Will 2013 go down as the most boring year in the history of advertising – ever?

Do you remember those cheesy old compilation records? “The best tracks from a boy band you’ll never hear from again – ever”?

Well 2013 in adland may defy even the wit of music biz copywriters if it carries on like this.

Can you think of a really good ad, a real show-stopper? God knows what they’ll pick at the awards fest that is now nearly upon us.

Last year we had Chipotle and BBH’s Three Little Pigs (and its Audi stuff that didn’t win anything much but should have), BETC’s ‘The Bear’ and lots of other good stuff besides (some of which was actually authorised and paid for by the client).

This year – zilch. Wieden+Kennedy’s Three ad featuring its dancing pony is a hit undoubtedly – but is it a great ad? I’m damned if I can think of anything else.

And where are the deals and the characters? WPP’s Sir Martin Sorrell seems to be sitting on his hands until he’s resolved his issues with shareholders – he thinks he owns the company and should be paid more, they don’t. Publicis Groupe boss Maurice Levy is promising lots of spending but there’s nothing much left in his target area (digital) that’s worth much. IPG and Havas haven’t got any money.

Last year we were spoilt by the antics of Joel Ewanick, then CMO of General Motors. It was a story a week from Joel, but he met his nemesis in a deal involving Manchester United, of all things. But Americans never did get football (the same applies the other way to NFL and NBA, obviously).

Has the business really subsided beneath, pace George Parker, Big Dumb Agencies and Big Dumb Holding Companies and, you have to say, Big Dumb Clients?

Nobody said it was easy…

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advertising chipotle George Parker Joel Ewanick Sir Martin Sorrell wieden+kennedy WPP

About Stephen Foster

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Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.