Anyone who allows themselves to be described as 'The best advertising copywriter that ever lived' really shouldn't be taken very seriously. And thank god no one in the advertising world does. Apart from a few starry eyed junior writers who have read only HIS ads in the copybook, Mr. Neil French is widely regarded as a bit of a moron.
Neil French - ad guru, 'copywriter par excellence' and ego maniac has come up with yet another immortal line -'They're crap' - i.e women in advertising are crap. This was in response to a question on why women were under-represented among the ranks of sr. creative directors at ad agencies.
A good question - WHERE ARE THE WOMEN? While the number of female junior writers and visualisers is rather high, advertising is predominantly male in the higher echelons. Of course there are highly regarded female creative directors but apart from Ambience Publicis head honcho Elsie Nanji, even I can't name famous female creatives. Something I'm a bit ashamed of as a woman and copywriter.
But is advertising female friendly enough? After a stage it is hard being in an industry that requires you to be at it's beck and call every waking and non waking moment. I imagine it's hard being a mother and having to sit at office till 3 am cracking campaigns. It's not impossible - my fist boss was a woman who had raised 2 boys while rising through the creative ranks. She retired as Creative Director after more than 2 decades of working. But it's not easy.
Among my own contemporaries there are women with a fire in their bellies to get ahead. To become creative directors. To correct the imbalance. And I know they will do it. Because they are immensely talented writers, visualisers - THINKERS. Because they've made a conscious choice to succeed. They are not crap Mr. French, and for you to suggest such a thing - even in jest - shows us exactly why you are not the world's best copywriter that ever lived.
UPDATE Found this great write up by Nancy Vonk, Co-Chief Creative Officer, Ogilvy Toronto via Charu's blog. It says what I would like to but in a far more eloquent manner. Do read it.