Bob Garfield: Everyone is “F***ed”

By Matt Van Hoven 

During a brief presentation this morning at SXSWi, Bob Garfield asked attendees to look to their left, then to their right and take note of their neighbors. “All three of you are fucked,” he panned. Apparently, content and marketing’s 350 year relationship are no longer valuable. The only question left unanswered is who is doing the fucking.

Pardon the language, but in times like these (by that I mean times when we actually take the time to listen to Garfield) it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. And if Garfield’s role in the media portion of advertising tells us anything it’s that contrarianism pays.


Maybe that’s because the previous business model doesn’t, anymore. And that was the story of Garfield’s brief presentation. He opined philosophic about the relationship between audience, content creator and marketer. His message wasn’t new: “Just because people want (content) doesn’t mean they’ll pay for it,” he said. But the important takeaway was this: “If advertisers and individuals won’t pay” the revolution will not be monetized. Which is ironic, if you’re talking to actual revolutionaries. It’s my contention that there are none in advertising.

Garfield’s book Chaos Scenario served as the end cap to today’s conversation. Garfield spent a few minutes recounting the bad Comcast customer service experience that lead to his creating &#151 which would later serve as a tool for the content provider to better serve their many disgruntled customers.

As always, Garfield’s delivery was entertaining. Somehow his paced tone makes for a worthwhile listen. If you’re looking for more, check out NPR’s On The Media.

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