Commentary

Advertising: The Most Overrated Job

Next week is Advertising Week. Are you excited? Can you wait until Monday when it all begins? Do you need a promotional video to get you in the mood? San Francisco-based Mekanism is here to help with a hipster-ific take on the advertising business that celebrates the event's 10th anniversary. If we didn't know better, we'd think the entire industry was staffed by a bunch of 20-somethings who like to twirl around in a circle while enjoying X. Oh, wait. 

Well, we've known for quite some time that those in the advertising profession are about as well respected as car dealers, members of congress and lawyers -- but did you know the profession is also one of the most overrated? A recent CareerCast survey noted that the most overrated jobs are stockbrokers, surgeon and -- yes, public relations manager and advertising account executives. While the perception that working at an advertising or public relations agency handling glamorous accounts and working with celebrities is fun and exciting, the truth -- as many of you know -- is often very different. You are overworked, underpaid and are likely to lose your job if a large account moves to another agency. The most underrated jobs? Computer systems analyst, veterinarian and biologist. Time for a career change?

Following the assignment of its advertising business to Vitro earlier this year, casual dining chain Red Robin has hired former Applebee's marketer John Schaufelberger as vice president of brand marketing. Schaufelberger will be responsible for overseeing Red Robin's advertising, media, national promotions, communications and in-store merchandising. The hire comes 18 months after former Starbucks and T-Mobile vetran Denny Marie Post was brought in as the chain's CMO. Post will tap into Schaufelberger's overseas experience as SVP of Marketing for Burger King in Europe, the Middle East and Africa to help, as Post puts it, "transform Red Robin into an industry-leading casual dining brand."

Live action director and motion designer Brian Bowman has joined New York City-based Spontaneous as its new creative director. Of the hire, Spontaneous VP/Managing Director Cara Cutrone said, “This marks a new era at Spontaneous. Brian's live action and interactive experience brings new capabilities that will enhance our already strong design, CG and VFX offerings. His work as a director has exposed him to high profile clients including Microsoft, HBO and MTV while his work as a designer has placed him at the helm of a broad range of advertising and entertainment projects. His diverse background and multidimensional approach resonates with both artists and clients.

Hmm. Sounding more like the launch of a dog fence company, Dubuque, Iowa-based Woodward Communications has partnered with consulting and fulfillment firm Guarantee Digital to launch Fence Talk Digital, a digital advertising agency that will provide area merchants with search, mobile, social, video and email marketing. No word on whether or not every Friday will be bring-your-dog-to-work day.

And in a fun "we're bored so let's come up with yet another ranking of advertising agencies," exercise,AdWeek cobbled together a map of the United States that's a graphical representation of what it dubs the best shops in each state. Choices were limited to agencies founded in a given state and are based on head count, notable clients, legacy and reputation. 

4 comments about "Advertising: The Most Overrated Job".
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  1. Jonathan Hutter from Northern Light Health, September 18, 2013 at 1:52 p.m.

    But where else can you come to work and know that you're not going to be doing the same thing you were doing 6 months ago, 1 year ago or 5 years ago. I wonder if these hip agencies that don't know how to spell have that kind of commitment. If you want to do the same thing over and over until you get it perfect, Advertising isn't the place for you. Otherwise, where else can you find a job like this? Glamor? Overrated. Even if I met celebs every day, I'd still have to mow the lawn this weekend.

  2. Dave Cottrell from Best Rate Digital, September 18, 2013 at 3:04 p.m.

    Do I sense a certain undertone of bitterness mixed with a small dose of sarcasm and a pinch of "been-there-done-that?" lol.

    All is good when the graphs are pointing northward and you're a hero, but let them dip and hello unemployment line!

    Great article, Richard!

  3. Jonathan Hutter from Northern Light Health, September 18, 2013 at 4:55 p.m.

    Actually this column came along just when I was thinking about how much I love this job. As far as the graphs pointing up bit, that's no different from any other job in the world. If you apply "been-there-done-that" thinking to this job, you shouldn't last long no matter how northward the graphs point (I say "shouldn't" because I see far too much btdt thinking going around among people who do last too long).

  4. Duffy Johnson from RH Power & Assoc. Inc., September 18, 2013 at 7:48 p.m.

    Not everyone in advertising works at a big, flashy firm. I work at a very small agency that specializes in bare bones retail advertising. We may not have big celebrities but we still capture eyeballs and increase traffic, which is everyone's goal, from Main Street to Madison Ave. And my job is different everyday. I love it.

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