October 3rd, 2014

dance hall

Poison, beautifully wrapped

My headhunter called me a few days ago and told me about a job he thought would be a good fit for my skills and that the pay was fantastic. The job was to be the lead art director for a gambling website. He asked me to think about about it and to call him the next day to let him know if I wanted to go for it or not.

My first reaction was Oh my God the pay is fantastic, I totally want to do this.

But then I thought about it a little longer and realized that there was no way I could work for a place like that, a place that capitalizes on people's hope and desperation while at the same time feeding addiction and bringing people to ruin. I didn't think I'd be able to sleep at night. So I turned the opportunity down.

Something better will come along – I don't need to sell my soul to pay the rent. I've already done design work for Marlborough and McDonald's over the course of my career which was bad enough. Gambling is just too much. It's too obviously, unapologetically evil.

It's not easy to maintain an ethical stance while working in the field of advertising. So much of what we do is feeding people a bullshit story about things that are ultimately not good for them. We are paid to make questionable products look necessary and glamorous. Pharmaceutical companies pour shit-tons of money into advertising. Same with the food and beverage industries.

It's all poison wrapped in a shiny, sexy package.