I know I’m supposed to make lemonade when life throws me lemons, but when you get a nice hefty sack of shit dropped on your chest, what do you do? Seriously. You’re having an ok day when all of a sudden you get three jobs that basically demean you to the position of official client transcriber because their copy is what truly works. See, this is the shit about having agency aides and in house employees newly arrive at your client’s offices. It’s not bad enough that the dumbfuck process was hard enough when you had to deal with 4-6 idiots, you now have the pleasure of having yet another fuckwad screw with your layouts, your copy, your everything because that’s what he’s paid to do. He’s not paid to help, aid, or make creative better. No, that would fucking make sense. He’s there to annoy the shit out of you, overrule any creative decision you could make or even think of making and of choosing the layout you like the least out of pure smite rather than objective analysis. Safe and stupid is how the client likes it and it’s more a matter of arbitrary budget allocation rather than anything that follows the rules of strategy or good taste, because heaven forbid that I just may have a fucking clue as to what I’m doing. But I kid myself by thinking that if you give your 100%, it’ll make a difference and I insist on wasting energies and putting forth the extra effort, trudging the extra mile and always to get shit on.
If by any chance you are a student and you think advertising is glamorous, read this and read this well: IT’S NOT. You are probably overqualified for the job you’ll end up doing and unless you choose your agencies carefully, you’re fucked. You will do shit work, have no money to do executions, you’ll always be wrong in the eye of the client and you will often find reason enough to go to Wal-Mart and purchase some gun on special to truly make a difference in this world. Your talents shall be used and exploited to sell shit people don’t need as if the consumerist societies we live in need any type of help. You’ll have great ideas, come up with witty clever lines and will possibly stumble on advertising solutions for your client, but guess what? They won’t want that because they know the best advertising to sell their shit. Oh and it doesn’t matter how responsible you are, you’ll always be late because someone fucked up, no matter how sharp you are. It doesn’t pay to be a go-to person because guess what? Someone will ALWAYS go to you because “they don’t know what to do” which truly means they don’t want to do the work but you’ll end up doing it cuz you’re stupid enough to think that it really matters.
You’ll work long hours at places that’ll fire you at the first chance they get. You’ll get sick, you’ll have fights with your significant others and you’ll neglect your pets. You’ll have gastric problems, you’ll drink too much and you’ll still convince yourself about the idiotic hoopla constantly fussed about this industry in college. You’ll cling on to anything to justify your salary and more often than you’d like to admit, you’ll approve something that is a total fucking joke.
You’ll have to make jingles, free standing inserts, emails blasts and countless junk mail bullshit that further promotes pollution rather than effective communication. You’ll have to change good photos for stock ones that not only suck but will be used by your competitors because no one wants to pay rights managed pictures anymore. You’ll ask friends for favors and feel worthy of Dante’s Inferno for having dragged them into this idiotic industry where work you do one month is paid for 6 months later.
You’ll have the blissful opportunity to eat pizza and shitty Chinese food while working extra hours for free. Oh and don’t order something too expensive, because even if you’re not charging for your services (which actually is a violation of your constitutional rights), they’re on a budget for your dinner. Saturdays and Sundays, don’t count with them on a regular basis because you are kidding yourself. Oh and you won’t get paid for those either.
Also, get ready to see the shittiest person hired for a job. Get ready to see second cousins of someone’s lovechild get ascensions and boosted salary caps just because of their ties to the person who unjustly hired them in the first place. Suck it in because you’ll see people scanning spics and negroes to hire so they can comply with affirmative action rather than considering them a genuine asset to a company.
Haven’t had enough yet? No worries, if anything there’s always a new thing to piss you off about your job because guess what else, lots of advertising gets prizes through negotiations rather than talent. Your work will most probably be meaningless in a few months time. You will have the awesome opportunity to meet dozens of new people every year thanks to a disgusting turnover rate and you’ll still meet people who are so coked out of their minds that they swear this is the paradise. Ah…. The advertising life. That’s what it’s all about. Wasting time, acting like what we do changes the world and kidding ourselves about our fucking reality day by day by day.
You will encounter countless people that say, “well I’m not a creative but if I were”, and they’re going to suggest something you’d want to slap their face for but since they back that bullshit up, of course it’s going to fly while your concepts will be shot down by the own agency.
It’s a fucking fallacy to destroy advertising because it doesn’t seem to be effective when it’s not even tested and when it is tested, it’s placed on a two week run with limited exposure and not saying one thing about it. You will dream about nirvana agencies where everything runs smoothly, no one fucks up, and interesting work gets produced. You will be frustrated because you’ll swear that your creative expression should be enough to carry a campaign, but that’s not true, and it shall never be. There will be a row of white collar dipshits playing devil’s advocate with your work and questioning each and every centimeter and letter of your layout. Your radios will be revised by the client because that twang in that person’s voice is not right, pay hundreds of dollars in idiotic revisions and never have one cent to do anything worthwhile. Have a great idea? No worries, they can always not present it because they’re not sure if it’s compliance ready or not. You will waste your talent until apathy takes you over or you have a heart attack. You’ll try to see the pro’s of advertising vs accounting and other jobs you know you’d hate even more but you constantly omit career options you could do. You’ll regularly remind yourself to be professional, to take it easy, to choose your battles and you’ll forget seconds afterwards.
You won’t matter for however much people insist that you do because no matter what, someone else will do your job and since your full potential shall never be utilized, then no worries, because someone half as good as you can provide the same material and guess what, that person will fight less and be cheaper which means kudos for the agency for getting rid of that problematic creative that insisted that he wanted to help our company when he consistently did the opposite of what he’s told. Who needs creative criterion when you should be taking orders. You live in an information buffet, a restaurant service where you serve the exact dishes offered. Don’t improvise, don’t modify, don’t even think.
You’ll see almost as much ass kissing as a lobbyist convention but you’ll snap from time to time and say, hey, at least I have a job. You will stop caring about your job and get sloppy at it. You’ll see typos, design mistakes, wrong pantones and the most clichéd garbage will start becoming your norm and finally your best. You will suck as much as advertising and you’ll have to retire at a few years after forty because you will be obsolete and won’t matter.
But still you hear naïve college idealists labeling me as a naysayer, a pessimist, a sour puss or any of another variety of names so they can kid themselves into buying into the bullshit this industry offers. True I might be generalizing and there might be great places to work at, but guess what, I still haven’t found that place and I’ve worked in five agencies. Perceptions of Ad Bliss get quickly dissipated because you meet people from inside the gutter who are struggling not to commit hara kiri.
Might this be the bombastic rant of someone who’s had a shitty day? Why of course; but that doesn’t mean I’m lying. So trust me kids, if you’ve ever wondered Why Advertising Sucks, just read our back catalogue and I’m sure that if you’ve worked in this shit long enough, you’ll find yourself nodding and swear you’re reading something from your diary or journal.
Here’s to a very needed venting