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

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.