Are ad agencies really hopelessly screwed?

There's a brisk business in bemoaning the future of advertising, and in particular the much-maligned "traditional" ad agency. Pundits like Bob Garfield and George Parker regularly make hay with suggestions that the industry is mostly a bunch of dinosaurs slouching toward the tar pits. Still, it's a bit surprising to see that the newest member of this club: Jon Bond. The co-founder of Kirshenbaum + Bond, who is now building his own new-style ad company, lays into holding companies and their agencies in this devastating quote given to Forbes: "You go into any of the traditional agencies, and it feels like death warmed over." Yikes. Then there's the 5,700–word opus in Fast Company on "The Future of Advertising," which also features Bond lamenting what lies in store for the old guard. The short version: less TV, less money, more digital, more collaboration. Oh, and ad agencies are totally screwed. They're lambasted for a slew of well-known problems: that they have terrible compensation models and misaligned incentives, and that they're over-reliant on TV, commoditized and sometimes rendered obsolete by technology. The crescendo comes with a quote from Profero North America CEO Aaron Reitkopf: "The carnage is going to be awesome."