Thursday, May 27, 2004

Smith Barney Advertizing

This one is in Vanity Fair, the current number, page 105. The picture shows a very early morning scene, the sun is just reaching its first rays up from the horizon and world is beginning to show the first faint signs of color. A man carrying a heavy attache case is leaving a building, walking towards the only car still parked in the lot under a solitary street light. No other life anywhere. The man's back is permanently bent forward, and he looks ready to stumble.

The text in large letters says: "Your financial consultant may share your goals, but does he share your work ethic?" The rest of the text reinforces the same idea: Smith Barney only hires workaholics who hate their children and spouses. They all work twenty hour days, then take a quick four hours off to shower, eat, and change to a new pinstriped suit. Then back to the treadmill.

The ad ends with: "This is who we are. This is how we earn it."

And someone actually regarded this as a clever form of advertizing! My money doesn't go to an institution that selects people based on their own self-destructive work habits, and then sucks them dry before throwing them into the garbage (even if well padded with bank notes). My money doesn't go to an instution that is so niggardly that it won't hire enough people to work ordinary working days, or to an institution who employs workers so inept that they have to stay redoing it all night long. And one of these must be the explanation for the sad-looking bent-over shape dragging itself to the cold car at about four a.m..