Wednesday, August 3, 2016

I approved this message.

Looking back on my 36 years in the business (I started in 1980, writing catalog copy for Montgomery Ward) one of the biggest and most-pernicious changes is how ads and copy get approved.

Unless I'm looking at the past with rose-colored contact lenses, it seems to me there used to be an order to getting things approved, a finite set of approvers and a set number of rounds of approval.

Let's say copy was due to your client on Monday, October 1. You'd get feedback on Tuesday, October 2. Send back changes on the third, receive another round of feedback on the fourth, and deliver final copy of the fifth.

In other words, everybody had about three goes at your copy and you had three rounds to "improve" it.

We may today have the same amount of time to get an ad approved, but that period--say five days--is filled with almost an infinite number of rounds. You might get, literally, 20 emails with feedback.

There is no closure.

And I can't help but thinking that if we aren't killing the spirit of the people working on creative, we are, often, approving things to death.

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