It turns out we've already got a Mad Men Edition COTD so today's will have to take the concept of what is one of the best TV shows a step further. Thus the Mad Men-themed Product Placement Edition. If you watch the show about ad agency men (and, in a larger way, about the transition from the 50s to the 60s, gender roles, et cetera) you'll notice product placement with real brands. For instance, there's a subplot about Heineken Beer that's actually sponsored by Heineken. This is all fairly small stuff in comparison to the "dress like a Mad Man" campaign Banana Republic is running. Take a picture of yourself in character, buy some Mad Men-inspired fashion, and you could win a walk-on to the show about advertising. Circles within circles, friends. Clearly, no one at GM is brilliant enough to pull it off, thus Bob Lutz going Dr. Cox on ad companies, though F_Munk think the anger should be directed inwards.
Those in the ad biz knows, it's rarely their fault. Every ad produced has to meet the approval of the client. GM itself is to blame. Now if they'd leave the agencies alone to create and be innovative, I'm sure you'd see some great work. Instead, the status quo is to micromanage the hell out of the work so that it's about as boring and unappealing as it possibly can. The culture has always been about frightening and demoralizing the ad agencies. Mistreat them and use them like punching bags, then blame them when things don't go well. Lutz is merely continuing that legacy.
We agree and, for the most part, this is exactly what GM does. However, we'd add that Lutz is probably more calling out the brand managers who pick the crappy ads than the ad agencies. Of course he could merely be trying to get the ad agencies to step back up to the plate and quit being afraid of the fast ball on the inside. We guess we'll have to wait and see.