I had a good discussion with Dan a few weeks ago about whether it was good or bad to look at ad's for inspiration. We came to the conclusion that although it wasn't necessarily a bad thing, it probably wasn't doing us too many favours.
Since then I've been trying to distance myself from looking at any ad's at all (harder than I imagined) and trying to look elsewhere for ideas, whether it be reading a new book, watching a documentary or just watching the rain fall in my garden before realising my clothes are outside and are now piss wet through (it's happened three times now). Anyway, I think it's helped. I've been drawing a lot more, my thought pattern has been much better, I'm not getting stuck in the same ruts as I sometimes do and I generally feel a lot more inspired. Maybe it's a good thing being a little bit naive sometimes, it's certainly helped me.
I think from now on I'll have regular breaks from looking and thinking about advertising and continue finding new ways to generate ideas. After all, I guess that's where an original idea comes from.