New Book Forecasts Financial Disasters, Mega-agencies Implosions, Radical Restructuring of Global $500 Billion Advertising Business

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Two advertising Golden Age veterans tell the inside story of how Madison Avenue became a $500 billion global business, doomed itself in an ocean of corporate funny money and now struggles amid mounting chaos to create a new business model in the Internet-driven media revolution of the 21st Century.

New Book

But Wait! There's More! (maybe)

New York, NY Financial disasters, implosion and hollowing-out and radical restructuring of the world's advertising mega-agencies are forecast for the $500 billion global ad business in a new book, "But Wait! There's More! (maybe)," by two veterans of Adland's Golden Age.

According to "But Wait!" the once unbeatable Great American Advertising Magic Machine is in rolling chaos and both the global economy and the ad agency business desperately need a new communications business model for the 21st Century.

The authors of "But Wait!" - Donald E. Creamer, CEO/Founder of what was the world's seventh largest ad agency, and James Baar, international PR executive, novelist and lexicographer -- contend:

  • The present Rube Goldberg structuring of the global super-agencies can not cope with the communications revolution driven by the Internet and digital communications, the splintering of TV and fractionalizing of its audiences and the unremitting decline of print media readership.
  • Roots of the present chaos were well cultivated throughout Madison Avenue's creative and fun-filled Golden Years by "Five Great Strategic Mistakes" not the least of which was the "non-sequiter commission system, an unrequited love affair with growth and deep organizational xenophobia."
  • The best chance for salvation would be a radical new business model - "the Communication Think Tank" - based on small "nuclear units of highly skilled knowledge workers."

"This book combines blunt biography, business history, strategic crisis analysis and a reasonable dose of anecdotal merriment to lay out a radical path for survival of the global ad business ," Creamer said recently. "We caused the chaos. We can cure it. The ad business is too important a part of the world economic engine not to persevere."

But Wait! uses as a case history the success story of the founding of what became the HBM/Creamer agency as a one-room, no-clients ad shop in the mid-50's in Providence, RI; the agency's growth including 21 acquisitions into the seventh largest ad/PR agency in the world in the mid-80's; its sale for $64 million in cash plus employment contracts and one Porsche convertible and its subsequent dissolution in the international mega-agency pig-out of the last 20 years.

Creamer and Baar tell candidly what went well (great advertising), what went wrong (business judgment), and what went (advertising competence). They analyze why the current mega-agency model is failing; forecast its implosion within the next five years amid the business chaos caused by the rise of digital media and the decline of traditional media, and offer optimal and sub-optimal roadmaps for the future based on eight possible new business models.

A unique feature of the book is telling part of the story through "Conversations" in a panoply of major restaurants and advertising watering holes along with critiques of their menus. The book also includes as a bonus an experience-grounded guide for ad business executives summarized as Lessons for the Model Agency CEO and an exegesis of inflated mega-agency titles.

Creamer sold HBM/Creamer, headquartered in New York with major operations in Boston, Chicago, Pittsburgh and Providence, to WCRS of London in 1986.

Baar, a former Washington journalist and corporate and agency PR executive, was president of HBM/Creamer's largest PR company. He is author of two satirical business novels, "Ultimate Severance" and "The Great Free Enterprise Gambit;" a dictionary of language pollution, "Spinspeak II," and four books on the Cold War and advanced technology.


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