Who’s To Blame For Bad Advertising?


Everyone agrees that most advertising today is pretty damn awful. It’s boring, cliched, sophomoric, confusing, insulting, moronic, self-serving, and pointless. And that’s on good days.

Why is that, how does advertising get so bad?

Was it the strategy? Was the communications objective bogus–– wishful thinking based on “hoping” for desired action?

Was the account management team to blame? Did they not speak up and engage in vigorous discussions because they were more interested in having ‘good meetings’ and kumbaya client interactions? Were they afraid to be consumer advocates?

Was it the creative team’s fault? Were creative people more interested in doing something wild just to be different rather than creating something that would engage consumers? Were they lazy and created unexciting, expected work easy to ignore?

Was it the media team? Was the work seen in all the wrong places by all the wrong people at all the worst times?

Was it the clients who screwed the pooch? Did they force an unrealistic expectation for the work based more on corporate objectives than consumer need? Did they strangle the life out of a concept to avoid controversy (or being noticed)?

It could be any of those, some of them, and yes, sometimes all of the above.

Think about it. Call “B.S.” when you see trouble brewing. Discuss and work it out.

We all have a responsibility to the public we’re seeking attention from. And let’s all remember the wise words of Sgt. Phil Esterhaus of “Hill Street Blues”––