I have been a paying member since- I’m pretty sure- day one. There was a period when being a premium member meant you didn’t need to see ads before getting the content you were after. Then that changed and paying members were forced to see ads- at that point, mostly from other surf companies. I wrote you a letter back then about this, but nothing was changed, and obviously, I’ve just accepted it and moved on. When I went on this evening though, the first thing that caught my attention (much to your and your paying advertisers pleasure I’m sure) was an ad not for something relatively benign as a boardshort company, or beer, or something hyping up a football game (who are these people???). What I did see was an ad, just below my home cam- the first place I look on the site- for Glock handguns.
This is wholly despicable. Where in surf culture- even what is now considered surf culture, which every day resembles more and more something closer to jock culture (not coincidentally rhyming with Glock)- is there a place for this utter lack of taste, decency, and value of human life?? Tell me how it’s possible that I’ve never seen a single ad for any weapon, on any website, until now- on a website for SURFERS??? How greedy you must be to allow such imbecilic garbage to play on a loop on your homepage- or any page. Or, maybe it’s part of a larger story- a reflection of who surfers actually are now. That’s for an entirely different letter, to an entirely different entity than Surfline- preferably one with even a slightly higher intellect than the majority of your editors (a daily scan of the captions of your photo features will showcase some of the worst usage of the English language). I’m sure shame is the last thing you feel while you sit in your oceanfront McMansion in Seal Beach, but it’s the first thing you should feel for taking money from a company whose sole purpose and generation of profits is the act of killing. I dare you to donate all of the profits of the sale of that ad to the Newtown Memorial Fund, or the Aurora Victim Relief Fund, or one of the multitude of organizations pushing for stronger gun control. I dare you. In the meantime, that $70 a year that I pay to thread my way through such drivel as surfers moronic Instagram photos in order to see what kind of swell might be heading my way? That money will be going straight to a charity with the intention of banning any ads like that, anywhere. Furthermore, I am forwarding this letter to every user of Surfline I know (to use one of your favorite appropriated Aussie terms, HEAPS), and will encourage them to do the same, and ask that they too cancel their membership and/or stop using Surfline.
The clients are in a different space today. They don’t want to take risks. They want to see the advertising campaign before it is shot. It’s not like 10 years ago. That’s finished. You have to bring the clients so many references. So everyone’s work is referenced. There is not one picture that is new, let me tell you this. And the clients don’t want a new picture.
When you go into a meeting and people put millions of dollars on the table, they want to know what they’re getting. The lighting, the color of the carpeting. The one who wins is the one who executes those boards to perfection.-Fabien Baron, one of the most successful art directors, with clients that include Calvin Klein, Dior and Chloé summing up the state of affairs in fashion advertising today. (via)