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The Pitch Ruins Reputation of Ad Industry.


While people outside of the ad industry seem to enjoy AMC’s The Pitch, quite a few people inside the industry are understandably concerned about the inability of the television series to portray every single truth about ad agency life and every role that makes agencies go. At first, I thought this was just a lot of whining and posturing, but then I saw the show, and I have to agree! Here are my impressions:

Ok, so first off, where is the rest of the agency? Where are the thinkers? Where are the researchers, planners, developers and analytics people? Where are the producers and project managers?

You know the golden age of advertising is over when the entire industry is represented by one senior guy, who just seems desperate to win and keep clients, and one sort of all around creative guy who has to make this happen.

Surely, when people see this stuff on TV, it will spell the end of the industry, as the next generation of potential ad talent will be utterly turned off by this stuff.

Now I didn’t catch the beginning, and had to run out before the end, but it doesn’t take long to get what The Pitch is all about. It’s in black and white, which is sort of weird. There’s this senior guy, named Larry Tate. He basically sits in his big office and worries about winning and losing accounts and cares about nothing but money. Then, there’s this other guy named Darrin, who seems to do all the other jobs in the agency. He schmoozes the clients, comes up with the plans, has the ideas and draws them up in his study at home. He appears to live in the suburbs with an attractive witch, which is sort of a cliché’ as well. Seriously, people who see this show are not going to want to go into advertising. Within a decade, there will be no advertising people left!

Or at least this is what I thought until I was flipping around last night and I saw another episode of AMC’s The Pitch. OK, they apparently have different agencies every week, and this one was completely different from the first. I liked it a lot better. In this one there was a creative team. Their names were Michael and Elliot and they seemed like good guys, even if they were a bit overly worried. They also seemed to have a lot of fun at the office, throwing balls into little office hoops and stuff. Unfortunately, they worked for another silver-haired shark with a total lack of ethics. This guy was probably even worse that Larry Tate. Again, as much as I liked Michael and Elliot, I just can’t see how the next generation is going to take a look at Miles Drentell and decide – yeah, I want to go into advertising and work for a guy just like that!

So, in summary, I must concur with the many wise advertising people who have pointed out that AMC’s The Pitch will hasten the end of the advertising agency business model. Certainly, if we in our own youth had seen shows like these, we would have done what the intelligent and perceptive youth of today will surely do.

We would have skipped Madison Avenue and gone to Wall Street.