By Farzana Paleker

An advertising campaign recently launched in Belgium calls on creative types to donate their sperm and eggs in an effort to guarantee the country’s creative future. Creative Belgium, an organization that aims to improve creativity in advertising in Belgium, has teamed up with the Centre for Reproductive Medicine of Brussels and the advertising agency Air to tackle the declining interest in the advertising profession among young Belgians.

Belgium is home to about 11.2 million people. This small country has been awarded a staggering 78 Cannes Lions, an honor given to victors of the World Championship of Creativity, in the last four years. In spite of the country’s creative reputation, interest in the creative field has waned and industry experts predict that as a result the country will experience a creative crisis in the next decade or two.

Some of Belgium’s leading commercial artists have already appeared in print ads that read, “Are you in the creative industry? Become a donor.” In spite of the amusing nature of the ads and the hint of eugenics, the message is serious and may very well have a scientific foundation.

Research examining creative behavior in children by the Centre for Medical Genetics has shown that creativity is partly genetic. Epigenetics, the study of how life experiences impact genes, further supports these studies, and thus fuels campaigns like the one by Creative Belgium.

Women and men in the creative arts have been invited to contribute their eggs and sperm in an effort to increase the chances of producing creative children who hopefully will be drawn to the advertising world. The initiative is an attempt to maintain Belgium’s strong presence in the competitive advertising market in Western Europe.

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