apocalypse now?

I feel like a broken record, but advertising has been in trouble for some time now. I knew it was bad in September while I was in New York. I knew it was awful a month ago when I emailed my resume to an agency hours after it announced a new account, only to receive an automated response that their disk crashed. And now there's today's AdAge article by Bob Garfield.

Here's part of Garfield's intro:
Chicken Little, don your hardhat. Nudged by recession, doom has arrived.

The toll will be so vast -- and the institutions of media and marketing are so central to our economy, our culture, our democracy and our very selves -- that it's easy to fantasize about some miraculous preserver of "reach" dangling just out of reach. We need "mass," so mass, therefore, must survive. Alas, economies are unsentimental and denial unproductive. The post-advertising age is under way.

This isn't about the end of commerce or the end of marketing or news or entertainment. All of the above are finding new expressions online, and in time will flourish thanks to the very digital revolution that is now ravaging them. The future is bright. But the present is apocalyptic. Any hope for a seamless transition -- or any transition at all -- from mass media and marketing to micro media and marketing are absurd.

The sky is falling, the frog in the pot has come to a boil and, oh yeah, we are, most of us, exquisitely, irretrievably fucked.

Advertising is infamous for its incessant evolution. Like Garfield, I suppose, my gloom has turned into sheer curiosity: what the hell is going to come out of this mess?

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