People Hate Ads

Times Square

There’s an article in today’s New York Times with the title, “The Advertising Industry Has a Problem: People Hate Ads.” It says, “the advertising industry faces an ‘existential need for change,’ according to a blunt report published on Monday by the research firm Forrester. Now the agencies must ‘disassemble what remains of their outmoded model’ or risk ‘falling further into irrelevance,’ the report concludes.”

I flat out reject the idea that there is a static business model that represents the “solution” to the ad industry’s (or any industry’s) problems. Every business faces an “existential need for change” every day. Adapt or die! That is the way of things.

Every “problem” highlighted in the Forrester report should be thought of as a challenge and an opportunity. Business leaders who foster cultures of innovation and adaptability generally thrive and organizations that are unwilling to adapt tend to suffer. This is not new and it is not news.

But there’s a next level. Think about this. If the answer is, “People hate ads.” What is the right question? And, more importantly, what is the correct intellectual framework for the Socratic debate?


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Author’s note: This is not a sponsored post. I am the author of this article and it expresses my own opinions. I am not, nor is my company, receiving compensation for it.

About Shelly Palmer

Shelly Palmer is the Professor of Advanced Media in Residence at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and CEO of The Palmer Group, a consulting practice that helps Fortune 500 companies with technology, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn’s “Top Voice in Technology,” he covers tech and business for Good Day New York, is a regular commentator on CNN and writes a popular daily business blog. He's a bestselling author, and the creator of the popular, free online course, Generative AI for Execs. Follow @shellypalmer or visit



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