Thursday, May 21, 2020

"We're taking on water."

It was another tough week in the ad agency world.

I hear there were massive layoffs at formerly massive advertising agencies. I also read that in April, 36,400 of my colleagues found themselves pink-slipped, furloughed or in the vernacular of the real world, "shit out of luck."

Because not only did they lose their jobs, in a very short while, they will also lose their healthcare benefits. Isn't capitalism so much better than socialism?

So. Much. Winning.

Knowing what I know about these big agencies and their publicly traded holding companies --where one industrious writer can scour publicly displayed financial reports and find the outrageous salaries and Sorrel-like compensation packages for the upper brass that will never be held accountable or get pink slipped, or furloughed or "shit out of luck" -- I can safely say it's nothing short of a Trumpian clusterfuck.

Now, my friend and fellow blogger George Tannenbaum ( is quite a bit more artful about stating the above.

And his scathing editorials and even scathingier videos have been nothing short of brilliant.

I simply find myself seething. And asking the same question I'd ask Boeing, or Wells Fargo, or AT&T. Don't any Fortune 500 companies, who pay no corporate taxes and reap millions and billions for their shareholders, ever put some cash away for a rainy day?

Particularly during the last three years when they enjoyed generous tax cuts as well as...wait, let me phrase this the way their rainmaker, Captain Ouchie Foot would...the biggest, BOOMINGEST ECONOMY EVER!

This reckless lack of foresight is only compounded by the devil-may-care spending habits of ad agency C-Suiters who insist on flying first class, staying at 5 star hotels and ordering from restaurant menus that refuse to list the market prices for any of their overrated entrees.

Not to mention the car services, the second homes, the pay inequality, the staff salary freezes, and the almost monthly awards bacchanalia, including the one in Cannes where the average agency executive will rack up $20,000/each in expenses.

I'm reminded of the famous quote from Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart who could not define obscenity, but added, "I know when I see it."

Suffice to say, these are obscene times.

1 comment:

Paul Sinfield said...

I don't think the link points to your friend's blog... unless I'm really bad at internetting...