Is Marketing about to wake up from its Adtech nightmare?

I did not manage to watch this talk from Bob Hoffman, The Ad Contrarian yesterday. I wish I had; from the write up in Marketing Week it looks to have been a cracker.

Some of the best points in the article/ talk, as I see it:

  • ‘Devious adtech weasels are making marketers look like fools
  • ‘We’re living in a fantasy land. It’s a fantasy land where consumers want to have deeper relationships with brands and invite them into their lives.
  • I’m sorry, they just don’t care that much, most people are perfectly satisfied with having the shallowest of connections with us’
  • ‘Brand loyalty is a myth, born of consumer habits and convenience’
  • ‘The advertising and marketing industry has lost touch with the real world and all this talk of cultural anthropologists and brand architects is doing little more than papering over some pretty dramatic and damaging cracks’
  • ‘The industry likes to go in for precision guessing, or best practice as it’s known’
  • ‘Advertising has gotten worse, it’s less effective. It’s more annoying, disliked and avoided. It’s gotten so bad, we have half the trustworthiness of lawyers. Our clients don’t trust us.’
  • ‘Anyone who is not sceptical of our current assumptions and the direction of the marketing industry is out of touch with reality’
  • ‘There’s a clear line connecting tracking, ad tech and political radicalisation and destabilisation’
  • ‘We need to be more honest about ourselves. For years, we’ve been hiding behind the skirts of Facebook and other online platforms. While these companies have been taking the heat, it has been largely unrecognised by the public that it is for the sole benefit of the advertising and marketing industry that Facebook and others do their squalid work. We are the hidden hand that guides and finances these dangerous practices.
  • ‘One can only wonder what additional sleaze media agencies know of and are keeping quiet about’
  • ‘Rather than a time of opportunity, the past 10 years have been a lost decade’

Wow, what can one say to that list of un-pulled punches? (other than ‘you’ve nailed it Bob).

Over in Project VRM, we have often debated the extent to which marketers can be saved versus just need to be worked around. I usually defend the marketing discipline; can’t do much else given that I have been working in it for 34 years or so now. Great article and talks such as that above help open a chink of light that at least some marketers see the need to move beyond adtech and surveillance capitalism.

Over to Project VRM and similar now to build what comes next…

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