Thursday, June 2, 2016

Now trending...

As I've mentioned before, I like to stay abreast on all industry news. I like to know where clients are going. Where employees are going. And where trends are going.

It's part and parcel of being a copywriter. I like to think I'm a good observer of human behavior.

It's how, for instance, I know that people don't want to give up the steering wheel for a driverless car. Or how they will never be convinced to eat pizza backwards. Or how, despite the horse-hockey dished out by management about greater collaboration and increased productivity, people do not want to work in an open office plan.

They just don't.

Of course, I never predicted the ascendancy of a two-bit, vulgarian with the orange merkin hat and the intellectual prowess of a bean bag, as a legitimate Presidential candidate, but then who did?

Lately, I've noticed a very troubling trend in the ad industry.

OK, there are many troubling trends in the ad industry, but this one is gaining steam.

Perhaps you've noticed it too.

An agency will hire a bevy of heavy hitting C-Suite executives. They have fancy titles. Impressive resumes. And they come furnished with their own professionally shot, heavily photoshopped 8 X 10 headshots. Any agency would be proud to have these tattooed wonders on board. Digital is their native language. And clients can't get enough of their paradigm-changing wisdom.

So says the press releases on AgencySpy

Then, a week, maybe two weeks later, that same agency -- and there are many I've seen doing this -- will "downsize" or "rightsize" or "trim the fat" and lay off a bevy of not-so-heavy-hitting staffers.

People who actually do the work. You know, the peons who gave up their nights and weekends and missed birthday parties for mismanaged new business pitches or last minute brand turnarounds.

Those folks.

It doesn't take a genius to spot this trend. The fact that I noticed it, is proof of that. But it certainly is indicative of the level of tone deafness that is increasing on a daily basis.

There used to be a joke, "don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out." 

Now, it's, "Don't let the door hit you on the way out and could you please hold it open for our new Chief Innovations Platform Anthropologist?" 


Salty said...

Advertising is so caught up in its own vanity that it forgot that the work wasn't about the people who did the work. It's the sort of sod-brained navel-gazing fuckhattery that's been driving away creative people in droves. The rise of well-written television corresponds, for instance, to the decline of well-written advertisements.

Creativity is a natural resource, and there is only so much of it out there worth a toss. But, really, does it shock anyone that ad agencies would be so heartless? They're already mostly brainless at the top anyway.

Fuck them sideways with a thousand-page presentation deck.

Anonymous said...

I worked at a 100+ person shop that got bought out by Omnisomething. Almost immediately some friends of the partners materialized in high-paying positions but without any real tasks. They were mostly affable and friendly but I'm not sure they did any actual work. They got on the roster in time to lock in the benefits and, at the very least, file for unemployment a few months later. Incidentally I left, and never received the Omnisomething stock I'd been promised. Later I learned they had given my stock to an attractive intern who had a 7-figure trust fund.