Monday, April 19, 2010

Yesterday there was an article in the special "Education" section of "The New York Times" that gave me pause. In an article called "A as the New B" the newspaper of record shows the percentage of A's given at a variety of universities and college. 67% of grades given at Brown are A's. 64% at Pomona College (as opposed to just 23% in 1944.)

Of course this got me thinking about a lot of things. How the average online rating (one to five stars) is 4.3 stars. And it got me thinking about advertising where grading must be even easier given the paucity of work that is unique, intelligent, appealing or intrusive. That is some group of people are saying, in effect, "Yeah, that's good enough. That passes."

My guess is, in fact, were it not for concocted ads approved by concocted creative directors from concocted agencies for concocted clients (I work for a client that's about 300 on the Forbes 500. We can't afford spreads. But local dry cleaners, burrito stands and barber shops can) award shows would dry up and blow away.

In short, here's what's happened. Since as an industry we don't produce A work for our real clients, we've created an infrastructure to give us the grades we crave.

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