Stuck On An Uncertain Seawithout A Captain!-xpphone

Marketing I think that we in Advertising are on such a sea. The economic winds seem to be gusting one way, while the optimistic language of Marketing/Advertising people gust another. Yet most of my advertising friends, in the backs of their minds, harbor doubts and worries about the future. Meanwhile in the pages of the Marketing and Advertising press all is well, or so it appears as they all drone on about this or that latest account loss, this or that creative campaign. And there is no great debate about advertisings future (if it has one!) Because what is there to say except Fingers Crossed. Recently I watched that Peter Sellers classic movie Being There. Simple-minded Chance, who has never left his employers house, watches television obsessively. He has TV sets in every room, and with short attention span he flicks mindlessly from program to program, from drama to humor to tragedy to an ad. break. Listening to the various leaders of our various advertising bodies you can easily imagine them flicking urgently at their TV monitors and wondering why the picture wouldnt change according to their preferences, after all it always did before. Who knows what is happening? Perhaps nothing after all. Perhaps this will all blow over. But what unsettles me goes deeper than a sense of mystery about the future. At most junctures in history there arises the feeling of a lull before a possible storm. But what distinguishes this bout of soul searching is the passivity of the advertising movers and shakers and the idleness of advertising debate, as we wait. There is a sense of vacuum. Before the air was full of ideas, strong ideas, competing ideas, confident philosophies, and angry dissent. People had ideas, Advertising people jostled to present their plansLeaders led! Where today is the bold advocacy, the impatience to persuade the urgency of argument? Where are the great actors, the leading voices, and the great thoughts? Picture the head of the IPA, the AAA, and all else, all strangely passionless figures with a philosophical depth of a shop-window mannequin, stick in my mind. Are these the spirits of the advertising age? What torpid soul ever thought that the solution to advertising clutter was to increase it? Well in jolly old England thats just what has emerged. More frequent advertising breaks likely under watchdogs proposal thunders the Thunderer! Ofcom has recommended removing the rule, which requires a 20-minute interval between advertising breaks during programs on commercial channels. Perhaps they were being kind to the poor old viewer who probably didnt have enough time to do all the things they wanted to do during the commercial break. In a package of options sent out to broadcasters for consultation, Ofcom also opened up the possibility of a complete US-style free-for-all. You can bet that those leading the IPA etc will not complain about another devaluation in the history of the thirty second TV commercial! And yet when you read the Advertising Social Networks like Adgabber in the US and Brand Republic in the UK whenever the subject of the effectiveness, or otherwise, of the advertising industry arises a strange silence descends. And they all mouth the long held myths such as Advertising Works without, for once, demonstrating the actual fact that it does, indeed, work. The sad fact is that they cannot produce one shred of evidence that supports the long held mythsthere is no long term study that demonstrates the exclusive benefits of using advertising to increase sales. About the Author: Having invested over $10 million in independent research, Paul Ashby is ideally suited to present the case for the widespread use of interactive marketing communication. 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