Crayon’s Joseph Jaffe gets slapped down by AdAge’s Jonah Bloom

Pick up your popcorn folks and grab a ringside seat … it’s gonna go down! (OK so its only two nerdy writer-types, but whatever…)

Last week three senior staff at Joseph Jaffe’s fledgling company Crayon announced they were leaving. (Steve Coulson, CC Chapman, Gerry Cohen). By my math that’s a third of the company…
crayon staff leave
Jaffe posted a somewhat – let’s say “authorized” version of events on the Crayon blog, along with the usual jargonized piffle that characterizes his prose style. Evidently AdAge’s Jonah Bloom (having entirely ignored Crayon’s launch fiasco last year, as most of us did – if we even noticed) saw this and wrote this article.

Advertising Age Jonah Bloom

I am sure Jonah won’t mind me reprinting it in its entirety in case you don’t want to leave this page(!)

Taken from Adages:

“Posted by Jonah Bloom on 09.10.07 @ 10:10 AM

Joseph Jaffe’s Crayon is up to something. Our best guess is that it’s called cutting your staff in half while making a play for whatever budgets marketers have assigned to word-of-mouth marketing. But why don’t you see if you can do better at deciphering his explanation on

We’d completely filled in the bullshit-bingo card before we got to the end of the second paragraph. Particularly enjoyable were the two references to companies being “living organisms.” (We imagine Ad Age is a Capuchin monkey, BBDO an octopus, etc.)

And then came paragraph three: “To achieve this objective, Crayon will focus its efforts on transforming prolific thought leadership and vision into cutting-edge, differentiated and prescriptive strategic solutions.”

Let us go through this slowly. Somewhere in there are thoughts, and they are leading to something. They are also thoughts that are very productive, hence we can call them prolific. And there’s also vision, although we’re not sure whether that’s prolific too. So we’ve got the ability to see and thoughts that lead stuff and are productive. But we presume it’s not stuff we want, because the new Crayon is, if we’re reading this correctly, promising to change that stuff into something else. Specifically into solutions. But not just any kind of solutions — solutions with sharp or serrated sides . . . . OK, we give up.

If Jaffe has fallen on hard times, he might want to consider applying for one of those big, corporate PR jobs where the key to success is saying and writing nothing, but employing so many unwieldy long sentences and so much repetition and jargon that no one ever guesses. Certainly this effort vaults him straight into the Spinmasters’ Hall of Bullshit.”

Yowch … I am looking forward to Jaffe’s response though…



Filed under adage, advertising, advertisingage, jaffe, josephjaffe, marketing, smackdown

3 responses to “Crayon’s Joseph Jaffe gets slapped down by AdAge’s Jonah Bloom

  1. 5.26am in San Diego and trying to catch up (a little behind as I’ve been at a conference –

    I guess I do need to respond…but for now let me say 2 things:
    1) You got to take what you dish out – that applies for Jonah and myself.
    2) I’m glad I’m part of Jonah’s conversation and that he mentions crayon and BBDO in the same paragraph

    Personally, I thought the post was straight forward. Yes, perhaps a little wordy. It wasn’t a press release at all, but just a frank account of some of the changes.

    If Jonah, doesn’t like the choice of words, that’s fine, let me just say “we’re course correcting” (assuming he’s ok with that on the bullshitometer)

    More later…

  2. You might want to update that icon and ‘X’s… Seni Thomas isn’t with Crayon either.

  3. Pingback: Advertising Age Uses a Yellow crayon » The Buzz Bin

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