Should Agencies Shoulder the Blame?

Industry professionals are criticizing the results from a recent Harris Interactive poll. The poll found that 66% of Americans say ad agencies bear some of the blame for the recent economic turmoil. Why? Well, some believe agencies are to blame because they encourage people to buy things they can't afford. A recent article on Ad Age's Web site discusses the poll results, and points out that ad agencies themselves have struggled to stay afloat, often resorting to major layoffs. According to the article, Elayne Rapping, who specializes in media culture as a professor at the University of Buffalo, says the findings are "absurd," and Adam Arbruster, a partner for a TV consulting firm, likens Americans' blame to shooting the messenger. "Advertisers and their advertising agencies are no more responsible for a consumer overspending than are car dealers for selling cars to people that can't drive them," he told Ad Age. For the entire article, including the breakdown of poll results by age, click here.

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