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If I may be permitted to torture Mark Twain for a moment, the longest week I ever spent was 3 days in New York City.

I went to Advertising Week in NY last week in the hope of making sense of the chaos that now engulfs the advertising industry. I came away dazed and dispirited.

Advertising Week is no longer a conference about advertising. It's a trade show for people who make a living confusing the shit out of marketers.

The best speakers and the most valuable information came from outside the advertising industry. The people inside the industry mainly just vomited up the interminable torrent of drivel about  ecosystems, authenticity, silos, storytelling, content, engagement...how do clients put up with this relentless bullshit?

If there is one sign of hope it is that some people seem to be waking up to the extent of nonsense and fiction we've been fed by online ad hustlers, and the cluelessness of our "digital experts."

How can it be that Facebook overstated its video viewing time by 80% for 2 years and not a single one of these geniuses figured it out?

As Nielsen's Chief Operating Officer said, "There's so much BS in the marketplace," (if you believed the ROI numbers of major online publishers) "the U.S. GDP would double every six months." Of course, Nielsen isn't a disinterested party. Third party measurement might fall to them.

I am hoping that the days of Facebook, Google and other online oligarchies hiding their real numbers from us are quickly coming to an end. This week the Association of National Advertisers called for an audit of Facebook's metrics.

I also think the era of intelligent advertisers naively accepting the baloney of "digital experts" is also coming to an end.

But then again, I've been waiting for that day almost 10 years.


Shooting My Mouth Off

- My talk in Ireland about the devaluation of creativity in advertising was pretty popular on line this week. If you'd like to read an excerpt it's here.

- Dominik Imseng, author of "Ugly Is Only Skin Deep," the story of the Volkswagen campaign that changed the nature of advertising,  interviewed me a while back in Vienna for a magazine piece that will appear next month. Here's a sneak preview of the article.

- Episodes 5 & 6 of the Ad Contrarian podcast, recorded at Advertising Week, with the great Sharon Krinsky, are available online here. More to come.




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