Rob Frankel - Branding Expert

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The Truth About Advertising Agencies

Sooner or later, everyone finds out the truth about ad agencies:

NOBODY who is any good stays in one for long.

The reason why nobody any good stays in it for long is that anyone who's any good realizes they can do something else better, do it somewhere else and for probably a lot more money and security. The result is that at major agencies, advancement is largely through attrition:

The worst stuff usually floats to the top.

Advertising has changed, just like other industries have. Take movies, for example: there aren't any movies being made; they're marketing deals. That's why you see the same stars in sequels to the same movies again and again. That's why the most popular movies today are remakes of television shows. That's why the toys are at McDonald's before the movie even premieres.

In advertising, the industry has gone from an educational/entertaining discipline to a haphazard, let's-see-who-can-be-the-first-to-latch-on-to-a-trend contest. There is no more originality, very little strategic execution, because the people in control never really learned those disciplines.

We call this "Ivory Towerism" and it's getting worse.

When copywriters, art directors and account executives lose focus on their clients' bottom line. there's a serious problem. One that clients end up paying for with bloated budgets and ineffective campaigns.

©1996, Rob Frankel

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