The controversy over what role (if any) ad bloggers played in ad exec Paul Tilley's suicide is rising up the ranks pretty fast. Earlier today Nina Disesa, the chairman of the New York flagship office of huge ad agency McCann Erickson, left a comment on the Agency Spy blog that calls bloggers hateful failures, and their commenters "losers." This prompted AdScam's George Parker, an actual ad industry guy who takes a backseat to no one in cussing out said industry, to scoff at her, and add that "I happen to think the vast majority of the work that comes out of McCann is shit." The most incredible aspects of this controversy are, 1. The fact that nobody knows why Tilley committed suicide has not prevented a major agency executive from speculating on the cause, and 2. A major agency executive could be so tone-deaf when it comes to the blogosphere. The whole thing is getting nastier by the minute, without any real new information. Disesa's full angry comment is copied below.
Nina DiSesa Says: February 25, 2008 at 2:06 pm
Paul Tilley worked for me for three years at JWT Chicago, from 1991 through 1994, then I left for New York. Even then we could see that this young man was destined for big things in this business. He was not only a wonderful writer and creative thinker, he was fun to be around and had a generosity of spirit that made us all happy to be in the same agency. And he was just a kid at that time.
These hateful advertising blogs seem to be written by people who are bitter about the business. Perhaps they tried to make it in this tough industry and failed and now all they can do is make derogatory comments about the people who are smart enough and brave enough to work at the top of this challenging business. It's so easy to criticize creative people because what we do is so arbitrary and subject to almost anyone's opinion, but only a few have the guts and the brains to be creative directors. It's a lonely job and the people who keep insulting creative directors on this blog should spend their time trying to be better at their own jobs. I notice that no one uses their real name. Mine is Nina DiSesa, I am still in the business and working every day as the chairman of McCann Erickson's New York office. And I don't care if everyone takes a potshot at me. People who write and contribute to these ugly blogs are losers. Their comments don't bother me in the least.