What is Wrong with Advertising Trade Publications?

Continuing my What is Wrong series….I came across this today in Ad Age:

What Have Chevy, Pepsi, Sony and Verizon Gotten Out of ‘X Factor’? A Look at Their Social-Media Lift

Now I have been having fun watching Tom Moradpour and Shiv Sigh on the Twitter live Tweeting during X Factor the last 2 months when my Twitter time coincides with the show. I joke with Tom about being a good company man and asked if his bonus is tied to his Tweeting, which made him laugh.


Now it seems the sponsorship has garnered Pepsi a bump in Social Media Chatter. Being a Pepsi fan I am happy about this. But the reporting proves why Advertising/Marketers have such a hard time proving the money invested shows a direct pay off. There is no mention if Pepsi sales are up due to the extra chatter from the X Factor. I am not saying there isn’t. But why doesn’t Ad Age ask this question?


I am used to sites like Mashable being softies and side stepping the nit and grit of business.Just like People Magazine side steps the same tough questions when they cover Celebrities. But no one takes Mashable seriously. At least none of the smart people.  But Ad Age is the premier Advertising Trade Publication for Print and Online. The only other Trade Publication I have full respect for is Media Post. The rest have very shoddy reporting standards.


And it does a disservice to the industry to not hold us accountable for growing sales or at least showing some sort of correlation with what we do. When Pepsi came out with the Refresh Project and bowed out of the Superbowl someone who I will not name who works at their Agency of Record told me the purpose of the Super Bowl spots is to have people talk about your brand. I called Bullshit on that and still do. The purpose is to sell and if you refuse to sell don’t take the business. So last year after the spots with people assaulted by Pepsi cans I called for Pepsi (and still do) to find a new creative shop because they are being hurt by their current one (sorry and I respect the incumbent but they are failing their client in my view).


So who pushed for the X Factor sponsorship and is this turning into sales? That is the important missing link for this campaign and for the reporting by Ad Age.


About chiefalien

Howie Goldfarb with 20 years of Sales and Marketing experience founded Blue Star Strategic Marketing in central Vermont to serve as the objective and strategic adviser of brands to help them grow and thrive. His Degree in Finance and 14 years of B2B sales to Fortune 500 companies gives him a CFO’s view of marketing. Thus bringing a dose of reality to the confusing world of jargon, spin, and hype. Also playfully known as the Chief Alien of Blue Star Strategic, Howie relishes his role as an industry outsider. A native New Yorker and former Angelino, he currently lives in the Green Mountains of Vermont and is still seeking his first moose sighting. His passions are living life, art, music, the outdoors, he tries to cook and loves the Vermont Fresh Network – local sustainability initiatives like farm to table and buying local.
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