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The Blunted Edge

I had a great lunch yesterday with the US-based head of a successful British ad agency. We were talking about her firm’s work, and I was about to call it “edgy” when she said “Everyone thinks we’re so edgy. That is sometimes a real problem.”

I was a little bit taken aback. Isn’t edgy the kind of description in the ad business that makes you feel you’ve died and gone to heaven? Yes, she said, but at the same it also can be a limiting one. If you are edgy, that implies that you are far out of the mainstream, she said, which takes you out of the running for certain broad-based projects right off the bat.

Hmmm. I couldn’t help but think about the fact that we use the word edgy all the time to describe what we’re all about at Fast Company. What do you think? Can you be edgy while at the sametime appealing to a mass market? Or are the two concepts mutually exclusive?

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