September 28, 2011

Outliving My Usefulness

Okay, I think it's time to pack it in.

When super-puffed-up industry titans start agreeing with me, I have to believe my days as a contrarian are numbered.

I thought I had a nice safe little niche as a Luddite dinosaur, when all of a sudden I have the ceo of one of the world's largest advertising monstrosities and the editor-in-chief of a big publishing enterprise sounding like me. It's alarming.

Sir Martin Sorrell (but you can call him Marty) ceo of WPP and Supreme Ruler of the Ad Universe recently said he had "fundamental doubts" about the efficacy of social media as an advertising life form. Here's how he put it.
“Facebook, Google+, Twitter are advanced forms of social interaction. We used to write letters to each other and now we correspond through Facebook and Twitter. If you interrupt that with a message you may run into trouble...I have some fundamental doubts about the ability to monetize social platforms… it is dangerous territory"
Not meaning to be competitive here, but don't you think I said it better when I wrote..."in the digital world people are passionate about interacting with each other. Not ads. Not brands. Not you. Not me."?

Then, just to really piss me off, Michael Wolff, editorial director of Adweek, had this to say in a piece about Sorrell's "fundamental doubts"...
"The Web itself, once expected to be the ne plus ultra of advertising, has returned much more equivocal results....the big digital kahunas have come up with a way to make money for themselves, at the expense of everybody else. Worse yet, the forms of advertising they’ve created don’t even work very well..."
Once again, an impartial observer might say that this proposition was more aptly put in a post entitled Who's Making Money On Social Media? which appeared over a year and a half ago and stated..."It's pretty clear that someone's making money from social media. But I'm not sure it's the people who are paying for it."

So what I want to know is, what the hell's going on here? Can't a guy be a disagreeable pain in the ass anymore without everyone trying to horn in on the action?

Marty and Mikey -- let me be clear about this. You work your territory and I'll work mine. I'm going to let you slide this time, but I don't want to see any more of this "thinking for yourself" bullshit. That's just not how it's done in the ad business, okay?

No comments: