Monthly Archives: July 2012

Corporate Greed, Elections and Your Ad Agency

How the political issues impact your agency and career

It’s an election year and time to evaluate what role politics play in your agency and your career. I’m beginning to hear from advertisers. agencies and candidates that they will “wait until after the election before making any changes.” The last time I heard this kind of stuff was 1992 when Bush, Sr. botched the economy and the Gulf War, opening the door for Bill “Lothario” Clinton on Pennsylvania Avenue. One thing I’ll say about Cigar Bill is that I’ve NEVER seen more money in America than during his presidency. We always had a wad of dead presidents in our pockets, it seemed.

I’m apolitical. I support the Money Party, an unabashed Capitalist. Yes, I want to see advertising do good, or in the very least, do no harm to society — but, at day’s end: I’ve got mouths to feed. So do you. That’s essentially why we work — to eat. So eat this:

An alarming number of folks are held prisoner by their mortgages. Housing values have dropped exorbitantly since the credit crisis of 2008, which we all know was caused by corporate greed as well as the mistaken illusion that all Americans are entitled to own a home — unqualified or not. I’m not trying to open a can of worms here, being apolitical and all. I’m just saying what I see. The trickle down effect is that clients won’t take risks, agencies won’t staff speculatively and candidates can’t move. They’re all held hostage by their upside-down mortgages. Our homes are our single biggest investment, the bulk of our net worth. When that value goes south, so do our decisions regarding risk. We’ve become risk managers.

How about healthcare? Despite the politicism of Obamacare — unless you work for BBDO, ad agency health benefits largely suck. Will Obamacare change that, or make it worse? I don’t care if my Doc’s office becomes the DMV — but, rather the monthly debit my health insurance premium incurs upon my bank statement. I’ve heard these alarming stories from candidates about having to fork out tens of thousands of dollars for maternity services, ridiculous co-pays and monthly premiums into the thousands. Where does all the money go? Right here: gbisa0509a

Corporate greed? Me thinks so. These guys aren’t selling a breakthrough product. Or manufacturing a technology that can change the world. They’re selling frigging insurance — the oldest Ponzi scheme known to man. Remember when the venerable Lloyd’s of London went bust in the 90’s? They were like a bookie that couldn’t cover their bets.

This is Capitalism gone awry . As a result, it jeopardizes Capitalism. Cheese is good, but if you eat too much you’ll get all bound up and constipated. That’s where we are now. Both as an industry and as a nation.