What’s Madison Avenue got to do with it?

What’s Madison Avenue got to do with it? In Tuesday’s NY Times, advertising reporter Stuart Elliot says, “Madison Avenue is walking a fine line in determining its response to the South Asian tsunami. Advertisers, agencies and media companies are seeking ways to show that they care, but they are also striving to avoid the appearance of capitalizing on the disaster for commercial gain.”

What did the near instantaneous response by Apple and Amazon.com turning over their most valuable real estate and the core of their commerce engine to raising money for tsumani victims have to do with Madison Avenue? Everyone on Madison Avenue was off last week. Did Apple or Amazon.com call up their advertising agencies to check out what they should do? Did they get the ad folks started on a :30 second tsunami spot that will run during the Super Bowl?

Madison Avenue, my ass.

What happened last week in the first wave of companies responding to the crisis was clearly the action of human beings (not marketers) doing the right thing and not standing around waiting on some ad guy to tell them how to communicate.

Now, this week, it may be Madison Avenue. Just strolling back in from vacation, I’m sure there are phone calls with conversations like, “Hey, let’s do lunch next week and bounce around some ideas about this whole tsunami-marketing thing.” Hey, yeah, and let’s get the PR department to pitch Stuart Elliot on doing a story about it.

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