The first Cog Blog appeared on July 2, 2013, which means today is our six-month anniversary! To mark the occasion I thought I would share some of the things that have caught my eye during this time as a novice blogger.

1. Sponsored tweets generally mysteriously appear third on my inbox. Maybe it’s like choosing wine: not top (too expensive?), not second (too cheap?) but third. They can’t fool me; I report the lot as spam and block them. I also block the Twitter Ad account and report it as spam. I wondered if by doing so I would rip the time space continuum but so far so good.

2. Sponsoring the “report and block” facility on Twitter would be a good way of reaching the discerning consumer. Twitter is missing a trick here I feel.

3. Facebook’s ad algorithms seem to get no better. I’m still offered a selection of things, none of which I could possibly need or want (although the thoroughbred gelding was tempting).

4. LinkedIn endorsements are if anything even more annoying than Facebook ads (if being complimented can ever be annoying). And equally useless.

5. The fact that so many UK retailers now run John Lewis-style long-form, emotionally-driven TV Christmas ads makes them all less impactful. Meantime, John Lewis itself appears to have turned into Disney.

6. The Google Chairman Eric Schmidt’s pronouncement of the death of commercial TV on May 1, 2013 was a perfect manifestation of the inward-looking, self-obsessed nature of so much of the online media world. Plus he was wrong. Obviously.

7. Also wrong were those people who kept on relating the time consumers spend with a medium with the amount of ad dollars spent on it. If this relationship were true, outdoor would be the largest advertising medium on the planet. I’m just amazed that analysts and commentators don’t pay more attention to those who know what they’re talking about.

8. The AdContrarian is a brilliant blog. I want to be Bob Hoffman when I grow up.

9. The topic that has generated the most heat (and the largest audience on the Cog Blog page) is the future of market research. Fearlessly, I plough on despite the threats to my cohorts.

10. If you want to maximise the audience to your blog include a celebrity in the title. Or the words “Royal Baby.” Or (strange though it may seem) ensure the words “Market Research” and “Future” appear somewhere.

11. According to Google Analytics Kenneth Williams no longer counts as a celebrity. Although Jack Myers, who reposts the Cog Blog in the USA says this was his favorite of my posts.

12. The coveted Cog Blog award for the best of the media agency tweeters goes to Paul Frampton (@paul_framp) of Havas. Most of the others just shamelessly promote their agencies which is just not very interesting for the rest of us. Or (we suspect) for those working in the agencies doing the self-promoting.

13. Using social media forms to praise your staff is naff beyond words. Why not write them a personal note? Or send chocolates? Or money? Any of these will work better, I promise you.

14. If a media form is lagging, try renaming it. “Contextual messaging” is not interesting. “Native advertising,” now you’re talking.

I hope you’ve enjoyed at least some of the last six months’ posts. Thanks to all those who have taken the trouble to comment, email, like, retweet or republish. It’s great to receive feedback – even the negative stuff!

Brian Jacobs spent over 35 years in advertising, media and research agencies including spells at Leo Burnett (UK, EMEA, International Media Director), Carat International (Managing Director), Universal McCann (EMEA Director) and Millward Brown (EVP, Global Media). He has worked in the UK, EMEA and globally out of the USA. His experience covers shifts from full-service ad agencies to media agencies; from traditional single-commercial-channel TV to multi-faceted digital channels; and from media planning to multi-disciplinary communication planning. Brian can be reached at

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