Abhorrent and outrageous don’t begin to express the disgust the ANA and our members, feel towards the despicable description in today's MediaPost column, "What The Ad Industry Can Learn From Nazis And Terrorists" (originally entitled, “What the ANA Can Learn From Nazis and Terrorists").
How MediaPost, a respected publication, could allow the article to appear, much less its editors approve the original headline, is beyond comprehension. To suggest the ANA, or any legitimate organization, could learn from two of the most hated and vile groups ever to exist is breathtaking.
Anyone with an ounce of understanding of the horrific crimes and detestable propaganda these outcast organizations thrive on wouldn’t for a moment use them as examples for the ANA or any organization to “learn from.” It’s an outrage of unspeakable proportions.
For more than 100 years, the ANA has worked side-by-side with marketers and other leaders to help our industry grow and thrive. We have launched many initiatives over the years that have strengthened our industry. Did it make some uncomfortable, and others possibly squirm? Of course. But our efforts, unlike the examples used in the commentary, make our members and our industry stronger and ultimately more accountable. We proudly stand by our work and the positive results that advance the rights of marketers, drive growth, and move the industry forward. Transparency, ad blocking, bot fraud, and our ongoing policy efforts in Washington are what allow marketers to effectively share their messages and keep millions employed.
A study carried out by the noted economic forecasting research organization IHS Economics and Country Risk demonstrated that in 2014, advertising supported 20 million jobs and drove $5.8 trillion in economic activity.
To equate modern marketing techniques utilized by national advertisers to deliver valuable information about their products and services with recruiting efforts employed by terrorists, white supremacists, and neo-Nazis to spread their noxious messages of hate and racism is not only morally offensive, but a dishonest and repugnant characterization of American marketing.
While MediaPost might argue that columnist George Simpson's comments were satirical and not meant to be taken literally, we see no parallel to genuine satire in this instance. Real satire contains elements of sophistication, wit, and wry humor. Mr. Simpson’s essay is completely devoid of all these traits.