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May 16, 2002
The State of Advertising
After reading this, you will know everything there is to know about the state of advertising, and you will walk away from your computer fully confident in your assumption that my opinions mean absolutely nothing.

1. Do you have any qualms about the American materialism that is often created and propelled by the American advertising industry? Not if it benefits me financially.

2. What should every advertising professional know? Politics.

3. Why do people like talking animals in ads so much? Because "talking people" has been done to death.

4. With America becoming more and more diverse and audiences more fragmented, is it possible to have an effective mass-marketing campaign without portraying groups in broad stereotypes? No. Plus, that would mean more work.

5. If advertising is so much like Hollywood, why don't agents and unions occupy the ad industry the way they occupy Hollywood? Our drugs aren't as good.

6. What should people entering the advertising profession know about the ad industry? See previous answer.

7. Why are political ads lousy, and often so sleazy? Look at the clients.

8. Why do ad professionals like to wear black? It hides stains better.

9.How can recommendations from the media department be in the client's best interest when media personnel are constantly being furnished with "gifts" from the media? You try turning down a free bottle of Dom and a box of Godiva chocolates.

10. What effect will satellite radio and TIVO technology have on the advertising industry? People can ignore our ads in a whole new way!

11. Recently, an ad firm claimed, "Brands are the new Religion." Do you believe that statement? I'm Catholic, nobody believes what I say about religion anymore.

12. Do people really read body copy? Everyone but art directors.

13. Why does sex almost always sell? Ever try selling non-sex?

14. What is the key to having a long career in the ad business? Staying employed.

15. Why does the ad business place such a high emphasis on "creative superstars?" I'm too important to answer that.

16. What is the best thing about working in advertising? I get to work with small children all day long.

17. There is a lack of training and mentoring in the ad industry. Why do agencies shirk training programs? They can't bill the client for them.

18. Salaries are much higher for people that move every two years. Why does the ad industry penalize it's loyal? What are they gonna do? Leave?

19. Do ads for prescription drugs coerce people into thinking they have diseases and conditions they really don't have? Let me take my Zantac before I answer that.

20. Would you prefer to work for a publicly or privately held agency? I don't care, as long as I'm held.

21. The shops with the best talent do the best work. How do they attain the best talent? Offer lots of perks.

22. Do agency perks really matter? Gotta run, my limo's here.

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In western Pennsylvania's Steel City sits a solid ad agency named Blattner/Brunner. Native Pittsburgher and Group CD Bill Garrison is one reason the agency stands firmly. From Heinz to Mellon Bank to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Garrison knows the PA ad ropes. Bill's recent work for Zippo Lighters can be seen in the 2001 CA Advertising Annual. Enjoy Garrison the way you would a cold mug of Iron City Beer.
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