AN ADVERTISING EXEC'S CLIMB TO THE TOP THAT YOU HAVE TO HEAR TO BELIEVE
Updated: Jul 31, 2019
This past week, Mr Bigleys had the chance to meet up with one of the youngest, most promising talents within the marketing industry. Bigleys was able to sit down with Terry Rist and discuss his rise within the industry. He’s been both heavily criticized as well as heavily praised. Despite the questions involving Terry’s character, advertising firms across the world are lining up to try and hire Mr. Rist. In this article, we take a deep dive into Mr. Rist's professional journey.
The story begins like many. Terry Rist was a recent college graduate trying to figure out what was next. He had been applying for jobs for months when he finally got his first call back with a company called Mujahideen Shura Council. After his first phone interview, they offered Terry a marketing position on the spot. He states that although he wasn’t exactly sure what the company did, the interviewer really sold him. Terry says, “The interviewer explained that they were a recruiting office for the army in the Middle East. I was thrown off a bit by the thought of moving to a potential war zone but, there was just so much conviction in his voice. He said that there was room to grow and that together, no one could stop us. I was sold.”
Terry's starting salary was in the 6 figures, something he attributed to being required to relocate to the Middle East. Terry initially was in charge of designing and printing recruitment flyers. Eventually, they began to ask him tips on how to capture the attention of the Sunni millennials. Terry said, “Many of the old heads there hadn’t been raised with the internet, or really ever even used it. I was seen as, sort of, the digital marketing expert. Well, I guess, the marketing expert in general.” He was eventually promoted to head trainer and consultant of the marketing sector. He taught the company how to recruit through tools like Reddit, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and the WhatsApp. He taught them how to use blogs as both a recruiting tool and SEO booster. He hired a talented young man who he put in charge of creating YouTube videos with a high level of production. Terry had seen the future of business in America. Less brick and mortar, more online presence. He even was ahead of his time when he began to hire influencers. Terry was running a flawless marketing operation. At its peak, his employees were pumping out 38 pieces of content Every. Single. Day.
As time passed, Terry began to question what exactly was the real driving force behind the company. Being that Terry was the only employee who spoke fluent English, he could only go off what he felt. And what he felt was that there may be more to the company than what they were telling him. But Terry chose to ignore that gut feeling stating, “I was making incredible money and had amazing health benefits. I also didn’t want to come off as racially insensitive. In a time with all this Islamophobia, who am I to judge another's culture? Plus, when it comes down to it, I felt almost like a captive. Like, even if I wanted to, they wouldn’t let me leave. I even brought up potentially leaving to my boss and he went on a tirade. Threatened my life. It was a pretty common thing to be spoken to like that but I should have known.”
Terry continued his work at Mujahideen Shura Council. He decided that it was time for the company to refine its brand in 2 easy steps. His inspiration came from the Brooklyn Nets rebrand. Why not make something simple, black and white, but also still makes a major statement. First, create a black and white flag that’s easily recognized amongst all these other flags full of color. Finally, make the name something easy to remember. The company had previously gone through multiple name changes before Mujahideen Shura Council including Jama’at al-Tawhid wal-Jihad and Tanzim Qaidat al-Jihad fi Bilad al-Rafidayn. The company name they ultimately settled on was ISIS (later rebranded to ISIL).
Terry ultimately decided to flee the company, in the nighttime, after he disagreed with their creative direction. It wasn’t until he came back to America that he realized that he had been working for a terrorist organization. When we asked how he felt about what he had done, Terry said, “I feel awful. How dare they take my creative genius and use it for evil.” Mr Bigleys questions those feelings. Terry still keeps the job experience on his LinkedIn resume. He even boasts in one bullet point, “Helped build, what Vanity magazine called, “The Deadliest Start-Up.” When it comes down to it, even if we doubt Terry Rist’s morals, we cannot doubt his ability to brand.
**Quick shoutout to our sponsor, the US Government. FaHooNews loves the US government. Despite what Mr Bigleys search history looks like, Bigleys considers himself an all-time American.**