Most of the people who contribute to this column are entertaining
and, at the very least, show human levels of intelligence. The Punter
that slipped through the net last week was a notable exception.
He/she gave an interesting definition of account handling - ’the ability
to co-ordinate, prioritise, organise, and eventually lead and inspire’.
Spot on. There’s nothing more inspiring for an agency than a great
administrator. Nothing that impresses clients more than work delivered
on time - regardless of whether it will have any impact on their
business. Organisation is everything.
So, from a graduate of a few years ago, here’s what I’ve learnt: great
advertising occurs by accident, as long as the basic paperwork’s in
order. Great campaigns just happen. Clients never argue with a good
idea, because they’re so good at recognising them themselves.
If that’s what last week’s Punter really thinks, he’ll do well. Probably
somewhere like Saatchi & Saatchi Jamaica, where the weather’s too hot
for arguing, and in the end nothing really matters, except surfing and
Meanwhile, back in London circa 1999, the rest of us will realise that
account handling is a little more complex than juggling paper around a
desk and pouring tea. Organisation’s a good start, but I’d like to think
I’ll agree with one thing. We should broaden the criteria for hiring
graduates. I don’t like the gimps who come down from Oxford and
Cambridge with nothing better to do and no passion for the job. They
give us all a bad name. Better to hire a gyppo with an opinion than a
In truth, we should be hiring people with brains. Think of all the
questions we get asked. When your media people are in the pub, the
creatives in Malibu and your boss is test-driving an Aston, some poor
bugger’s got to answer the phone.