We’re Ad People First, Bloggers Second

Since most news-based firms (and many in entertainment) are now moving fast into blogging, reporters and editors have learned to respect the medium, albeit begrudgingly in some cases.
On the flip side, Mike Smock’s recent experience with a potential client shows how some in business are still slow to grasp full picture.

Since almost all of my prospects see my blog first, and even though I have my campaigning credentials prominently displayed – visitors see my as a blogger who writes about campaigning – not a campaigner who writes a blog. Some might say what’s the difference? As it turns out there is a big difference.
I was talking to a prospect the other day about a campaign. A prospect who had signed up for my free newsletter and who had corresponded with me via email. He had a situation that was perfect for my methodology but he wasn’t giving me the time of day. Why? In his words – “you’re a blogger! We need an agency who does campaigns not a blogger who writes about it!” Hmmmmm…..

When it comes to marketing and advertising blogs, I can think of very few that are written by so-called “bloggers.” The vast majority are written by people inside the industry, freelancers and consultants and by former ad men and women.
Other than the few written by journalists, and by juniors in the ad world, the people behind ad blogs are for the most part more than qualified to consult. Please note that I’m not faulting the journalists here, I’m just saying that client service falls outside their realm of expertise.

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. And of juniors?

  2. Are juniors ready to consult? Sure. For smaller companies and lesser fees.
    If you know shit, you know it.
    Come to think of it, I’m sure many journalists would make excellent brand consultants and brands consultants excellent journalists.

  3. Not quite sure about your last contention, David. I’m pretty convinced journalists like Stuart Elliott, Lewis Lazare and Bob Garfield would make terrible brand consultants. There are journalists who have consultant potential (Randall Rothenberg comes to mind). But to say there are many is a gross overstatement. It’s like thinking a great sportswriter could coach a professional team, or Roger Ebert could direct a blockbuster movie. It’s not out of the question. But it’s highly unlikely.

  4. @ HJ >> It’s a new day, and I’m sure you are correct. Please excuse my hapless wandering.

  5. I tend to agree with this. I keep an eye on about 15 ad agency and marketing services firm blogs in Denver each day, and they are all written by experienced industry folks who basically have so much to say and offer that they need an additional outlet for it (the blog). These guys could consult. I bet you that less experienced people *do* start blogs, but either they run out of things to talk about, or their postings are so poor/off-topic that no one even reads the blog.

  6. ken,
    Put big money on that bet. Then you can meet me, but i wouldn’t know what to say, which is really true. i’m not a good talker in the majority of cases with human interaction.