The idiocy of the past 10 days over swine flu is not an isolated episode.
We are living in an era of hysteria -- health hysteria (swine flu, SARS, mad cow); political hysteria (terrorists, Wall Street); and, yes, advertising industry hysteria.
The hysteria is fueled by frenzied media agitation, promiscuous experts, and a gullible audience.
The common denominator is absence of perspective.
The ad industry is rightly spooked by the awful consequences of the recession and the uncertainties of the digital revolution.
The hysterics tell us that advertising is dead -- despite the obvious fact that every square inch of the planet is covered in it.
The answer is not hysteria. The answer is remembering that circumstances change but principles don't.
The laws of human behavior have not been repealed. People still want stuff. People are still receptive to relevant messages. People still respond to their own self-interests.
Advertising and marketing success will not be achieved by jumping from one fad to the next. It will be achieved the way it has always been achieved -- by intelligent strategic thinking and imaginative ideas.
I've tried Twitter a couple of times and thought it was useless and pathetic. However, I am often reminded by my readers that I am a narrow-minded, reactionary, old ferret. Consequently, I am going to suffer for my art and re-establish my Twitter account for a while. You can find me here.