Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Moving on up

Thanks to social media, the Grapevine has grown significantly vinier.

It used to take weeks, or months, before I'd hear so-and-so got promoted or whosey-whats-it is now running that office.

Facebook, Linkedin and Twitter allow me to have an instantaneous handle on the ad community at large. That knowledge is invaluable, particularly when I need to smile-and-dial and track down some freelance opportunity.

But it's also incredibly disheartening.
Because it means I have to bear witness to the industry phenomena known as "Failing Up."

Urban Dictionary defines it as such:

Failing Up -- (verb, intransitive) to derive gain in spite of failure that would usually either preclude said gain or have adverse consequences.

It happens everywhere.

You might be familiar with Lane Kiffin, the only college coach to take a pre-season #1 ranked team (USC) to unranked by the end of the season. He just got hired to be the offensive coordinator at Alabama.

Roll Tide.

Or what about Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase. He was just awarded $20 million dollars, a 74% increase, despite engineering the bank's worst yearly performance.

And of course it happens in advertising.

Here's a list of a dozen CEO's, Creative Directors, Strategic Planning Directors, Account Supervisors and Chief Innovation Experiential Digital Social Media Mavens who have parlayed their special brand of incompetence into corporate ascendancy.

First off, there's the charismatic…

( Editorial Note. Today's blog posting has been edited by Debra Siegel. There will be no name-naming of advertising people who have "failed up." At least not until our daughters have graduated college and Rich has walked away from advertising . Then you can look forward to all the juicy in details in his upcoming book, "The Bridge Will Be Burned.")

Apparently, I have walked up a little too close to the precipice of self-destruction.

You'll have to get your public shaming elsewhere.

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