The Musings Of An Opinionated Sod [Help Me Grow!]

One Of The Big Problems Of Adland …
May 18, 2012, 6:10 am
Filed under: Comment

I hang a lot of crap on adland, but it’s not because I don’t like it – it’s because I don’t like what it’s becoming.

For an industry that has achieved a lot of amazing things in its history, it’s doing it’s absolute best to ensure all that is forgotten in favour of hype, ego and delusion.

Thankfully, there are still a great many great people – and a few companies – who continue to wave the flag for quality, purpose and meaning, however the tide is turning and I recently was reminded of one of our great issues when I read this.

Have you read it?

Please do.

You see the issue I feel that is contributing to our destruction is our ability to only view the World in black and white.

There is no grey.


According to adland, you’re either this. Or that.

Nothing in-between.

Hence you read comments like “all creative departments are crap” which is obviously pure fucking bollocks.

Seriously, is that what we’ve come to?

In our desperate bid to ‘grab the headlines’, we’ve decided the best thing to do is make massive, generic – and totally unsubstantiated – claims?

Talk about doing society and humanity a massive disservice.

Don’t get me wrong, having a point of view – especially in this industry – is very important, but saying shit like that isn’t a point of view, it’s making a massive judgement … a massive judgement that ends up making you, and the industry, look like fucking fools.

Some people believe the secret to ‘debate’ is to not give the other side an inch and stick to your [myopic] view through thick and thin.

They’re idiots.

While our job ultimately depends on us making a call on who we are going to ‘target’, if we don’t accept and appreciate there are a mass of differences and exceptions between people, cultures, genders etc etc, then how on Earth can we create work that works … so while it might be convenient to express things only in black and white terms, the reality is doing that directly contributes to our lack of relevance, influence, believability and value – not just with business, but with society as a whole.

Highlighting a group is one thing, saying everyone is like that is completely different.

And stupid. Very, very stupid.

32 Comments so far
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so how come when i say youre a jammy bastard with no taste in clothes, music and shoes not one bastard disagrees?

Comment by andy@cynic

or nottingham forest are shit.

Comment by andy@cynic

and planners are a waste of air.

Comment by andy@cynic

and i am a fucking god.

Comment by andy@cynic

see. talking shit again campbell.

Comment by andy@cynic

all yours doddsy.

Comment by andy@cynic

and that gawker article is fucking funny for the fucking tragedy of it all.

Comment by andy@cynic

Bored Andy?

Comment by DH

only of my prison sentence of this blog.

Comment by andy@cynic

If you think I’m going to argue with you, you’re wrong. Except for your 4th comment, because we all know Mrs B and Baby B are ahead of you in the ‘god’ queue.

Comment by Rob

But I agree with your comments. All of them. I also agree with Rob’s post, especially after reading the article it links to. Should I be alarmed?

Comment by DH

you should be in a fucking nuthouse. dont worry, ive notified the authorities and the nice men in white coats holding jackets with no sleeves are on their way. fuck im considerate.

Comment by andy@cynic

It shouldn’t be a surprise Rob. For the past few years the advertising industry has decided they’re all about creativity and believe anyone that is exposed to their masterpiece (target audience: male & female, 0-99) will fall to their knees in awe.

There was a 2 year period where they talked about helping business get results and before that, they seemed to appreciate there were differences between people beyond gender or teen/adult, but we’re now in the era of one size fits all which means they are entitled to view life in black and white because that’s the true power of advertising.

Good post Rob, though I bet 95% of people in the industry will disagree.

Comment by Pete

Who are you? You’re not Pete. Pete wouldn’t be sarcastic with an undertone of bitter. Whoever you are, stay, your comments are much better than the other guy.

Comment by DH

too fucking right dave, thats not pete, i like this guy.

Comment by andy@cynic

Nice sarcasm there Pete. You’re right though – the agency focus of ‘getting results’ that was so prominent a few years ago seems to have died down. Wonder if that has to do with the fact the economy is less volatile [but still as shit] as it was in 2008 or simply they have decided they don’t care and will just get on with whatever makes them happy, despite it accelerating their own demise?

Comment by Rob

Black and white? Racist.

Comment by Billy Whizz

You had me when I saw the MJ photos.

Nice work Rob.

Comment by Bazza

The post. Not just the MJ pics.

Comment by Bazza

Bit over the top about the MJ photos Baz. Rob ripped them off, he didn’t take the actual pictures.

Comment by DH

I had similar feelings reading this article:

The upshot of which is that advertisers should now be making ads specifically for people in ad agencies.

Comment by davidtiltman

Yep … live in the bubble, talk to the bubble.

Comment by Rob

“”The grilled cheese sandwich: the pinnacle of the advertising industry’s creative history.” and

“Advertising rhetoric is notable in that it uses the language of art to describe the activities of business.”


(apologies for the double post, if that happened)

Comment by lauren

YAY … Lauren is back. Albeit for a one off showing.

And I’m not surprised the cheese sandwich is the pinnacle of adland because it’s cheesy, not really satisfying and leaves your hands feeling like they need a good wash.

[Though to be honest, I do think it was a good idea to flog Kraft cheese]

Comment by Rob

Very few things in adland annoy me more than bold statements designed to do nothing but inflame, which are based on uninformed or business driven motives.

Ala “TV is dead!”.

I look forward to every response that tears apart these stupid, patronising, generalising claims.

Comment by Rob Mortimer (Not a fake Andy)

Don’t just look forward to the response.
Make the response.

Comment by Rob

Indeed. I have raised the topic of outlandish statements regarding ‘death of tv’ etc on my blog.

Maybe time for a follow up…. 😀

Comment by Rob Mortimer (Not a fake Andy)

There is no alternative to the view that Media Arts is evil though

Comment by northern

come on campbell, stop being a tight fucker. agree to pay gropers salary for the next 20 years so he can be a petty fucking bastard and reveal all his media arts spiteful secrets. youre good for it you thieving bastard.

Comment by andy@cynic

The world isn’t ready for that story, it would make the Human Centipede look like Rainbow – while we’re on that subject, Rob Jane and Freddie we’re obviously at it hammer and tongs weren’t they

Comment by northern

Rob Jane and Freddie?

Is there something Campbell isn’t telling us Andy??

Comment by Rob Mortimer (Not a fake Andy)

Oh and I second Andy’s comment.

Comment by Rob Mortimer (Not a fake Andy)

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