Tuesday, July 17, 2012


The presidential campaign is picking up steam. With the wars in the Middle East winding down, gas prices falling, and morality issues being cleared from the table (rightfully so) it looks like it's all going to come down to the issue of jobs.

Democrats and Republicans agree, there aren't enough of them.

I disagree.
I think there's too many.

We don't need to add more people to the payroll.
We need to remove more work from the workplace.

Admittedly, I can't speak with any authority about other industries, but in the ad agency world I know from which I speak.

As you may or may not know, after 20+ years on the inside I now work as a freelancer, bopping around from agency to agency. I get to see all their differences. Some have in-house coffee from Starbucks, others from Peets, and still others from Dunkin Donuts.

And I get to see their similarities. This list is considerably longer.

Despite all the company whu-ha about "our dynamic and proprietary storytelling process", "our ability to surround the consumer" or "our unmatched creativity and global resources", all ad agencies are the same. The holding companies have seen to that.

This parity allows me to point my fat, clubby finger not at any one individual agency but at the industry as a whole.

And lately -- as my fellow blogger George Tannenbaum has pointed out -- it's less about the work and more about the work of the work.

Within the last 6 months, I've seen decks about decks, videos about videos, and sat in meetings about other meetings. I don't know how it works, but there must be profit in all this process.

It now takes a hundred people to do the work of ten.

I'm not a process/bureaucracy/let's-build-consensus-kind of guy. I'm not really interested in the opinions of junior planners, junior account people or junior clients. If they had valuable input they wouldn't be juniors, would they?

That's why I enjoy doing this blog.
I write it.
I publish it.
You read it.
Sometimes I'll even double check it for typos, but that's it.
Of course in the four years I've been doing this, I haven't made a dime. Not one red cent.

Maybe I need to hire an assistant?

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