Seth Godin would like to see ad execs empowered by clients to actually move the needle, as opposed to the typical dancing around it, most of us do now.

What a shame that some of the smartest people in our field aren’t allowed (by their clients and by their industry’s structure) to get behind the scenes and change the product, the strategy and the approach instead of just annoying more people with ever louder junk.

Of course, I agree with Seth. But I find his notion hopelessly romantic. In a world where MBA-toting clients clearly know best when it comes to art direction and copy (skills not taught in B-school, strangely enough), just getting an idea that has not been ruined by committee sold in and produced, is about as much as any of us can hope for.

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.