|Crabbigail Van Buren. Photo credit: Mark Denton. https://www.coy-com.com/|
A periodic advice column of life in…and out of advertising. From advertising’s oldest-living copywriter, Aunt Crabby.
My agency keeps on telling staff in Town Halls how much we're about "creativity." Yet every time I turn around, four more senior creative people are fired and the Holding Company has spent another $200 million acquiring a data company that consists of an old Gateway computer shared by two Estonian guys who used to work at Radio Shack. What's going on here?
--Perplexed on Eleventh
Haven't you heard? It's been "opposite day" in Holding Company agencies since Martin Sorrell stopped breast-feeding, back in 1999.
After three years of working nights and weekends--and coming through on every assignment ever given to me, I've finally been promoted from junior copywriter to copywriter. Yet it feels like nothing's changed. --No-motion promotion
On occasion, a junior mint gets promoted to a full-sized York Peppermint patty. No one cares.
My agency is losing big account after big account. We've won a few pieces of business lately--but they're tiny. The kind of accounts people used to run out of the backseat of a 1974 Buick LeSabre. How can an account with revenue of $20K/year make up for an account that had revenue of $20 million/year?
-- At Sea PA
Dear At Sea,
Easy. Your agency's c-level people can tell the Holding Company that they're winning business. That's good enough. "Look," they'll grovel, "our decline is slowing down." It's like the Credit Mobilier scandal of 1872. The general rule followed by fraudsters from Boesky to Caligula is that by the time the fraud is discovered, the fraudsters are out of the country.
I've been hearing a lot about "hot desks." I have to say, having a crappy piece of formica'd-plywood and a second-hand Aeron with a view of an airshaft and pigeon shit that you have to fight for every morning is hardly what I'd call "hot."--Temperature's rising
These days, in the agency world, jobs, bosses, accounts, desks are all temporary. You should be happy you have a floor. Those are next to go.
I just read about a giant phone network that's reached a deal to bring individual shopper card data into programmatic digital ad buys for packaged-goods marketers, giving it the first demand-side platform powered by offline and online sales data from millions of shopper cards. The network claims they have a cookie identity solution that delivers first-party consent so they can connect to identifiers other than cookies. How come I never get any cookies? --Sweetless in Seattle
You're on the wrong customer journey.