GEIFY stands for George Explains It For You.
1002 posts ago, on June 4, 2007, Ad Aged premiered, if I may use that pompous word to describe my first post. Mostly I intended to wrestle with this question: will the advertising industry make itself obsolete as the American auto industry has?
Back then, the world was a different place. A trifle of research revealed that the Dow hit an all-time high on June 4th. It closed at 13,679.57. No, that is not a typo.
Today the Dow is 5,500 points lower and Detroit is announcing its worst January in 27 years, with sales down something like 50%.
The parallels to the ad industry are self-evident. I could pull in twenty unemployed creatives today and from a sheer talent perspective we could compete if not pale the likes of a Goodby. Meanwhile the hemorrhaging continues and no staunch is in sight.
Here's the GEIFY part. Governments, societies, families and ad agencies must must must operate on a pay-as-you-go basis. Our economy crashed not on account of housing or anything like that. We crashed because we cut taxes while spending $600 billion on a war. The ad industry is crashing because we provide services and then are timorous about charging for them. Or has focused on awards when we should have focused on sales.
I suppose if I were Greek I would say that Hubris is what's done us in. And no, hu-bris has nothing to do with Jewish circumcision and every thing to arrogance in the face of whatever god you believe in--it's what leads to the fall of men, governments and empires.
Hubris. The death of Detroit. The come-uppance of Madison Avenue--and a reckoning around the world.