Ad agencies were unknown quantities to me until for the first time
this week I had occasion to visit one. Their world and people seem
entirely different from the world at large. Their culture
clashes with mine - at least I hope so.
I had assumed that the
image I had of glitzy offices, larger than life
individuals, hysterics, designer trappings everywhere and lots of
money, would prove to be a false cliche. The reality is if anything
even more true to the cliche than my assumption had been.
I suppose in advertising, public perception is everything. For those who
live in the world of directing, moulding and even forming,
perceptions for the public to adopt, there is always a risk of
real personal identities drowning in the mish mash of image projections.
However those who work in that industry and overcome such risks
may be better able than the rest of us at distinguishing
between flannel and reality.
By the end of the day, the questions that frequently recur in life
of "who am I" and "why am I" seemed so much more attractive than
the alternative questions doubtless frequently asked of ad agents' clients, of:
"Who do you want to seem to be" and "what do you want others to think of you"?
The ad agency experience makes me even more wary of politicians and leaders
who rely heavily on Spin Doctors than I was before the visit.