What do we complain about? We complain how the industry sucks, and generally, we get right to the point.
AD PERSON: The industry sucks, doesn't it.
And just try to start the conversation off on a different note.
ME: Hey, what about those Yankees? Shame about Jeter, huh?
AD PERSON: See that, every industry sucks.
So far I've concluded there's not a single person in the industry that doesn't believe it sucks. Even the maintenance people believe it sucks, but they're not complaining, because if it didn't suck they wouldn't have the high turnover rate of workstations to keep them busy. From what I hear, here's what sucking:
-Advertising is not what it used to be.
-Holding companies don't work.
-Holding companies are run by bean counters.
-Holding companies promote account people who don't know how to work with creative directors.
-Holding companies are the root of all evil.
-Creative directors are expendable and everyone knows it.
-It's all about speed over quality.
-Technology has everyone's head spinning.
-There are no leaders.
-Clients don't know how to be partners.
-The pitch process isn't about finding a good partner; it's about finding the next campaign.
-The smart ones lost sight of the fundamentals.
-The dumb ones still don't know the fundamentals.
-The kids coming out of ad schools don't know the fundamentals and yet know everything.
-There isn't enough art.
I could easily go on, but what's the point. We all know there's a lot to grouse about. And believe me, I don't let all these people grouse alone.
Which brings me to today. Just this morning, I was returning a book to it's place on the shelf – Louise Gluck, Poems 1962-2012 – and I decided to read a poem first – just one poem, any poem. I flipped through some pages and stopped. I could have been presented with page 452, but I got page 361 and these 3 lines:
"The master said You must write what you see.
But what I see does not move me.
The master answered Change what you see."
I quickly set the book on the shelf. Fine, maybe I should shut up and do something about it.