Monday, August 27, 2007

A few more words on dumb titles.

In a recent post I carped about the proliferation of meaningless titles. This is endemic in all businesses today, but, I think particularly rife in ours. If a baseball team had similar title proliferation each would have a "Chief Going into the Hole and Making the Peg Officer," a "Chief Short-Hop Officer" and the like.

Great players, whether it's in sports or business can do many things. A good copywriter or art director or, god-forbid, media director should have ideas. Thus, perhaps, eliminating the need for a "Chief Idea Officer."

Semantically, linguistically, philologically, I don't know what this proliferation says about us. I suspect it's a agency's way of saying our business is so complex and involved that we need many, many specialists to provide you with the myriad services you need. Taken further, it's probably a way to obscure what we do so we can charge more.

Ed McCabe, all 5'3" of him, created a brand, a company and an entire industry with the words "It takes a tough man to make a tender chicken." I wonder if he could have gotten that positioning past a Chief Something Officer.

3 comments:

tore's tour said...

mayor of ideas in the city of decline.
or Lord of Creation, as one guy i met had on his card. jokingly i must assume, but who can assume anything nowadays?

Rebecca said...

Perhaps titles should come with a descriptive tagline.

Chief Idea Officer
Head of the genius police.

Copywriter
Copy in 5 minutes or your coffee is free.

Group Account Director
Keeping clients happy and Creative Directors in line since 2002.

geo said...

Then there are these nonsense titles:
Alberto Gonzales, Attorney General.
No Child Left Behind.
The Clear Skies Act.