A recent misguided critique of an OMMA panel description posted by Doug Garnett, Squirrel! Advertising Agencies Chase Utopian Theories," is a good example. Garnet and I read the description of the OMMA panel very differently. While Doug reads into the "self-loathing" of an industry, I see a challenge and an opportunity. I also totally miss where the panel description says anything bad about selling, or that sales are not the goal of advertising. I am also not sure what the percentages of online retailing has to do with anything, but that would be another post.
What I do see is an obvious truth that given new media formats and changing consumer behavior, things can't stay the same. No one is saying that the principles of advertising don't hold. By all means, deliver a message of value position to a consumer to try to make a sale -- but the tactics for getting that consumer's attention in the first place are undeniably changing. From the recent New York Times piece by Brian Stelter on how the "TV Industry Taps Social Media to Keep Viewers' Attention" to all of the conversations about the role of new media in the Egyptian revolution, information pathways are changing the world.
I am going to be taking a break from writing for a couple months as I look to put my money where my mouth is with a new challenge, because I agree with Mr. Garnett that advertising is important work. If there is anything I have learned after four years of weekly columns, it is the winning combination: balancing knowledge of how things have been done with new technology and changes in consumer behavior. Everything may not be changing, but nothing is going to be the same.
As always, I'll be live tweeting the attempt to figure it all out at http://twitter.com/joemarchese