John Winsor should seriously consider crowdsourcing to write his editorials, as he seems incapable of handling the task on his own. The man’s latest perspective at Digiday—which is barely a rung above AgencySpy as a forum for pseudo thought leaders—presents commentary on the Publicis Groupe-Omnicom merger that essentially blends common knowledge with self-promotional pap. If there were a Darwinian chart for idiotic hucksters, Winsor would definitely be depicted in the evolutionary lineup.
For starters, Winsor actually had the audacity to quote Havas CEO David Jones’ (Winsor’s boss) critique of the mega-merger: “Clients today want us to be faster, more agile, more nimble and more entrepreneurial, not bigger and more bureaucratic and more complex.” Um, Jones’ network is no stranger to bigness, bureaucracy and complexity. The company website boasts, “Havas is one of the world’s largest global advertising, digital and communications groups.” And let’s not forget the enterprise is fueled by nepotism. Havas implying Publicis Omnicom Groupe is outdated sounds like Joan Rivers calling Betty White an old shrew.
So what solution does Winsor propose to address the problems inherent in holding companies such as Publicis Omnicom Groupe and Havas? Why, crowdsourcing, of course! Winsor wants to counter the “commoditized service offerings” of traditional advertising agencies with a failed industry fad that commoditizes creative people and the creative process in the worst possible ways. As history has shown, agency mergers never improve the lives of the worker bees executing the campaigns. But crowdsourcing as performed by Winsor turns writers and art directors into anonymous, interchangeable drones—and grossly undervalues their contributions during an economic recession.
Winsor said Publicis Omnicom Groupe is “an attempt to stop the clock.” Okay, but Winsor better check the clock too—his fifteen minutes of fame expired a long time ago.