Our heartfelt and true condolences go out to his family and friends.
A note to our readers – bloggers from AdPulp to folks on Twitter have been linking to one of our posts about Paul Tilley. The post is live on our WordPress site (the comments are there) and on the MB home site.
I received the news at 2:00 am. via another blogger. I was horrified. Not because the blog has posted questioning commentary about Paul in the past, but because in this case, the means of his death are so shocking. I originally moved the post into draft with trembling fingers. My thought was, this man has killed himself and those in cyberspace are linking to Agency Spy, as if my blog commentary and its associated scathing or lauding comments have killed this father and husband.
I do not give myself enough credit to think that a blog posting can cause a lucid, intelligent man to jump from a building. I am a blogger. My words may sting. They may also applaud, but a blog post about an agency’s new mantra does not cause an individual to step into the unknown. A blog posting about one’s work, an editorial, a movie review… these things have been done before. There is scathing and often personal editorial about the founder of Mediabistro, written by Gawker, that is cemented in digital history. David Denby of the New Yorker has eviscerated filmmakers in print time and again. Martin Sorrell was recently taken to task for his blog postings on Davos. Maureen Dowd of the Times spent years putting pins in Clinton, etc. My (as well my readers) comments and criticisms, as pointed as they were, can not possibly be blamed for so tragic a death. I have been attacked in my own life by a business partner who told personal tales, intimate details (far beyond attacking my work) to clients, to friends, to my enemies. I know the pain of exposure, of things most cherished coming to light far beyond anything I have written about Paul Tilley and Maurice Levy or Marian Salzman, et al.
I see in the comments of this post that many will point fingers at this blog for Mr. Tilley’s death. That is unacceptable. A man who has been described on this blog from many angles, died. He killed himself and for this, I am mournful. It is heart breaking to hear of anyone in our industry and beyond suffering in such pain. It is an unbearable thought – suicide. I did not know Paul, but one must think that there were many other issues plaguing his soul. It is not for me to say what sadnesses or complexities in his life led to his own taking of it. Selves can be bruised in ways far beyond the reach of a blog. It is hubristic to think that a blog made a man leave his family behind. It belittles Paul and what his life was actually about.
My sympathies and true condolences I extend again to his family, friends and co-workers.