When I started in the advertising business 29 years ago, my boss at the agency (yes, I worked at an ad agency) sent me to ride on the back of a beer truck and deliver kegs to restaurants for our client at Dos Equis beer. I wonder if anybody on either the media company or agency side ever does that anymore? I think we've created an "advertising class" that is now two generations removed from the business of really selling stuff and serving consumers. We write media plans, plug stuff into planning systems and compete for CLIOs and other ad awards. For too long, we have treated the manufacturer/marketer - the producer and seller of goods and services - as an ATM to finance our insular, sexy little business. We all need to resign from that business today.
The preceding stand alone passage is excerpted from "Garfield, Armageddon and Dead Ideas" which was originally published in March 2009.
Post script: There's a reason why clients have turned the lens of procurement on the cost center called "advertising." From my perspective, the term is downright radioactive at this point. Run, don't walk, from "advertising" in today's marketplace of business ideas. Whatever your role in the business, however long your future, it's time to think and act like a marketer.
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