World’s fastest talking man does Michael Jackson’s Bad in 20 seconds:
World’s fastest talking man does Michael Jackson’s Bad in 20 seconds:
I was reading this article the other day.
It’s titled ‘Raising the bar for brand safety‘, and subtitled ‘Premium publishers must commit to higher standards for online advertising, not only to safeguard brand safety but also minimise ad fraud and maximise viewability‘. The author is Richard Reeves, Managing Director of the Association for Online Publishing.
I 100% appreciate the intention, but I can’t help feeling it doesn’t exactly practice what it preaches:
As the voice of premium digital publishers and a founder member of the Joint Industry Committee for Web Standards (JICWEBS), the Association for Online Publishing (AOP) is committed to securing the long-term success of the digital ecosystem.
This really starts as it means to go on: with a lack of specificity that leads to the very lack of transparency it professes to want to stamp out. Who are ‘premium digital publishers’? In what way are you their ‘voice’? Is JICWEBS a big deal? What do you mean by ‘success’? And isn’t the digital eco-system the entire internet? Can you really secure anything for such a massive entity? If so, how?
However, this goal is only achievable if the industry works together to create a more sustainable, accountable and reliable future, by adopting universal standards that go above and beyond minimum requirements.
‘More sustainable, accountable and reliable’ than what? What are these universal standards? Who defines them? What are ‘minimum requirements’ and how far ‘above and beyond’ them do you intend to go? 1%? 18% How will we know?
As such, the AOP’s innovative Ad Quality Charter, launched at its recent Inside Out Digital Publishing Convention, aims to commit itself and its members to ethical trading standards and better media verification.
Aiming to commit yourself to something? Why not just commit? How long will the aiming last? And what are these ‘ethical trading standards’ to which you are aiming to commit? Can you commit to what those might be? Can you aim to commit to what those might be? And ‘better’ media verification than what, exactly? And how much better etc. etc.
The new charter – currently a draft – recognises that the industry must take greater collective responsibility for providing advertisers and agencies with access to quality inventory and verified audiences through a transparent supply chain. It will require the AOP and its members to adhere to stringent quality requirements relating to the contentious issues of brand safety, fraud and viewability.
‘Providing advertisers and agencies with access to quality inventory and verified audiences through a transparent supply chain’ doesn’t specify what ‘quality’ means (high quality? Low quality?), nor does it specify what ‘verified’ or ‘transparent’ mean. I’m sure Mr. Reeves is aware that there are degrees of transparency, verification, responsibility and quality, but his lack of specificity makes him look as if his entire premise is built on rather weak foundations.
It goes on for another few paragraphs, which contain the following undefined words and phrases:
minimise the risk
exploit the industry,
fraud detection and non-human traffic tools
a metric that will exceed the current industry standards.
deliver bespoke viewability metrics
optimise on-page placement based on user behaviour and content consumption
commit to reducing unacceptable ad clutter.
address the root causes of latency and the subsequent impact on viewability performance.
premium consumer experience
ensuring the healthy future of the digital advertising industry.
raise the bar for digital advertising standards,
cleansing and protecting the supply chain
allowing the ecosystem to flourish.
If you want to create better standards and practices in digital advertising, more power to you – God knows the industry needs them. But if the official bodies dedicated to this set their stall out with such indistinct vaguery it doesn’t bode well for the future.
If you stand for transparency, clarity and accountability you need to prove it in your own practices.
After all, if you aren’t going to do it, why should anyone else?
I don’t know if this the case in your neck of the woods, but where I’m from there are a lot of jobs where you place an initial before C and D.
We have ACDs (Associate Creative Directors), GCDs (Group Creative Directors), ECDs (Executive Creative Directors), the plain old CDs, and the grand poobahs, who are now called CCOs (Chief Creative Officers). We also still have juniors, plain old copywriters and art directors, and senior copywriters and art directors.
I might have missed a few (I have heard tell of the RCD – Regional Creative Director), but if you add in placements (or their equivalent), you have at least nine levels of seniority in the creative department. When I were but a nipper there were only creatives (with an occasional informal use of junior/middleweight/senior) and a CD. Some agencies had Group Heads, but until the early 2000s that was it.
In fact, here’s a handy guide to what your current job title would have been in a 1995 UK agency:
Junior Copywriter/Art Director Copywriter/Art Director
Copywriter/Art Director Copywriter/Art Director
Senior Copywriter/Art Director Copywriter/Art Director
ACD Copywriter/Art Director
CD Copywriter/Art Director
GCD Copywriter/Art Director
So how did things change, and is the new situation better?
I think the answers to both questions might be related:
Aside from it all feeling a little silly, I can’t see much of a downside. Enjoy your new titles if they make you happy, and if the dude from the social engagement agency now knows he should respect your authority then that can only smooth things along.
Thanks for reading.
Lots of love,
60 years of logos:
Black Thought of The Roots on a mad freestyle session (thanks, A):
A year of voice commands from a 5-year-old (thanks, D):
JCB hot dog:
Starlings taking off at 200 fps (thanks, D):
Here’s a delightful guest post from Father Critmas:
People are always asking me, Father Critmas, how can I be more like you? How can I be the World’s Best Creative Director™. And I always tell them the same thing. “How dare you talk to me.”
Last night I went to a screening of this wonderful movie:
Due to an interesting quirk of people from the movie business generally going to one particular LA cinema (the Arclight in Hollywood. The sound and picture are always brilliant) they’ve started having Q&A screenings so that Academy voters and their friends can see the stars/directors and ask them about the movie (a couple of weeks ago we went to see Murder on the Orient Express, topped off by an interview with the very affable Kenneth Branagh; Al Gore showed up for the Inconvenient Truth sequel; Margot Robbie, Justin Timberlake and Kate Winslet have also popped by).
So this showing of The Shape of Water ended with an interview with the director, Guillermo Del Toro, and two of the stars: Octavia Spencer and Doug Jones.
(I love GDT. He makes horror films with heart and humour, as well as blockbusters that have more brains than most. And he’s had an interesting life – for example, his dad was kidnapped and James Cameron gave him the money to pay the ransom.)
Here are three things Señor Del Toro said that could be applied to stuff you’re working on:
Last week I had the idea to interview a client.
Come on. Haven’t you always wanted to know what they hell they’re all thinking?
So I put the word out and found one: an automotive client for a big brand that works with a good agency, so he knows what good ads are and has been somewhat responsible for bringing them into the world (he also wanted to remain anonymous).
I actually found this to be one of the most revealing chats I’ve had, possibly because it was a window into a world I knew much less about.
How he became a client.
How things have changed (money/digital).
You need a big idea! And know what your brand stands for!
How they measure what the hell they’re doing and what the agency is responsible for.
Who gets to choose the overall idea, and how does it please everyone?
How well do the different agencies collaborate?
Giant power point decks suck.
His learning curve.
Why digital isn’t bollocks.
Responsibility for surveillance.
How do they decide what to spend their money on?
Outthink rather than outshout.
Face-to-face client contact is good.
Is ‘creativity’ important?
How do you judge an idea before it’s made?
Not choosing creatives to work on your account.
Research vs gut.
Disaster vs Success.
Do you care about directors etc.?
General client perspective on the agency.
Timelapse construction of The Louvre Abu Dhabi (thanks, D):
Lots of screams replaced with Tom Cruise’s weird scream from The Mummy:
Every story is the same:
Beautiful art made from rubbish (thanks, D).
Great mashups of yesteryear (thanks, T).