Nothing Is Dead, So Let’s Bury That Idea

You can claim, like Tony Granger did, that “advertising agencies are dead,” but take it from me: Advertising agencies are like cockroaches. We’ll survive. So will other forms of media and advertising, even the oldest of the old school:

Direct Mail is not dead.
Be they formulaic sales letters or cute mailers, they still show up in my mailbox every day. The internet was supposed to kill direct mail off. High postage prices were supposed to kill it off. Environmentalism and the desire to save paper was supposed to kill it off. No, direct mail is still around. And it still works to some degree. Just ask a DM expert about ROI and trust me, you’ll never get them to shut up about it.

It’s the subject of my new column on Talent Zoo.

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. Outstanding headline, Dan.

  2. Thanks, bro. I keep pulling ’em out of you-know-where.

  3. Great post Danny, have been thinking about this a lot myself but you seem to have summed it up succinctly! The challenge for direct mail is that every other channel is becoming direct. When apples can be compared to apples it will be interesting to see which media thrives

  4. Any time an ad person says “_____ is dead,” simply put “My love for” out front.
    Suddenly, it becomes a lot more honest.

  5. Great column, Danny. I don’t think agencies are dead either. Wouldn’t mind if a certain breed of self-promoting, cliche-spouting ECD suddenly became extinct though. 🙂

  6. Fortyver says:

    Danny- Glad to see you put this out there.
    I nearly lose my shit every time I hear some self declared advertising prophet say that something is dead. My belief is
    that we got lazy and fat and stopped looking for the Big Idea.
    We became so enamored with our self referential humor and stopped trying to sell our clients products. So, when the clients started bitching about not getting any return on their investment, we started looking for some other shiny object to dazzle them, so we could pick their pockets anew. This time, that damn economy foiled us again. Just my two cents.
    Dale- Your comment is genius.

  7. I just realized why I find the Internet so less than
    funny anymore and ,yes, lazy.
    I am not a member or norml and not a member of the stoned genii. I am not lesbian nor looking for a straight partner on match, harmony or through tweets or facebook. I don’t care enough about those things.
    I won’t ever completely go away but my returns do keep diminishing.