Media X: Pickets Charge
But even insulting New Yorkers is cold comfort these days. You're getting your Broadway shows back. We're still sitting here in strike hell.
I did try to do a little profiteering, asking a striking comedy scribe to ghost-write my columns while he's picketing at Paramount. But he declined, in the hope that Worldwide Pants will cut a deal with the WGA, and he can go back to work before his brother-in-law runs out of patience and stops lending him money. And I was willing to give him half of all my Mediapost.com residuals.
But I was heartened when I read that Big Advertising is none too happy about the labor impasse. The agencies are annoyed with the studios, due to the very likely prospect of a season with nothing but reality content created by wage slaves who aren't good enough to write for more high-brow broadcast fare, like "Two and a Half Men."
At last, I thought, agencies and clients finally realize it's in their best interests to align with the writers on this one. Get this crap out of the way before digital media really hits critical mass -- because it's all about the content, not the platform, now. And a strike by content creators 10 years from now will make the marketing dislocation this time pale in comparison.
So far, though, all we've heard from the buying side about the strike is tepid indignation and grumbling. Granted, even that is better than the usual caving media agencies do as they sink to their knees before the well-dressed predators that run the networks. Still, I don't think grumbling rises to the level of what labor negotiators and diplomats like to call "frank discussions."
It's time for marketers and media agencies to stop thinking of the networks as "frenemies." Step up for once, stop mouthing platitudes and actually threaten someone in a suit.
I have nothing but love for your pro bono spots and green ad campaigns. Funniest stuff on TV. But we need real activism now. You're holding all the face cards. Play 'em.
Demand the studios get their arrogant asses back to the table and negotiate in good faith, or you're taking everything online. Set a deadline for a fair and equitable deal with the writers and if it isn't met, every buyer in New York sits out the upfront and gathers at Kim Kadlec's to drink mojitos and watch reruns of "Mad Men" on AMC. And when the media agencies and their advertisers stop the writers strike and save television, I'll send every one of them a bustedtees.com t-shirt with a picture of Shakespeare on it that reads "Prose Before Hos."