'Giving Aspirin to a Cadaver': Linda Kaplan Thaler's 4A's Performance

An Ad Age Original Video News Feature

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NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- In a performance that had the poise and wit of a late-night talk-show host's routine, Linda Kaplan Thaler entertained last week's American Association of Advertising Agencies' Management Conference with a bit of stand-up comedy about her industry.
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In the "It's Still About The Work: Great American Campaigns" session April 7 at the Phoenician Resort in Scottsdale, Ariz., the CEO-chief creative officer of Publicis Groupe's Kaplan Thaler Group warmed up the crowd for her main remarks by spoofing the demise of the 30-second spot.

"Every re-cut we make and every color correction we supervise and every strategic triangle we draw," she said, "is only like giving aspirin to a cadaver. I mean, we make take away its headache but its tap-dancing days are over, right?"

'Don't want to alarm'
"If advertisers are not going to pay for programming and we're not paying for programming, there's going to be no programs," she said. "I don't want to alarm -- we've had so many alarmists this week -- but do you know what that could mean? We could become a nation of readers. People might start remembering their spouses' names; start talking to their children; some might become intellectual. Just imagine: truck drivers solving Fermat's last theorem. Chat rooms where teenagers are discussing entropy and the second law of thermodynamics. Men and women everywhere understanding the plot to 'Syriana.'"
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