Copyranter Brings His Rants, Middle Fingers To BuzzFeed
All about me. Also, about the "Mad Men"-like agency I worked at 20+ years ago.
Mark Duffy here, stepping out from behind the curtain.
I’ve been a New York City copywriter for more than 20 years, and I’ve been blogging and ranting about advertising as “Copyranter” since 2005.
Starting today, I’ll be writing and ranting here at BuzzFeed, as myself. I’m “geeked”, as you fucking insufferable young’uns say.
This isn’t my first venture into journalism. I actually started, post college, as a sports reporter and music reviewer, in the dark ages before computers took over newsrooms. More recently, I had a bitchin’ ad column — “Lies Well Disguised” — on Gawker for a year. The New York Times, Slate, Mediaite, The Guardian, and the Queen of England have all praised Copyranter.
But I’ve spent the bulk of my career in the trenches of the ad industry. Indeed, the first ad agency I worked at was a creative shop (40 people) that wasn’t too far off from Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce. If anything, it was sleazier and druggier than anything you’ll see on AMC.
Some of the memories that stick with me from that era:
—Our top account executive was sleeping with a creative director, a copywriter (not me), an account supervisor, and, I believe, the married CEO of the firm, all at the same time. She later became president of the agency.
—After 5pm, said CEO would walk around the office rambling about “big ideas” while smoking a fat joint laced with cocaine and who knows what else. (He’s been dead for five years). Often accompanying him on the tours was his best friend, a boxer/mob hitman with hair plugs, who casually told us about his kills.
—Our New Business guy, not the sharpest X-Acto knife in the drawer, got us in a lot of doors. He then died of a cocaine overdose in the CEO’s pied-à-terre fuckpad.
We went from being an Ad Age hottest new creative agency to dead and bankrupt within three years. But oh, the parties.
I then found stability with a small New York City agency where I have been for the past 19 years. I live in “da Heights” of Upper Manhattan with my beautiful wife, play drums, play full contact hockey (not that pussy shit Tim Robbins plays at Chelsea Piers), and play poker.
I’ll be keeping my copywriting chops active with some freelance work, which I don’t anticipate writing about here. (If I ever do, I will disclose it fully.)
And don’t worry, most of my posts are going to be much shorter than this; ad writing teaches you to get right to the fucking point.
So welcome to Copyranter’s BuzzFeed page. I look forward to sharing with you and getting your feedback. Let’s have some mad fun.