why am i anonymous?

Agency Spy, the source for all the best industry-related gossip (unless it pertains to VML which, in that case and for whatever reason, the gossip occurs here), has a post today that asks why ad industry bloggers like yours truly don’t reveal our identity.

The question came from a post on Marketing Conversation that considers industry bloggers and theorizes on why so many of us remain anonymous:

“The thing that is most telling is that many of the traditional types that blog won’t reveal their true identity. They create certain personas in order to be able to write freely. I get the impression that they’re itching to tell it like it is, but don’t want to deal with all the blowback.”

Agency Spy, ever the journalistic questioner, goes right to the source and asks:

HighJive, Tangerine Toad, Agency Tart, Daily Ad Biz, Where’s My Jetpack, AdBroad, Tribble, et al. What do you think about that statement and MC’s whole theory? Why are you anonymous?

To answer the question forces me to admit that the primary reason that I chose anonymity was to hide my identity from The Pretty AE so she wouldn’t hear of my crush on her. Though eventually she did, it took a few months of posting about it on this blog before I got up the courage.

Also, as my name isn’t Bernbach, Barrie or Bogusky, the anonymity doesn’t hurt. In some ways it may even help. I don’t get judged on that ad you saw in PRINT and didn’t like but rather on the commentary or position that I am expounding on at the moment.

Finally, I am a little concerned about blowback. I know that some people are probably laughing at the concern that a blogger like me might show for that; after all, who even reads these blogs? You do, for one. And you could be a potential client, employer, co-worker or award show judge. I would probably tell you what I think to your face, but I don’t even know you yet. And anyway, it’s not personal. But some people might take it that way.

I am also willing to have a drink with consistent commenters or my blogger friends, but I like keeping my identity to myself. Anonymity helps me feel comfortable being honest in my opinion without having to worry about angling for possible future advantage.

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6 responses to “why am i anonymous?

  1. Thanks for tipping me to Spy’s post, daily biz, where I answered this question more thoroughly. Basically, i see no advantage to outing myself. Beyond, say, meeting up sometime with blogger buddies for lunch. No one at my agency knows. I suspect my employer wouldn’t fancy running the risk of seeing agency underwear flapping in the blogosphere.

  2. Being anonymous gives you more freedom in your writing, and THAT attracts more readers. And I think no matter how much we enjoy blogging for its own sake, it is the readers to truly drive us to be better.
    Man, if I think of the watered down shit I would be writing under my own name …. ugh.

  3. I’m the guy from MarketingConversaton who got the whole conversation started here.

    First of all, you’re sorta reminding me of Charlie Brown when he had a crush on the little red-haired girl.

    In all honesty, I love the fact that I have no idea who most of you are. But there’s a certain sadness to it. People in the related profession of online marketing/social media have no problem revealing themselves. Or what they’re doing. Technology bloggers have no problem with as well.

    It seems that in advertising, like in politics, trashing others is considered to be sport. And for a supposed push-the-envelope industry, sticking one’s neck out individually seems to invite derision. Lest anyone show independent thought? I don’t know.

    I remember a couple of years ago when Agency.com (I think it was them) put together a video in their pitch for the Subway account. I didn’t think it was a bad idea. But boy did they get shit on. And not just in jest. Some of it was mean spirited. Turned me off a bit.

    Either way, I’ll now be reading your blog more often.

  4. advertising is a small, bitchy industry. so anonymity makes complete sense from that pov.

    plus anonymity allows one to comment without being self-conscious of one’s “brand”. in a way advertising turns you into a professional critic. your opinion is all you’ve got really.

    and that agency.com video was atrocious btw. they looked like complete plonkers.

    advertising people on film, generally a bad idea.

  5. Pingback: bob garfield’s temper tantrum « the daily (ad) biz

  6. Pingback: an unlikely reader of the daily (ad) biz « the daily (ad) biz

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