Does advertising need a patron saint?

A patron saint for advertising?

The Catholics have already given us a patron saint of advertising.

Saint Bernardino of Sienna is not just the patron saint of advertising and communications.

He is also the patron saint of compulsive gambling and respiratory problems.

I kid you not.

A man of many hats it seems.

Related though. Advertisers have always seen advertising as a gamble.

And advertising and smoking used to go together like Don Draper and a double-breasted suit.

But, Dino isn’t our only option. (Saint Bernardino – while being an elegant and captivating speaker – was very much against indecent language, usury, non-Christians, sodomites and the excesses of luxury. Which pretty much counts out every single cliché we have.)

The Anglicans have saints.

Better yet, they have martyrs.

Maybe advertising does not need a patron saint.

Perhaps instead, we should acknowledge one martyr – and have him or her stand in for every single advertising genius whose ascension to greatness is constantly thwarted by bad briefs, incompetent people, poor timing, siloed businesses, unsupportive partners, short-sighted superiors and office politics.

We could even strike a medal emblazoned with the idea lightbulb pierced with arrows.

The Hindus have saints.

I don’t know if they have a Patron Saint of Advertising.

I do know they have gurus.

Advertising also has gurus.

In Sanskrit, the word “guru” means master or teacher or guide.

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Protestants don’t have saints.


I do like the idea of a patron saint.

Not necessarily one who has a religious affiliation, but certainly someone who can be our advocate in heaven.

Someone who can intercede, to higher powers, on our behalf.

A metaphysical presence we can turn to in times of stress and need.

Someone who can ensure an easier passage for the work we do.

Someone to provide support when the world rails against us.

By this definition, I think we do need one.


Or the comfort of a clear and succinct brief.