Most of what happens today in an advertising agency has virtually nothing to do with advertising.
We are so busy creating data visualizations that depict how different communications are meant to work together in a seamless ecosystem, that we spend virtually no time actually creating communications.
We are so busy ceding control to consumers, so busy plotting user "experiences," so busy creating testing archetypes that we seem to have forgotten what advertising is meant to do: that is, make a promise to a consumer.
A look at the trade press that distributes creative awards and recognition the way the US Army once distributed small-pox infected blankets to native Americans, is revealing. Last week, the Barbarian Group won accolades for creating a new "Don't Walk" sign for New York City streets. It was creative, I suppose. But it wasn't advertising.
As an industry, we have either forgotten what we're supposed to do or we've grown embarrassed by it.