Belated IPA Talk Thoughts..


The IPA talk was fascinating; always good to hear two heavyweights duke it out.

But, as Chris Forrest rightly pointed out, there wasn’t enough blood on the walls; just a little bit of blog bad mouthing (sitting next to Richard was an experience – it is his write up on the site).

To me, the whole thing played out as a bit of a caricature of what we were supposed to think; John L had a very clear start and finish – Blogs are bad – encourage lazy thinking – could corrupt juniors – examples – examples from his own career – conclusion. Whereas Mr Grant (and I don’t think he’d disagree) winged it a little more, using a few specific case studies (which escape me at the moment, but I know one of them was to do with America and how ridiculous American friends of his found the whole debate).

John L ‘won’ the debate in that he was able to convert more people to his side. For what it’s worth, I think he made some valid points about those senior people with blogs; as they will be looked to as a source of inspiration/advice inherently, they must be careful about what they post. Valid point….buuuut..

I really don’t think people on the outside looking in are quite so naive. Yes, obviously they will be doe eyed and a little bit clueless about what the job actually is – but surely not so dense as to think that is ALL the job. If you don’t notice the bit on the job description which says ‘analysing markets’, frankly, you shouldn’t be a planner.

John G made a very important point about trade magazines; arguably, if you only had those to rely on (which you did in the past), surely it makes you just as idealistic as some of the ad blogs out there; the world would be filled with long lunches, champagne and lovely clients, as well as a hefty expense budget and very little actual work. Not so.. more like a week spent finding out the numbers about boilers and the ‘Home Emergency Market’. Sexiness, you soon find, has very little impact on the balance sheet – unless of course you have founded your entire career on being eye candy (which, sadly, I could never do).

As for my point of view; well, the letter to Campaign and the very fact I have a blog should give you some idea of where my sympathies lie.

Though I’m writing this in my lunch break, the accessing of information and ideas can only be a good thing; John L didn’t dispute this (how could he?), but still – blogs, and ad blogs are a force for good… when done at the appropriate time. They can help spark ideas, lateral thought and provoke debate.

Which is surely all anyone wants from Advertising.

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