People Can Be So Mean, Yada Yada Yada

On his personal site, Brian Morrissey, a journalist at Adweek, takes note of a colleague’s piece on Eric Silver leaving BBDO for DDB.

This is out of my depth: two traditional creatives who mostly make TV spots. What’s interesting is the intense discussion that has ensued in the comments section, where there are 162 responses in less than a day. Like Cathy (Taylor), I think it lays bare the jealousies and fears of the ad world. The backbiting in advertising is legendary, but it’s event like this that put it into full focus.

There’s also this:
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What’s happening is people who don’t participate in social media on a daily basis are lost. Take this comment, for instance:

Adweek should be ashamed they allow this to be anonymous. This is the internet at its worst. A bathroom stall in a gas station with graffiti all over the walls has more integrity.

I haven’t even read the nasty bits in the comment string. I’m not drawn to that type of material. I’m more interested in the fact that people can’t tell the difference between a blog and an online magazine and that they expect both places to be free of defamation and sordidness.
I’m not judging that response to media. I’m noting that it’s all media to the reader or viewer. It can be made by a pro, or it can be the guttural spew of a mad man. When it’s published, it’s media. Here’s the thing-the very concept of media carries with it the burden of responsibility.
There’s no putting Genie back in her bottle–modern, global and instant media is here to stay. Other than hitting the delete button there’s little that can be done with poor behavior in an anonymous setting. When it comes down to it, every publisher, amateur and professional, has to decide where their line is.



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.