4. Before criticizing, ask yourself three questions: is it true, is it good, is it helpful?

“The fourth pick of the day is for Yvonne Coldewijer and her cancel stick. We must keep them out of our profession.

We live in an age of innovation. Thanks to new digital techniques, more is possible than we think. Major events in society require new solutions. We also live in a time of shrinking media budgets. Brands want more with less money. New possibilities call for new solutions and budget constraints demand experimentation.

Sometimes a new small brand has to take risks to grow its reach during the introduction phase. Sometimes a major societal event forces an established brand to change course and tell a new story. Sometimes it gets out of control. So the experience does not go as well as everyone had imagined before.

In the advertising industry, you can then be sure that there are reviews on a blog, on social networks or in a trade magazine ready to give their opinion immediately. Due to the popularity of juice chains, this just seems unforgiving. An opinion becomes a cancellation stick. And social media becomes an echoing well of voices all agreeing that it shouldn’t have been the case.

Does this benefit innovation in our business? I do not think so. No experience benefits from people who immediately destroy the first provisional result.

Should we never be critical again? Sure. In any case, we should address decency. But let’s be constructive. Not with the aim of the honor and glory of criticism, but the success of experimentation and innovation in our profession. A good tool to use is Socrates’ triple filter. Before criticizing, ask yourself three questions: is it true, is it good, is it useful?

  • Is it true: Do you know how and why it happened. What was the question or problem? Why did this have to happen?
  • Is it good: Is your opinion positive for the brand? A trumpet of praise is also allowed once.
  • Is it useful? Can the brand or agency learn something to improve?

Especially the latter, utility, is often lacking. Usually the notice is a short beating, sometimes accompanied by an open door (“go back to the drawing board”). It doesn’t help.

I give brands big and small air and space to experiment. Sometimes brands don’t have a choice. Due to the zeitgeist, due to a limited budget. I wish our profession an innovative image. It won’t help if we knock before the experience has started.

PS It doesn’t help if we let the echo hum nicely for a whole day and keep repeating what has already been said. Good luck Jumbo! Come back stronger than ever. We are impatient to.’