Borrowing, By Definition, Means Giving Back

All’s fair in love and aggregation.

Uh, not exactly.

Recently, Ad Age writer Simon Dumenco cried foul when he was over-aggregated by a HuffPo “writer,” who has since been dismissed.

Reflecting on the scene, Lewis DVorkin, Chief Product Officer of Forbes Media, offers a good explanation for value-added aggregation.

…the trick to rewarding aggregation for the consumer (and that’s what really matters here) is not employing a slapdash rewrite desk. A headline, some reordered words and a buried link just don’t cut it. Rather, it’s offering something new — a fact, context and analysis, enlightened observation. That almost always results from experience and knowledge.

Here’s a tip from my own toolbox. Rewrite the lead. When you do, you reframe the story, making it your own (to some degree).



About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.