Another Journalist And His Trusty Stereotypes

Steven Pearlstein of the Washington Post examines the changes to our industry over the past twenty years.

Gone are the days when gray-suited admen would commute to Grand Central Terminal from the Connecticut suburbs, walk the few blocks to Madison Avenue, spend the day concocting clever, feel-good ads, collect 15 percent commissions for placing them with the three TV networks and glossy magazines, and schmooze clients over three-martini lunches.
Today, the center of gravity has moved downtown to SoHo and TriBeCa, and much of the work is done by twentysomethings in jeans and T-shirts. They earn less and work harder to peddle niche products through a fragmented media market to savvy consumers who tune out messages they find boring or irrelevant. The cushy commissions have been replaced by stingier, cost-plus-fee schedules imposed by numbers-driven corporate marketing officers who care less about the creativity of advertising than its return on investment.

I don’t know about you, but I never signed up for either of these make-believe worlds.

About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.