Media X: Why The Sequel Will Suck

For the love of God, people, it's been a whole week. Would everybody just stop crying and smiling and screaming and saying snarky things about Southerners and shut up?

Look, I was as moved as anybody by the election results. It was like a good, old-fashioned Hollywood movie, with the plot neatly wrapped up and the curtain closing on the Obamas and the Bidens and their broods beaming in multiracial, post-culture-wars bliss in front of thousands. Rows of American flags waved like the undulations of the ocean behind them, and a John Williams score swelled up from giant speakers.

It was like the last scenes in "Star Wars: A New Hope," if Luke was tall, skinny and darkly pigmented and Han Solo had hair plugs, and Darth Vader didn't spiral off into space in an out-of-control TIE fighter but was recuperating from heart surgery at his ranch in Wyoming.

Ah, but now comes the sequel. We know how good those are.

I don't think that marketing is going to be as much fun in the next few years as it's been in the past, oh, eight or so. Because the Bush Administration was really, really bad for the country but really, really good for advertising.



Combine that departure with a Depression-shaped economy, and you have trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Paulson.


Your meal tickets just drove off a cliff in Detroit.

You can kiss your financial-services business goodbye.

Look for pharma ads to get walloped by lawmakers.

With the Left resurgent, expect place-based media to be besieged by righteous civic leaders looking to score political points by taking on Big Bad Advertisers and their blight-producing billboards, traditional and alternative.

Clients will prostrate themselves before the Obamastration, begging for a billion here or a billion there, and they'll be more twitchy on the budget-killing trigger then they have ever been before.

Oh, but brothers and sisters, this is just the beginning of your pain. Don't even get me started on what we're likely to see in the way of re-regulation at the FCC.

Small and mid-sized accounts. Remember those? I'm already starting to forget what they look like. State ad accounts? What state ad accounts? Well, maybe the lotteries will last.

Forget about all that anti-smoking, armed services and assorted other new-business gravy from the Feds.

And what the government doesn't take away from you, the economy will. Case in point: even Nielsen, the Devil as Data, had to shut down its new outdoor measurement product this week because times are so tough. If marketing's most enduring and malevolent monopoly has to tighten its belt, we're really in the crapper.

So enough already with the kumbaya over the semi-Kenyan. His ascendancy is great for democracy, but it could ravage the marketing community.

Although if Crispin is one of the casualties, it might all be worth it.

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