Titles Work For Nobility, Not Grubby Promoters

That ad people can be a pampered lot is no secret. But must we endure the New York Times snooping around and examining the fine print on our business cards?

Title-mania is transforming the executive suites of Madison Avenue as agencies and advertisers give senior managers some nontraditional, offbeat, even wacky titles.
Have you ever wanted to be a “group idea management director”? Now you can. How about a “chief transformation officer”? There are several of those.
Does the title “marketing evangelist” suit you? Or perhaps “chief consumer officer”? What about “vice president for stakeholder relations”? Executives have been appointed recently to all those titles.
This is not the first time that Madison Avenue has bestowed odd titles on executives. During the dot-com boom, titles like “marketing sherpa” were being handed out like cents-off coupons for Swiffer at Safeway.
The dot-com bust deflated some of the zest for nontraditional titles, but the ferment in the new-media field in the last year or two seems to have revived it.

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. The best title I’ve seen lately was on the business card of a rep for Pedro’s (they make bicycling tools and other accessories, and tour their regions in psychedelic vans). It was this:
    “Love Tour Commander.”
    Too cool.

  2. I just graduated college and got my first job. I am really a traffic coordinator, but I liked the name Efficient Creative Workflow Engineer much better! It rolls off the tongue much easier.

  3. When I think of some of the people I’ve worked for, even traditional titles like “creative director” are knee-slappingly hilarious. Nick Allen>> for the next few years, your unofficial title will be “Job Jacket Pack Mule”, get used to it. (j/k; congrats on your new job.)

  4. daveednyc, thanks for the update title. I have used it for a couple of months now, I think it is time for a refresh.