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A silver lining?

Adages has been taking some hits for allegedly spinning negative stories about the economy. Some have been calling the advertising industry recession a self-fulfilling prophecy thanks to articles that have appeared in this paper. Well, Adages will prove to you that it is balanced, unbiased and not negative by reprinting a portion of a letter we received that puts a decidedly positive spin on the apparent downturn in the economy.

Dear Adages,

In the March 5 issue of Advertising Age, you discuss what you refer to as "an advertising recession." The headline at the top of the column refers to this recession as "depressing."

"Depressing" is hardly the word I'd use. I mean, just who would be depressed if you told them that their favorite show would now have five less minutes of commercials? The fact is no one wants to see that crap. An ad recession depressing? Try a joyous occasion for all America to stand up and cheer! The only depressing thing about it is that it isn't a full blown ad-depression.

If the mass audience was aware of the mechanisms and motives in what advertisers do, they would take to arms tomorrow and tar and feather every ad exec in the country.

Condescendingly yours,

Jeremiah Johnson

Thanks, Johnson. By the way, is that your real name? To read Johnson's jeremiad in its positively uplifting entirety, check out

D-Day in Miami

Two grizzled warriors recently stormed a Dade County beachhead. Ed Vick introduced fellow Vietnam vet Oliver Stone to a group of Y&R creatives at a newly hatched forum called the Creative Delta at its first meeting, held on the sands in front of the Delano Hotel. The notorious filmmaker delivered a rambling but inspired call to arms to the Delta troops, which included ECDs and top planning directors from Y&R offices around the world. Stone challenged them to be more authentic. He accused the movies and commercials of putting too much "emphasis on imagery, money, technique and high tech. Basically, I find it all very boring." He also railed against consolidation. "Universal was bought by a sewage company," said Stone, referring to Vivendi, the French utility corporation. At one point, a creative yelled out for a "revolution." Stone shook his head. "No, no revolution here," he said. "Ed Vick is an officer in the 9th infantry. He doesn't want a revolution. You just want to be better." Vick was pleased by the frontal assault. "Over the years, we have had our full of canned crap [from speakers]," Vick said. "And here is Oliver Stone making notes just for us. That's unbelievable." Stone demurred. "The only problem is, I mixed up the pages."

`Derailed' from Madison Avenue

A few weeks ago we reported on a book that skewered the U.K. ad industry. The closest thing to a roman a clef on Madison Ave. is "Derailed," the forthcoming novel from BBDO's Jimmy Siegel, his second.

"It's not really about the ad business," says Mr. Siegel. The main character, in his 40s and working at the same agency just over 20 years, appears to be the scribe himself. That said, Mr. Siegel disclosed that "Derailed" features a character named after Tom Mooney, owner of the production company Headquarters. "I describe [the character] as Pat Riley on coke," said Mr. Siegel, a reference to his hyperactive nature, not his leisure habits. "I'm flattered," Mooney said. "Everyone knows I'm wired all the time."

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