And the main back-up to all of this is often a misty-eyed nostalgia for how things used to be.
We've all heard the stories: afternoons in the pub, all day with the racing channel on, no research, brilliant account men who sold your shit first time and got you an extra 50k to make it, limos to take you ten yards up the road to a five-star lunch washed down with classed-growth claret. And, goddammit, the ads were better, too. Weren't they?
I guess the question here is whether that is down to the aforementioned misty-eyed nostalgia, or were things actually better in every single way and have just been getting worse ever since.
I'd say that it's difficult to compare the ads because context is everything. What may have been amazing in 1982 would seem pretty crap nowadays. However, there are a lot of ads from at least ten years ago that would actually be better than today's work ... We'd all love to have made Dunlop's "unexpected", Volvo's "twister", Tango's "St George", half-a-dozen Levi's ads including "creek" and "drugstore" and Blackstar Beer's "fake history".
So I think that proves that the work was indeed better.