George Parker: Happy Fiftieth… Yawn!

George Parker is the perpetrator of adscam.typepad.com. Every week he shares his opinions on the advertising world with PSFK.

Because I know you’ve all been paying rapt attention, you will be well aware that this is, in fact, my fiftieth column. I did my very first one, January 23rd, 2009. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then, most of it brackish at best, severely polluted at worst. However in the true spirit of PSFK, whose charter, ever since Piers started it all those years ago in a large cardboard box in SoHo (your choice of London or New York) has encompassed trends, innovation and anything else that makes money… I shall briefly pontificate on what has happened in the last twelve months and what might happen in the next.

As far as the ad biz is concerned (which is the only thing I am semi-qualified to write about) not much! More layoffs, more bad work, more BDA douchenozzles spouting off about green shoots, lights at the end of tunnels, and more “performance” bonuses for holding company management. All my freelance mates are either working as greeters at Wal-Mart or crowdsourcing, i.e. working for free, at Victors & Spoils, yet another “agency of the future!”

Unlike in the past when 90% of the work sucked, it’s now more like 99.99%, as agencies are terrified of upsetting their clients by expressing a point of view, which in turn encourages the client to look around at the merest excuse. As a corollary to that, the clients now have such useless people in marketing management roles; they employ agency search consultants to do the job they should be doing themselves if they weren’t fucking clueless.

Social media continues to be punted as the cure for everything from brain cancer to leprosy. Consequently, if you don’t have a “social media strategy” in place, you are doomed to be shunned by that much prized demographic, the 18 to 34 group. You know; the wankers who work in McDonalds for minimum wage. Meantime, rich old geezers like me are ignored, unless its ads for OTC drugs that give you an erection for a week.

Speaking of social media, did you notice that ace tweet-meister, Stephen Fry, who has more friends or tweet-pals, or whatever the fuck they are called, that Mr. Demi Moore, actually gave up tweeting in early January, ‘cos he has to deliver a book in April, and as he put it so succinctly, I must deliver a book to my publishers by the end of April or my soul and testicles will be forfeit. Yes indeed, I know the feeling. But then, like a recovering addict, when picking up a couple of gongs at London’s National Television Awards, he fell off the wagon and tweeted THREE times! When asked if he missed Twitter, he replied… “Sort of, I used to turn to it almost like the news, it’s a weird feeling. I feel quite virtuous; it gives you more hours in the day.”

Well, well… Isn’t there some kind of moral there? Like, if you want to get stuff done, stop arseing about with social media, and get on with it. Yeah, I know, what does an old fart like me know about trendy shit like that?

As for the future, I’ve run out of space. But you can rest assured; the next twelve months will be just like the last twelve months, only worse. You can read all about it on PSFK and AdScam. On that happy note, it’s time for a cocktail. Because, some things never change.

George Parker is a guest columnist for psfk.com. He is the perpetrator of adscam.typepad.com, which is without doubt, one of the most foul and annoying, piss & vinegar ad blogs on the planet. He is the author of MadScam and his new book, The Ubiquitous Persuaders, which is currently setting the ether ablaze (and which you can order now on Amazon). He will continue to relentlessly promote the crap out of it until you are forced to stab yourself in the eyes with knitting needles.

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