Where to start? I guess it was yesterday when I finally realized we should probably start to speak up a bit about what's going on with creativity in agencies today. We're working a bit on preparations for the 2010 Census (be sure to mail in your forms when you get them) and investigating working with a larger agency in Chicago that has the umbrella contract for communications. To cut to the chase quickly, the thing that came up the most was that they were a fantastic creative firm, but when they were bought, it became about the numbers and not the work. Unfortunately, that didn't strike me as an overall negative since I've become accustomed to hearing this. I can say in all honesty that I've spoken with everyone from account leads, to creative directors, to technology in at least 4 of the major holding companies' portfolios and all have said the same thing. And usually is sounds like: "I spend more time looking at spreadsheets, WIP reports, forecasts, justifying revenue targets, and then double and triple checking these things, than actually working on the client's work. And when I do have the time (which ironically, is the thing all those tools are meant to measure), we can't simply concentrate on good work, but rather how quickly, and how cheaply can we achieve the goal?" (Usually what that means is a hierarchy of younger, less experienced staff members doing the bulk of the work since they have lower costs and lower bill rates).