All This F–ing Cursing Makes The Ad Business Look Sh–ty

I curse a lot, damnit. But I don’t think I’d ever present a campaign to a client like this one Unilever’s running in Germany:

And let’s face it, when you work at an ad agency, you have more license to curse and behave in ways that might get you fired at another type of business. So what’s the effect all this cursing has on our business?

We may be becoming too accustomed to using profanity, though. So we try to inject a little of this attitude into the work we present to clients. But the only reason curse words get used is for shock value. It adds a little over-the-top emphasis, as any George Carlin or Chris Rock fan will attest. However, the prevalent use of cursing gradually desensitizes us. And if our job is to perpetually push boundaries, where do we take our work from here?

It’s the subject of my new column on Talent Zoo. Which is uncensored, making it NSFW–unless you work in advertising, I suppose.



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 and the author of View From The Cheap Seats and Killer Executions and Scrubbed Decks.