The Madness of Ad Men?


Venture professionals have no life? Well, witness the always engaging Jeff Bussgang admit that he is just now starting to watch the television drama Mad Men, which is entering its fourth season.  However, Jeff uses the occasion to reflect on his recent dinner with Madison Avenue advertising CEOs, and finds four reasons why their companies are doomed: earning pressure on public firms; diminishing senior relationships; a trend towards pay for performance, and a lack of new talent.

Certainly there has been considerable activity in the digital advertising sector — particularly in mobile. Like the martini-drenched breaks in Mad Men, many of these seem a distraction from the core business — but all to soon these distractions become the focus.  The digital advertising space is highly dynamic, and the continued reaction of Madison Avenue to the rapid waves of entrepreneurial activity bears watching.  The next CEO advertising dinner could be brown bag