Monday, July 11, 2011
8995: Anonymous Amusement.
Advertising Age published a story on “Internet Commentators” allegedly blasting industry players with anonymous negativity and nastiness. Ironically, the trade journal already covered the topic last April via anonymous columnist Creative X. And MultiCultClassics weighed in on the phenomenon way back in 2007.
The situation is nothing new. Yet the commentary from the offended continues to reveal agency leaders’ ignorance about the Internet and our industry. Here are some unedited comments in response to the Ad Age piece:
• Madison Avenue still doesn’t get the Internet. Otherwise, they’d realize that trolls are not unique to our industry. Additionally, it goes beyond ad blogs and even the World Wide Web. The global issue involves a coarsening of the culture as exemplified by the rise of tabloids, reality TV, FOX News and amateur critics.
• Madison Avenue has always been driven by anonymity. That is, adpeople do not sign their names to campaigns, as we are fabricating voices and messages for our clients. This is cool, except when clients take the heat for bungled, insensitive and offensive bullshit often rooted in agencies’ cultural cluelessness. Why don’t agencies step forward and identify themselves in these scenarios? Um, because they are cowards.
• Madison Avenue has always been fueled by gossip and backstabbing. Stroll through any BDA and you’ll see endless examples of politics, corruption, scheming, discrimination, adultery, sexual misconduct and more—usually in pursuit of increased billings or personal gain. There’s a reason why adpeople routinely rate alongside used car salesman and assorted social fiends on trustworthiness and credibility surveys.
• Madison Avenue honchos who call for banning anonymous comments are assholes. The guys staunchly defending the First Amendment rights of Big Tobacco, pharmaceutical companies, fast feeders targeting kids with junk food and other questionable advertisers now want to shut down name-callers on blogs? Please.
• Advertising Age monitors threads, deleting naughty naysayers and spam. Adweek has abandoned its scrutiny. Agency Spy has abandoned its humanity. On the flip side, George Parker, Jim Edwards and Lewis Lazare openly deliver stinging criticism. Hell, AdFreak and AdRants don’t hesitate to zing idiots. So the notion that anonymity is the problem doesn’t hold up.
• Crispin Porter + Bogusky prohibits staffers from engaging in dialogue on sites? Wish they would stop the troops from littering the Web with culturally clueless crapola too. Just a thought.
• Advertising Age suggested the “best remedy may be to ignore them.” Perhaps. But the victims of vitriol might also check the mirror to honestly examine the true inspiration for the complaints.