Advertising and Idealism Clash at Colorado University.
October 7, 2002 10:15 AM   Subscribe

Advertising and Idealism Clash at Colorado University. Most schools have pro-advertising courses(which are offered in the Business School) and those that take an anti-advertising approach(which are typically offered in Media Studies or Communication). Given the complex nature of the advertising world, is there room for both types of courses? By cutting departments with a more practical bent, are academics further weakening MBAs?
posted by SandeepKrishnamurthy (7 comments total)
It should be noticed that the reputable advertising agencies recruit few creative staff from the marketing, business or media programs of universities.

Copywriters typically start out with liberal arts degrees from prestigious universities, art directors and artists typically start out with degrees from art or design schools or other design experience.

Although there's certainly an abstract "nature of the academy" debate that might be worth having, you'd do more to harm the pipeline of cynical advertising hacks by eliminating Ivy Leage English and Philosophy classes than by restricting the "advertising" coursework at state colleges.
posted by MattD at 10:34 AM on October 7, 2002

It's fairly common to see such "clashes" even inside advertising agencies; "creative" types vs. "the suits". Nothing new here.
posted by dagny at 11:01 AM on October 7, 2002

You know what they should do? They should create a class where the creatives learn to talk to the suits. Because I'm a copywriter in the creative area of a marketing department and I'm pretty sure we don't even speak the same language.
posted by jodic at 11:14 AM on October 7, 2002

Maybe pro-advertising and anti-advertising classes shouldn't be all that different, if they're done right. I taught a stats class for Art/Design students (I know, I know), and used "How To Lie with Statistics" as a text. This, I thought, would be an excellent way to both show the students how statistics *could* affect their lives, and maybe help them build up defenses against the onslaught of advertising we all recieve.

Then one day I realized that many of them would probably end up working in advertising, and I was perhaps just giving them a head start on their bag of tricks...

So you'd think the anti-ad folks would want to know what the advertisers are up to, and the erstwhile advertisers would want to keep track of what wasn't working - so the two 'different' types of courses should really havemuch of the same content, right?
posted by freebird at 11:37 AM on October 7, 2002

are academics further weakening MBAs?

Insert "CEO President" has Harvard MBA and repeat question.
posted by nofundy at 11:49 AM on October 7, 2002

Well, it's no surprise that the author of that article is in advertising, and not journalism ;) . There are some nice catch phrases and "scare quotes" but the poorly written article offers no details of what's actually been proposed, who the parties are, what their relationships are, etc. Too bad, too, because I can't find any further info on the conflict on the CU page. I went to CU for undergrad and was perplexed then at the diversity of offerings in this general area (I was a philosophy/econ major, myself): there's Integrated Marketing Communications in the School of Journalism, Media Studies (also in the J-School), Advertising (still in the J), Marketing in the Leeds School of Business, a Fine Arts department that offers design courses, a Communications department, and a whole host of sub-divisions that are likely to overlap in some small way ('Media, Culture and Meaning,' cultural anthropology, postmodern sociology theory, cultural studies, film courses, etc., etc.). And if MattD is right, and people taking these courses aren't aggressively recruited, anyway... it all seems a bit much for my feeble brain to comprehend. Does anyone have any other links to help me understand the conflict at CU the FPP article mentions?

Also, AFAIK, there is no "Colorado University." It's the University of Colorado, abbreviated 'CU' only to differentiate it from the ubiquitous California UC schools. Bad ad man. Bad.
posted by dilettanti at 12:18 PM on October 7, 2002

You know what they should do? They should create a class where the creatives learn to talk to the suits.

that would put the account services people out of work!

as 'the client' i'm often find myself trying to balance the creatives' side with the 'suits.' it can be a tenuous. i get what the creatives are saying but i have to sell it to the 'suits' at my company. a mixture of business acumen and understanding the creative motivations is key --and i didn't really learn that in school.

and i'll repeat what i said about the adage post over the weekend: adage is known for making mountains out of molehills.
posted by birdherder at 5:33 PM on October 7, 2002

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