Agency trying to restore marketing sanity


“StopTheAdness” is a project from Baltimore-based Carton Donofrio Partners that starts with the premise that advertising has reached a saturation point and is therefore broken, and aims to bring consumers and advertisers together in an effort to bring back some level of effectiveness.

“Advertising simply isn’t working as well as it could because the social contract — the implicit agreement advertisers and consumers have established to support a productive exchange — has been violated,” said Carton Donofrio’s David Smith “The average person’s exposed to over 5,000 ads per day. Advertising professionals are now the second least trusted professionals in the world after politicians.”

“ is a place where we (the industry and consumers) can articulate our likes and dislikes about advertising to learn what we can collectively do to improve it,” added Smith. “Marketing needs to be more effective for consumers, thereby making it more effective for brands. Ultimately we’re hoping to collaboratively create a new social contract for advertising.”

Consumers are being invited to go to to inform advertisers about their wishes and provide feedback.

CDP’s sister company Context-Based Research Group has been working with the Associated Press in a related study on the relationship between news and advertising.

The website will have a number of features of interest, including:

* A Pledge, which asks advertisers, agencies and the media to commit to change their behavior

* What’s on Your Mind, which opens the dialogue with consumers and the industry

* A Wall of Fame, which praises those who are doing it right

* A Wall of Shame, which exposes those who offend and irritate consumers