Editorial: Bring order to the 'Chaos'

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It's said that journalism is the first draft of history. Those who don't want to wind up in history's dustbin, then, must pay close attention to what's being reported these days, most aggressively and adeptly by Advertising Age (we would not-so-humbly submit), but also by countless other newspapers, magazines, Web sites and TV channels.

We're writing that draft every day and every week, often using individual news stories to tell the larger tale of how the business is changing, to get at the ideas and strategies being employed by marketers to deal with that transformation. Every so often we opt for a wide shot, as we do this week with Bob Garfield's "Chaos Scenario," a what-if story that dares to raise the tantalizing, troubling possibility that the traditional marketing model could collapse before a viable successor has been constructed.

It's far from the first story we've done on the incredible changes sweeping through the businesses of advertising, marketing and media, a trend we've prodded from every angle, including the skeptical ones. But it is the first to carry a label, "Chronicles of the Revolution," that we intend to use on similar stories going forward. Our aim is to call special attention to those pieces of journalism we most strongly believe will wind up as chapters in the history books on this subject. (Our 75th anniversary issue last week and overall track record hopefully lend credibility to that seemingly brash statement.)

Every editorial we run on this page takes a strong point of view, and offers a call to action. This one is written a bit differently, but there's a call to action nonetheless: to read Bob Garfield's story, to respond to it with your thoughts and views-supportive or dismissive-and to respond to the ways in which the business that employs you is being changed-by new technologies, consumer empowerment, shifting economic models and marketing innovation.

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