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Andrew Spurgeon, Creative Director at Langland asks “Are we too comfortable?”


Andrew was appointed the youngest Creative Director in the JWT network, before moving onto an international career in South East Asia and London as Global Creative Director on Shell.

His focus on the work has helped Langland’s clients’ brands and businesses grow, and helped make Langland the most creatively awarded healthcare advertising agency in the world. He’s brilliant at developing and nurturing the most precious jewel in communications – the idea – and always directs the fame onto this, and not himself. This focus on what truly matters has helped him earn the respect of his clients, and his team.

AH: What attracted you to judging at the Creative Floor Awards and what differentiates the Creative Floor Awards from other Healthcare Industry Awards shows?

AS: Bringing together a panel of judges from predominantly non-healthcare backgrounds is an interesting approach, as it is well known that the talent pool within the category itself is shallow. However it remains to be seen whether or not people with no ‘professional’ healthcare experience will be able (or even want to) engage with the work completely.

AH: What will you be hoping to see in the work submitted?

AS: What I always hope to see, great ideas beautifully realised. I’d also like to think that this show will take a much tougher stance on judging. In other words, the Creative Floor Awards should reflect the very best work in the industry.

AH: How do you compare the quality of creative work in healthcare advertising vs consumer advertising?

AS: On the whole, the work is rubbish. Poor ideas, cliche-ridden execution and short-term, tactical thinking.

AH: Should healthcare advertising still be regarded as separate from the wider Advertising community?

AS: I was recently in New York, visiting a friend at one of the world’s biggest ad agencies. This place was absolutely magnificent, in terms of resources and it was buzzing with over a thousand bright, enthusiastic people. Out of interest, I asked if we could have a look around the healthcare business, which was located within the same building. The moment we walked through the sliding glass doors, the atmosphere flattened off. There was a hushed tone. Stripped floors where replaced by carpet, and exposed ceilings covered up with tiling. There was no work on display, and people appeared to be operating almost independently of one another. When I asked my friend why there was such a big difference in the overall tone of the healthcare agency, he just shrugged and said, ‘They wanted it like that.’ For me, that response sums up the attitude displayed by many healthcare specialists. There seems to be some degree of comfort in working in the margins of what is otherwise a fantastically vibrant business. Delivering big profits to a network’s bottom line, but not making too much fuss about. It’s not the business I got into 20 years ago, and it certainly isn’t the way I would describe my agency’s behaviour today. So in answer to the question, no I don’t think it should be regarded as separate, but there’s no doubt that it’s a choice. And agencies need to choose who they wish to aspire to, and be compared with.

To get your work in front of Andrew you can enter the Creative Floor Awards here – The early bird deadline is 28 February and final deadline for all entries is 28 March 2014.