How the worst advertising-related program in history was allowed to continue demonstrates the intellectual deficiencies of television executives. That a new crop of agencies agreed to participate demonstrates the character deficiencies of advertising executives.
The original reasons to avoid The Pitch have already been discussed here. Yet the fast-changing industry presents even more motivation to spend your Thursday evenings engaged in other activities. In short, the reality TV series is getting lousier than ever in reflecting reality.
For starters, legitimate pitches rarely happen anymore. Rather, accounts are routinely relocated via various versions of Corporate Cultural Collusion.
The most common scheme involves the buddy system, where client-agency cronyism leads to the shifting of billings sans a formal shootout. These relationships tend to last as long as the key cronies maintain their respective positions. Once a CMO or agency CEO moves on, the account vanishes, leaving scores of hapless adpeople unemployed.
Another maneuver mastered by Omnicom mimics musical chairs, whereby an account is endlessly shuttled between sister agencies. If Publicis Omnicom Groupe is approved, brands such as Quaker and Propel Zero may never leave the network.
A third popular hustle requires inventing agencies to exclusively service accounts. Sir Martin Sorrell seems to be saying, “If none of the shitty shops in my empire are qualified to handle your business, I’ll cobble together a fresh shitty shop just for you.” Rearranging the monkey cages won’t produce evolutionary—and certainly not revolutionary—results. It’s just a bunch of different simians still tossing poop.
So what exactly does The Pitch represent? Hell, AMC series Mad Men offers greater resemblance and relevance to today’s ad game.