I am not, thank god, a football fan.
I find nothing interesting about hormone and steroid juiced thyroid cases trying to kill each other. The game is lawless, violent and cruel. And, to my mind, places a premium on those attributes.
Nevertheless, the recent imbroglio between the National Football League owners (billionaires) and referees (who max out making just under $140K) can be looked upon as a metaphor for what's happened to business in general and advertising in particular.
Here are some things to consider.
The NFL generated nine-billion-dollars of revenue last year.
The refs wanted an extra three million in pay and benefits.
1/3 of 1%.
The NFL acted as if all its workers are merely interchangeable parts. If they could have out-sourced refereeing to a clan of Bengalis, they would have.
That's much the same way the mega-rich in general see the world.
Last year the cumulative net worth of the 400 richest people in America rose by $200 billion. $500 million/person.
While the Census Bureau reports that median household income fell by 4%.
In advertising we are the working dopes, the "referees."
The owners (we know who they are) think the people who have made them rich are interchangeable parts. They don't understand what we do. How the talent, industry and brains we have add to the integrity of the advertising game. Like real refs add integrity to their game.
So our salaries go down instead of up.
Our job security is non-existent.
We are treated less-well than farm animals. Crammed into cattle pens. Berated by HR. And so on.
The game degrades.
But with ours, no one cares.