If you go to marketing or advertising conferences the first thing you notice is that every genius with a Powerpoint deck is an expert on the future.
I attend way more conferences than is healthy. I've been averaging about 12 of these a year, as speaking at these things is part of my business. I hear all kinds of hysterical and provocative predictions for the future. The one thing I don't hear is anything that turns out to be true.
The history of these future-hustlers is pretty rotten.
So here's a little exercise. Here are a dozen of the biggest advertising stories of the past couple of years. Go back and see if you can find any marketing geniuses who predicted any of the following:
- Facebook/Cambridge Analytica scandal (here)
- Martin Sorrell shown the door at WPP (here)
- Mark Zuckerberg testifies before Congress (here)
- Google fined over $5 billion by EU for illegal activities (here)
- ANA study finds "pervasive" corruption in media (here)
- Justice Department/FBI launch investigation of ad agencies (here)
- Fake news dominates political discussions (here)
- "Voice" shopping bombs (here)
- "Brand safety" becomes major issue (here)
- P&G dumps on digital (here)
- Major fraud in social media (here)
- Iconic Y&R evaporates (here)
If you're a marketing genius with a terrible track record, the future is a great place to hide.
This Wednesday night (Oct. 17) in NYC, some smart ad people (and one dumbass blogger) will be talking about heretical ad stuff to support a great new ad book called "Eat Your Greens." I am told there aren't too many seats left, so go here now for info.
And, as you may have noticed...
...my posts on the blog have become rather sporadic. I have been focusing my attention on books and on my weekly newsletter. If you like the blog, I suggest you sign up for The Ad Contrarian newsletter here. I'll continue to post on the blog, but the newsletter will be more timely and consistent.
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