Tuesday, August 28, 2007
An idea for what Advertising Week could be
I don't share Advertising Age's obsession with the pros and cons of Advertising Week, but I sort of agree with Jonah Bloom's assertion of a few weeks ago that perhaps a cornerstone of the week-long industry self-congratulation-fest should be to do something for the greater good. But here's where I would direct the industry's efforts: to better advertising's image among the general public, which has always seemed like a no-brainer to me, but alas, never happens. I was reminded of my fondness for this particular soapbox last week when YouTube unveiled its new, allegedly intrusional ad model. (Click here, and you'll see one roughly 20 seconds in.) Whatever the merits of that particular ad model, it's dismaying to once again hear consumers doing the usual: whining loudly, threatening to boycott, and so forth, as if it has never occurred to them what media would be like without advertising to fund it. Always makes me feel like saying, "Hey, ad people, stand up for yourselves dammit!" Maybe the idea of the industry spending the week trying to find a way to sell itself sounds awful—like so much more bellybutton pondering, but it doesn't have to be that way. In fact, it's hard not to see the benefit of consumers being more conscious of how the content they consume is funded. OK, I've just jumped off the soapbox. What a relief for all of us.