The Week: Best of the blogs - Why are they so scared?

I don't know Curt Detweiler. Never even heard of him until this morning when I read that he'd been named in a senior creative role at McCann in San Francisco.

There were more than 50 comments attached to the article and what was odd was that not a single one used anything remotely resembling their real name.

People in the ad business are so scared of being seen to have an opinion, that even something as banal as congratulating a co-worker is thought to be akin to career suicide. Why are they so scared to be seen as having opinions? There's the "you're not Bill Bernbach" factor, where there's a strong undercurrent of "only famous people are allowed to have opinions" sentiment within the industry.

I'm thinking that comes from the fact that everyone thinks they can write ads. So people in the industry develop a fierce attachment to the idea that they alone possess the talent and expertise to create ads. As such, only the most talented of this already talented cadre are allowed to express opinions.

This circling the wagons effect is no doubt exacerbated by the spate of user-generated content advertisers are turning to and the fact that digital media seems to rely less and less on clever headlines and funny visuals.

Or it could be nothing more than a follow-the-leader type thing and once the first five commenters used pseudonyms, everyone else did too. But somehow, I don't think so.


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