Now that the interactive tide has turned from buyer's market to seller's market, some of the ridiculousness of Dot Com Boom Part I has returned in the form of random addenda to the IAB/AAAA Standard Terms and Conditions. I've seen some strange and unreasonable shit creeping into addenda recently, including a release from the obligation to pace the campaign evenly, reversal of sequential liability (replacing it with, of course, the "jointly and severally liable" language that publishers proposed when the standard Ts and Cs were being negotiated), automatic short rates for canceled campaigns, reservation of the right to discuss the results of the campaign with other advertisers, and random carve outs to introduce guidelines that "may change from time to time." In other words, the standard Ts and Cs are no longer a standard, even for those agencies (like ours) that followed the rules during the economic downturn when you couldn't get most advertisers to touch online with a 10-foot pole.
So am I to take it that everytime market conditions change, so will the standard? What's the point of having a standard in that case?
What ought we to do now? Do we start thinking up devious clauses to insert into addenda the next time the advertising economy does a header? Should we get the lawyers to start crafting the language that forces sales reps to fork over their first born children as makegoods for campaign shortfalls?
I can't shake this feeling that our industry fails to learn from past mistakes. We've seen all this crap before. We know where this path leads. So WTF?