John Wanamaker’s Cutting Comments Continue To Slice

At the end of the 19th century, a prominent client lacked faith in his advertising investment. “I know half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, but I can never find out which half,” said John Wanamaker. John Wanamaker opened and operated the first department store in Philadelphia. Wanamaker also created the first price […]

Best Takes of 2019

The advertising industry is a powerful force in western culture. I am fascinated by the industry’s reach and its ability to change hearts and minds and sometimes the course of history itself. This is why I show up here. Why do you show up here? There are countless places to go look at “the work.” […]

Stanford Professors Find that Native Advertising Builds Credibility, Doesn’t Deceive

Do you get excited by new academic research? I am happy to report that a portion of the Adpulp audience does indeed perk up when new research reveals significant findings. In this case, we have a new study that validates “native advertising,” a popular form of digital advertising. Before we look at the research, I’ll […]

Marketing Philistines Are Everywhere. Don’t Be A Marketing Philistine.

“Training in marketing makes marketers better. It’s the way we all improve and ultimately move the discipline of marketing forward” -Mark Ritson Mark Ritson is a Marketing Week columnist, consultant and adjunct professor at Melbourne Business School. Last year, he wrote about marketing philistinism. I didn’t see the article then, but I see it now. […]

Your Ego Will Lift You Up, But Eventually, There’s A Wicked Fall from False Heights

One of the first challenges a person faces in the advertising business is the need to grow a thick skin. Like yesterday. Sadly, it’s a lesson unlearned by way too many acting professionals, inside and outside of media, marketing, and advertising. According to Suzanne Pope, professor of advertising at Humber College in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, […]

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California Dreamin’ Is Still A Thing

Does digital advertising work as intended? Several loud, convincing voices say no. This is what Econsultancy says: “The fact that some of the brightest, most qualified minds in the industry are admitting that digital advertising’s supposed efficacy is more myth than reality isn’t likely to dent advertisers’ faith in digital ads. But savvy advertisers might […]

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The Need for Better Brand Storytelling Is Helping To Fuel the Growth of PR Agencies

There used to be a series of dividing lines that kept agencies in their lane. In the most simplistic terms, above-the-line agencies were separated from below-the-line agencies. Above-the-line agencies made the broadcast and print campaigns, and the below-the-line agencies did everything else. Thankfully, this weak linear construct did not survive Digital Disruption. Today, agencies of […]

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Why Are Chief Marketing Officers (and Their Bosses) Bummed Out?

Are your clients feeling down in the dumps? Reports indicate a sourness in the land of titans. Fear of Uncertainty Is Bad for Business In an analysis of online content from more than 58,000 chief executive and chief marketing officers, the overall confidence among global CEOs and CMOs is down more than 20 percent, with […]

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Ad People Aren’t Paid A Ton, They’re Paid By The Ton

Clients. You can’t live with them and you can’t live without them. Increasingly, ad pros are somehow living without them, and in too many cases it’s the agency’s fault. Kristi VandenBosch of VandenBosch Group in NYC asked when did our industry become so dishonest? It started with the financial model: the FTE as a unit […]

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Democrats Need “A Competent Communications Strategist” (And A Kick in the Ass)

Jodi Jacobson is the editor-in-chief of Rewire.News. She has some advice for the Democratic Party. Message to @HouseDemocrats & @SenateDems: Please get a competent communications strategist. You have before you the SIMPLEST to explain of innumerable crimes committed by this president & this administration and yet STILL you are screwing it up. It is astounding. […]

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Åsk Wäppling’s Adland Torpedoed By “Nuisance DMCA”

Åsk Wäppling is a warrior in the midst of a legal battle to preserve 20 years of her digital work. Thanks to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and the lawyers who misuse it to intimidate everyday citizens, Adland.tv is now offline. DMCA criminalizes production and dissemination of technology, devices, or services intended to circumvent measures […]

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Content Kings and the Never Contented: A Modern Fable in Reruns

Gary Vee. The guy manages to get our attention. Furthermore, he manages to get paid for the attention he gathers. Gary Vee had my both attention and my respect when he was the wine guy blowing up the business of wine reviews on YouTube. Since that time, he’s moved into the ad world. My world. […]

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Chief Communications Officers Are Movin’ On Up

In the agency business, the CCO is the Chief Creative Officer. On the client-side, the CCO is the Chief Communications Officer. The Chief Communications Officer is not the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), but the roles are intertwined. Or they were. According to PR Week, modern CCOs are now tasked with brand management in addition to […]

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Go Ahead, Rip the Bandages Off Your Digital Daydreams

It’s #FlashbackFriday. Let’s return in time to August 31, 1997. On this day, Tom Peters’ article, “The Brand Called You” was published in FastCompany. Peters is a famous consultant, speaker, and writer. Nevertheless, the thinking in his seminal piece has not aged well. Let’s have a look: …You’re not defined by your job title and […]

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Are You A Counselor to Brands? Or A Circus Freak Out On Loan?

Generally speaking, agencies of record are no more. Today, even the fattest of Ad Cats are happy to take on projects. Has this change ushered in an era of egalitarianism? Or has it turned ad men and women into fine young cannibals? A Lament for Lost Days The breakdown of the AOR relationship between agency […]

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Not Just Another Acronym

Political advertising isn’t like other advertising. In many cases, it’s not nearly as good. There are copious reasons for this, ranging from minuscule budgets to the client’s hatred of marketing, and a widely held belief in political circles that a candidate’s positions and policies matter most. Thankfully, there are a few rays of sunshine bursting […]

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For Good Things To Happen, Brands First Need To Be Famous

Rory Sutherland is a deep thinker with the ability to cut through the bullshit. It’s an uncommon trait, so let’s pay close attention to the man’s words. When asked what is the biggest challenge for Ogilvy (where he works as Vice Chairman) in the next 10 years, Sutherland cooly replies: “Oh. I think that the […]

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Ads That Help Sell Assault Weapons Reveal All

I am an ad man, which means I have developed the ability to see any product or service the way the customer or potential buyer sees it. It’s my J-O-B to do so, no matter how unsavory the job can be at times. I will now apply this lens to the marketing of assault weapons. […]

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Put Some Serious Stock In Slack

Are you on Slack? Over 10 million people log on to the messaging App every day. People in all sorts of industries are deciding if it’s a helpful tool or a nagging reminder (that there are unread messages waiting for you to act on). The answers to these questions will vary depending on how your […]

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Common Problems Call for Comprehensive Solutions

Digital media is one of those inventions, like television, with the potential to change the world for the better. Instead, many digital spaces have become a cesspool, and a cesspool is an unhealthy place for marketers wanting to connect with future customers. Meet GARM Some of the world’s largest advertisers including Adidas, Diageo, Mars, Procter […]

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