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Adobe stands against bullying. Are bullied on twitter for it.

Adobe, the creators of creatives favorite tools have sponsored Behance's Bully Project Mural, a social action campaign inspired by the award-winning film BULLY. Ironically, this is now getting them bullied on twitter.

Adobe, who brought us GSP's "woo woo" which practically spoofed ello before it even existed, and who are rapidly becoming the suits' favorite tool too with the marketing clouds apps available, are no strangers to the rapid waves of the internet and technology, but this may have caught them by surprise. All it took was this tweet stating "we are not an advertiser with Gawker," for hordes of people to charge them in response.

Yes, they've stumbled into #Gamergate, the mess I warned y'all about in insulting consumers shrinks the market over a month ago, and that I compared to the moral panic that killed my comic career in the 90s just last week. You see, Gawker writers are cracking bullying jokes on twitter, and being dismissive/offensive to feminist authors, and people are taking notice. So much so, that Mercedes pulled their ads last week which they confirmed, and then told Washington Post that they reinstated them this week. Meanwhile Gawker Internal Memos asks writers to stop joking around on twitter, and Max Reid told Agency Spy that Mercedes wasn't an advertiser at all. How confusing! Either way, it's damned if you do, and damned if you don't at this point, and it doesn't matter what your statement reads - take it from Intel - the feeding frenzy on twitter will interpret it any way they want. My advice is don't do what Raspberry Pi did, when they entered the piranha-pool for no apparent reason. Instead, make sure you know what to reply once the flurry of activity reaches your brand. Do what that guy in the holding cell of "Mean Streets" (below) does. Now, you better check, is your logo being used by Gawker media? We know Jaguar worked with Gawker for last years super bowl and the image (below) shows all brands that Gawker had on their advertising partner page just a few days ago.

Adobe - Mean Streets variant (Edit Wed Oct 22 16:00 added embed of Adobes tweet at start of article)

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Megafire's picture

This has gone so far beyond insane I'm not even sure what planet we're on.

GamerGate's detractors are acting more and more like the entitled brats they accuse GamerGate of being and are turning the entire industry toxic to advertisers.

Now, I don't work in advertising myself, but it seems incredibly unlikely they will be able to bully adobe into reinstating an advertisement campaign that never existed. Which they are trying because adobe took a stance against bullying.

Could anyone here give me a likelihood of this 'PR tactic' succeeding?

Audie's picture

Correction: The Mercedes "reinstating" ads claim is sketchy. Should be replaced with Washington Post CLAIMING. The author posted an entirely different claim from Mercedes on her twitter and her history with ethical journalism is pretty sketchy.

Dabitch's picture

FYI: I've phoned Mercedes PR representatives most of the day trying to bring some clarity to this Washington Post information, but have not gotten an official statement from anyone on it. I find it very odd that Mercedes told me one thing, and Washington Post something else just days later, and hope at least that much is clear in my text.

Sparticus's picture

I checked her Twitter.. All I could find was a link to her article. But because of the way she has been cosying up to Anti-GG. I don't really trust her. It would be a big story if it was a lie!

Sean's picture

Honestly, the whole gamergate scandal gets stranger everyday. All the reasonable talk tends to get drowned out by whiny brats and false flags. Overall, if you're a company I recommend staying out of all the drama and don't listen to people trying to force a viewpoint on you. If you get dragged into it, remember that Gamergates main complaint is about game journalist corruption and so don't just get their take and be done with it.

Investigate yourself with an open mind but a skeptical eye. Both sides will share they're reasonable arguements if you sift past the idiots.

Also: I love how on a site about ads, the captcha is an ad. Hehehe.

Anon's picture

GamerGate complaints about ethics, but they've been going after advertising partners of sites who specifically insulted their audience. The angry emails to Mercedes, BMW, and Intel were less about "this writer has shady connections to their sources" and more "the sites you advertise with openly called your target demographic a bunch of whining, misogynistic babies."

In the case of Gawker in particular, though, one of their senior writers made a tweet that openly stated "Bring back bullying" in the middle of National Stop Bullying Month, and that writer's editor insulted those who complained and refused to walk that comment back. The complaints that Gawker sponsors have been getting in this last week aren't even GamerGate-related, they're the natural outcome of somebody going full troll in public, getting called out, and Gawker management refusing to attempt any sort of damage control..

imoldgregg's picture

I support adobe, anti-gamergaters have been very publicly bullying their detractors both on twitter and through gawker, even the ceo has joined in. They have labelled all gamers as white neckbeard losers who deserve to be bullied and killed. This goes far beyond just insulting gamergaters they have now insulted their entire audience. The whole misgyny schtick is a distraction to discredit their detractors, they want ppl to think gamergate is a bunch of white guys who hate women, in fact gamergate has a diversity of people and there are plenty of women and feminists who stand with gamergate. This was never a revolt against women in gaming; women are most welcome, corruption is not welcome not matter who perpetrates it. This issue is only a big deal because gawker tried to cover up the corruption and silence their detractors. Gawker is going the way of the dodo.

Raven R's picture

Here's the issue:
If you say "sorry, GamerGate, not gonna budge", you get a group 140k strong to ditch your company but they won't likely smear the company (from a few who HAVE done so, it was a simple "well, then we can't do business, which saddens me" reply, this has been seen and is verifiable).

If you say "Sorry, anti-GamerGate, gonna budge", you get a group in contrast 14k strong to ditch your company... and your company gets called really nasty things and WILL be smeared, as we have seen and is verifiable.

The 14k probably have the spending power of the 140k, though. From demographics, the 14k tends to be well-off, white, male (just look at xoxo convention data) upper-middle-class to upper-class folk. The 140k tends to be of all skin tones, more gender-equal, but with the wider reach, also has less average income, the poor and the oppressed tend to be in this group.

So taking sides means two groups of, while vastly different sizes, have similar spending power, and so you're losing a chunk of market. Unless you're Intel, because the anti-s probably don't realize you NEED to buy Intel if you're an Apple fanboy, only gamers really care if its Intel or AMD in their boxes. I'd say they were wise in their choice. Mercedes less so, since the spoiled rich white kid demographic are much more likely to buy one than the lower-class black working stiff demographic. They probably, from a business perspective, should have took the 140k potential customer hit, and said "yeah, we're pro-bullying, we side with the Anti-s.".

So yeah. It's a complex issue. It's funny to say "hah hah, Adobe is anti-bullying.", but... would being pro-bullying actually help them here? They aren't #gamerfruit level, they're 700 dollar software level. But a lot of the entitled rich kids use Apple nowadays, which pre-buys the Adobe contracts, so they're not at risk of losing THOSE sales...

Thinking of whether or not a company should endorse bullies and hatred, on a financial level, is mind-boggling in that sometimes it might be profitable, that there is debate to be had. But it is an interesting side view I wouldn't have thought on were it not for the article, so thanks for that.

Mark's picture

"My name is Literally Wu."

O.M.F.G. that non-woman is such a narcissist. Seriously, has no one observed how deviant that person really is? LOOK AT ME! LOOK AT ME! I AM LITERALLY WU!

Tom's picture

Ad land.tv= epic fail. Adobe and Intel clearly caved to gamerhate. intel even realized it's stupidity, apologized for overreacting, but still didn't reestablish their partnership with Gawker. The "offensive" tweet was so clearly ironic that it boggles the mind how brain dead the ad people at these companies are. Gamer gate boys need to stop being afraid of women!!!

kidsleepy's picture

Translation: When Gawker is offensive it's okay because Gawker. Right.

Dabitch's picture

Hey Tom. Not sure where you're getting the idea that you should spell Adland in any other way than we do here, but I guess it's consistent with how you are reading what you want instead of the words that are there.

Intel is clearly promoting their anti-bullying project done together with Behance, as they state in their tweet. They also reply to a question about bullying, stating that they have asked Gawker to remove their logo as they don't have a partnership with them. Using someone elses trademark or logo in that manner is false advertising and breaks the law in every ad jurisdiction I've ever worked in, it's unprofessional, and frankly that you don't find this deception the bigger sin here is a little disturbing. It's like padding a resumé with outright lies when seeking work.

Advertisers seek partnerships with companies that reflect their own standards & appeal to their consumers. Adobe would for example do quite well partnering with Behance as they do, Adweek, or even with us, but partnering with Gawker can be detrimental to how their brand is perceived since it's essentially a gossip-network. It's Adobe choice where they place their ads and who they partner with, and not Gawkers. Gawker was caught "padding" their partnership page with other peoples logos. Now that Adobe are getting a lot of shit flung at them across the internet, simply for asking Gawker to stop lying about their non-existent partnership, Adobe has a good case to take to court.