Wednesday, October 17, 2012


In America right now we are embroiled in election season. Last night was a presidential debate which settled little but asserted, once again, how divided our government and our country are. In fact for more than a dozen years now--certainly since the government was "shut down" for political reasons--we have often heard the word "gridlock" used to describe our fractured, dysfunctional politics.

We hear phrases like, "nothing gets done." "Things are stuck in committee." "There's too much red tape." They're all used to describe the inertia that afflicts our country.

This morning it occurred to me that we in advertising--that is on the fringes of real business--are suffering from the same ossification as Washington.

Our work is gridlocked.

Our work is meetinged to death.

Our work goes through--no joke--twenty or thirty rounds of review before emerging "from committee."

That's right.

The gridlock we bemoan in Washington, we replicate in our own world.

In both spheres, Washington and Madison Avenue, we are without strong leaders.

No one speaks out about how costly and inefficient we have become.

No one says, 'it needn't be this way.'

We are no longer dreamers.

We have become our own nightmare.

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