Does our industry deserve an ass kicking?

Ad Age published this article about how the death of Detroit would wallop the advertising world.

General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler together accounted for 3.3% of 2007 U.S. measured ad spending, which equal $4.6 billion in measured spending.

“The world’s top four agency companies — Omnicom Group, WPP Group, Interpublic Group of Cos. and Publicis Groupe — count on Detroit’s Big Three for as much as 6% of revenue.

If one or more of Detroit’s carmakers goes away, gets smaller or goes into bankruptcy, “all media companies need to be concerned and there will be an impact on agencies,…”

Now, I’ll be the first to say that the North American Auto Industry deserves everything that they are going through right now but thats not the focus of this rant.

Lets focus on the advertising/marketing industry. Do agencies and marketers need to carry some blame for this? Is it our responsibility to speak up and tell our clients if we think their products suck, if we think thier R&D should be focusing on alternative fuels, hybrids and compacts not hummers and F350 supercharged kingcab extended box pick-up trucks. Or do we just keep accepting briefs for companies on the march to the grave.

There have been times that I have thought…”if they just spent this 2.3 million media and production budget on customer service training they would most likely see a larger ROI from retaining existing customers than us pushing a product with no differentiation with the hopes of acquiring customers”.

Is that our job? Obviously the agency would loose some revenue BUT would it gain respect, gain a listening ear and maybe redefine their relationship from a advertising agency/client relationship to a relationship as a true business partner.

I am interested in your thoughts.

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