Sunday, July 21, 2019

An apology to my 1.5 million readers after my Annahar op-ed!

So there, today I am apologizing to my 1.5 million readers (and counting), which is the amount of visitors this blog got since its inception in 2007. Yesterday, as some of you may have heard my "opposite the editorial page" (op-ed) was published in Annahar (the English online version), in two hours it stormed up the charts, and became the most read piece on the website. Here's a direct link should you wish to read it. Without being dismissive, and yes, I was humbled that it took the top spot, I wish to apologize to my 1,5 million readers - you guys are the ones who made this an overnight success. And I am sorry that, this one article caused so much feedback and brouhaha, as my phone was ringing off the hook, my social media aflame, and comments popping up everywhere.
Perhaps the article was too scathing or came from a place of disgust or it hit a nerve or reached people who otherwise would not bother reading my blog, no matter the reason, me being as analytical as ever here's a couple of things I learned:
- Traditional media are not dead, specifically the newspapers (see my own article here). But to quote Star Trek "there's life Jim, but not as we know it". Meaning? Well, had my article been in the print edition  no one would have read it. As a matter of fact the whole writing, editing, sharing the article took place without a simple paper print. Annahar still has weight apparently, but online that is.
- I also learned our industry - advertising industry - is full of hypocrites. Here's an example: A heated conversation a few weeks back was quoted in the article, and the same person whom I am criticizing in the article (one of them at least) is the same person who made every visible effort to appreciate the article. Listen up, I can see through you. There's no hiding. You've shown your true colors, and there's no turning back.
- There are still a lot of idiots who got no courage confronting the people who steal them, as I said - you deserve your ads to be stolen.
- The article brought me some closure. No, it did not solve my issues with the industry, but it certainly brought clarity not just in showing me those without balls, the Janus-faced deceitful ones, but also, revealing some who were hiding in the bushes, the ones who usually do not overtly support or encourage assuming I do not need support or encouragement. It was a pleasure to have heard from you, how all of you - not necessarily in the ad business - have identified with this issue and brought out the pom poms for a round of cheering.
- For all the negativity and the tension, and despite all these setbacks listed in the article, advertising was kind to me, it enriched me (not just financially, which thankfully it has!), and it has provided me with all sorts of adventures. And to quote Mad Men - that wonderful piece of poetry about advertising, in the words of Betty Draper Francis (in her final letter to her daughter Sally) "I always worried about you because you march to the beat of your own drum, but now I know that's good. I know your life will be an adventure."
- Buckle up, more adventures are to come!