Facebook’s pages platform reaches only six percent of a brand’s followers; and it’s headed down to one to two percent.

If businesses want to make sure that people see their content, the best strategy is, and always has been, paid advertising.

The Golden Age of Bullshit by Bob Hoffman citing Time Magazine and a Facebook spokesperson for Time Magazine

One of the greatest threats we face is simply put – bullshit.

We’re drowning in it. We’re drowning in rhetoric that is just true enough not to be a lie.

Bob Hoffman on The Golden Age of Bullshit citing speechwriter John Lovett

One of the great problems of (advertising) is how oblivious we are to our own prejudices and our own illogical behaviors.

We seem to be able to recognize it in everyone but ourselves.

One of the problems with advertising experts is that they have a free pass.

They go around to conferences, they talk to the press, they write stupid blogs, and they make profound and confident statements about the advertising industry.

And no one ever goes back and checks up on them.

We have a responsibility to the truth.

The advertising industry needs it and our clients deserve it.

Lying is different from bullshit.

When you lie, you know what the truth is but you intentionally misrepresent it. In a way bullshit is more insidious because people who bullshit often don’t know what the truth is and don’t care.

They’re out to make a point; they’re out to sell you an idea; and they really don’t care whether what they are saying is true or not.

The theory that people want to engage with brands online and share their enthusiasms with their friends and that their friends will share their enthusiasms with other friends through social media channels has turned out to be an infantile fantasy.

In fact, what social media sites are rapidly becoming is just one more channel for traditional paid advertising.

Here’s what you need to know about social media:

The hundreds of millions of people using social media are interested in interacting with each other.

Not brands, not ads, not you, not me.

In the traditional ad business, we’re always reminding our client that consumer behavior is not rational.

We lecture them on emotion as a factor on buying decisions and brand preferences.

We explain to them that an ad is not a court case in which the best argument wins.

In the US people over 50 control over 70% of the wealth.

They are responsible for almost 50% of consumer spending, they buy 55% of all consumer package goods and 62% of all new cars.

If Americans over 50 were a country by themselves, they would be the third largest economy in the world after the US and China.

And yet they are the target of only 5% of all US advertising.

Email remains a more effective way to acquire customers than social media.

Nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined.

Most brands are realizing that their social media programs are way more time consuming, way more expensive, and way less capable of driving sales than was promised.

The advertising agency business has gotten terribly conglomeratized and consolidated, and I don’t think that’s doing the agency, the employees of the agencies, and the clients of the agencies’ business any favors.

The consumer is in control? Where’s the proof? How do you know?

The data just isn’t there.

An astounding amount of what the experts and what the pundits and geniuses have told us about advertising and marketing and media in the last ten years has turned out to be bologna.

Radical changes in technology was supposed to augur radical changes in consumer behavior.

As far as I can tell they have resulted in small to moderate changes at most.

There are people (in advertising) that believe that consumers are ‘in love’ with brands.

They believe consumers want to have ‘relationships’ with brands.

They want to have ‘personal experiences’ and be ‘personally engaged’ with brands.

There are people (in advertising) that believe that consumers are going on Facebook and Twitter and having conversations with each other about brands.

Bullshit has become such a powerful weapon that it’s hard for us to stop ourselves from using it.

We use it on consumers.
We use it on our clients.
And we are now bullshitting ourselves.

I love independent agencies who break away from an agency and say:

‘I don’t want to do this anymore. I’m smarter than the schmuck in the corner office. I’m going to do it my way.’

Those people, I think, have always been the future of the advertising business.

People don’t believe facts; they believe ‘experts.’

Bob Hoffman on The Golden Age of Bullshit citing Daniel Kahneman, Nobel prize winner

An alarming amount of online interaction is apparently fraudulent.

Only 38% of traffic on the web now is human.

62% is bots, scrapers, hackers, spammers, and other impersonators.

And the amount of fraud being perpetrated on advertisers by online scammers is 54% of display ads paid for by advertisers between May 2012 and February 2013 never appeared in front of a live human being.

The Golden Age of Bullshit by Bob Hoffman citing publications by CNET & The Wall Street Journal