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Here is an article by Andrew Keen, just published in AdWeek.Com. For those who have read Andrew’s Cult of the Amateur, it is a familiar lament, bemoaning the imminent demise of yet another industry, crunched under the wheels of web 2.0.
The interesting thing is that, strip the hysteria from this piece and there is probably no-one who would actually disagree with its basic premise – which is that the media is changing and providing less channels you can effectively bolt an ad to, thus reducing the effectiveness of what we currently call advertising. Everyone in advertising knows this, and none of those that I know would share Andrew’s dramatic concern. They just know they have to find new ways apply their creative skills to the development of content which can spread through the new (unpaid for) channels. And most also know that the answer isn’t (as Andrew suggests at the end of his article) to simply try and re-create on-line mass watering holes where advertisers can scoop up the attention of the herd.
Someone needs to tell Andrew that the way to engage people in a useful debate about mediation in social media is not by alerting them to the prospect of the imminent demise of the advertising industry. Some things are more important than an ad man’s lunch ticket – even ad men know that.
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