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Original articles from The Ad Contrarian.
Ad Blocking Is Not The Best Answer
Here in the War Room at The Ad Contrarian Worldwide Headquarters, we are uncomfortable with the idea of ad blockers. As unrepentant ad people, we don’t like the idea. And yet, we use ad blockers. According to PageFair there are now over 600 million connected devices in the world sporting ad blockers.

Data, Facts, And Principles
Data beget facts. Facts beget principles. Without facts and principles, data is useless. After years of studying planetary motions, and compiling data, Copernicus uncovered a fact. The fact was that the Earth revolved around the sun. Until then, the data made no sense. After years of studying the facts of bodies in motion, Isaac Newton developed a principle...

The Devaluation Of Creativity
Thank you for inviting me here tonight. I’m not usually invited to speak at high class affairs like this. I usually get invited to horrifying events like the “The Programmatic Real-Time Digital Insider Summit” or some other majestically titled festival of horsesh*t.

All The Marketing Geniuses Have Been Wrong. Duh.
For years now I have been spouting off about the wrong-headedness of online "precision targeting" versus mass media. In 2012, in a post called Either Facebook Is Nuts Or I Am, I wrote... "Big brands need big reach, not the diminishing returns of finer and finer targeting...They (Facebook) needs to forget about "precision targeting." It's bullshit and it's not working...They need to sell reach." In 2013, in a post called The Hidden Danger Of Precision Targeting, I wrote...

Tons Of Data And Not An Ounce Of Sense
One of the great advantages of online advertising is that it generates lots of very valuable data. This data helps us make excellent media and marketing decisions. Or so I'm told. But I'm afraid I may be suffering from that ailment called "cognitive dissonance" because from what I can see we have lots...

TV, Radio, Print: Here's A $Billion Idea For Free
Something we've talked about over the years on this blog is the surprising wimpishness of the traditional media as online advertising has kicked their ass all over the block. Online is headed toward becoming the number one ad revenue producing medium in the next few years despite being a corrupt, ineffectual pile of shit. And what are the traditional media doing to protect their turf?

Mobile Ad Blocking Grew 90% In 2015. Maybe.
An article in The Verge earlier this week reported on a study by PageFair showing that usage of mobile ad blockers grew 90% last year. According to the article there are now over 400 million people worldwide using ad blockers on mobile devices. Several months ago, PageFair put the number of users at about 200 million...

The 'New' Video Revolution
After about 10 years of astounding dimness, the online media industry is starting to wake up and realize that not only is television not dead, but the future of online advertising revenue is largely going to come from video. The rush to video among online publishers is approaching hysteria. Of course, as usual the marketing and advertising industries are marooned...

Does Content Build Brands?
Last week, Sir John Hegarty of BBH made some very cogent statements about the relative value of content marketing and advertising. This week I was a guest on a marketing podcast that ripped into Hegarty for his comments. I didn't have the time to defend his point of view properly. So here goes. First and most obviously is this: The highest goal of marketing is to build brands.

Advertising Eats The World
It's difficult to imagine that there was a time, not long ago, when advertising was said to be "dead." In 2004, research company Forrester & Co, proclaimed that we had reached “the end of the era of mass marketing.” In 2009, Advertising Age, said “the post-advertising age is under way.”

Crystal Ball Breakers
If you ever need a good laugh, a surefire place to start is by reading the futuristic bullshit of marketing geniuses. Last week, Ad Age ran the 10,000th piece on the future of advertising and how agencies need to adapt or die. Yes, it's 2005 all over again. First the writer of the piece sets the tone by combing LinkedIn for every marketing cliché he could gather and smashing them together into a sentence.

This Week In Bullshit
One of the essential factors that has lead to the longevity of this blog is our access to the extraordinary abundance and diversity of bullshit in the advertising business. Today we are honoring that heritage with a round-up of some of our favorite recent instances of marketing and advertising drivel. We'll start with McDonald's. Last week, McDonald's announced they were beginning a search for a new agency. McDonald's CMO couldn't just say, "We need new ideas." That would have been too clear and simple.

Can the Ad Industry Save Itself?
I am still hopeful that we can save ourselves. We are in very deep trouble, but there may be a strategy to rescue ourselves from the hole we have dug. Let's start by defining the problem. The problem is that everyone seems to have lost confidence in us. Our clients don't trust us. In fact, the Association of National Advertisers is...

Why The Online Ad Industry Can't Reform Itself
Online advertising has a very simple problem with a very simple solution. But it's a solution that will never happen. Like all advertising, digital advertising is annoying. No sane person voluntarily signs up for any kind of advertising, but we tolerate it in other media. TV ads and radio ads and newspaper ads may be a bother, but they're a minor bother.


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