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bandwidth provided by Recursive Squirrel Interactive. Transcription services provided by transcribeme.com. Use the offer code Bean20 and get 20% off. Visit them on the web transcribeme.com. Episode 486 - The Chief CommonSense Officer. [music] For Monday, March 5th, 2018, it's time for this week's edition of the BeanCast, a weekly discussion about the news and issues facing marketers today. I'm your host, Bob Knorpp. [music] Thanks for joining us. Brands have a problem. Threats exist everywhere online. So some brands are looking at the creation of a Chief BrandSafety Officer to lead the charge against reputation damage. But is this a role every company needs? Tonight we'll discuss. Also, what the Droga5 layoffs say about the state of the business, getting ahead of voice optimization, understanding Facebook's latest experiment, plus this week's AdFail5. That's the lineup. Let's meet tonight's panel. [music] Thanks for joining us for this week's BeamCast, I'm Bob Knorpp and with me on the panel for this evening we start with the President of ad Consultancy Furry, author, speaker Mr. Bill Green is back! Hey Bill!
Hey Bob! How's it going?
It's going well tonight. Now also with us, we have the Founder and Creative Director of Work Labs, ad creative legend Mr. Cabell Harris is back! Hi Cabell!
Hello Bob! How are you?
I am well. Now next up we have the Founding Partner of Campfire Mr. Mike Monello. Mike, what's happening tonight?
Just excited to get started on another episode on the BeanCast.
Yeah, so am I. And finally, we have Content Marketing expert and Comic Book expert author, speaker Mr. Buddy Scalera. Hi Buddy!
Hey, it's been a long time now. Great to hear from you.
Yeah, I was so glad to get you back on the show. We're going to make it more regular, I'm going to make sure I don't forget to give you an invite more often. [laughter]
Well, thanks for bringing me on, I appreciate it.
Well, we're going to start off and we're going to talk about a really big topic that's affecting a lot of brands in the business right now. Brand safety is an obvious concern for advertisers today. Which is why, in many ways, it's unsurprising that some brands, including one in particular, Bank of America, are considering creating a Chief BrandSafety Officer role. But I've got to ask Cabell, does the creation of such a role make sense for every organization? I mean, isn't this the job of the Chief Communications Officer? Why are we making an entirely new role to handle brand safety? What's your take on this?
I kind of agree with you, Bob. I think, maybe the size of the company that has a position like that may do it. But it's just a name change. You'd think that it's crisis management. And you don't know what crisis is going to be coming up. It's almost like you're thinking of the worse and you're planning for it, but I think, companies already do that. And usually, that's going to be a CMO's job, brand energy's job, everybody's job and that's when you have PR companies helping you out. So it's really just protecting your reputation.
Yeah. I mean, that was my first take on it but I can see that there is some kind of value in the role. And maybe we're just no considering all the factors involved in maintaining brand safety, especially in the digital age. I mean, Mike, what's your take on this situation? I mean, we've got a big brand, Bank of America, looking at this role of the standpoint of ad safety in the way that ads are served up, content served up against potentially damaging content. We're not just talking about the bad press that comes about in the reputation of the company, we're talking about a serious problem that involves a lot of different disciplines within the marketing group. So, is it a good thing or is it something that's just superfluous and shows that the brand has no grip on their current situation and has no ability to manage their brand safety.
To me, it feels like when agencies and companies started bringing on chief innovation officers. It feels more like an attempt to communicate to people that they're taking it seriously. I really, I agree with you guys that this should really be a role that should be reporting to the CMO and if they were opening up a position or a department that was reporting to the CMO to really deal with this, I'd take it a little more seriously.
You know, that's a super great point. When we're thinking about this role, if they're creating a chief role, they're putting someone who's directly reporting to the CEO. That's the way boardroom roles work. So why is this role not reporting to the CMO? Why is it that it needs to report to the CEO? And what does that say to the rest of the investors out there about the safety of the brand as a whole? Bill, you always have some salient ideas about these types of things. What's your take on this?
I wonder if it's to make those shareholders and everyone else on the brand's side feel more comfortable that yes, we're proactive and we'll have someone in place in case something ever goes wrong. I would like that role to be someone that focuses more on the content that leaves-- before it leaves the-- out the door to make sure that it's-- and I'm not saying it's stuff that's offensive per se, but stuff that's blatantly obvious where all of the pundits like us the next day after a disaster that a brand does something that everybody's up in arms on Twitter about. We go, "Wasn't anybody watching?" That's what I would like this role to do. So, you kind of avoid the damage control before it even leaves and becomes a situation. Now, I think in this day and age it's hard to predict who's going to be offended at what. So, I think we all would agree that if one person out of a hundred's complaining, we can take that. But if 90 people out of 100 are complaining, you have an issue to address. And so that becomes the role of PR and I'd say if a brand of that size does not have a relationship with a good PR agency to begin with, I think they've got some other problems.
Yeah. And that's a lot of great points packed in there altogether, so. Let's take this from the standpoint, Buddy, of what this role could be from a positive standpoint. Because it's easy to criticize this type of move by a big organization. It's easy to say that it's just like the chief digital officer who's kind of a signal to people that this company doesn't understand anything about digital. [laughter] I mean, what's your take on this? Is there a positive spin to the idea of creating a role to inform the rest of the roles is about the importance of brand safety, and is it something that can potentially benefit a lot of companies out there?
Bob, I think you were right when you said creating another sweet, sweet job, creates a different type of reporting structure, probably should role under CMO or corporate communications. It's great that they're proactively thinking about damage control. Some of the articles that were looking at show that they were concerned about ad placement. Problematic ads that are showing up on questionable sites. This represents a great opportunity for agencies to provide services, that is, no agencies it's going to police itself, but agencies could look at this as a service and bring third-party monitoring so that the company doesn't necessarily have to devote a [sweet, sweet?] salary and resources to something that really, if you thinking about just ad placement, shouldn't be necessary. It's good to do it proactively, you never know when the next [inaudible] will arise on the internet. So it's good to have processes to deal with this. But it just seems like a really big role for a problem that should be relatively easy to solve between the CMO and corporate communications.
Go ahead [inaudible]. You were saying something.
Well, Bob, one of the good things that may come from this, is maybe its really taken a look at the standards [inaudible]. You have uses in there for I'm not to use your logo or your brand mark. It may be there has been more of look at the tone and personalities and what not to do. I think every brand is a little bit different and what their behaviour is going to be and the key is, I think somebody said it before, is preventing this type of crisis before they happen. And maybe if these brands think about what type of scenarios do they want to make sure they don't get into, that's more spelt out for everybody in the organisation.
The more we talk about the-- go-ahead Mike.
This feels like a response really to problematic more than the things that [inaudible] might be making internally with an agency and putting out. Not that that shouldn't have an oversight as well, but this to me and the articles that I read, made it seem like this is more focused on the issues with problematic and having your ads placed in problematic sites and content.
Yeah. That was my take on it as well. I mean-- but if you want to have a brand safety officer, its got to be something that its broad as dealing with every potential threat to the brand. I mean if you just talking about problematic, then that should be the-- definitely falling under the province of the chief marketing officer, but because the chief marketing officer is in charge of the digital advertising. The chief marketing officer is responsible for where the ads are placed and how the brand is being portrayed in terms of its association with content out there. So if that's the only thing that is really concerning a company like Bank of America, creating a chief brand safety officer seems like an exact wrong move, because it puts the owners on somebody who's not even responsible and tasked for actually doing the problematic advertising. So the only way I can see this role being of any value to the organisation is by expanding it to be something that has oversight over every point of contact that the brand has with the consumer audience and making sure that everything is on alignment. And it just seems like its soo much overlap within the organisation, I can't see how it's even possible for something something like this to work without creating conflict that's not helpful and not meaningful to the success of the organization going forward. I mean Bill, I know I kind of launched into a little diatribe there, but do you agree with that or do you have any counter opinions on what I've just said?
I don't know, I think it needs someone then who is monitoring the brand real time above and beyond what the social teams are doing with whatever tools they're using. Either monitoring passively for negative sentiment or comments or watching something blow up in terms of a trending hashtag. It still requires someone in real time to say okay we better watch out because we're taking a hit over here in this area and then be in touch with the PR team to basically say okay if it gets worse what do we do? and I mean but that's almost like it needs to be a common sense officer not [laughter] a safety officer per se.
I like that title [laughter].
Well and that's not a bad point I mean it does seem like it's a whole lot of common sense that's being promoted by this role. And it just makes no sense that this wouldn't be just kind of a mandate that's put forward to all the people who are responsible for brand safety already. Why do we need another role, it just seems kind of ludicrous. Now from a--
And Bob, I mean we did see a couple of articles and I think we probably all checked out similar articles that it was about the advertising and the ad placements. It seems like that's-- if your ad agency who's doing your planning and your placements is placing ads in places that are not appropriate because they're using programmatic. It seems like that's an easy solution. You maybe want to look at an agency that is really looking at where they're placing your ads. And perhaps, I don't know who their agency is but it just seems like an opportunity for the agency to do that themselves.
Yeah again it comes down to mandate it doesn't come down to a new role. Let's take this from another perspective, let's before we roll on to the next topic I want to take this from the standpoint of other companies. And whether or not other companies could do this better and whether or not all companies need to have some kind of role established or some kind of mandate established to deal with this. It seems like this is something that only a big bloated organization could potentially benefit from. We're talking about the Bank of America's of the world that have thousands and thousands of offices and thousands and thousands of potential connection points with the consumer. Would a company like Ford Motor Company enjoy the same success with this, or a Mcdonald's enjoy the same success with this, or is this just a whole lot of hot air on the part of Bank of America to show that hey we're doing something and it's really just an investor move. [inaudible] thoughts on that?
Any time there's layers, and that's what concerns me with something like this, is who ends up making those decisions and does it just become so many people trying to do the same thing. So if you have a crisis management team, if you have a PR company, you have the chief marketising officer. Putting another layer on there I'm not sure is-- instead of streamlining their process it may be complicating it more. So I usually tend to think simplification works better. I think the need of it for those companies like you said for Ford, is probably that you need to start thinking of the crisis management before these things happen, all the different types of scenarios and what are you going to do when they happen.
Yeah because I think--
I don't like I think one thing that's become painfully clear to everybody who's involved with digital advertising these days is that even if you're not just relying on your programmatic placement, your ads are eventually going to show up next to content that's not palatable. It's not a matter of if it's going to happen, it's when it's going to happen. And then you have to deal with the fact that you're dealing with ad networks so there's a potential for bad code or malicious code to be inserted in there some way, somehow. And there's no way to police every single effort that you're going out there with in the digital realm. So it seems like what you're suggesting Cabel is much more reasonable for an organization of this size to basically say to them we're not going to stamp out every bad impression, we're not going to stamp out every situation where a brand is associated with bad content. We just need to have an appropriate response ready for it and a crisis plan in place that helps us to deal with it. Seems like a much better way to go about things.
All right and speed is what you're usually-- is one of the big concerns is how quickly can you react.
And I think it's also industry-specific, banking is risk aversive to begin with. Entertainment brands can afford to take a little more chance and have some fun. And I think that disposition or this need for this should reflect the DNA of what the brand's about. And fans who are specific brands fans who have come to know them in terms of tone of voice would expect and can sense when they're being either safe or not if it's appropriate for that brand. Some brands that are edgy whether it's bands, sneakers or whatever it's going to be, they expect a little maybe an attitude versus something that's conservative. And watching out for something that wouldn't offend a teenager but it offends an adult. So again I think it's industry specific.
Yeah all good points all very good points. I want to move on, I want to talk next about the Droga5 news. Droga5 is arguably the hottest shop in the ad world today. I mean a lot of people are claiming that they're among the best shops that you can work with. They have premier clients, they win boatloads of awards and have no recent account losses to speak of. So to many it was a complete surprise that they laid off 4% of their workforce this past week when even struggling agencies will typically only lay off 2% at any given time. Now none of us here, I want to be very clear to the audience, none of us have any kind of inside info as to why they did what they did. So I'm not going to be involved with speculation about their specific situation. But Mike, when even a hot shop has to make this kind of choice the same week that the largest holding company has a huge stock drop, and we'll get to that later. What does it say about the state of our business, your thoughts on this?
Well yeah I want to reiterate I do not have any insider knowledge into what's happening specifically with Droga5 but the failing agency business model is a trope of the beam cast practically, right? If you look at the landscape of topics discussed week to week, you kind of get the story. It's shifting budget away from AOR relationships into more project-based work. The lack of transparency in ad buying. We were just talking about the issues with programmatic creating distrust and leading to reductions in spending. We have clients working directly with the digital ad platforms like Facebook and Google, just cutting out their agencies. You have competition from the consultancies with their sweet relationships. The rise of in-house agencies and then a little further out there but also chipping away I think is the growing popularity of subscription-based content models where the lack of advertising is an actual huge consumer benefit and I think all these trends are just working against the big agency business model and that's before we get to the holding company models which add enormous bloat and overhead on top of that. So I think the irony here is that between the talent exodus that's been going on and these kinds of layoffs where you're dumping, particularly from Droga5, I think some extremely talented people into the marketplace, the environment feels right for many of these folks to start their own companies that are much better positioned to the current landscape. And so I think these kinds of corrections are tough for the big guys but to me, as an entrepreneur, they represent enormous opportunity for more specialized companies and for new players entering the space.
One of the things that first came to my mind, because you're right, this is very much a topic that we cover quite a bit on the show, the changing landscape but for me there was some kind of nuance here that we had never talked about before which is that maybe the agency-world is too bloated. We talk a lot about let more work with less bodies and so much effort put into right-sizing the expectations of clients but at the same time maybe the agency-world has too many people working on an account. Maybe there is a need even at the best shops to take a hard look at how many bodies are being put against any particular account and say, "This doesn't make any sense anymore. We're able to deliver the type of work that is still going to win us awards, is still going to give us the kind of premiere status that's out there and we can do it with less people. And a significant number of less people in this particular case. Bill, I'm going to go to you next on this one. What's your thoughts on that position? Is the agency-world just far too bloated and really needs to take a good hard look at itself just the way that Droga5 did?
So you're saying the sandwich person on the craft services table shouldn't have won a Clio? Is that what you're [laughter] saying? Too many people? I'm thinking back and reminded of what Taxi's model was at one point; what it was a creative team no larger than what could fit into a Taxi and unlimited to a creative, strategy person, an account person and I forgot what the forth was. But I would say advertising needs to maybe ask itself this one question that Silicon Valley seems to have answered for it in a different way. Is what they do still relevant? And to me, the strength of what advertising has always been about is coming up with something creatively that moves you to do something. Silicon Valley is about utilitarian tools that we use every day. And it's maybe that message is-- they're not there in the message-creation business, they're there in the let's make tools that people use business. And to me, there's something missing that can connect those two and I think that's where advertisings relevance still is. And that's what it needs to address moving forward and yes the layers on top of that and how many people are getting added to an account, well sometimes large brands do like to know that, "I've got a full team on there." They don't maybe want to know that I've only got three people working on it. So I would bring the brands into the plate, into this too and say, "Okay, what are you're expectations? How many people do you need to have on the other end of that phone you call up and you want someone working the weekend?" I would put some of the responsibility on them.
And these are all-- that's a lot of great, great thought there I mean in terms of what the situation is at most of these accounts. Cabble, what's your take on this? I mean it's just like you're another person with a large amount of experience on this. Go ahead.
My take is-- my guess is, any company even the best ones have some people there that maybe are not performing like you thought they were going to perform and this might just be cutting some of the people out because I think as you said, they haven't lost any business. I don't know the situation. I'm only guessing. Usually, you can go to an agency, you go if we had to make some cuts 10% of the people maybe you wouldn't miss so much. And I wouldn't be surprised to see them hire shortly if they need to. I don't think they do a lot of-- Droga puts a lot of people on one piece of business. I think they have more selected teams that they put on there and if they have great people they're going to do everything they can to keep those people.
And we have no--
And I wouldn't be surprised that this--
We have no insight as to who they actually laid off.
[crosstalk] I'm just guessing. I just know how hard it is to get good people and how much you want to keep them. It might just be they're just looking to upgrade at some point. I don't know.
And I'd like to just throw in I think that's a great point because if you build on that point they may be looking at opportunities that require different skill sets. Whatever the new technology or opportunity is they might be saying, "You know what? Let's cut a few." And lets just go back to the last discussion we were having programmatic because we are not seeing as much ad placement, but maybe they see more in VR or some other technology where they know that they're going to have to invest, and they have to let go on one side to ramp up for something else that they think will be coming in the future. And that might be the balance. Again we're all speculating, but having been on an agency we've seen that right? We've all seen how you have fewer print designers and more digital designers; you let the print designers go and you brought in new digital designers. That's just the natural ebb and flow of a service business.
Hey, Bob, this is Cabble again. Any agency that usually does the layoffs, it is going to be because the client is just-- these days that we live in now, they're not going to pay for all those people. You're right. And they're going layoff the people because they don't think there's going to be another piece of business where we can put those people on.
But what's unusual with Groga--
With that, that brings up the point that Mike was making from the very beginning which is that there is this idea that the clients are responsible, that the clients are not going to pay for this many people to be working on their account. And there's a lot of proof to that assumption because procurement is always looking to reduce headcount at their agencies and is always trying to say, "We're not going to pay for this many people, we're not going to pay for this many hours. This is what we expect from you." So procurement is really good about setting those expectations. I'm just wondering in a fight to preserve the integrity of creative maybe we've gone a little too far in the wrong direction and we're protecting the wrong types of headcounts. It's just like maybe we need to be much more targeted and nimble in the approaches that we take to our team creation and maybe take to heart something that Bill said which was about the Taxi model. Keep that team small, lean, and mean, and empower them to do what they need to do.
You know it's more going project based then retainer based too and that's fairly hard to staff-up if you don't know what's going to be there.
I agree. I think that's a-- that's why I mentioned the client shifting budgets away from AOR relations into more project-based work. Look, when 12 years Campfire's been project-based based agency, which I think most people think is crazy, but that's what's allowed us to constantly change and adapt to our clients' needs. And so the things we were making 10 years ago really don't resemble the things we're making today. But they all kind of carry our point of view and our philosophy and our approach. And I think about managing and-- trying to manage those changes as an AOR, and that's just much more difficult.
Well, I'm going to move on to our next topic. Way back when Siri was first introduced, before Apple bought the tech, and this is going way back, we here on the show touted the importance of voice optimization and advertising. I think it was Dwayne Forrester who was on the program, and for the very first time introduced me to a program called Siri that I could add to my iPhone. Now, some seven years later, we see many brands losing out on the voice arena because voice search typically delivers only a single result, something else, if I can crow about us a little bit more, we talked about even way back then. Basically, it's delivering one single result, which is the algorithmically-optimized one, a much harder competitive landscape. Bill, what does this severe restriction on search results mean for brands, and is there really anything a brand can do to win a single result search battle? What's your take on that?
Sure, pay your SCO guy a lot of money [laughter].
Yeah. I think that's not exactly the answer, but [laughter]--
I'd rethink that question. Coming at it from-- if I am planning for SCO, why would I focus on one single area, be it search or be it jut Facebook advertising or whatever? I would look at the whole ecosystem. I think you have to because if you're not, then-- you mean counting on one channel to save you? It's just not going to do the job. And specifically with skill sets and Alexa-- skills and Alexa and things like that, and some of the work we did at Diesel, focused on the value of what the skill can do to the brand, not from a search perspective, but what does that experience add for fans and people who love that brand already? So to me, it's not about search, it's about okay, "hey, Alexa, do this," and then it triggers an action that maybe gets me involved in a game that I then go on-- and now I spent more time with the brand. So to me, we were looking at voice technology for what it can do to enhance that experience, and not necessarily for search results to basically, "hey, Alexa, get me the top five movies for the last whatever it's going to be." I mean, after a while, you're going to get tired of doing that when you can probably go and just type it out quicker than that. And right now, I think voice is being used in that-- well because we have it we can do this thing with it, but it's going to get old really quick. So that's why, to me, it's always been more about creating a better experience.
Yeah. I agree. I also think it's important for us to realize that Amazon's more recent innovation in Alexa products was to add video screens to them. So, as much as I think voice is important, I don't think we're anywhere near understanding completely how it's going to be used yet. So to me, it's important to be experimenting and learning and spending money responsibly in the space, but I think, like Bill, it's really going to be about the whole ecosystem and how it all works together.
I'll tell you though, being on the client side, if we were thinking about the different ways that we should be considering voice-activated technology from search to even Alexis' skills. I would be more inclined to go to an agency that specialized in that. maybe they were the premier agency for voice, and they knew the SEO of voice and they know all the nuances of working with SIRI and working with Okay Google. I would appreciate that and I would be looking for that kind of skill set because that would be important to me rather than an agency that does everything. I think Bob, you're going back to the big holding companies. I'm going to be looking for an agency that's small and focused and can give me all of the answers, not just a couple of them, or experimenting or dabbling. By the way, when I said that I actually activated my Android phone when I said, "Okay Google." [laughter] So I just put it into maps and search.
I think you just beautifully tied the last topic into this one.
Yeah, yeah. For me what it comes down to is yes, you need to have a voice expertise without doubt. There needs to be some kind of agency in the mix that really does get the voice platform. But from a standpoint of trying to win out on that one search result, it seems like a losing battle. I can't think of any way to win unless you have the ability to spend McDonald's type money. It's like if you're not able to spend McDonald's type money on trying to dominate, or at least have a product that is so unique that nobody can compete against you when it comes to search result, there's no way to win the voice search result battle unless it is something with a screen, like Mike said. And maybe that's a mia culpa on Amazon's part by adding screens just saying in order--
Well, maybe they're reading the data.
maybe they're reading the data. Look, I've had an Alexa for over a year now and nobody in my family is buying products off of it. We do an awful lot with it but we don't buy products. And I know that's anecdotal obviously, but I'd love to see the data of how many people bought one of these voice assistants and now uses it regularly to buy products.
But is it always about buying products? I don't think that that's the only part of a search funnel that matters to people when you're talking about intent. If you're asking about, "Hey, whatever." I'm not going to say your name but you say, "Hey, Echo, I want to find out information about the Ford Mustang." You know, you're not going to buy a Ford Mustang but you're asking for specific information about a car. And that's not atypical for a lot of people who are using voice search. They may not go out of their way to say, "Buy more Tide," but they may ask, "What's a better way to get my clothes clean?"
But in that example, you used the brand, you used the brand name. And that goes back to just making sure the whole ecosystem is working and that your brand is top of mind.
And on top of that when they're searching for specific products, Amazon's sitting on a bunch of data the way Twitter is about how people are-- however they Tweeted back to 10-plus years. And sitting on data is at some point-- they could easily go to Proctor and Gamble and say, "Yeah, we have 51% of your people on Sunday night ask for this blank and blank and blank. We'd like to do a custom program with you." And an ad agency would have been cut out of that loop because that data is valuable to them and not as far as search results go, search results go publicly.
Well, moving on to our final topic of the evening. Facebook just concluded their sixth country test of optimizing user news feeds. We all heard that this was going to happen with more personal content and less news. They were trying to combat the fake news problems. The results? Users hated it and the lack of promoted news actually let to more fake news being spread. Look, Facebook says the results speak for themselves but buddy, does this test seem legitimate? Or more than a bit self-serving. I hate to be skeptical here but this sounds like the results are exactly what Facebook wanted to show us all, that they're not responsible for the spread of fake news.
You know what, I'm going to take a very optimistic view on this, Bob, and I'll tell you why. Because I think that Facebook is trying to figure out how to stay relevant. And not just for us but for regulation. I mean, they're under intense scrutiny, not just in the public opinion but by the government and I think they're trying to be [crosstalk].
They're under intense scrutiny, which doesn't that make you a little bit more skeptical about these results which show that "See? Our news feed didn't spread fake news. It's all your fault, users. You're the one spreading fake news so we don't have to worry about this." It seems incredibly self-serving to come to this result. especially considering the fact that they are under such federal scrutiny right now.
Yeah. but I think of it as a positive self-serving result [laughter]. You don't have to even like they're saying, "Look, you are, as users, responsible for what's on Facebook and you are responsible for this fake news." I mean, they're trying to communicate to us that this is our network. And I hate to say it but Facebook really is our network. And as marketers and advertisers, we invaded it and eventually, they moved us out. Even with paid, it's still tough to get into the stream. So I think what Facebook is doing is getting ahead of this. I think they have to be two or three steps ahead of where the general public is and where the government regulators are. So I think yeah, I think you're right, I think they are testing the waters and coming up with results that we all say, "Well, we're not surprised that you came up with that result." But I think they're also testing the system. If you look, they were testing it in smaller markets and trying to see what happens. I think they are a learning company. It would be foolish for them to be like Flicker, who just passively didn't do anything about their network. Or Slideshare, which is sort of sliding into obscurity. I think they're trying to stay relevant even if they're a bit controversial.
Mike, do you agree with that point? Are you in any way as skeptical as I am or do you also agree that Facebook is doing their damnest to help us out [laughter]?
I'm very skeptical. I mean, I understand the point that Facebook is kind of our network, or at least that's how Facebook wants us to feel about it. But I think as soon as they instituted an algorithm that decides what it's going to show us, I think it's no longer our network. It's their network. They're controlling ultimately what we see and what we don't see. they're controlling their absolutely measuring and designing towards the behaviors they want to achieve out of users by creating addictive little likes and laughs and all of that. I mean, they are managing that platform. It is not a pure user platform where it's just there and whatever we do, we do. So I do think this is, to some extent, an attempt to try to face off regulation but also I feel like this is another-- look, Facebook to me is becoming the CBS of digital platforms. It's like an old people's brand now and it feels like these decisions that they're making are largely being driven by [engineering?] I feel like this is the idea of fake news, and what we're seeing is-- I know it's challenging, but it's not as challenging as I often think the engineers like to make it out to be. I feel like it's a problem that they don't want to see because engineering cultures typically continue to misread culture at large. And I think that's a fundamental problem at Facebook that they continuously ignore and misread the larger culture and where it's going until they get in trouble, and then they kind of-- they come out of their fog and go, "Oh, yeah. Actually, we were involved in all of that. I'm sorry." And try to fix it. So I think this is just a symptom of a larger problem that Facebook has.
Well, it seems like the test itself was flawed right from the beginning because from the beginning the test was we're going to take out all promoted news, and we're just going to leave you guys to talk about yourselves amongst yourselves. And it created this huge vacuum of no news being put out that was legitimate or illegitimate, which of course leads to more fake news stories being spread. I mean that's just human nature. So they really didn't uncover anything new, right Bill? I mean it's just like what they did was uncover the fact that given to our own devices, we're just going to spread fake news. Wonderful. Thank you. But that really does nothing to talk about what the culpability of the social network is in terms of the actual content that they were taking money from individuals who may or may not have the best interest of the united states or any other country where they were located in and created a maelstrom of fake news that yes, we spread. The users spread, but ultimately it had to start somewhere, right?
Yeah. I think Mike brought up a really good point about engineers not reading culture, and I think of Silicon Valley, if it does one thing well, it's creating tools that we all use every day more and more. And if it does one thing badly, it wanted to believe in human nature being good and that there would be some policing that would go on. But most people using Twitter and other social channels would be pretty good, and I think it never figured out how to deal with the dark side of people. And this is what's happening now, so basically let's kill the news if that's the big-- let's make a move, a big bold move, right? That'll stop things. No, people are going to quietly share things. They're going to photoshop whatever GIF they wanted to make it fit their agenda. They're going to reshare links to other websites, so I don't think this solves it by any means. Maybe it's a good first step, but it's maybe it's going too far. But going back to the friends and family thing, if that's what they were, then fine, then kick the brands out, kick media out if that's what you want to do. And Mike also said about, I think, taking money, and that's the thing. It's very hypocritical. They made a lot of money off brands, and now they want to kick them out and same with media sites. So it needs to reconcile, I think, who and what it is, or some other social net's going to come up in its place and figure that out.
Well, with that it's time for the Ad Fail Five, but before we get to that segment of the show, I do want to take this quick opportunity to thank my guests again and allow them to each do a shameless plug starting with Bill Green, the man you just heard. You can find him at adverveblog.com. You can also find him at flurryagency.com, and that's the home of his consultancy where he is doing outstanding work. Tell us what's going on in your world, Bill. What would you like to promote?
Bob, I'm doing bigly, hugely outstanding work--
I'm sure you are.
--not just outstanding work [laughter].
No, I'm just-- it's funny I started a consultancy out here in the desert in Joshua Tree, and people say, "Well, how are you going to make money out in the desert?" And I'm like, "You know what? It's the same recipe anywhere else, you work your ass off, and you work all over." So I've been fortunate enough to work with clients across the country as well as locally, and that's been going really [inaudible] and so busy I can't even put case studies up on the website because I'm too busy doing the damn work. So that's my shameless [plug?].
Fantastic. Yeah. Definitely look up Bill, he's a great content strategist in Creative, you definitely want to work with him if you get a chance. Next up we have Cabell Harris another man you're going to want to work with, you can find him at worklabs.com, that's the home of work, his agency of-- some repute that he's been doing on his own. God, you've been doing that for decades, you just left the old agency--
Man, since the end of '93.
Yeah, I mean it's like, for those of you who don't know Cabell you should really look him up because this man is an ad legend and he's been doing most of it. He left the big agency world and went and did his own thing back in '93 and kind of was a huge, a huge I don't know how to describe it, it was almost a scandal at the time, it was so scandalous that you left the business to go start this, this little shop in Richmond [laughter].
Well, you're too kind. Well, I'm getting ready to do a change again so I'm evolving. I've done [WORK?] advertising, WORK labs and now I'm going to evolve to something called work and friends and at the beginning of the year I decided all I want to do is work on passion projects, I want to create work that I love, with people that I like, at a place I want to be whether that's in my office or on the beach and I want to start promoting some of these collaborations and the people I've come in contact with. And ever since I started having that mindset, I think the work's getting better and more projects are coming in, so its good karma going out there and we want to kind of position ourselves as the critical [stage?] agency where our [health?] clients just get to that next stage that they need to be at. And I think clients can be good friends.
That sounds like a wonderful vision. It's just like-- something I, that I definitely want to see what you're working on, so check it out. Go to worklabs.com I'm sure he will have work friends up eventually [laughter]. Now next up we have Mike Monello, you can find him at campfirenyc.com that's the home of campfire, an agency that is legendary in terms of doing some amazing experiential, transmedia all the fancy words that everybody goes "what?" until you see it and you go "Oooh". So tell us what's going on in your world? what would you like to promote Mike?
Well, I would say keep your eye on the website and maybe hit me up on Twitter @mikemonello.com we've got some big announcements coming up that I'm very, very excited about that's going to set up a very exciting 2018 [laughter].
That sounds mysterious, seems as if we have a lot to talk about going forward. And finally Buddy Scalera, you can find him at buddyscalera.com that's the home of his content marketing and content strategy stuff that he does on the side. He's also involved in the [farm?] industry, but we're not going to talk about that [laughter]. Tell us what's going on in your world Buddy, what would you like to promote?
So, yeah thank you for mentioning the website. I've been hitting the road quite a bit more these days, very active on the speaking circuits. So if people go to buddyscalera.com and check out my speaking tab you'll see where I'll be appearing next hopefully in a city near you. And as you noted I do work in comic books, so by day I'm a pharmaceutical marketer, content [inaudible] just specializing social media and then by night I write for Marvel Comics. So my last conference was at Long Beach Comic Con where I taught classes on writing, drawing, and publishing comic books and next week on Tuesday and Wednesday I'll be pharmaceutical marketing conferences. So sometimes I just have to make sure I keep my deck straight before I get up on stage [laughter].
That could be interesting if you do screw that up.
Yeah.And last but not least for me, you can find more information about me or the show visit thebeancast.com. There you can find a complete show archive, you can find out how to consult with me, and you can find out how to advertise in the program. And yes, you can even get transcription now. Believe it or not, we have transcription finally from a great company called transcribeme.com. And right now they're offering Beancast listeners a tremendous offer of 20% off your standard or verbatim offer. So just use the offer code BEAN20, bean twenty and you're going to get 20% off your first order. So check them out at transcribeme.com. And now its time for the Ad fail five, a rundown of the lowest moments in advertising, marketing, and public relations from the last week. First up, in honor of Black History Month at NYU, Aramark, their cafeteria managers created a menu that included a watermelon flavored beverage, collard greens, cornbread, kool-aid, and barbecued ribs. When confronted with the obvious racial stereotyping [Bill?], managers denied the allegations saying it couldn't have been racist since African American kitchen workers prepared the dishes. I don't know where to begin with this. There's so much wrong with this [laughter]
What could possibly go wrong [laughter]? So we need that chief common sense officer here.
I think so. Now, next up, time to be eyeing the door if you're at WPP-- one second, Campbell I think you need to worry about moving the microphone because I can't hear myself.
Sorry about that.
Time to be eyeing the door if you're at WPP after a 15% stock drop on news of a bad 2017 and a projected bad 2018. Buddy, I don't even know if you want to comment on this having been formerly a WPP employee but-- whats going on there?
You know, as the network grows and evolves, I've always found that-- yeah, I did work in the WPP network and the stock was always a volatile stock. And I think that it's just the business, its the type of business that it is. And I think if you're not prepared for this kind of up and down cycle, investors shouldn't invest in this type of stock. This is not going to be a stable stock. It is a volatile business and I think it just reflects the kind of industry it is. So I'm not surprised in the least.
Next up, on top of Evan Spiegel, the Snap founder getting his massive payday, which we talked about last week on the show, comes news that employees at Snap received no bonuses this year because they didn't meet their target ad sales goal. Mike, way to boost morale. What's going on?
This is why they made the head smack emoji [laughter]. It [sounds?] to me like someone's been spending a little too much time hanging out with Holding company chiefs.
I think so, I think so. Next up, Vanityfair released their first issue under the helm of their new editor. It featured a gorgeous and dramatic image of Jennifer Lawrence except [inaudible] the entire cover, including the typeface, seems to have been copied from a recent Hollywood Reporter cover. It's uncanny. It's not just that the images look the same but the typeface looks the same.
Yeah, and they went quickly to change the typeface is my understanding. It was weird I was looking at some post today and it was like every third post was a Jennifer Lawerence story. The photos, they were similar, the same lighting and everything. The typeface is the thing that really--because it was so unique the type. That when two publications had it just looks very, very similar but they'd get past this.
Yeah, well they better. And finally--
We should give them credit though because they didn't give JLaw a third eye or an extra nose--
That's true, That's the arm or leg like the issue before.
So they're getting better.
Yeah, good point.
And finally, FedEx tried to clarify their stand on NRA member discounts by claiming the discounts were not for the NRA itself though but just for people who happen to be members. You know maybe they need a little help understanding what exactly a membership organization is. Its all about the members. The members are the organization [laughter].
Yeah, well I'll look for Dana Loesch's clarification on that issue on Twitter.
I'm sure you will. Well have something to add to this list or just want to discuss it? Comment online us the hashtag Adfail five, that's #adfail5. Well, that does it for this weeks--
That was fun.
Yeah. Wait I got to finish [laughter] If you'd like to subscribe to this podcast visit our website at thebeancast.com and click on the subscribe link. If you're an iTunes listener, we've also provided a direct link to the iTunes music store or just search for the Bean Cast in the podcast directory of iTunes. Whichever podcast directory you use when you subscribe please leave us a review. Got a comment, have a question, we'd love to hear from you. Just send your emails to email@example.com. Opening theme was performed by Joe [Sybill]. Closing theme by Craig Jacks. Thanks for listening, I'm Bob Knorpp, we'd be back next week. Hope you'll join us then.