A New South Wales Vent

“In the factory we make cosmetics, but in the store we sell hope.” -Charles Revlon
Michael Kiely: There’s an old joke in the ad biz: “You only need one thing to succeed in the advertising business: sincerity. And when you learn to fake that you’ve got it made!” The truth is not so far from the exaggeration. Anyone who has (like me) been in the ad game for any amount of time (I’ve done 20 years hard labour) can tell you that not only are the ads insincere, the people are too.
Advertising people aren’t ethically challenged. They are rarely challenged by anything or anyone. Ask anyone who has been a client of an ad agency. Did they laugh so hard at your jokes when you ceased being a client? Did they fawn on you and buy you amazing gifts and take you to expensive restaurants once your hand no longer fondled the purse strings? Surely they weren’t being insincere all that time?

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 now head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.