Sunday, October 07, 2012
Who Is This Man And Why Does He Have $540 million?
Answer: his name is Luke Taylor, and he just sold a digital agency network called LBi to Publicis.
All right, admittedly he didn't get the whole $540 million himself, but I imagine he got a fair chunk (the agency was owned partly by its management team of which Luke Taylor is the CEO, and partly by private equity investors).
Now, I'm not against people getting rich. In fact I'm all in favour of rewards for success.
For example, the BBH crew, who also recently sold to Publicis, deserve every penny of their payout in my opinion - they have created great work, actually some of our industry's best-ever work, and done that consistently, for thirty years. And they've done it profitably, too.
Stef Calcraft, one of the co-founders of Mother, also sold his stake, last week, and received a tidy sum - again, deserving every penny, in my opinion, having co-created the shop that won Campaign's Agency of the Decade in 2009. And Mother is not just a creative hot shop. It's also growing strongly (a presence on three continents) and is also highly profitable.
Let me ask the simple, age-old question - what have they ever done?
Well, Campaign asked Luke Taylor "What recent work for clients are you most proud of?" and his answer began like this:
"We are currently in the process of leading Johnson & Johnson on a global journey of digital transformation. We service a total of 15 J&J brands across four continents, making it one of our broadest client engagements."
Ah, the Johnson & Johnson work. Of course.
Nope, I haven't seen it either.
But maybe that's an aberration. Let's take a look at the rest of their showreel.
I didn't recognise one thing on there.
They say a sample of one person is unfair... but that does surely depend on the person.
I'm more or less an advertising obsessive. I write an ad blog so I read all the ad blogs, and click on a link for anything that looks interesting. And I spend a horrendously unhealthy amount of time online anyway, where presumably I could (nay, should) have been exposed to LBi's work.
Please note - I'm not saying I think their work is crap. I'm saying I don't even know what it is.
Then again, if the first job of advertising is to get noticed, maybe I am saying it's crap.
Am I wrong? Do you work at LBi, and it's actually the shizzle? If so, set me straight. Otherwise, join me in wondering how Luke Taylor just made $540 million.