Thursday, March 19, 2009

Advertising and banking.

The problem with the advertising industry is the same as the problems in the banking industry. Banking has a problem with toxic loans and has a raft of zombie banks. In advertising, we produce toxic marketing (boring and lie-laden or corny and ineffectual) and we are dominated by zombie agencies--that is, monoliths who do as they've always done, plodding along relentlessly until they stumble into a swamp or something and get subsumed.

Some of this is related to the mystification and professionalization of our business. The tyranny of if-then propositions. If you do a 90-page, non-customer-facing powerpoint, then your marketing will be effective.

This is business as usual. Think about the preposterousness of a bricks and mortar agency in a wireless interconnected world. As a client do you need to pay for hallways of people, ping-pong tables and a plethora of overhead that adds nothing to breakthrough?

But like the banking industry and the banking bailout, we have a small coterie of experts--the only ones deemed capable of actually doing the job that got us into this mess in the first place.

OK. I have to go. Probably to get fired for thinking like this.

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