I started the copyranter Blogspot in 2005. Over the subsequent seven years, I wrote over 5,000 posts about advertising, mostly bad advertising, but also the rare good advertising and even rarer great advertising. I was cited, quoted, and ripped off by just about every major news and media website on the Internet.
In early 2012, I left the excellent NYC ad agency I’d worked at for 20 years (Stupid move? Yes!) to become a Professional Ad Critic at BuzzFeed, a red-hot, fast-growing consumer-facing website. I was fucking STOKED. I was fucking doomed.
Over the following 18 months working there, BuzzFeed’s staff grew from under 100 to over 400 employees. Big brands took notice. Big brands started advertising on BuzzFeed. Their “native” ads sometimes showed up in the feed above or below my posts ripping their bad TV or print ads. Not a good look for BuzzFeed. The big brand advertisers started complaining about the negative ad reviews. No matter, I kept reviewing bad big brand ads, because, that’s what I was hired to do. Note: BuzzFeed’s unofficial tagline at that time was “NO HATERZ” (yes, with a “Z”). I was soon shit-canned because of “creative differences”.
In late 2013, VICE, another red-hot, fast-growing consumer-facing website, hired me to do exactly the same thing for them in a weekly column. Big brands again weren’t exactly geeked, I found out. Six months later, my column was discontinued.
Since then, I’ve searched relentlessly yet fruitlessly for a major consumer-facing website seeking a “harsh uncompromising ad critic who will piss off our big advertisers”.
Which brings me to Substack. Substack has no big advertisers. Substack has zero advertisers. Substack has writers and readers. That’s it. No content tailored to or for or by brands. The reader is all that matters to them. Which brings me to you, reader. Why should you subscribe to Copyranter Two Point Zero? Well, the ads have gotten much worse in the last 10 years, and they keep getting worser. And it’s gotten me angrier. And angrier. Creativity isn’t Dying; it’s FUCKING DEAD.
I’ve dug the flamethrower out of storage, filled the fuel tanks, and put on my fire retardant jumpsuit. I will be aiming at recent ads that deserve to die, burning (Pictured above: not me. Via Wikipedia). I will be going full scorched Earth. No holding back. I will be posting at least three times a week; It’s gonna be a blast.
NOTE: Copyranter will be free for Subscribers for the rest of 2021. Starting in January 2022, If you want to read ALL of my posts, Subscription will be $10 a month ($100 per year).