Monday, August 10, 2009

This is a great idea, if I do say so myself. Perhaps even brilliant.

OK, this hit me over the weekend.

There's this Cash for Clunkers program where -- as I understand it -- the gubbmint is funding cash payments of up to $4,500 for crappy old cars so long as you buy a new fuel-efficient one.

The point of this, I believe, is to boost the American automotive industry -- those wonderful folks who have been churning out poorly made junk for years and years and now find themselves in a huge bind. I guess part of the justification for spending a couple of billion of our tax dollars is also to encourage fuel efficiency, but people who sell cars are lovin' Cash for Clunkers. Lovin' it.

Trust me on this.

So here's my idea. Cash for Crap.

If there was ever an industry that needed propping up in this economy, it's advertising -- agencies, media outlets, everybody. So how about if the Federal Government earmarks, oh, let's say $2.75 billion over the next six months to pay companies for their old, tired, outdated and just generally horrible, ineffective ad campaigns, so long as they go out and hire an agency to develop a new one and run it in various media outlets around town?

You just bring all of your old materials, briefs, files and everything into the agency, get a check for $4,500 and in a quaint, but meaningful little ceremony over an oil drum in the rear parking lot, you set it all on fire.

The agency promptly submits a chit to the newly formed "American Advertising Recovery Act Commission (AARAC) and within a matter of days (if not hours) gets a reimbursement check which is applied to the cost of the new campaign.

This would certainly stimulate a struggling industry. And it would also boost any number of local economies.

I mean, the government is freely spending our money to prop up and bail out other industries, why not ours?

I may be, as we all know, an idiot, but I have been thinking about this all weekend, and I can't think of anything about it that I don't like.

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