Businesser Insider have just released their annual list of the 37 best-paid people in advertising.

There is only one woman on it (No.17 - Mercedes Erra, the 'E' in France's BETC). Right, because science has proven that possession of two x chromosomes is a huge inhibitor of advertising ability.
And all 37 executives on the list are white. Surely fair - advertising talent and skin pigmentation are clearly correlated.

Interestingly, the list finally resolves a question we've all pondered: "Who earns the really big bucks - suits, creatives, or planners?"

Answer: none of the above.

The best-paid people in advertising are the finance guys!

Digging into the backgrounds of those on the list, we can observe that only three are former account handlers. Five are strategy types, but before any of my planner friends get excited, none of them are ad strategists - all five are from consulting. 

Three are lawyers (Omnicom group general counsel, etc), one is from a marketing background (Kevin Roberts, worldwide CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi, at No.9), three are media types, and two have backgrounds that I couldn't determine, during my approximately ten minutes of total research.

Meanwhile, a whopping 18 of the 37 highest-paid folks in our business have a finance or accounting background. Hurrah! And what's more, the bean-counters score four of the top five spots, with big guns like Martin Sorrell, John Wren, and Michael Roth (the head of Interpublic).

But I've saved the biggest flaw until last.

It's outrageous, I'm sure you'll agree, but somehow a creative person has snuck on there (Jacques Seguela, the 'S' in Euro RSCG, now chief creative officer of Havas Worldwide, at No.28). A creative person, on the list of the highest-paid people in the ad industry? But what possible value do they add?

To the young creatives reading this who harbour a desire to one day pull down a million dollar a year salary, the path is clear - chuck in your job and get an accounting qualification.

And most of all, please bin your skinny jeans, get rid of that ridiculous facial hair, and try to model yourselves a little more closely on the true heroes of our industry - men such as David B. Doft, and Randall J. Weisenburger.

David B. Doft CFO (chief financial officer)
of US-based network MDC Partners
(No.36, earned $714,144 last year),

 Randall J. Weisenburger, CFO of Omnicom
(No.5, earned $10.6 million last year)


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