Thursday, December 4, 2014

Goodbye Stuart Elliott.

I'll say it flat out. I never thought much of Stuart Elliott, advertising columnist for "The New York Times."

He followed a legend, Phil Dougherty, and that didn't help.

But that alone isn't the reason I never warmed to him.

My two cents says he covered his beat without really covering his beat.

He wrote, sparingly, about the day to day, new campaigns, comings and goings, account wins and losses.

But he missed the big story of our era: The disembowelment of the advertising industry by holding company one-percenters.

What larger perspective did he bring?

Elliott never wrote about the downsizing in advertising. And the downward pressure on wages. He never wrote about the industry's lack of diversity. He never wrote about the paucity of women in high places. He never wrote about pernicious ageism.

When in about three years, for instance, Y&R went from over 1,000 employees to under 400, he missed that story.

Elliott seemed to have all the depth of the nightly TV news.

Glib sound bites punctuated by forced laughter.

Gruesome bits followed by ephemeral "infotainment."

Much of our "news" today is lacking value.

Try to find coverage of our many wars.

Of the financial piracy of the malefactors of great wealth.

There's very little "real news."

And a lot of  "Newsia."

News plus Trivia.

That was my issue with Elliott.

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