Grace O’Brien (pictured left with BWM Dentsu’s Rob Gordon), copywriter at whiteGREY Sydney is representing Australia at the 2019 LIA Creative LIAisons program in Las Vegas, featuring some of the world’s most respected creative directors as speakers. Here O’Brien reports exclusively for CB.
It’s been a long, thought-provoking and, at times, challenging day. Let’s start off with the good stuff, shall we?
Lara Logan, the Martha Gellhorn of our times, kicked off the day with an incredible talk about journalism and truth. There were too memorable quotations to recount, but I’ll share the one that really stuck with me:
“You [creatives] rely too much on what you read, and not what you live.”
Ooft. It’s so true; we rely heavily on secondary sources and dodgy data pulled from the first pages of Google by strategists and planners. It’s not often that we look to real life and real people for our insights.
The afternoon was more hands-on and skills focused, care of the Rare Masterclass. From practising negotiation skills with Prof. David Slocum to learning self love with Samson Bonkebantu Brown and ‘dealing with wild moments’ with the stunning Blair Imani, it was a productive and really worthwhile session.
I have, of course, skipped over today’s most controversial moment: the 11am ‘guest speaker.’ I don’t want to say too much about this because I don’t have all the facts, LIA is well within their rights to invite whomever they want to speak at LIAisons and, frankly, I don’t want my words to inadvertently ‘signal boost’ the person in question.
But I will say this:
What we experienced at 11am had very little to do with creative work, nor did it really give us any professional insight or expertise – three things that, according to the LIA website, this week is all about. It felt like an apology tour wrapped up in a thin, lazily assembled layer of ‘education.’ I absolutely agree that everyone deserves a right to be heard and to tell their story. But this was not the time nor the place for that, and the use of this programme as a platform for this person was irresponsible.
Anyway, onwards and upwards. Tomorrow is another day.