Friday, March 18, 2022

Dear Aunt Crabby.

Crabbagail Van Buren
Photo credit: Mark Denton.


Dear Aunt Crabby,

I'm confused. Virtually every day I see virtually every agency blowing its horn about having been awarded Agency of the Year, or Most Creative Agency, or Network of the Year. But when I turn on TV or see ads online, everything sucks. What gives?

--Confused Off Madison Ave.

Dear Confused,

Silly child. Those awards you see aren't for work that moves a client's business. They're for work that convinces the head of the holding company not to fire agency chiefs for squandering millions on fake ads. Get with the program. Advertising isn't about ads that actually run. It's about ads we could have run if we didn't have those pesky things called clients.


Dear Aunt Crabby,

I just left a giant agency after decades working for them and other giant agencies like them. Now that I'm on my own, I feel I am getting back control over my life. Slowly my confidence and self-esteem are returning. How long does this healing process generally take?

--Walking Wounded

Dear Walking,

Fear not. In most cases, your non-gender-specific scrotum will return to its original size in about six months.


Dear Crabby,

I'm a Chief Marketing Officer and I'm currently looking for a new agency. Every agency seems exactly the same to me: long on bombast, short on experience, hyping work that never even ran. How can I get people on my business who will actually understand my business? People I can build a relationship with whom I can trust to help guide my brand.

--Non-Compliant Client

Dear Non-Compliant,

Funny. But you do realize your note is a little early for April Fool's, yes?


Dear Crabby,

I'm new to the advertising business and over the past few months, I've averaged 80-hour workweeks. Is this par for the course or am I still getting my "sea legs"?

--Wobbly and Wondering

Dear Wobbly,

Fear not. Once you get used to your sea legs, the 120-hour weeks will begin--that's roughly one hour of work for every time you hear upper-management utter the phrase "work-life balance."


Dear Crabby,

These days so many brands seem to be talking about finding their authentic voice and acting authentically. If brands really cared about the environment, why for instance, is it taking Starbucks three years to phase-out single-use cups, especially since over 40 percent of the millions of tons of waste Starbucks produces every year is made up of cups and lids?

--Cup Runneth Empty

Dear Cup,

You know what they say. "Authenticity is everything. Once you can fake that, you've got it made."

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