Designer fired for having an opinion about Bush

by Andy Polaine on August 23, 2004

I just heard this story about a designer, Glen Hiller, from agency, Octavo Designs, being fired for heckling George W. Bush at a politcal rally.

Apparently one of Octavo Design’s clients had provided the tickets to the event and took objection. It’s pretty scary that something like this could happen. It seems likely that Hiller could take his former employer to an industrial tribunal and win, but he has no plans to get his job back.

I’m surprised there are even tickets to these events, but perhaps that’s to stop hoards of people turning up to shout Bush down for being so inept. It also shows the shallowness of the advertising agency world when they suck up to clients so dreadfully. Surely they pride themselves on their originality and creativity? They probably even trade on their hip, cutting edge understanding of youth markets. I can’t tell at the moment because their site doesn’t appear to be working at present.

Individuality, thinking outside of the box (including the ballot box), voicing opinions when others shy away are all markers of a creative mind, particularly in advertising. It just shows how governments and big-business are in each other’s pockets. What was the client doing giving out tickets to a Bush rally if they didn’t expect people to voice their opinions? It’s hardly like sending out complimentary tickets to The Lion King after all.

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