In Praise of Copyranter

Larger images (NSFW and hello, Pigbutt Worm!) here and here.

The ads above, part of a European AIDS prevention campaign, appeared today on my favorite advertising blog under the title “There Are A Lot Of FishDicks In The Sea.

But before I tell you about more about this magical blog, a quick trip down memory lane: before blogging existed, back when I used hide in the school library because no would would sit with me at lunch, I discovered back issues of Consumer Reports and Ms. Magazine – in particular, their Selling It and No Comment back pages, which were eerily similar. Both departments critiqued advertising. Consumer Reports was strictly in the business of calling bullshit; highlighting self-contradiction, spoofing ridiculous copy, and pointing out deceptive images. Meanwhile, Ms. made it their mission to shine the spotlight on the advertising world’s misogyny. At 13, my obsessive love-hate relationship with advertising (currently a.k.a. “my job”) had begun.

All the pleasures I got from those magazines – from the pleasure of mockery to the pleasure of discovering an interesting photo, even if my beloved Ms. was hating on it – I now find at the incredible Copyranter blog. Copyranter is this phenomenally hateful individual, a New York advertising copywriter who’s been working at the same ad agency for the past 16 years.  His bio consists primarily of his exhaustive shitlist: capri pants, advertising, advertising people, PR people, marketing people… the list goes on and on, ending with “men named Jack” and Scrabble. Almost every day, he provides ingenious commentary on a given ad campaign (usually ripping it to shreds) with inimitable elegance and wit. Lots of insight about the advertising industry, our culture, and the creative process here. To show you what I mean, I present some of my favorite posts in categories of interest below:



Freaky Art Direction

Ads for/about The Ladies

Copyranter Likes

I love you, Copyranter. Even if you hate me.

7 Responses to “In Praise of Copyranter”

  1. La Môme Néant Says:

    Such a great find!
    I’d like to put those AIDs adds as a wallpaper, but I’m at work!

  2. Daniel Yokomizo Says:

    The artist responsible for these ads is James Jean (link to his blog post about it:, the same guy behind the beautiful Fables comic book covers.

  3. copyranter Says:

    Jeez, (bows head, kicks at imaginary dirt on ground) thank you!

  4. Camilla Says:

    Damn, I submitted those ads just the night before this entry was put up! Apparently you guys were already on it.

  5. Nadya Says:


    Sorry about that! We only check the email address that submissions go to every few days or so… thank you for making the awesome submission, I apologize I didn’t see it!


  6. Shay Says:

    Wow, what a great site!

    Not nearly as frequently updated, detailed, or pretty, but you might also appreciate COPY Magazine‘s blog.

  7. Bob Says:

    Every creative in advertising loves Copyranter, because we all hate our jobs. Except the 20-year-olds in forced Crispin slavery who actually think they’re doing something new and noble.

    CR is the Larry David of the ad biz.