you work in a digital-only agency, and you probably do get stuff 'passed down' to you. Just disband your agency and then you won't have that problem.
And for any clients reading this - the way to get your regular agency to come up with ideas which work in digital as well as 'traditional' is simply to ask us to.
Any decent creative team can do the full range, from a radio-only tactical brief to a big media-neutral brand idea.
And we know how to use the internet, you know. I'm using it right now.