Calling like he sees it, The Ad Contrarian calls out advertising people as lazy at best, mentally incapable of doing their jobs well at worst. He writes that in a 1.5-hour discussion he led with 30 ad people (accounts and media services — and young) not a soul knew “the average click-through rate for display advertising” or any “critical fact about DVR usage” (e.g., no one knew what percent of the population owns one). The lack of curiosity at agencies, from what we hear, runs rampant. Maybe it’s a generational thing. Maybe it’s not.
It is a sad fact of life that many of the people working in advertising today are not even interested enough to find these things out. They read the nonsense that is published in trade magazines and blogs, they hear the baloney that is spouted by pundits and “experts,” they listen to the ignorant chit chat that goes on at their agencies, and they accept it. They don’t have the curiosity or resourcefulness to find out what’s true and what’s not. Advertising people are always whining about not being treated like “partners” or “professionals” by their clients. To a large degree they don’t deserve to be. Imagine if your doctor didn’t know the latest facts about his specialty, or if your accountant wasn’t up to date on the tax codes. In this era, how in the world could 30 professional advertising people not know the click-through rate for display ads?