Beware of Self-Branded Industry Pundits

2017 04 10   Peter Feinstein   Advertising    

Shareen Pathan hits the nail in the head in “‘Bullshit can work’: Advertising’s real fraud problem” (Digiday, March 17).

Our industry is made up of the largely immature and untrained, who mysteriously think they have the answers to everything. Comically, they don’t even understand the basics of business. They don’t know how to earn money, understand how a sale contributes to cost of sales or know how to calculate the break-even and profit threshold of a product or line.

Stuck in ignorance of even these most basic concepts and our industry, these know-it-alls (but done nones) talk ’til they’re out of breath. They spout jargon that they’ve made up and tell us it’s the next real measure of advertising success.

To my more youthful and inexperienced colleagues, I suggest a couple of strategies:

  1. Find someone with 20 years of experience, ask him or her to mentor you and listen to everything; and
  2. Use your intellectual curiosity to delve deeper and learn the business of business.

At least then, if you’re going to spout off, you might actually say something intelligent.