The State of Advertising 2012


holy cow of advertising image

Greg Voakes recently wrote a column in Business Insider on the ‘current’ trend of so called authenticity prevalent in the advertising world.

The irony of authenticity is that the last thing you ever need to do to achieve it is ask for it. It’s rather like the word ‘quality’. Academics have been trying to define that one for a long time.

Anyway, the thing I absolutely loved about Voakes article was his reference to an open letter from Johan Liedgren, ex Microsoft Director of Channel Policy and now an independent consultant.

If you haven’t read any of Liedgren’s other stuff, go seek it out.

His open letter is published as an image on and should make you laugh.

This is how to speak to your audience and have a pretty good chance of going viral all in one. Here’s the formula for doing this sort of thing yourself:

  1. Look at all the “holy cows” in your industry (the things often taken for granted)
  2. Question every one of them
  3. Find one that doesn’t rign true
  4. Get creative and tear it apart

Telling it like it is wins trust, and if you do it enough, customers may actually trust you enough to buy from you.

About the author 

Quentin Pain

Quentin Pain started his first business, a courier company aged 23. He sold it 4 years later and used the profits to start a recording studio. A couple of albums later, he started two software companies, the last one being Accountz, which he grew from zero to 36,000 customers and retired from in January 2013. He is a director of ProofMEDIA, a specialist digital consulting business. He's also a published author (including a Dummies title), and has won many awards including the IAB Small Business Mentor of the Year. Copywriting is his speciality and he runs 3 groups on Facebook under the Science of Copywriting brand, which combined has well over 100,000 members. Quentin is also Founder of the International Copywriters Association and SEO Lead for the UK's largest private hospital group.

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