Are you a marketing communications specialist? Do you synthesize actionable items by day and move from strength to strength at night? Going forward, do you seek to exploit the synergies of multimedia interactivity with micro-targeted opt-in programs?

Then stop reading now.

Hate is a strong word. So when I say that I hate the phrase “marketing communications,” you can trust that I’m not using it for hyperbole. I hate marketing communications consultants. I hate marketing communications materials. And I have difficulty trusting any entity that refers to itself as a marketing communications firm. (Double points off if “strategic” is in front of that descriptor. Gee, you use strategy? How novel. We were looking for something a bit more willy-nilly.)

Why such vitriol for the Double M of Mephistopheles? Because the phrase does exactly what “marketing communications” aren’t supposed to do: complicate the truth. Marketing communications – even junk mail, spam blasts and flyers touting the local club for discriminating gentlemen – are advertising. Period. So call it advertising.

People know what advertising is.

Which is, of course, the reason some people don’t like calling it advertising.

Advertising connotes a certain amount of creativity went into the finished piece. A bit of artistry. A touch of inspiration. Basically, the very things most marketing communications materials lack.

Marketing communications materials are by the numbers. They stick to tried-and-supposedly-true formulas. Sending a direct mail letter? Make it a personal appeal from someone in the company, but write it with plenty of bullet points – and always have an odd number of bullet points.

And please avoid any form of mass media. Marketing communications must be targeted according to ZIP, age, income, hair color, religious affiliation and preference for tomatoes or tomahtoes.

Marketing communications materials show their strategy. Wouldn’t want the audience to misinterpret anything by letting a little entertainment value get in the way of the message. And would an exclamation point or three kill you? Didn’t think so!

By claiming to produce marketing communications materials instead of advertising, the offending company absolves itself from having to produce good work. Keep production cheap and response rates good enough and you’ve got yourself a respectable ROI, Skippy. So what if the brand image suffers? Live in the now, man!

Of course, many clients love marketing materials. They’re concrete. They’re measurable. They have a specific purpose. They’re for marketing, by gum, and we gotta sell, sell, sell! Advertising might be about moving the needle, but it might also just create warm, fuzzy feelings in consumers’ hearts. Where does that leave you? People feeling sorry for you when you file Chapter 11? Not on this marketing manager’s watch, bub.

Now, I’ve dealt with agencies that used the term “marketing communications” that were, at their heart, ad agencies. They just got sucked into the jargon a bit. Such is life. I’ve also dealt with so-called advertising agencies that did nothing but produce marketing communications materials. You find a lot of frustrated people (and not just creatives) in those shops.

I’ve spouted this rant to get down to this: Can we please just get back to doing some good ads? People like good ads. They rewind the Tivo for good ads. They email good ads to friends. They remember good ads. They act upon good ads.

Ads, people, ads.

Because no one has ever run up to a friend, their voice quivering with excitement, and said, “Dude, check out these sweet marketing communications I got last night!”