Dear MxM by Jaisurya Das: Should adsales professionals be classified as ‘endangered species’?

30 Mar,2017

By Jaisurya Das


Correct me If I am wrong, but I have a strong feeling that the era of the media sales professional is dead.Ladies and Gentleman, welcome back to your favourite weekly ‘in the face’ column for the media, advertising and marketing fraternity.

Now if you will excuse my intended digression during this moment of nostalgia. There was a time I remember well when there was such a flurry of sales people in the market that apparently executives from the same group were introduced to each other at agency and client offices.

Today, it’s all virtual I am told.“Sirji, business is all happening, We are fully connected with the market but now the market is down Sir. You know situation”

I reply quite earnestly “ Yes yes, I understand “ Now we are connected, and clients are also liking your FB posts. So business will happen but the market is down.

From cavorting and ever smiling CEOs to selfies enriched with the right political signals, this breed has evolved into a new genre of megalomaniacs. Do these immensely popular ( read FB likes ! ) CEO’s, Managers and the like contribute to surviving the downturn??

Am afraid. I don’t think so. And in this holocaust of ineffectiveness brands like HT prepare themselves for an august entry…

Go with the old bandicoots.

They may seem like ‘deadwood’ and spent, but I can assure you, they are far more acceptable and will work their backsides off to compete against this breed who believe business will fall into their august laps. No more coat or selfie will help.Advertising and revenue generation needs effort and it’s about time media houses realise the folly of hiring a generation that is too full of themselves.

Get your act together. Hire people who can make a difference. They receding hairlines and dignified salt and pepper only add the sex appeal that these kids can’t give your brand..!


Back to my knitting.  Presenting our Q & A for the week from readers in Chandigarh, Delhi and Mumbai.


Sir, I know there have been several questions on appraisals here. But my agency says that its revenues have dipped post-demonetisations and we can therefore not get any appraisals this year. But how come the bigwigs are going to Cannes for the annual advertising festival? Why splurge? The reason given to me is that if we don’t go to Cannes, we won’t even get the business we are getting. Any logic?

No logic, my friend. As I always say: ‘ Every law has a sister-in-law! ‘

Cannes is today a cult and it’s much like wanting to own a Harley. You may not be able to afford it but you still want it. It is  about being seen at Cannes and being ‘in sync with the times’Being able to afford it is secondary here. It’s about being conspicuous with your absence…!

Why would I cut back on my brand persona? Not being there, would probably imply, we aren’t doing well, so why take the risk. Blow up your reserves and be seen. Appraisals and employee motivation doesn’t stand a chance against the fine art of packaging all that you have, and don’t have !!!

Honestly, not much business happens at any of these conventions and conferences. It’s just about positioning. End of Story.


I am in my final year of engineering at a NIT and want to become an ad-film director. When I told this to a few of my batchmates, they screamed that it’s not a good decision as my engineering degree seat could’ve been given to someone who would use the knowledge to good use and not jump careers. I agree that what I have done is not right, but I am not the first to have done this. Sir, please help me feel less guilty!

I must confess I am biased thanks to my own experience with careers and the huge shift I took from the hotel industry to the madness I call media.

Honestly speaking, this is your life and probably the last chance you will get to decide a significant part of it. Think no more.If you know your calling, just get after it like there is no tomorrow. The rest is immaterial. The world doesn’t run your life.


Sir, I find a number of courses available in mass media at the undergraduate level. But is it better to do a BMS or BBA rather than a BMM? (I want to get into marketing of music radio stations)

Essentially graduate level niche courses in media studies, media marketing etc have all been created to give job opportunities to those who wish to start work soon.

Yes, these specialised courses do help you get the right perspective and also ( in good universities ) help you find immediate employment. The rest is really case dependent and can be structured if need be.

I would think it’s better to do bachelors in media studies in order to be equipped for your career ahead.I wish you all success!


Ladies and Gentleman, it’ss time for me to say ‘Sayonara and God bless’! We will, however, be back next week, same time, same space…


Jaisurya Das, Maverick and Media Evangelist, eats, sleeps and makes love to brands. His consulting interventions are aimed at making brands powerful and sustainable. He is also the Contributing Editor of MxM India and Co-Founder of For more on his work The views expressed in this column are his own.


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