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The Scarf and the Tumor Board: A must read for young creative professionals

The Scarf and the Tumor Board: A must read for young creative professionals

This fable begins at a pre-pro meeting for a commercial shoot. There are eight scarves on the wardrobe table but the actress can only wear one. Which scarf will it be?

The answer is not so simple. How will it look under the lights? Does it go with the blouse we just selected? Will the colors clash with the wall in the background? Is it on brand?

Those present include a writer, art director, two producers, three agency executives, and two client executives. (The director and stylist, ironically if you think about it, say nothing.)

About five subway stops away the “tumor board” will meet to discuss my friend’s case. A rare cancer has taken a complex turn and every option in their toolkit has benefits and drawbacks.

I don’t know how many doctors were at the tumor board meeting. I don’t know their specialties, subspecialties or seniorities. But I will bet that it took them less time to decide on a course of treatment than it took the agency and client to pick out a scarf.

There’s a fine line between detail and minutia. If you ever feel that line is being crossed, it might pay to remember the outcomes of those two meetings.

The commercial ran, did its job and disappeared. Ten years later, none of the client or agency people still had their jobs.

But my friend is still alive.


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