Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Brand Manager for Tab.

A friend of mine sarcastically lists as his previous employment "Brand Manager for Tab." When I asked him why he laughed and explained, "when you're brand manager for Tab, your only job is to sell less tab than you sold the year before."

The funny thing about that is that it's not funny. I once worked at a vaunted San Francisco agency who hired as its savior a new president whose main career accomplishment was that she was the brand manager for Oldsmobile. In case you've already forgotten, Oldsmobile was so dismal even GM agreed to kill it before they were forced to.

Our industry is rife with stories like this. A former Chrysler CMO who somehow rises to the top at another company. What?

Maybe it's my ignorance but that seems like hiring the Captain of the Titanic to run the Staten Island Ferry. "Well, he's handled big ships before, he's perfect for the job. And what a great smile he has!"

I realize that CMOs are like lawyers. They create jobs for other CMOs.

I'm sorry if I'm sounding like a broken record, but I have a feeling that a lot of the world's troubles, stock-market crashes, endless wars, political corruption, bad agency management could be avoided if key people kept an index card posted near their desks.
An index card that reads "What have you done?"


bob hoffman said...

Marketing, advertising and politics: The only three professions where people regularly fail their way to success.

george tannenbaum said...

The military. But I guess that's politics.

Anonymous said...

If people can fail their way to success then why am I not the king of advertising?