For over 30 years I have looked forward this time of year to the arrival of Communication Arts' "Advertising Annual." This year's edition was number 53 and it arrived through the storm-soaked good graces of UPS just yesterday.
Of the many things that make me want to grab a high-powered rifle, climb up a church steeple and start shooting, one of the primary ones is the abdication of the press when it comes to the lies and half truths our political candidates spout. Worse, in my opinion, is that television networks and stations don't subject our political candidates to the same clearance standards that they would subject "Mop 'n Glo."
When I was a kid, believe it or not, common everyday table salt was advertised on television. There was a brand called Diamond Crystal whose unique selling proposition was thanks to the shape of their salt grains, Diamond Crystal stuck to food better. Salt in our day and age is not a high ticket item. My guess is that Diamond Crystal salt was subject to more regulatory scrutiny than our political candidates.
But I digress.
I was talking about Communication Arts Advertising Annual Fifty-Three.
An annual with about 300 ads inside.
About 20 of which actually ran.
Full page ads for Legos.
Newspaper spreads for a local gym.
A three-page unit for "Flamin' Hot" Cheetos.
Most of the print ads weren't even the size of standard page units. They were faked to the point of what would look good in CA.
The TV category seemed a little more legit.
TV is harder to fake. As a consequence I've actually seen some of the TV spots that made it into the annual.
I haven't seen any of the print.
My question is for the publishers and editors of CA. (And if anyone reading this knows them, please feel free to forward this post to them.)
Where are your fact checkers?
Why don't you require tearsheets be submitted?
What you're doing is no longer lauding the best work.
You're saluting the best liars.
Just like our political ads.