Ad Agencies: Alex Bogusky’s Keynote at Mirren’s New Business Conference

First rule of new business: make a list of the rules. Second rule of new business: break every rule on the list.

If you want to shake up your thinking regarding agency new business and following conventional wisdom, Alex Bogusky, the highly respected creative director for Crispin and Porter Advertising, shares his perspective.

He was one of the featured speakers at Mirren’s annual new business conference in New York. He urged attendees to ‘defy convention’.

“I hate conventional wisdom,” Bogusky said, “conventional wisdom is learning from your mistakes. What about learning from your successes? That’s where I’ve focused [my energies]. Like, this works, we better get down and study on this.”

Crispin Porter Bogusky’s success in new business came from breaking with conventional wisdom. He says that cheating is breaking the rules and (when it comes to new business) “If You’re Not Cheating, You’re Not Doing It Right”.

Alex joined Crispin and Porter Advertising in 1989 as an art director. He became the creative director five years later, a partner in 1997, and co-chairman in 2008.

Under Alex’s direction, Crispin Porter + Bogusky has grown to 900 + employees, with offices in Miami, Boulder, Los Angeles, London and Sweden. CP+B has become one of the world’s most awarded agencies, and is the only agency to have won the Cannes International Advertising Festival Grand Prix in all five categories: Promotion, Media, Cyber, Titanium and Film.

Alex was inducted into the Art Director’s Club Hall of Fame in 2008, and in 2009 he received an honorary PhD from the University of Colorado. He was also named Creative Director of the Decade in Adweek magazine’s Best of 2000s report.

Read more from Alex’s blog, alexbogusky’s posterous. You will also find him on Twitter.


About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


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  3. Michael, what a great post, thanks for sharing. I can’t believe how few hits on this youtube vid. This stuff is gold even if you never use it but decide to reivent with this thinking in mind! Wow, just wow.

  4. Glad you enjoyed it Craig.

  5. wow this is dull…..!

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