By: Brian J. Meli
It sounds like the setup to a bad punchline. But with the benefit of a former career in content creation in the advertising industry, and a current career in content protection in the legal one, it could be the title of my future memoir.
The fact is the marketing executive has always dreaded the call to/from the legal department, because it represents the demise of all that’s new, exciting and creative (i.e. everything that makes their job moderately interesting). As one former colleague put it, the advertising lawyer is the “No-Man,” named not so endearingly after his favorite word in the english language, as in “no, you can’t run that.” As far as your average brand manager or account director is concerned, a lawyer wouldn’t know a good creative concept if it walked up to him, introduced itself and then tried to strangle him with his Ferragamo necktie.
The lawyer meanwhile regards the marketing camp as a bunch of foolish risk-takers, naive to the unintended consequences of running a campaign without proper review. So who is right? Well, the fact is neither one would be doing his job very well if he wasn’t thinking along these lines. One of them gets paid to define the limits; the other to push them. The question is: is there ever a time when the two can find common ground? The answer: perhaps. Continue reading