Monday, July 2, 2018

No Country for Old Ad Men (And Women)

Had coffee the other day with an old colleague and fellow old timer -- there's a good chance this guy was even older than 44.

At one time in our careers, you could argue we were both on the A-Team. We were starters. We swung the heavy bats. We batted clean up and more often than not, cleared the bases. We were clutch.

At one time in our careers, you'd find us at the awards shows. Sitting at the good tables. In the front. Our smiles would be beaming. Mostly from the reflection of gold and silver trinkets gathered in front of our dinner plates. And juniors would flock to us for advice.

At one time in our careers, recruiters and creative service managers had our phone numbers, email addresses, online portfolios and escalating day rates, right at their fingertips.

You know the rest of the story. And you probably know the tenor of the rest of our little coffee clutch. Misery loves company. As well as the occasional blueberry scone.

If I may paraphrase Malcom X...

We've been marginalized.



And bamboozled.

We're not at the back of the bus.

We've been thrown under the bus by small minded bean counters and craft-despising holding companies.

We didn't land on Madison Ave.

Madison Ave landed on us.

And paved us over with hot, merciless asphalt.

OK, this is getting a bit strained, but you get the point.

Of course, I've got less right to gripe than others. It hasn't all been banners ads for Harry's House of Catheters. A few weeks ago I did a cool direct-to-client project for a high tech company.

Did some pitches for a bunch of creative guys who still appreciate the role of humor.

And I'm currently working on some political thing and another Black Ops project that I can't talk about.

And so, as I was telling my friend who was new to the world of mercenary advertising,

"That's what freelancing is all about. There's some good. A lot of bad. And a great deal of free time to spend in your garage lifting weights and finding the perfect containers for all the wing nuts, molly bolts and color-coded electrical wire caps."

Personally, I wouldn't have it any other way.

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