Now that the Cannes "Festival of Creativity" is almost upon us, it is time for some self-examination.
Unfortunately, there is nothing more damaging to the advertising industry than the truth.
It doesn't matter what we tell our clients about the seriousness of our purpose. When they see photographs of the Cannes festival like this in Ad Age* and they realize that every nickel that supports this debauchery comes directly from them, it is easy to understand why we suffer such disrepute.
I am not a prude. I enjoy your average bacchanal as much as the next guy. But only a fool -- and a foolish industry -- parades its excesses in front of the poor suckers who are paying for it.
*These photos are from Ad Age's coverage of the 2008 Cannes festival.