Lately, some of my readers suggested that I often take a contrarian position on new developments in the ad business. I accept those observations as generally true with a need to explain why.

Our industry is hurtling forward at breakneck speed trying to desperately keep up with the technology that precedes it. Since the explosive growth of the Internet in the late nineties, the bubble that burst in 2001 and the rise of the venture capitalists out of the ashes, the movers and shakers of our industry are at it again.

I smell a land grab of sorts. MySpace, Facebook and, God forgive us, Twitter all attempting to make something out of nothing more than a conversation. None of them have yet to yield a return to their investors.... not a penny!

Ad exchanges and ad networks are popping up like ducks in a shooting gallery ... most of them simply replicating one another, offering identical inventory that has been dumped into them by publishers.

Skeptical? Yes. Let's set the record straight. Many of these ideas are very bad ideas and will lose money and jobs as we have recently witnessed by MySpace and soon, AOL.

It's the skeptic in me that keeps my strategic focus on the reality and business of our business in tow. It also often keeps clients that will listen and learn from making dreadful mistakes.

There are many advances in our business that make both traditional and digital media exciting, productive and return valuable insights and actionable results.

And while I am skeptical of many new "toys", I am also playing with them to see if I can keep from breaking them.

So thanks for the feedback. The video that closes this posting was found on Bob Hoffman's great blog, The Ad Contrarian. Bob is the CEO of Hoffman/Lewis in San Francisco and St. Louis.


Rich Miller said...

I'm in agreement with you. You're the little boy who sees through the Emperor's new clothes.

Unknown said...

Good point Paul... as it gets more difficult to reach consumers while media channels evolve, many jump on the next big thing hoping for a quick fix. We need to be creative with new strategies but make sure we can develop mutually profitable programs. Love the Groucho video!