The Week: Best of the Blogs - How adland lost its way

Something changed in the 90s. Advertising lost its way. It continued to operate with the same level of excess, in terms of production and lifestyle, but stopped producing the goods.

Advertising people threw out the product, threw out the sell, the reason to buy, the persuasion and just became entertainers. Creatives became obsessed with making work that relegated the product to a bit part. An irritating niggle that spoiled their "film".

The 90s also marked the rise of planning as an integral part of the advertising process. It separated creatives from the task in hand, and gave agencies a dangerous new stream of income - the peddling of bullshittery, that started to overshadow the actual creation of the advertising.

Today, the business is suffering a two-sided backlash. On one side, clients have lost their trust in the advertising industry. They resent the wasted money, the constant fights to get their product in the work and the seeming indifference of most creative people to the job.

On the other side, we have creatives who think that it's not their job to worry about whether the ads work or not. An industry that has disappeared up the quivering rectum of branding, and forgotten how to do its job properly. Agencies that have become economically dependent on the money they earn from selling the "planning" part of the process to their clients, agencies that now seem to be more about the business of bullshit, presentations and ass-covering.


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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).