Taking part in a recent PSFK Conference, my presentation concluded with an audience discussion session. The first comment from someone in the crowd was, “With all the years you’ve been in the ad business, you must have seen many changes.” I was about to explain that I’d seen hundreds, but stopped and thought for a minute, then replied that in truth, I’d only seen two radical changes: firstly, the absorption of just about all the major agencies into four global ad conglomerates, and secondly, the birth of new media (- both of which have totally changed advertising in the last 25/30 years). Yet, in spite of this, most Big Dumb Agencies (or BDAs), continue to be run like an 18th century Opera Buffo, making less profit than your average ice cream vendor, whilst turning out unadulterated crap.
You know Mr. Kurtz yells, “The horror, the horror” at the end of The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad. Is that what Parker’s doing? Is he our industry’s Kurtz? (Are you, George?)