Monday, November 8, 2010

Banana ad agencies.

Yesterday Nicholas Kristof had a nasty op-ed in "The New York Times" called "Our Banana Republic." For those of you who think a Banana Republic is an over-priced clothing store that vends preppy clothes made by slave laborers in South East Asia, Kristof is instead referring to societies with vast disparities in wealth.

Here's some data for you--visualized the old-fashioned way, with type. The richest 1% of American society eats 24% of the American pie, up from just 9% in 1976 (when we had progressive taxation.) In 1980 C.E.O.’s of the largest American companies earned an average of 42 times as much as the average worker. In 2001, they earn an average as 531 as much. (If the average agency salary is $50K, that would put a CEO at $26 million.) And from 1980 to 2005 more than 80% of the total increases in American incomes when to the richest 1% of Americans.

Of course this inequality is not sustaining.

But let's think about ad agencies for a moment, where holding company chieftains make tens of millions. Where rank and file workers are salary frozen and hung out to dry during periodic RIFs. (Reductions in Force.)

No real point in this other than a reminder to keep your head down and keep working.


Anonymous said...


You're sounding more and more like a recovering ad-o-holic.


george tannenbaum said...

12 steps, baby.