Tell The Truth

Brian Brooker, CEO & chief creative officer of Barkley, writing for Talent Zoo asks agency personnel to consider doing something radical to improve the work.

Here’s a thought on how advertising could move up a few notches: Tell the truth. Tell the truth in a way that inspires rather than dulls the mind like a double scotch. Tell the truth in a way that reflects real life, not an advertiser’s pipe dream. Tell the truth in a way that gives customers credit for their intelligence, rather than treats them as if they all have room temperature IQs. Remember that consumers appreciate creativity. They like to laugh. They can put two and two together.

I, for one, am all for telling consumers the truth. But I can’t quite imagine the thousands of brand managers working on commodity products sharing our zeal for honesty.

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. Carl LaFong says:

    You might want to double check that link to Barkley. It takes you to Barley Snyder LLC Attorneys at Law.

  2. Fixed. Thanks Carl.

  3. I always loved JWT’s old theme: the truth well told.

  4. Hey Steffan, I think you mean McCann Erickson.

  5. I stand corrected. I got my BDAs mixed up! Still a good mantra…

  6. I’ve gotta tell the truth. Brooker’s column was contrived bullshit. Which is surprising, as his shop does nice work.