Strategist Thinks Anonymous Comments Are Killing the Ad Industry

By Patrick Coffee 

The comments. Everyone loves them! An endless source of amusement and inspiration, aren’t they?

Nope. Not at all. In fact, some people really don’t care for The Comments, especially when they’re anonymous. Our minds were just blown, too.

Earlier this week, strategist Jamie Watson of M&C Saatchi Sydney wrote a piece for Campaign Brief bemoaning the sad state of said comments. Its headline reads, “A response to anonymous commenters: You’re killing our industry.” Watson theorizes that agency folks’ tendency to gang up on their contemporaries while pooping all over the work is screwing up the whole industry algorithm.

To start, Watson links to such choice proclamations as “You’re all hacks and I hope you, and your new character die horrible deaths.” And these are Australian people, remember.

He goes on to write, “I’m saddened because whatever your opinion on the result, people believed in the work. They put their heart and soul into it, worked late, missed putting the kids to bed or simply kept themselves up all night worrying.”

Watson continues:

“This is not a defence of any particular piece of work, any article or any one person, it’s a defence of our industry.

Call me naive, pathetic, a hippie, whatever you want (just head to the comment section, you know where it is), but things need to change.”

But how do these things need to change? Watson argues that cynicism is passe and that people in the ad industry, which “has always struggled with its reputation,” should maybe stop focusing on how much everything sucks and focus instead on making their own work and giving “bigger, better ideas” a chance to live before treating those ideas like some Wikileak and scrutinizing them until they suffocate.

Our favorite comments on the post are, of course, the bitchiest. For example:

  • “Can we have some more cotton wool to wrap these poor souls in?”
  • “My name is Banksy. So much for anonymity. It’s never created a climate in which people could speak truth to power anyway.”
  • “Good shit. Well writ.”
  • “If you’re highly intelligent you can’t help but be cynical. Cynicism creates insight. Insight creates brilliant, breakthrough advertising. It also creates the ability to see through and critique average work masquerading as brilliant work. It helps if you’re articulate enough to explain why you think the work is so-so, rather than just hurl insults.”

Someone buy that last guy a shot.