Bob Hoffman’s Blog, An Example for Ad Agency CEOs?

Bob Hoffman

Bob Hoffman, CEO Hoffman/Lewis advertising in San Francisco and St. Louis and author of The Ad Contrarian blog provides a excellent example of an agency’s blog that has potential as a great tool for new business. 

I was first introduced to Bob through the not so flattering AdAge article above. What the author viewed as a negative I saw as positive, particularly for an opportunity to generate new business for Bob’s agency.

Social media is suppose to be transparent, but Bob is beyond transparent. You either love him or despise him but you certainly wont forget him.

He wont appeal to everyone but to those he does appeal to, it will be a strong a appeal.

If I were a prospective client I would be drawn to Bob as a straight shooter when it comes to the advertising industry. Someone who will cut through all of the BS and tell me like it really is. He’ll speak in a language that I will understand and not agency speak. I would feel he would be a person that I could trust.

All Bob needs to do to turn his blog into a new business lead generation pipeline is focus and write to his agency’s best target audience, not to those of us within the ad industry. We all have a natural tendency to want to work with people that we know, like and trust. The Ad Contrarian gives us a rare personal look at an agency CEO who writes what he thinks and will even emphasize his thoughts with a few expletives.  Okay, maybe lots of expletives. I’m sure that Bob’s partners would want him to tone it down, but from a new business perspective I think Bob’s blog is pure gold.

A sampling of Bob’s posts:


    “In American business, there is nothing stupider than the previous generation of management.”

    “We don’t get them to try our product by convincing them to love our brand. We get them to love our brand by convincing them to try our product.”

    “Brand studies last for months, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and generally have less impact on business than cleaning the drapes.”

    “Marketers always overestimate the attraction of new things and underestimate the power of traditional consumer behavior.”

    “As an advertising medium, the web is like communism. It’s never very good right now, but it’s always going to be great some day.”



      Follow Bob on Twitter




    About Michael Gass

    Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

    Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

    He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


    1. Thanks, Michael.

    2. Mr Hoffmamn’s blog is one of the few remaining things on the internet that I genuinely treasure. It is, as you say, pure gold. More power to his elbow!

    3. two words…
      Safe Search

    4. Have an opinion based on experience and facts–that’s Bob’s example. In the rose-tinted world of ad agency blogging Bob provides a gut-check on our collective obsession with shiny new things.

      As the youngish principal of a digitally focused design studio, I find Bob’s insights on traditional media invaluable.

    5. Ken Ohlemeyer says:

      Had the opportunity to hear Bob speak at a Hoffman-STL event this past summer. What a breathe of fresh air and tremendous insight. Always enjoy reading his blog. If you haven’t read it yet, seek it out.

    6. Bob will keep you grounded. He knows how to cut through all the advertising industry BS better than anyone I know. A real straight shooter.

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