2012 Terry O’Malley Lecture: “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Advertising”

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2012 Terry O’Malley Lecture: “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Advertising”

Published on March 06 2012

Globe and Mail business journalist Simon Houpt shares his perspective on the advertising industry at Brock University’s annual Terry O’Malley Lecture

It’s a riddle of our time. In one survey after another, people say they hate advertising.

But their behaviour says something else. People pass along ads to their friends. They “Like” ads on Facebook. They rush to take part in ad-making contests for their favourite brands.

Like those consumers, and as the advertising and marketing writer for Canada’s national newspaper The Globe and Mail for the past two and a half years, Simon Houpt has a complicated relationship with the ads that surround us.

Houpt’s Persuasion column, which appeared every Friday in The Globe’s Report on Business section, became one of the most influential commentaries within the Canadian advertising community. He moved from advertising to the related media beat in January and is now senior media writer with The Globe.

Houpt will share his unique perspective on the ad world at the annual Terry O’Malley Lecture on Marketing and Advertising on Wednesday, March 7 at 7:30 p.m. in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre.

This year marks the 11th anniversary of the annual lecture series that honours advertising legend Terry O’Malley, a St. Catharines native and one of the most highly acclaimed creative talents in modern Canadian advertising.

O’Malley is the former creative director and partner in the Toronto-based ad agency Vickers and Benson Advertising. In more than 30 years at V&B, O’Malley helped build the agency into one of the leading brands in the Canadian advertising industry. O’Malley’s creative contributions spanned a wide spectrum of businesses and public service categories, from McDonald’s to Carling Red Cap Ale. He was also a key strategist on the federal Liberal Party’s Red Leaf Communications team that helped win electoral victories for former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.

Houpt began his career with The Globe and Mail in 1999 as the paper’s New York arts correspondent, covering the cultural life of that city through Canadian eyes. After 10 years on the beat, including six as a weekly columnist, Houpt returned to The Globe’s Toronto newsroom in the summer of 2009 to join the Report on Business as its advertising and marketing reporter. In January 2012, he was named the paper’s first senior media writer, charged with covering the industry’s historical transformation. Prior to The Globe, Houpt worked on the CBC-TV new media current affairs show Undercurrents. He is the author of Museum of the Missing: A History of Art Theft.

The Terry O’Malley Lecture is hosted by the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film.