Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Questionable Art of Self Promotion

It's a slow news day.

I don't want to write about politics. Because I wrote about politics yesterday. And today, at least 60% of the nation will be on pins and needles and ayahuasca awaiting the results of today's elections.

So I'm going to turn the attention of today's post on myself.

Last week, I made the mistake of posting the piece I wrote about Chiat/Day's 50th anniversary on Fishbowl. For those of you not in the industry, Fishbowl is a forum where ad people from every stripe of the business can leave their anonymous comments, anecdotes and gripes. But let's be honest, since it's anonymous, it's mostly gripes.

Well one unnamed Fishbowler, an Associate Creative Director, no less, took issue with my blog piece, writing:

"Rich has a habit of taking bragging to an embarrassingly high level. I'd expect someone of our pedigree to be a little more nuanced."

Wow, I know I should just let that go but the truth is I wouldn't know where to find the High Road on a map, so let's take apart this anonymous comment.

And let's start with the notion of pedigree.

Dear sir/madam, we work in Advertising. With a capital A.  In the pecking order of artistically inclined people, we are the Dalits. The Untouchables. We're not authors. Or painters. Or artists. We don't write books. Or compose music. We don't contribute to Western Civilization in any way, shape or form.

We make TV commercials. Outdoor boards. Full page newspaper ads.

Actually, we don't even do that anymore. We make banner ads. We takeover web pages. We gamify, crapofy and shitofy ideas that no one wants to play, see or have any part of.

Exhibit A.

So when you say pedigree, I say cover up those tatted sleeves, fill in those ear gauges and take those Capri linen pants down to the Goodwill store because we're not rock stars and this year no one is going to Cannes.

As far as your assertion that I brag. Or even brag excessively. I beg to differ.

In fact I took the liberty of running the entire blog, all 10 years worth, through the Narcissicon 9000 and found Roundseventeen to be only .0038% braggadocious, noting the repetitive and distinctively self deprecating:

281 mentions of ear hair 

457 mentions of expanding girth

97 mentions of ungodly sartorial sense

193 mentions of excessive drinking (Mmmm, bourbon)

395 mentions of writing banner ads for Harry's House of Catheters

In other words, or in the 2,138,963 words that have been written here, I have gone out of my way to take the wind out of my own sails. I'm not saying there haven't been a few humblebrags, but I'd suggest they are few and far between.

But allow me to make one boastful remark. 

You see, if I take issue with something or want to voice a contrarian opinion or even to throw a little professional shade, I don't do it anonymously. I have the balls to put my name behind my convictions.

That's about as pedigreed as I get.

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