Advertising no longer in the advertising business, but still firmly in the talking shite business.

Here’s the latest pronouncement from Martin Sorrell, the ex-accountant with a background in Economics.

One of the things he says is that ‘we’re not in the advertising business anymore’. I don’t think I’m way off the truth to assume that ‘we’ refers either to his many WPP agencies, or possibly the industry as a whole. Apparently data has taken over and ‘John Hegarty wouldn’t recognise 75% of what we do’.

Now, far be it from me to suggest this is all a load of headline-baiting bollocks, but this, like most of what Marty says, is a load of headline-baiting bollocks. Data has been part of advertising for many years. It’s one of those things that fuels the planning department and allows them to tell you all about the quant vs the qual. So what’s changed? Apparently we’re using more of it and its importance is growing, but does mean WPP’s agencies are no longer in the advertising business?

Of course not.

It just means that WPP’s agencies are now making more money out of creating and selling data to its clients and Marty’s speech helps make them feel comfortable about that so they then spend more.

Do Y&R, Ogilvy and JWT’s global agencies still create actual ads? Yes. So are they still in the advertising business? Yes. So is Marty talking crap again in order to make more money? Hmmmm… I wonder…

And if you had any doubt, have a read of the final quote in the piece: “In that cocktail it’s very tough to grow your top line and you have to contain your costs… companies are pulling in their horns and becoming very risk averse.” (My italics.)

As Jessie J so eloquently asserted, it’s all about the money, money, money and sometimes that means certain people have to be all about the bollocks, bollocks, bollocks.