From Terminated To Terminator

Every now and then, we post some news or item about an ad agency that leads to some very personal and controversial comments. And other blogs do, too. HighJive at MultiCultClassics has some very interesting thoughts on the way blogs sometimes cover agencies, particularly when it comes to employee or ex-employee gossip and crosstalk:

The terminated are becoming the terminators. They’re mad as hell and they’re not going to take this anymore. So they’re going postal with posts, broadcasting the dysfunctional, irresponsible and allegedly criminal transgressions of former bosses. Why, there’s more dirty laundry than a Tide with Bleach convention.
The bombed agencies probably have themselves to blame for the mean-spirited mudslinging. Incompetent leaders ultimately rally armies of enemies. Plus, as industry-wide downsizing continues, layoffs are bungled with increased insensitivity. Axed employees grudgingly sign separation agreements and collect minimal severances, seething to see senior honchos still enjoying the traditional perks.
Blogs like Agency Spy and Adrants routinely feature threads packed with personal attacks and angry exposés. AdScam has essentially become a menagerie of canned IPG staffers ready to rip the inept company’s management 24/7.
There’s a lesson to be learned, although it’s unlikely the offending agencies will catch on. Hence, here’s the idiot-proof lowdown. If you shit on your workers, expect to get excrement tossed back in your direction. And if you don’t want your ignorant, immoral and illegal acts published on the World Wide Web, well, stop committing ignorant, immoral and illegal acts.

Yes, sometimes it isn’t pleasant, and sometimes it’s not always clear what the truth is. But I suppose that’s the new transparency for you. Agencies who spout off about brands using the web to have an ersatz “two-way dialogue” with consumers need to wake up and realize that yes, they are brands too, and the dialogue about the agency itself is fair game. If Bob Garfield can call out Comcast, an agency ex-employee can call out their former employer. Or at least try, ’til everyone gets lawyered up.
What do y’all think?

About Dan Goldgeier

Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. Dan is also a columnist for TalentZoo.com and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.