Commentary

Ad Execs Cringe At The Idea Of An Agency-Wide Dress Code

Back in April, Saatchi & Saatchi Art Director Matilda Kahl made news because she wears the same outfit to work every day. It's not that she has no creativity when it comes to wardrobe selection -- rather, she feels she can save a great deal of time and energy by removing the clothing selection process from her daily routine.

Now, for an Advertising Week Social Club article, Heather Taylor decided to speak with agency professionals to query them regarding their outlook on whether or not adopting an agency-wide uniform would be a good thing or a bad thing.

Former Leo Burnett CCO Susan Credle believes a uniform would remove an important element of life -- personal branding. “The minute everyone in an agency is wearing Matilda’s outfit, then we can call it a uniform. Her choice of dress has everything to do with building a brand. Bob Greenberg chose a beret. Mark Tutssel is committed to all black. Thomas Wolfe claimed the white suit. Anna Wintour embraced one hairstyle and dark glasses. These are not uniforms. They are signatures. The biggest reason to embrace a personal uniform is to resonate with people. I will know Matilda in a crowd, but only if she sticks to her look. That would be the upside for me. No more nametags. No more, ‘Oh, you’re Susan. Sorry, I didn’t recognize you!’ We are in the business of branding. Why not start with ourselves?”

Capstrat Creative Director Jonathan Wisely is not a fan either and added, “I think uniform anything is a bad idea in this business. Put the word ‘uniform’ in front of anything we do and it sucks the life – or hope for life – out of whatever comes after.”

In an industry that prides itself on its creativity, it's not surprising that there are not legions of fans in favor of a would-be ad agency uniform. On the other hand, it's pretty clear quite a few people in the ad agency business need some serious guidance when it comes to getting dressed in the morning. For them, a uniform just might not be a very bad thing.
1 comment about "Ad Execs Cringe At The Idea Of An Agency-Wide Dress Code".
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  1. Sheldon Senzon from JMS Media, Inc., August 18, 2015 at 11:14 a.m.

    Must be a slow day in Adland.....Dress Code replacing Programmatic, KPI, Engagement, Native Advertising, Curation, etc., etc.

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