November 11, 2008

The Real Real Story

Anyone who's had the pleasure of dealing with the press knows the game they play.

They call you and ask for a comment. In about 30 seconds you can tell what the angle of the story is going to be and what they want you to say. If your comment doesn't agree with the predetermined assumptions of their story they'll either...
  • Ask another question
  • Keep pumping you until you say something that sounds like it confirms their preconception
  • Not print your comment
Here's an example. The narrative (I hate that fucking word) in the advertising press these days is that traditional media is dead and digital media is king. It doesn't matter how much the facts belie this, they are chained to it.

Some facts:
  • In the recent election, candidates spent over 2 billion dollars on tv and radio ads.
  • They spent less than 18 million on online ads
  • Proportion of spending on traditional media: .992
  • Proportion of spending on digital media: .008
So what was the story in MediaWeek? You guessed it. It was about how lousy the election was for tv spending and how fabulous it was for online spending. This is a quote from the story:
"Overall, this was a disappointing election for TV"...said Kip Cassino, vp of research for Borrell (Associates)...The real story, said Cassino, is online spending...
The real "real story" is online spending all right -- and how there wasn't any.

But don't expect to hear that from the imbeciles of the trade press or the bullshit "vps of research" with axes to grind.

They have a story they want to tell and they're going to tell it whether it's true or not.

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