|The relationship between risk attitude and advertising creativity
This research examines the relationship between risk and creativity in advertising, so that practitioners and academics can achieve further and deeper insight into the factors and situations that enhance or detract &om advertising creativity. It begins with an assessment of the literature on risk and creativity, presenting a synthesis of these two separate, rarely intertwined, subject areas. A variety of methodological approaches were considered, seeking to balance reliability and validity with the practicalities of exploring the topic in the UK. Given the relative paucity of rigorous investigation of the area, it was decided to begin with a qualitative approach based on a series of personal interviews with senior practitioners in London. The results from this qualitative were embedded with the literature to produce an eight-page questionnaire, which was mailed to 522 advertising executives. This produced a final effective response rate of 28%. The survey explored common assumptions about the risk attitudes of sub-groups of the target population, and tested the underlying proposition that advertising risk and creativity are related. This proposition was upheld. Sex, age, family status and income were found to affect risk propensity, with young and childless males the most risk-seeking. Finally, several recommendations are made. At the agency level, the findings suggest that the working environment is key. In particular, it is crucial for practitioners to be cognisant of the inverse relationship between creativity and the length of the agency/ client relationship and to take actions to counter this. At the staff level, it is recommended that agencies encourage female staff, older staff and newly promoted staff to be more risk seeking. Furthermore, agencies should examine staff profiles in relation to target audiences to mitigate any potential negative effects. These actions will contribute greatly to the enhancement and maintenance of the creative vigour of creative teams.
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