Adscam; Advertising for Skeptics; Badmen
by Bob Hoffman

February 2, 2023
T. Alex Blum
Adscam; Advertising for Skeptics; Badmen
by Bob Hoffman

The author of these books, as well as several others, has been described as:

“One of the truly great marketing iconoclasts” Mark Ritson

“The most provocative man in advertising” Fuel Lines

And it was said of him by Mediapost, “If you don’t know who Bob Hoffman is, then you really don’t work in advertising”

Last Sunday, in his newsletter, Bob Hoffman announced that he was winding down his weekly column because, in his words, “the pressure to find interesting “ad things” to write about every week is no longer attractive”.

For years now, Bob has been writing and lecturing all over the world on the dangers of ad tracking, the pernicious influence of the Facebook / Alphabet duopoly, the usurping of consumers privacy rights under the guise of “providing consumers with more relevant advertising”, the dangers these issues pose to our democracy, and issues related to ad tech and advertising in general. His caustic skewering of Zuckerberg, Musk, and other guiding lights of the “technology solves everything” movement has been refreshing for many, entertaining for almost everyone, and intensely irritating for the few, especially those who profit from the abuse of our privacy rights.

He is regularly invited to speak by regulatory and government bodies, like the British and the European Parliament, as well as private organizations and corporations large and small, and his commentaries have appeared in publications too numerous to list.

If have not been a follower of his blog, The Ad Contrarian, you have been missing something. My recommendation is that you catch up by reading one of his books, frankly, any one of his books. They are like refreshments, quick and entertaining reads stuffed with interesting facts and commentary, that can be consumed in an hour or so.

For some, he is a lone voice crying out in the wilderness, for others a breath of fresh air, or the harbinger of doom, and for still others, that annoying guy who won’t shut up.

For me, in a business as replete with puffery and foolishness as advertising, the contrarian voice is a necessity. Read him. You may not like having cold water splashed in your face, but try it, you may find it helps you wake up.

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