Production houses still best for directors, Gehrig says

Gehrig: highlights need for ‘objectivity’
Gehrig: highlights need for ‘objectivity’

Production companies remain the best place to nurture directors despite the rise of agency production units, Kim Gehrig has suggested.

Gehrig, who directed ads including Sport England’s "This girl can" and John Lewis’ "Man on the moon", said production companies play an important role in growing and looking after directors’ careers. 

"Currently, the best place for a young director is a production company," she told Campaign. "Can you get that in an agency? It depends on who you’re working with in that agency. 

"With the structure that currently exists, there’s a distance between the client, concept and the making of an ad, which creates an objectivity." 

Gehrig’s comments come amid debate about the role of in-house agency units in production work. The US
Department of Justice is investigating whether agencies are rigging production bids to favour their own divisions. 

Production companies in the UK, the US, France, Germany and South Africa have pledged not to pitch against agencies’ in-house divisions and are calling for stricter guidelines. 

Gehrig suggested there is a role for in-house divisions in making good work: "There’s a rigour with how the industry works, and I respect that. Whatever makes the best work works, as long as there’s that respect."

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