January 06, 2016

Advertising And Espionage

Apparently espionage and advertising have a lot in common.

During the holidays I re-read Smiley's People (for the third time). George Smiley, the British spymaster, is one of my fictional heroes.

Here is an excerpt that is so apropos to our industry, it almost made me choke on my vodka martini.
"All his professional life, it seemed to Smiley, he had listened to similar verbal antics signalling supposedly great changes in Whitehall doctrine...

He had watched Whitehall skirts go up and come down, her belts being tightened, loosened, tightened. He has been the witness, or victim -- or even reluctant prophet -- of such spurious cults as lateralism, parallelism, separatism, operational devolution, and now...integration. Each new fashion had been hailed as a panacea: 'Now we shall vanquish, now the machine will work!' Each had gone out with a whimper, leaving behind it the familiar...muddle, of which, more and more, in retrospect, he saw himself as a lifelong moderator."
Substitute Madison Avenue for Whitehall, and  conversations, engagement, co-creation, and interactivity for lateralism, parallelism, separatism, and integration. And what have you got?

The dreary self-deception of the advertising industry.

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