Sellin’ It

RestrictionsApply at Why Advertising Sucks sees just how pathetic we who toil away in advertising are.

We, the industry as a whole, are perhaps the only people who collectively hate what we do for a living, where each day is a living hell. There is no evidence of job satisfaction. Sure, there is no perfect job, but everyone who doesn’t work in this industry just seems happier.
Which begs the question; Just who the hell do we think we are? I’m talking about us as professionals. I think the source of our anger is the fact that we think we are artists with great ideas, when in reality we are nothing but really creative salespeople.

Hmmm…I’d like to be an even more creative salesperson. Sales is the name of the game. P&G has to sell soap. Bud has to sell beer. John Irving has to sell books. Wilco has to sell concert tickets. And we have to sell our ideas to difficult clients.
Selling ideas, while often trying, sure beats the hell out of every other job I’ve ever held.

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. hugh macleod says:

    i would concur with “salespeople”, i would contest “really creative”.
    i suppose the job of every ad person is to somehow make self-loathing seem respectable, compelling and yes, even desirable to others.
    all is vanity etc.

  2. i don’t get all the ‘i hate my job’ bs. no career is perfect, but working in advertising sure beats most alternatives. most of my friends are jealous of my job. at least we get to have fun once in a while.