Dear Mr. Stipe, What’d You Do With All The Shiny Happy People?

When it comes to analyzing the current state of the ad business and the economy, George Parker and Bob Hoffman are not glass half full kind of guys. Not at all.
Here’s some of what Hoffman’s saying:

It’s embarrassing to be in the ad business these days.
Ad agencies don’t know what they believe.
In reaction to the dual onslaughts of the web and the recession, they have abandoned all principles.

Sadly, for most in this business there weren’t many principles to begin with, other than serve the clients’ interests and keep the money coming in.
Parker says he’s “a bit tired of reading everywhere that the recession is over.”

Anyone with half a fucking brain knows that’s bullshit. There are millions of people out of work who will probably never work again. And that’s particularly true of the ad biz.

Never work again?
Edward O’Meara of MediaHound speaks up in Parker’s comments.

Each of us have different things we notice in this economic re-set.
For me, it has primarily been the volume of friends (mostly guys in their 40s & 50s with amazing credentials) who were felled because they were easy, explainable, expensive, variable costs. I’m thinking about nearly 70 people.
Few have even had a single interview. Not one has found employment.

I’m in my 40s and I walked away from a great job nine months ago. It wasn’t a hard decision to make at the time–I’ve always been confident in my ability to find work, as a freelancer or as staff. I’m still confident, but it might be a defect, or something.
Parker also mentions that many of the freelancers he knows have slashed their rates. Interestingly, I had a CEO of a tech company tell me last week at lunch that I should double my going rate. I like that kind of into-the-wind thinking.
I also like how this slightly younger team from Australia is handling the out-of-work situation:



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 at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.