A workshop in New York that divided the marketing world

Published by on oktober 22, 2009 at 6:22 e m

Last week I was invited by AdForum to a workshop in New York. Sadly I could not make it this time (other lectures). But since I like passionate people I sent over some copies of my latest book for the workshop. Participants were leading professionals from PR agencies, as Steve Rubel of Edelman Digital and Julie Atherton of Hill & Knowlton, and from advertising agencies such as Sapient, Saatchi and Euro RSCG.

This workshop excellently delivered the important changes in the marketing world thats my book is pointing out. When the  participants got into the room the following happened:

We got to the auditorium and were stopped at the threshold by AdForum Dream Leader, Hervé de Clerck. He motioned to a pile of books on a small table dividing two sets of chairs, facing each other. “Pick a book,” he said. Based on which book we picked, we had to sit on either one side of the table or the other. The books were Al and Laura Ries’ The Fall of Advertising & the Rise of PR and Stefan Engeseth’s cheeky response, The Fall of PR & the Rise of Advertising. A bit of dithering followed de Clerck’s instructions as consultants pondered the grave implications of this prophetic choice. Then they divided quickly: in a few bats of the eye, most of the Ries books were gone. The PR side was swollen with smug chair-seizers. And on the ad side? A thin crowd, composed of embarrassed giggles and tight smiles.

I realize now after reading about this workshop that I missed a historical moment. The marketing community was divided in to two worlds. The discussion I believe was dynamic due to the shift we now are facing in communication with social media, etc. But since I like New York and passionate people I hope there will be another opportunity for discussion.