Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Insanity runs in my family.

"Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops."
--Cary Grant in "Arsenic and Old Lace"

Most social organizations are infected with a dominant complacency that perpetuates the dull, stupid and out-moded. Don't believe me, think about the safety movie on every flight. Do we really need to be told how to insert a metal tab? Do we really not know how to undo a seatbelt? Has anyone thought for a minute that lap-belts are more dangerous than wearing nothing at all? (Even the auto industry knows this.)

Think about mass transit systems. In many cases, it costs more to collect fares than the fares themselves account for (when you consider the increase in ridership elimination of fares would bring and the cost of police vigilance against fare evaders.) Nevertheless, we persist in our habits.

Agencies, of course, are among the worst offenders. We have job titles and tasks assigned as if this were still 1980. Half of the briefs we get could have been written in 1985--to wit, do a TV spot. And the halls are teeming with reactives as opposed to creatives--reactives in account services, media, and most egregiously in creative itself.

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