How the Endless Appetite For “Content” Is Ruining News Sources Like Ad Age.

yoda-yoloSo I open an email from Ad Age and click on a headline that reads: “Hey B-to-B Marketers: Lighten Up with the Business-Speak.”

As a professional marketer, I was naturally interested to see what Ad Age had to say. And then I read an “editorial” from Anelia Varela warning B2B marketers to get hip or get left behind. I penned a comment, but was unable to post it, so I would like to share it here:

Anelia, thank you for your “article” about nothing. Seinfeld and NBC would be impressed. As you indicate in your own verse (that’s what Apple calls it now), language evolves; so why are you pressuring readers to change “or get left behind.”? That sounds like a bit of a threat. B2B is evolving and will continue to evolve at its own pace, and very few will get left behind. Some will arrive early and some will be right on time and some will be a little late. Your editorial does little to encourage any B2B marketer to advance his or her organizational or even personal goals. It just babbles about the “same old same old” (that’s old school hip talk, which according to your standards should be in the dictionary).

I don’t know Anelia and I have nothing against her. But this is the kind of “content” we could all do without. Tell me how “professionalism” is a bad thing or how “informal” language is a good thing and I will listen.  Connect the dots between the use of relaxed language and an increase in engagement and sales and I am sold.

But don’t tell us about “old school v. new school” and don’t try to scare us into being more natural. I do agree that marketing jargon and expressions and idioms are a huge problem, but how are you any less guilty when you talk about “content marketing and storytelling point of view and conversations?”

Anyway, my intent here is not so much to pick on Anelia as to chide Ad Age and a thousand other “news and information sources” for publishing just about anything that looks, sounds or smells like it could have journalistic value. Regardless of whether or not it actually does.


Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.