Bob Garfield

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at dennyhatch.com.

This was a banner week for marketers and their ad agencies crying HELP! The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal ran long stories about the inability of Web advertisers to determine whether their ads were effective or not. I have spent 45 years in the world of direct marketing, a discipline that is able to measure results down to a gnat’s eyebrow—whether it be mail, space. TV, radio, telephone or the Web. Our feedback comes directly from those to whom we advertise. Yet the world of general agencies has somehow conned the dumb little yuppie MBA corporate brand managers into believing that it’s okay

With few exceptions, I despise Super Bowl ads. The only things that irritate me more than the ads themselves are the blathering bloviations of columnists and commentators who give their opinions the morning after on which ads were good and which were bad. They are all dead wrong. They haven’t a clue what they are talking about. Not one of them. Let’s start with five very basic rules of advertising: Rule #1: “Your job is to sell, not entertain.” —Jack Maxson, freelancer, creator of the Brookstone catalog Rule

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