A few of our esteemed contributors have placed ‘anonymous commenters’ in the villains section of our Year in Review questionnaire, as they did the year before. And it’s fair to say most would agree with those choices. But not all, it seems. We received an interesting ‘Anonymous Message’ from a generic email address with a link to a video featuring a shadowy figure in a Guy Fawkes mask outlining the surprisingly worthy, if rather threatening, intentions of anonymous commenters: to completely eliminate all bad ads from this world.
Given the attitude of ‘the normals’ towards marketing and advertising, it’s fair to say the industry has a few perception issues. Before I started this job, I envisaged being in the eye of the wankery storm in Auckland, surrounded by people who wore shiny shirts, drove ridiculous cars and used business jargon with absolutely no sense of irony. That’s occasionally true, of course, and my Invercargill-based parents are obviously deeply ashamed at what I’ve become, but, in my relatively short time spent writing about the industry, I’ve found it to be, by and large, full of exceptionally smart, talented, creative, hard-working, hard-playing, competitive and often very opinionated businesspeople. For some, the fact that it attracts extroverts is part of the industry’s appeal. For others, however, some these extroverts—and their often anonymous views posted on websites like this—give the industry an air of unprofessionalism. So, as we get set to relaunch StopPress, we thought it was a good time to delve into the thorny issue of online opinions.