Ads: “No longer a one-way monologue”

    December 29, 2004

An Ad Age story* notes how advertisers are also scratching their heads (along with journos and PR folk) on “what to do” about blogs. (*free registration required)

Et tu, Madison Avenue?

There are some interesting quotes from the article, entitled The Growing Impact of Consumers’ Web Publishing:

“Rod Pullen, CEO of Batey Red Cell in Singapore, told IAA delegates from 42 countries how two ordinary consumers, the Neistat brothers, created a Web site and film to protest that Apple’s iPod battery couldn’t be replaced and lasted only 18 months. The film, “iPod’s Dirty Secret” (using iMacs to produce it) showed the brothers stenciling their findings about the iPod battery all over Apple’s poster ads for the product. The Web site generated over 15 million hits from around the world and forced Apple to change the battery.”

Now, is it me, or does the above show why Apple SHOULD be blogging? Engage your customers at the product level to help create a better product and further endear them to your brand. See Intel, circa 1990’s for more info.

“The blog creators are influencers — people who pride themselves on knowing all kinds of arcane, insider details about the product, hence giving them credibility with consumers.


Consumers, much like voters, have the ability to not only absorb advertiser messages, but to change other consumers’ minds about the message content and the product itself. So marketers must now be ready to change their communications based on consumers’ own feedback.


The journalistic bloggers bypass professional journalists. Will consumer blogs bypass professional advertising agencies?”

After 12 years of agency life, I view blogs as an opportunity for advertisers. Sure, they might bypass advertising agencies, but I doubt one Web tool will overthrow an entire industry (ANY industry for that matter). Blogs may change the agency landscape, but that’s healthy.

The medium has risks and rewards. Dig in and start listening and learning to determine how the tool might impact your clients.

Kevin Dugan is the author of the popular Strategic Public Relations blog. Kevin is Director of Marketing Communications for FRCH Design Worldwide.

Visit Kevin’s blog: Strategic Public Relations.