Jul 3, 2008

It's All About The Benjamins

So it's been pretty hard to avoid the skirmishes that have been going on between traditional and digital agencies this past week, stemming from traditional agency BBDO's alleged snub of digital agency Big Spaceship at Cannes and the resulting accusations and counter-accusations.

But through it all, everyone's been avoiding that 600 pound elephant in the room: salaries.

Digital creatives make less money than their above-the-line counterparts. Oftentimes, considerably less money.

Now I realize that much of that stems from different compensation models and all that. But the fact remains that there are no million dollar men in the digital world.

And that leads to the widespread-but-unspoken perception in traditional agencies that "if they were any good, they'd be working on TV commercials." And the countervailing perception in digital agencies that they're dealing with "overpaid dinosaurs who can't even figure out how to open a PDF."

Once salaries even out-- and they will have to, as it becomes harder and harder to classify the new generation of creatives as one thing or another-- so will the hard feelings and negative perceptions. But until that happens, we're foolish to pretend that money isn't at the root of much of the current nastiness.

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