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Magpie outing.

Magpie outing.


Before The Creatives See It is a Facebook page that exposes and “outs” the magpie instincts of advertising creatives by sharing the original content that it predicts will be appropriated into advertising in the near future.

A creative director that I used to work with was refreshingly candid about this magpie approach to “originality” and said that the most important thing was to “conceal your sources”.

Before The Creatives See It sets its stall out to make it harder to achieve this concealment.

But whilst it apparently taketh away with one hand, it giveth with another by providing the creativity community with a well curated source of shiny idea fodder from which to magpie.

In fact if I think about this for too long my head might explode.

No names no pack drill, but a cursory glance at the page’s likers (formerly known as fans) tells me that a significant proportion are advertising creatives.

I wonder how many of the page’s likers are advertising clients.

And I wonder whether any of the creatives will be brazen enough to magpie content shared on this page and turn it into an “original” advertising idea.

The page might make it harder to conceal their source from other creatives, but that’s ok as long as the client hasn’t seen it.

But what if the client has seen it?

But the account team hasn’t?

I wouldn’t want to be the hapless account man (Before The Suits See It) that presents the idea to the client that saw the source at the same time that the creative team did.

(Magpie related anecdote).

My brother in law was once grounded for a week for telling my mother in law that a magpie had stolen from his hand the change from the money she had given him for a shopping errand.

Lying was the worst thing her kids could do.

Some time later she was stopped in the street by a neighbour who said “Wasn’t it amazing how that magpie stole the money from your son’s hand? I could barley believe my eyes.”

Magpies really are that brazen.


  1. blackwatertown

    This is great.
    I suspect it’s where they’ll nick their ideas for the future.
    Meanwhile, I must see if I can get away with that magpie stole the cash explanation/excuse – though round our way it would be red kites.

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