Why is so much creativity destructive?

by Ben Peacock

We work in a creative space, and so do so many of our peers.

The thing is, there’s an uncomfortable truth about it. While most creative people are caring, sharing, earth lovers, a lot of their day to day energy is actually destructive. The ad for that brand new car. The Instagram campaign encouraging people to move on from last year’s fashion to embrace something new. At its heart, advertising and marketing creates demand yet, mostly this is demand for things we humans really don’t need.

Get this, according to the LA Times, the average US household contains 300,000 things. Yes, 300,000. Really, we cannot need anymore, can we?

So what if every creative, marketer and agency in the world took a long navel gaze and looked at the true impact of their work? What would they find?

We’ve joined a handful of agencies around the world to do just that. By looking at the organisations we work for, and what we do for them, we can start to measure the real impact of our efforts. We think thinking like this is important, because it goes beyond our own walls. Yes, we can be carbon neutral (which we are) and catch the train to meetings instead of taxis (which we do) but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg of our impact. It’s our work that really determines our impact.

So, what did we find? The news is pretty good.

Mostly, we work for big business:

The sectors within this don’t throw up any red flags. They are mostly things people need in their lives:

Looking at sectors that have been highlighted by the International Finance Corporation as ethical red flags, we have almost none:


In fact that tiny 1% comes from sustainability work we do with Lion Co, who produce both alcohol and dairy products, and are recognised leaders in Shared Value in Australia.

All of which makes for comfortable reading.

Want to know more? You can download our full Client Disclosure Report here:


Or see which other agencies worldwide are part of this initiative, here. Hey, you can even join in – as an agency or an individual – and pledge like we have to use creativity to create rather than destroy this delicate world we live in.