TAGS: agency creative opinion

does working in-house kill your creative career?

Posted: January 15, 2019

A recent article I read written by Kate Magee, opened up a debate that got me thinking.  It was focused around comments from Sir John Hegarty, who believes those working in-house would end up  “working with the most boring creative people you will ever meet”. He also said that “you will spend your whole life working on f#cking baked beans. Now, I like baked beans, but I don’t want to spend my whole life working on them – you need stimulation”.  Quite a sweeping statement and the article closed asking for opinions, so here’s mine…
Having recruited across the creative industry, both in-house and agency, for the past 10 years at blueskies,  I don’t agree. Yes, there are some brilliant agencies that are very exciting to work with. That clearly live and breathe what they do and do it with passion and conviction. And yes, working on multiple brands, you can test and stretch your creative ability and create for different audiences, normally in a creative working environment. However, not every agency is this way!
In my experience it’s certainly not the case that you can’t get all the above from working in-house. Some of the most creative clients I have are in-house brands. Brands that believe in the value and power of design and nurture and invest in their creative teams. To be the best they can be and allow their imaginations to thrive.
Now that’s just my opinion and I’m keen to hear others. Is it so black and white? Is working in-house as boring as Sir John suggests?
I believe it’s not about which side of the fence you work on but finding the place that’s right for you. Where your ideas will be valued, nurtured and encouraged - In-house or agency.


Thank you Deborah, for sharing your perspective. Seeing the success of all creativity through the sales data must be really satisfying!
Posted on August 13, 2019 by Hannah
Head of NPD WHSmith Having worked many years for both sides, I think working in-house is more creative than agency. It’s diverse. We follow fashion trends, we shop trends, we create the most amazing moodboards and work alongside a bank of talented designers. We attract university leavers with fresh ideas who love working with us and are taken aback at how creative and exciting our ranges can be. The best thing about working in-house for me is knowing how successful your ranges have been as we are always supplied a breakdown of sales data, it gives a sense of achievement when you know that people are loving and buying your work.
Posted on August 10, 2019 by Deborah Stott

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