If The Conusmer Is Boss, Where Does That Leave Us?

A bunch of fat cat ad execs descended upon the Fairmont Southhampton hotel in Bermuda this week, as part of the 4As management conference. Stuart Elliott of the New York Times was there.

Madison Avenue was warned yesterday that it risked being marginalized by profound changes in technology and demographics that are fundamentally changing the ways products are sold to consumers.
“Get past the notion the advertising process is an assembly line,” said Jack Klues, chief executive of the Starcom MediaVest Group in Chicago, part of the Publicis Groupe, which handles media planning and buying for marketers like Procter & Gamble.
“We have to stop arguing about who owns the process,” Mr. Klues said. “The consumer is boss, and there is plenty of room for anyone who can get us closer to the boss.
“Our failure to move now, and aggressively, will lead us to be held back,” he warned, “perhaps forever.”

Sounds like the media guy knows what’s up. That’s a start.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. 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. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Carl LaFong says:

    Maybe I’m just spectacularly cranky because I’ve come down with a terminal case of writer’s block, but I’m getting a tad tired of these blowhards offering their “wisdom” to the huddled masses swimming in the dregs of their own ignorance.
    This industry is infested with preening, pretentious “experts” who, after years in the business, suddenly have it all figured out. They – and they alone – know how to reach the consumer. So do it already. Stop talking and start acting.
    When you get down to it, we’re just trying to convince people to buy stuff. Stop making it so complicated.
    Oh well, another couple of minutes killed. Back to work.

  2. Yeah, what Carl said!

  3. You said it Carl.
    Funny, too, how these grand pronouncements always occur during the same lame, annual “conferences” at outrageously expensive hotels in tropical locales . I wish more clients would call their agencies out on that stuff, cuz they’re darn sure the ones who end up paying for the trip.
    Which reminds me, Cannes is just around the corner. We’ll all see each other there, won’t we? Pictures to be printed in the back of Ad Age, natch. It’s been the same group of people for years. It’s like you get to check in on them every June and watch them age.

  4. It’s like you get to check in on them every June and watch them age.
    Exclusivity has its rewards!

  5. Danny G says:

    So Wade, what do you have to do to get Bob Scarpelli to take you to Cannes?

  6. Offer to pay my own way, probably.