I'm not sure what you mean by "big groups" and their "enormous profits," but if you're referring to printed media or advertising, neither industry is doing well.
If they are not doing well, and I tend to believe that, then they only have themselves to blame. Cut back on the images you publish, quality-wise
and I do believe that you disenchant buyers. How long would Playboy have lasted if they pushed photography of the Reader's Wives variety? (Possibly a job opportunity there for the Desperate Housewife we mentioned earlier, she and her self-timer.) Where would Vogue be if it used untalented people to design, direct, shoot, take through print etc. and then market?
Referring to Fred's remark about young executives of today: I think many always
thought like that: money first. I remember, decades ago, going to a big agency and chatting up the art buyer. He knew me, sort of by repute, and he said the nice things about my work that I was happy to hear. Then, when asked why he didn't use me, but did use a big studio in town, he replied that yes, my prints were much better, but the other guys were cheaper for all parts of the operation. Dead. Another chap, who gave me my first real break in advertising, with whom I'd created lots of nice stuff over the years, was taken over by another group. Work slowed to a dry trickle. I asked him and his wife over to dinner one night, and after the meal, the chat got to work, and he said the nice things too. Then, his
wife said, to my surprise: why don't you work so much with Rob now? He was a bit embarrassed and said something about it being very difficult now.. that was circa '80? What was difficult? I already knew. New owners, new brooms in the top cupboard; the need to recoup the money spent buying somebody out. Rapidly recoup!
To be fair, this was an older guy - my age then - but others in their mid-twenties were exactly the same as Fred's friends.
I did a small brocure for a chain department store one day. We seemed to have enough money to spend to bring models up from London, have a 'name' hairdresser (why?) and then, when it came to lunch, the team went off to eat in the restaurant of the stately home we were working at whilst the twentysomething AD vanished: sat in his car and eat sandwiches. No, you tell me.