March 28, 2016

Bullshitters Bullshitting Bullshitters

Last week the 4A's had a conference.

It seems like the only thing advertising's ruling class does anymore is hold conferences, attend conferences, or plan conferences.

It was called "Transformation," which is what every advertising conference since the invention of the fax machine has been called.

See, the whole point of putting on a conference is to make lots of money by making you feel like everything's changing and if you miss three days of insufferable Powerpoint presentations and tedious panel discussions you'll be left behind by not knowing what the life-threatening transformation of the month is.

So you pay your money and you go to the conference and with any luck you run into someone who knows about a job opening in LA or you meet a cute art director with an Australian accent at the bar.

The entire Ad Contrarian worldwide staff was planning to attend the conference in question but, sadly, we had an important nap to take.

One of the sessions we're sorry we missed was a panel discussion about ad blocking. The article I read about this session indicated that the panelists agreed that something had to be done and also agreed not to do a fucking thing.

As usual, the agencies blamed the publishers, the publishers blamed the agencies, everyone blamed clients for not paying enough for the crap they're being sold or consumers for not understanding the terrible plight of the virtuous online publishers. What else is new?

The thing I'm really sorry about having missed is the totality of the bullshit that must have been on display.

Just a snippet of it in the article I read made me kick myself for taking that nap. Here's what a genius from AOL had to say:
"No industry is necessarily good at coordinating multi-faceted programs across sub-ecosystems."
That's some mighty impressive conference-style horseshit.

I think what it means in a language we're familiar with is that the online ad industry is not capable of doing anything about its problems.

Apparently, some things never transform.

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