Pulling Pigtails: The Truth About the State of the Ad Industry

17 Jun Pulling Pigtails: The Truth About the State of the Ad Industry

As I was reading the multitude of reactions to the ANA’s latest Media Transparency Report, I couldn’t help but be taken back to the days of hammer pants, pizza Fridays, relay races and the playground.

One article published in Ad Age stated very boldly, that clients are to blame for  agencies avoiding transparent clauses within their contracts. Needless to say, that statement packs a punch – almost as strong as Big Sally’s, but not quite. Just like my bad perms, the days of Madison Avenue touting it’s power and making clients bend to its whims are long gone. Yet, are Clients really to blame?

Call me bold, but I’ve never been one to point a finger. The truth is, the industry has changed whether we like it or not. Corporations are faced with many challenges as costs of goods, production and payroll expenses rise. Large advertising agencies are daunted by similar fiscal challenges, as well as trying to keep up with the latest technologies and making themselves look like King of the World.

The solution that each side of the industry has come up with so far is one-sided. Advertisers are placing performance based clauses in their agreements, which in itself is not a bad thing. Many of them are just failing to want to pay anything above costs to the companies that employee large staffs, work long hours and do the dirty work so they can increase their profits. Advertising agencies have started hiding things in the shadows, protecting what profits they can so that they aren’t stolen like lunch money.

The net result? Pulling Pigtails.

I say the solution is simple. Let’s all meet by the big oak tree at the back of the playground as soon as the bell rings. Instead of fists this time, let’s try something different. Let’s take time to talk about the challenges we all face, be equally transparent with one another and find a way to leverage our collective skills to make this industry greater than it ever has been.

If you can’t do that, call me when it’s over and I will have some frozen peas waiting on you.





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