Madison Avenue

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

Bob Bly is a freelance copywriter who has written copy for more than 100 clients including IBM, AT&T, Praxair, Intuit, Forbes, and Ingersoll-Rand. McGraw-Hill calls Bob “America’s top copywriter” and he is the author of 90 books, including “The Copywriter's Handbook.” Find him online at www.bly.com or call (973) 263-0562.

Stan Freberg broke the rules. A very busy guy who was ubiquitous on radio, Freberg made a slew of comedy records, did stand-up and was the voice for hundreds of cartoon characters. His 1957 send-up of political correctness—changing Ol' Man River to "Elder Man River"—was classic.

The last season of "Mad Men" is approaching, but let's not be so fast to bury the ad agency with it. Media outlets are reading trends and are raising questions. The Economist has a special report on digital disruption in the advertising supply chain, and is quite taken by how "Big Digital's"

Advertising already subsidizes much of the Internet's content. Soon, marketers may underwrite access to it, as well. As the Internet loads up on data-heavy content like high-definition streaming videos, companies that transport that content to consumers, such as Verizon and AT&T, are looking for ways to offset the higher carriage costs. The Federal Communications Commission has tried to prevent them from passing the buck to consumers or media companies by forcing broadband providers to treat all Internet traffic equally, an effort called "Net neutrality." The Net neutrality fight received a stomach-punch on Tuesday.

For years, the advertising business has been driven by the Madison Avenue mythology of small independent shops coming up with the snappy catchphrase or memorable TV commercial that becomes part of everyday culture. But the announcement on Sunday of the merger of two industry giants, Omnicom and Publicis, to create the largest ad company in the world, signals that advertising is now firmly in the business of Big Data: collecting and selling the personal information of millions of consumers.

In 1980, I took a position as the advertising manager of Koch Engineering, a firm in New York City that manufactured industrial process equipment. The company used a small Madison Avenue ad agency, RSMK, and our account was handled by an account executive named Lansing Moore.

Summertime and the living is easy. So I stopped by the local spirits shop for a bottle of pink Sancerre and I was greeted with a window display for Double Cross Vodka that included a tongue-in-cheek campaign called "Project Double Cross." Of course, the campaign's creator had to get his digs on direct mail

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