Why is there so much bad advertising in the world?
I have been involved in making some very bad advertising, and I have been involved in producing some great advertising. I considered writing a book about this subject, but decided that no one would read it. Everyone has an opinion and does not care about changing it.
The primary is that bad advertising is easier to produce than good advertising. Not unlike with children, anyone can make an ad. Some turn out great, some okay, most mediocre, and many terrible.
The primary culprit is the "client": the person/company needing to communicate to some audience the availability and/or benefit of its goods or services. They decide: everything from choice of agency to final ad and its medium for dispersal.
They get the blame (or the credit). They pay the bills. Unfortunately, there are more bad clients than bad agencies. In many companies, advertising is rated only slightly above janitorial services. There are many "advertising managers" without training, experience, or talent. Most do not understand how advertising is made, how much a good ad should cost, the value of quality production, and how it should be judged. Too many companies let market research define the advertising and purchasing agents buy the ads. Few understand that a great agency is a competitive advantage.
There are many good advertising agencies, but there are countless bad or mediocre ones. It's too easy to call oneself "creative", and it's more fun to do ads than p.r., sales promotion, direct marketing, internet, etc.. That explains why too many shops like to call themselves "Advertising Agency", without possessing the requisite skills, talent, or experience. Most clients don't understand the difference and don't know what they are buying or how to buy what they need. If an "advertising manager", explained above, combines with an "advertising agency", poor results are almost guaranteed.
It's a vicious circle: too much bad advertising increases the poor image of all advertising agencies. Good ones do not receive the credit they deserve and their value is degraded.