Who Grows the Growers?

There are industries where growth is a matter of life and death. Where it is measured, moment-by-moment, like yards to the goal. Places where people’s jobs and whole companies depend on it for sustenance and survival.

Welcome to advertising - where agencies are hired because they can produce growth and fired when they don’t. Agencies are even dismissed- when and if an advertiser, finds another group they can deliver faster, bigger or more enduring growth. An agency winning a new client can mean hundreds of new hires. Equally, a loss can evaporate the same.

In advertising everyone’s creativity is directed to ‘Growth’. Its minions of creative include-art, copy, planners, account managers and media buyers. All these people know creativity is the heart of growth- emotional impact, communication and craft-  and great advertising.

Each year, the Awards shows recognize these prodigious achievement and the talents responsible, so that all can find them. Even the biggest networks like WPP and Omnicom vie for awards that say, we are Winners, worthy of being awarded your account.

And yet, in this growth obsessed industry who is growing the growers? 


Years ago, before the agency business model was under attack and agencies were flush with cash, the better agencies had training programs for ‘young creatives’. A few still do, though they are ghosts of their former selves.

An unlikely group saw this gap as a fissure striking at the heart of all that makes growth possible- creativity, experience, wisdom and willingness to share.  Welcome to LIA’s extraordinary and underground Young Masters event, 60 of the world’s Hottest Young Creatives chosen by some of the Industry’s established ‘Masters’. Men and women who lead the world’s most prominent and awarded agencies.

For one week in October, these ‘Young Masters’ are treated to a week of hands on learning, sharing and growth lessons that are in effect Creative Conversations-experiences that lead to important relationships where all join a global creative community committed to the practice and evolution of this exceptional craft- How to Grow your product, your brand, your company.

What’s more, these ‘Young Masters’ have an array of ideas and previously unavailable tools at their ready.

Last week they were engaged by “Shark-Tank’s” Daymond John, the uber-successful, notoriously honest, self-deprecating and invariably entertaining though powerful lessons in business growth for an age driven by networked entertainment. A few of industry’s leading change agents also presented, including – John Merrifield of Google Asia, Mark Tutssel of Leo Burnett, Amir Kassaei of DDB, Scott Elias formerly of Elias Arts- Music Taught me Marketing, etc, etc, etc….


So who run’s this exceptional event? LIA is the brainchild of founder/owner Barbara Levy, an unabashed iconoclast and irreverent business whiz and her merry band of caring, committed, hard-working, ‘good’ people. Yes, good people.

In an era when most Award events have become schmooze fests, for agencies and clients to meet outside the office, there’s something real, powerful and important happening in the Nevada desert where ‘hitting it big’, just may mean a trip to the LIA Awards show as a judge, jury president or, if you’re really fortunate, and very talented, you may just snag a place as a ‘Young Master’.

Good luck! In case you were wondering about today’s Mad Men and women, now you know, who’s Growing the Growers. 

Judging LIA

       On judging LIA 2014, Warren Brown, Creative Founder of BMF had this to say: 
" Holding the LIA judging in Las Vegas is something quite unique. 
Unlike the corporate feel of other shows this one
allows the juries to relax, intermingle and swap
stories and ideas in an environment that essentially
doesn't have a handbrake. The TV/Cinema/Online
Film Jury embraced this atmosphere, no one was
afraid to speak up, there were no agendas and
like me all they wanted to see was the best work
getting its due recognition.
Also having young creatives experience the judging first
       hand so they can see and hear for themselves the passion jury members have for great work is a great  innovation and  
       adds to the integrity of the awards.
       One observation was there were fewer mega budget block busters in traditional film compared to past shows and
       more well crafted films of stunts but really the jury focussed on the the important stuff, a brilliant idea or story that
       was equally brilliant in execution. The judging was more like a filtering process that through multiple viewings allowed
       the good work to get stronger and the weaker stuff to dry up and blow away into the Nevada desert.
       The work that made the shortlist was exceptional, to get metal the film had to be outstanding. The international make-up
       of the jury brought a ton of experience to the judging and as a jury LIA couldn't have wished for a better group.
       Well done them and well done to the winners who have truly raised the bar for all of us."

2014 Jury Presidents

Music Video and
Production & Post-Production
Laura Gregory
CEO / Founder
Great Guns
Andreas Ullenius
Executive Creative Director
Rob Reilly
Global Creative Chairman
McCann Worldgroup
TV/Cinema/Online Film
Warren Brown
Creative Founder
TV/Cinema/Online Film -
Music & Sound
Scott Cymbala
Executive Producer / MP
Mark Tutssel
Global CCO
Leo Burnett Worldwide

Print • Poster • Billboard
Dörte Spengler-Ahrens
Executive Creative Director
Jung von Matt/Elbe
Branded Entertainment
Jimmy Smith
Chairman / CEO / CCO
Amusement Park Entertainment
Amir Kassaei
Worldwide CCO
DDB Worldwide
Design and Package Design
Joanina Pastoll
Head of Creative
Lowe Cross Colours
Radio & Audio
Jo McCrostie
Creative Director
Global Radio

Media Sponsors

Strategic Partners

Creative Circle SA