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Lessons on creativity


Apple's Irish pickle, David Lynch on creativity and everything you wanted to know about Big Cheese but were too afraid to ask

This week the big news has been all about the transference of large sums of money to correct perceived unfairness. That's right, the US government will bail out 'Big Cheese'.

While the cheese produced in America may not have the same heritage as cheeses produced in, say, France or Italy (it's plausible to imagine that it may be illegal to call American cheese "cheese" in France), but America has produced close to 600 million tons too much of the stuff. The bailout is relatively small - the US government will buy 5 million kilos of the stuff for $20 million, which makes American cheese worth around 25 cents per kilo.

Then there is Apple and the problems it has given Ireland. The European Commission has decided that the tax arrangements between the technology giant and Ireland were unfair, and Apple paid as little as €50 in tax for every €1 million in profit it generated.

Apple's CEO Tim Cook appeared on Irish television to deny, deny, deny, claiming that the arrangements Apple made were available to anyone, which some commentators have claimed may be somewhat disingenuous as not everyone has the deep pockets, lawyers and influence that Apple does.

More complicated for the Irish government is that it claims it doesn't want the huge sum, estimated to be sufficuent to run the Irish health service for a year, which may not endear it to an electorate that gave no single party a majority in elections earlier this year.

McDonald's and Amazon are next in the EU's sights.

Closer to home, two of the UK's largest retailers, Marks & Spencer and Sainsbury's, have switched their agency after a long association.

Marks & Spencer have dropped Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe/Y&R, in favour of Grey London, despite the recent departure of their creative lead Nils Leonard. This ended a relationship stretching back to 1999.

Sainsbury's meanwhile has dropped AMV DDBO for Wieden + Kennedy, who had an unhappy and brief tenure as Tesco's lead agency.

Some commentators predict an escalation of the supermarket price war, particularly as the German upstart retailers Aldi and Lidl are proving so successful.

Talking of new ads, this is the new one for Japanese design house Kenzo, and their new perfume. Created by Spike Jonze and featuring Margaret Qualley, I don't think I have seen a perfume ad like this before.

Are you a good listener? Good listeners are often silent, but they also interact, cooperate and make good suggestions according to new research from the Harvard Business Review. Good listeners help you solve your problems - useful in any environment requiring creative problem solving.

But how do you get to be creative in the first place? Let Mulholland Drive, Twin Peaks and Blue Velvet director David Lynch help you with his take on creativity:

Is Facebook a media company? Well Facebook says no. But if what Facebook does is to disseminate and distribute media, then isn't that exactly what a media company does?

Nevertheless, Facebook has done away with its human editors, but the algorithm that has replaced them isn’t working correctly according to this piece.

The recent success of Adidas against its arch rival Nike has been the subject of an interview with The Drum. Their CEO says that the brand has fared well because it has given its brand managers more responsibility, and this approach works.

Another marketing giant, General Mills, has taken on the issue of inclusivity and in its latest round of agency talks. It told participating agencies that it wants creative teams to have at least 50% women and 20% of people of colour.

One controversial CMO who is leaving to work in television is Bonin Bough, and his leaving words tell marketers to focus on "essential" data.

Do you mourn the end of "proper" music? Do you think every new song sounds basically the same?

It could be that the Millennial Whoop has landed on a large proportion of new songs. Read all about it and you will hear it everywhere, particularly as there are tons of examples taking in older songs from Buggles and The KLF too.

And finally, as the world mourns the passing of brilliant comic actor Gene Wilder, here is one of his greatest performances, involving a myriad of facial expressions expertly tied together to produce something extraordinary.

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