Ads used to be beautiful because they had to be beautiful — if you’re a business paying thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for a full colour back-page ad, you’re going to want to make it the most memorable and compelling visual it can be.
A few years ago, a friend of mine who runs his own business significantly raised his rates. I asked him if it led to more demanding clients. He told me no, because the most demanding clients were often the ones who valued price over the work. Because the work was secondary, these clients were much more likely to not think things through, then come back with more demands, at which point they’d further waste everyones time trying to keep the price low. His higher prices not only increased his income, but they also freed him to take on more professional clients who valued professional work.
Funny how business economics works.