The 7 Deadly Sins of Advertising

Deadly Sins of Advertising

Vandan Chopra points out the 7 Deadly Sins of Advertising that we all have been guilty of at some point.

Advertising in all its glory, is the profession everybody loves to hate, and with good reason too. If you are a brand owner and you read on, you might get an insight into the workings of your current advertising agency outside of “client meetings”. If you are an ad man/woman you may notice striking similarities to your day in office yesterday. Whoever you may be, if this is your agency, get out while your brand can still afford it.

With that being said, today I’m going to try and identify some of the practices that make “certain” ad people seek the lord’s forgiveness, oh so often:

Lust: Aah, the lust. Probably the most ‘popular’ of the sins. As the award season approaches, the creative department quickly turns into those nice ladies you would empty your bank accounts for. They’re bloody good at their jobs, but the reward or the “AWARD” is why they’re there.

Gluttony: Lunch meetings, office parties, a colleague’s birthday or a new Odonil bar in the office urinal, all are cause for free all you can eat celebrations! And boy do we love free food. The advertising motto: Eat till the management can pay no more.

Greed: For bigger packages. No, not that. Well, maybe.

But the point here is the increasingly common “job – switching” fad. According to a recent survey, one out of every three advertising professionals plan to leave their current job. The number one reason given for this switch is – “Growth Opportunity”, yeah right.

Sloth: A walk down the advertising agency aisle and you are bound to hear these words: “Why do it today when the deadline is 8AM tomorrow?” “Seriously man, tell the client it’s going to take 15 days, I need to pretend to come up with fresh creative ideas first, though we both know I’ll just end up recycling a campaign or 2 from the past.” “Dude, can you like draft this mail for me? Oh and while you’re at it, can you also prepare the presentation that needs to go with it?” After all, if clients can set fake deadlines, why cant we?

Wrath: Haven’t we all at one point or the other been so angry at the management or the client for rejecting our precious strategies and/or copies that we would be willing to commit the deadliest sin of them all? Of course you cant kill them, but a little banter here and some harmless words while the phone line is on mute never hurt anyone.

Envy: It’s only human nature to be envious, the only difference in the advertising game being the millions of dollars attached to the “path breaking” strategy of: “The rival product is doing what? Pssht, Like THAT’s going to drive sales. Okay creative team, here’s what we do: Take the competition’s ad, and make it better. Sure I can build this brand on my own terms and earn the respect of my peers and consumers, but where’s the fun in that.”

And lastly,

Pride: Every agency has the unique ability to transform any campaign, I mean ANY campaign, into a complete winner that did wonders for the client, with a shiny document call the case study. Us advertising people love our work and every creative, is portfolio worthy.

Now, I could end this by saying, this is what advertising is whether you like it or not. But I’m on a greater mission here. To take back this sacred profession from the clutches of the agency’s who think they can get away with anything. To redeem advertising in the eyes of our business suit wearing peers and the countless parents who never say “I want my son to grow up to be a graphic designer”. And lastly, to give our clients the level professionalism their brands deserve.


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