Ad industry felt “demeaned and trivialised”

In this Sydney Morning Herald article, Clemenger’s Mr Morgan complained about how an ABC TV series The Gruen Transfer had demeaned and trivialised the advertising industry.

Maybe the ad industry felt threatened by the thousands of reader-created mashup ads on the series’ website. Or perhaps by the sheer amount of ordinary people who jumped at this opportunity to serve some back at the ad companies bothered them.

None of the mash-up ads were anywhere near the slickness (slipperiness?) of professionally produced advertising. The TV series is a send-up of the ad industry just like others such as the BBC’s Absolute Power.

So why the feeling of being demeaned and trivialised? Is it because a lot of the highly visible output of ad agencies is in itself demeaning and trivialising? Is it the sudden uncomfortable realisation that more people see through more of the spin than what they have come to believe?

I sense a lot of projection and insecurities here on the part of the ad agencies. Poor diddums. It can be hard when the world holds up a reflection of ourselves that we have been denying. Time for a revolution perhaps?

One comment

  1. Mak said:

    I am an Advertising writer. I don’t write the big ones, just the ones that no-one sets up for prizes, but work to sell things for people in business. I think the Gruen Transfer shows the worst part of the industry that even we hate – the ‘boys own club’ – the sniggery feminine hygiene product laughs – ‘let’s do the Pope’because that would be ‘cool’, which was so insulting to Catholics. I’ve been in meetings when everyone runs out of ideas, it’s late then to break the tension someone always says ‘Well, we could do the POPE!’ It is an industry in -joke that stands for “No Ideas at this stage!’The list goes on. Like Journalism, it is an easy bashing target. But somehow, the rest of us plug on trying to help businesses bring their products to market. Not all ads are a spin.Most of us will never be like anyone on that show – sniggery, boys-own-clubbers and woefully short of ideas. The Ad industry doesn’t feel threatened by this show. It is cringing at the usual ocker crassness dished up. It is so woefully amateurish that we wish they had at least used a decent Creative team to give the show some polish and sophistication. The ABC had a chance to produce something fabulous and instead, went for the ordinary.

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