A Brand’s Message Board Is Also A Consumer Generated Ad (for better or worse)

Pete Blackshaw, author of Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000, wrote a piece for Ad Age about the customer contact form and how stiff it is—an odd thing in a world where conversations with customers are so highly valued.

I dare you to find a feedback form that winks even a quasi-friendly smile. And if you find one that allows consumers to truly communicate in their native voices — complete with links, photos, audio clips or videos — I’ll eat my just-published book.
“The marketing department doesn’t see this as part of their remit — it involves operations, the legal department and a host of bureaucratic policies that they can’t begin to tackle. It’s bigger than they are,” explained Carat CEO Sarah Fay.

Where are you with this problem? Do you recommend conversational solutions to your clients?

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. It’s sort of a Catch-22 David.
    Because marketing departments don’t view this as part of their domain, they don’t ever engage their agencies on it.
    Though, as you point out, they well should, and their agencies are remiss in not bringing it up to them.

  2. I believe if you’re tasked with building a site or sites for the brand, it is totally within your realm to suggest and implement and maybe even manage dialogue paths.

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