There are currently a couple ad campaigns from two Stockholm agencies that have created exceptional buzz. Execution-wise these two projects are really high-class. There's a problem though: The ideas are clones of other ideas.
There's a saying: talents imitate, geniuses steal. But how true is this when it comes to creativity?
In the short run, stealing pays off – it's a genius move. Your agency will win awards and your unknowing client will be happy. But in the long run, the advertising business has to deliver creativity – ideas that have never been seen before. Ideas that have been made no not change anything inside people's heads and are therefore not creative.
If the advertising business isn't creative and creates it's own ideas I see few reasons for why it should even exist beyond being printing and production factories, since the ability to find funny stuff on YouTube is not enough to get a Cannes Lion, and it's definitely not worth 300 dollars an hour.
As I said. Stealing pays off in the short run so probably it's a matter of how you view creativity and how your agency conduct business in the long term.