May Your Christmas Be Merry

Dear Santa,

Sorry I’m a little late in writing to you. It’s been a hectic quarter with all the nonsense that’s been going on in my particular industry sector, but you probably already know all about that.

I’ve been a pretty good boy this year (unless you count the “incident” with the Circus Peanut and the microwave oven, but I can explain that), so I’m not going to be selfish and ask you to get me a black-market PlayStation 2 like all those bratty little kids out there. Instead, I’m asking you to find it in your heart to give the following gifts to some other folks in the online advertising industry. Here’s the list:

  • For traffic coordinators — an ad traffic reporting system with triple redundancy, so it won’t go down five minutes before my client needs a critical report.

  • For agency new-business people — a Palm application that beeps every time they overpromise to a potential new client to remind them that someone at the agency will actually have to do the work that they’re committing to.
  • For ad sales reps — an inventory reservation system, so that the proposal we’ve sold through to the client doesn’t accidentally get gobbled up by another advertiser at the last minute, plus a little something to make up for those lost commissions when a dot-com goes out of business and stiffs them with the bill.
  • For agency creatives — an application that can take any 468 x 60 banner and instantly reduce it to less than 10K without sacrificing any image quality, plus a lifetime supply of aspirin for those times when account execs walk in with requests for “banner tweaks.”
  • For agency account execs — an alarm device that goes off whenever a dot-com client loses funding or burns its cash reserves to the point at which it can’t make its next payroll.
  • For project managers — an automated email app that occasionally reminds the account execs “No, we can’t turn around a quarter’s worth of online ads, microsites, bridge pages, and database programming in two days. Please don’t tell the client we can, either.”
  • For industry analysts — a letter signed by Seth Godin, Alvin Toffler, and Faith Popcorn that suggests that maybe it’s not so cool to bash online advertising just for fun anymore.
  • For rich media vendors — the insight and resources necessary to make rich media work on a Mac.

Just a couple more things, Santa (if you don’t mind).

Please tell any impatient VCs to whom you’re delivering gifts this year to quit expecting new online businesses to be cash flow positive a week after they’ve invested their money. Remind them of how long it took FedEx to become profitable. If they still don’t get it by next year, give ’em the coal treatment.

Please put a little extra faith in the stockings of all online marketers this year. We’re going to need it with the monumental tasks ahead. Proving that online advertising works is a tough job (not as tough as delivering gifts to tens of millions of people in a single night, but tough nonetheless).

Also, please send all the editors at ClickZ a bottle of their favorite spirits for putting up with all my flakiness this year — especially Claudia.

Thanks, big guy. I’ll leave a plate of cookies, some milk, and an Urban Fetch T-shirt for you on the counter next to the fish tank.

Jingle all the way,
Tom

I wish everyone a happy holiday season. Turn your cell phones off, shut your computers down, and enjoy the time with your families.

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