Commentary

New Year, Old Blog (Sort Of)

MediaPost begins the New Year by welcoming back MADblog, if in name only. Speaking of names, we're also welcoming Barbara Lippert back to write it, albeit with a new focus on creativity.

Barbara, of course, is well known as the first critic of advertising creativity, and I was fortunate enough to be present at Adweek when she began penning its weekly critique more than 40 years ago. One of the highlights of my career has been editing her work at MediaPost, especially her weekly reviews of "Mad Men" from 2012 through 2017, which was the original format for MADblog.

When Barbara agreed to write a new blog on her daily observations of advertising creative -- in all its evolving forms -- we wrestled with what to call it, but figured we'd do what great ad people do and lean into the stored brand equity of MADblog.

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And so, effective today, MADblog will lead each day's edition of MediaPost Agency Daily, replacing Mediapsssst,, which will continue to show up in these and other MediaPost pages.

Personally, I'm delighted to be editing Barbara again, and figured I'd use this occasion to share one of my favorite anecdotes involving her, as well as another esteemed former MediaPost media critic, Bob Garfield.

I think it was serendipity that Barbara and Bob ended up writing for MediaPost at the same time, but they actually had very little interaction with each other. While some observers assumed they had some kind of rivalry, I always suspected they actually liked each other.

So 11 years ago, when the two of them were serving as special MediaPost correspondents at the Cannes Lions festival, we tried to stage some kind of point/counterpoint debate with them on the final day.

The folks at Interpublic were gracious enough to lend us the beautiful grounds of a villa they had rented high in the hills overlooking Cannes, and while we were waiting to begin recording our chat, Bob spotted a matronly woman walking the ground near us and mistook her for one of the villa's staff.

"Do you have anything to eat?" an evidently hungover Bob asked her, adding, "I'm famished."

"Oui, mais bien sur," she responded. The next thing I knew a full culinary staff was summoned, and we had an amazing breakfast spread out around us, including fresh baked goods prepared by a top Parisian baker (you can see him walking behind Bob in the photo above).

After a bit more chatter, we learned the woman was not part of the villa's staff, but was actually its owner.

Why am I mentioning this? Aside from being my favorite power breakfast move ever, it's just a setup for the conversation between Barbara and Bob below, which I think is a remarkable time capsule of the trends that were reshaping advertising creativity about a decade ago, and which may seem quaint by our contemporary technologically accelerated reality as we enter 2024.

I can't wait to see how Barbara weighs in on that.

I hope you do, too.

3 comments about "New Year, Old Blog (Sort Of)".
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  1. George Parker from Parker Consultants, January 2, 2024 at 10:26 a.m.

    Great news... Barbara is an oasis of brilliance in the desert that today's ad biz has become.  She is a good mate of meny years standing. I will look forward to reading her every word. Well done MediaPost for a very smart move.
    Cheers. George "AdScam" Parker 

  2. Cynthia Amorese from JAL Enterprises NY, January 2, 2024 at 10:36 a.m.

    Terrific way to start the year!  I always learn from Barbara's insights, take joy in her exceptional writing, and sense the person behind the words. Great decision, MediaPost. 

  3. ├ůsk Dabitch from Adland, January 9, 2024 at 11:40 a.m.

    Great news! Looking forward to reading her takes again!

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