05 4 / 2012

Is Pete Campbell at your agency?

I can’t stand Pete Campbell. The silk pyjamas, beanpole figure and slick haircut just say “sleazeball” to me. But most of all, I don’t like what makes Pete Campbell really Pete Campbell: his character.

Now I know that Pete Campbell is fictional - created to make things more interesting at the ad agency of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. But what I realized is that many of the characteristics of this make-believe man actually exist in some real-life ad folk. And it’s a shame because who really wants to work with that guy? 

In my opinion, here are some things to watch for that could be categorized as being Campbell-ish: 

  • Selfishness
  • Greed 
  • Deceitfulness
  • Manipulation
  • Discontentment
  • Smugness
  • Jealousy
  • Ambition 

I know the last one sounds like a positive quality, but in Pete’s case, this “good” attribute has an adverse effect.

The good news is that the Pete Campbells of the world usually don’t last long in one place. At least one of the qualities mentioned above will intentionally put him on the path that he’s determined to go on. 

If you have a Pete Campbell in your agency, just remember: he’s a silent partner. Let your creativity, talent and passion be your voice.