In the interest of full-disclosure and quaint notions of integrity (journalistic or otherwise) until February I was on the payroll as the Executive Creative Director of Digitas' flagship Boston office. I left in part because of the thinking exemplified by today's Times article. It would be great for business if advertising were mechanized, formula-ized and otherwise-ized to always lead to the desired results. Then creative people could be replaced by off-shore programmers or software. This dream is some version of that old apocrypha that says if you give a million monkeys a million typewriters they will eventually scribe the compleat works of Shakespeare, or at least Rod McKuen.
I don't think the world is that linear. According to research conducted by Komar and Melamid, this is America's favorite painting. You see, Americans like blue and George Washington and wildlife. Here's the thing though, it sucks. Read more here: http://www.diacenter.org/km/index.html
Komar and Melamid's original article can be found here: http://www.diacenter.org/km/nation.html