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Live Blogging: Gutenberg, Pasteur, and uh... Leo Burnett?

Assoc. of National Advertisers head Bob Liodice is kicking off the presentations for the first morning of the. Steve Ballmer of Microsoft is coming up, but right now we’re hearing Liodice cover the waterfront of all the major inventions of Western civilization from Gutenberg to the Wright brothers, and comparing them to ad greats Leo Burnett and Bill Bernbach, and marketing victories like the DeBeers “right hand ring,” Mastercard’s “Priceless” campaign and IBM’s transformation from PC-maker to business consultant.

Advertising Pet Peeve #23: Leo Burnett and Bill Bernbach were very, very smart people. They were not Louis Pasteur, Henry Ford, or the designers of the integrated circuit (all people Liodice threw in the beginning of the speech). C’mon people. It’s the same problem I have with the word “innovation.” The telephone was an “innovation.” Adding an extra razor blade to your razor or cooking up an idea that women should buy a “right-hand ring” for themselves instead of waiting for their husband to buy it is “very clever.” A little perspective, please. But I guess if you’re not going to trump this stuff at an ad conference, where are you going to do it?

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