As a longtime ad guy, I now confess:
I have a love-hate relationship with the products of my own profession.
I love ads that draw me in with intelligence and wit.
I hate ads that barge into my life uninvited.
When I was a wide-eyed junior copywriter, I came to appreciate the code of ethics that guided the high-quality ad agencies.
I was taught that since people don’t actively seek out ads, we had to be respectful of our audience and capture their attention through creativity. It was our job to attract customers, not brow-beat them.
In other words, we tried not to annoy people when our goal was to start a conversation with them.
Honestly, it didn’t feel like a code of ethics. It just felt like common sense. Continue reading →