Who needs a contract?

Beck calls out homeboy Jim Sollisch of Marcus Thomas Advertising, for advocating that people just quit paying their credit card bills:

I wouldn’t have a man like that on my payroll for anything in the world.

That’s because Billy doesn’t run an ad agency.

About 20 years ago, for about 6 months (I left for grad school), I worked the mail room at Lowe Marschalk, which was in the old TV3 building by the library in downtown Cleveland. Ponderosa Restaurants was their big account. I got to see the creative team at work and play, and frankly, I preferred the ladies in Billing. These folks were clever rather than intelligent, and why should it be otherwise? They have the job of inducing you to buy something without making any reasoned arguments whatsoever, because there’s no time or space for that. And that’s just what this piece is about…and really, all his pieces that I’ve seen. An ask.com search brings up quite a few of them, mostly from the Washington Post.  He can make words dance without making them actually work. And it’s hard to justify firing a guy for doing on his own time the thing that you pay him for. Yes, Venlet or Billy or I can’t write without getting principle mixed up in it, but Jim Sollisch isn’t paid to have principles.

Yes, he’s disgusting, but so is his whole industry, really: a tapeworm in the bowels of capitalism. That being the case, why not do unto Marcus Thomas what Sollisch would do to the credit card people (Jim, you go first!). Alltel, Dunlop, Pizza Hut, Tarkett, White Outdoor… why should you guys pay your bills? MT is obviously gouging you; if everyone quit paying, they’d have to lower their rates. That would be fair, wouldn’t it?


5 Responses to Who needs a contract?

  1. kishnevi says:

    I’ve read that Murder Must Advertise is still a pretty accurate picture of that branch of the world’s oldest profession.

    And given the necessity of advertising, I think it’s not right to call it a tapeworm. Perhaps it’s the cholesterol of the capitalist system? Good in low density or at low levels, but toxic at higher densities and higher amounts.

  2. Jeffrey Quick says:

    You’re correct that it’s necessary, and even if it weren’t, I wouldn’t be for regulating it (free speech means free commercial speech). My beef is that, in practice, it’s about emotion instead of reason, which is why a gamer like Sollisch can do so well in it. I don’t see any functional difference between what Marcus Thomas does and what Sollisch does on his own time — or for that matter, between advertising and what most “professional journalists” do.

  3. John Venlet says:

    …Jim Sollisch isn’t paid to have principles.

    Jeffrey, I am not paid to have principles either, but I strive to possess them and live by them regardless of the lack of monetary remuneration I receive, for principled living has its own rewards.

    With that said, I have no problem with Sollisch’s cleverness, rather than his intelligence, or lack thereof, being applied in the advertising industry. But when Sollisch strays into principled territory, his “cleverness” will be of no avail to intelligent analysis.

  4. jeffreyquick says:

    John: My comments were pretty narrowly aimed at Billy’s “I’d fire his ass”, and why that won’t happen. Along with the lack of principles, there’s a lack of convictions; I suspect that Sollisch is too big a pussy to personally do what he argued for, let alone personally stealing at gunpoint.

    What surprises me is how, with newspapers in the shape they’re in, there still seems to be a market for guest duckspeakers.

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