Bevan Hurley

Bevan Hurley is the Herald on Sunday chief reporter.

Adman stands by Twitter rant

Alcohol blamed for rage against advertising industry.

Anthony Gardiner. Photo / Greg Bowker
Anthony Gardiner. Photo / Greg Bowker

A high-flying adman who claimed the industry was "full of whores" in a drunken Twitter tirade after falling out with his employers says he stands by his outbursts.

Anthony Gardiner went from unblocking toilets in a Nepalese orphanage to driving an Audi and living in a swanky Herne Bay apartment after six lucrative years' working in advertising in Auckland.

This week Gardiner, 33 - a former OMD social media strategist - tweeted his former colleagues in advertising were out to trick consumers to "buy more shit you don't need".

"I've spent six years trying to convince Ad land they should have your interests at heart. They don't. At all," he tweeted.

"To summarise, no one in advertising cares about anything other than how to take your money."

Gardiner admitted he was drunk and emotional, and said it came after receiving bad news from his former employer.

"I was in a pretty unhappy state when it happened. As per the best Twitter meltdowns, [there was a] fair bit of alcohol flowing in the system."

He said he regretted one comment about a former colleague, but stood by the rest of his statements.

"I got into advertising to cut the bullshit out. And then one day I looked in the mirror and realised I was contributing to the bullshit rather than removing the bullshit."

He said the comments were in line with a "drunk, rogueish" Twitter style and were aimed at the industry in general. "I am an emotional guy who wears my heart on my sleeve."

Before moving into advertising, Gardiner had worked in a variety of jobs from banks to chicken factories. He also volunteered overseas where, among other things, he unblocked toilets in an orphanage.

"I've got a tree tattooed on my arm, which was drawn by street kids from my time overseas volunteering. That was before my time in advertising."

He was also one of the first full-time social media strategists in the country, for the New Zealand Defence Force.

Gardiner said he never wanted to work in advertising again. "Having spent six years inside the industry, I want nothing more to do with it."

His former employer was reluctant to speak about the tirade. OMD managing partner Andrew Reinholds said: "Anthony's comments are obviously his opinions and they're quite clearly not the views of OMD."

Gardiner is setting up a business and wants to educate consumers about how advertising seeps into public consciousness.

- Herald on Sunday

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