I don't believe you. There is simply no precedent for a person who, having made quite a success in the media industry, then loses all confidence as the result of a single trade press feature. It is one of the wonders of the media industry that its workers are so unsinkably sure of themselves. On the long-established Ron Miller Index, which as I'm sure you know sets out to measure timidity and self-doubt among media persons, no-one has yet made the needle flicker.
You're piqued, that's all. You're used to being mentioned all the time and this time you weren't. So you write in and complain. Well, if you want to be more than quite a success, you must learn from the masters.
Absolutely everything that happens to them is further evidence of their pre-eminence. Why was their name omitted? The spectacularly successful media person doesn't hesitate: envy. An omission as blatant as this speaks for itself. Look at all the pygmies whose opinions have been sought and spot the two big missing names: me and Murdoch. Don't tell me that's just coincidence.
The stupid thing is, you were nearly there. Your name, you bleat, was conspicuous by its absence. Exactly: conspicuous. It wasn't just you who noticed: the whole of the rest of the media world was astonished by this extraordinary oversight and spoke of little else for weeks.
Pull yourself together: what greater confirmation of your status could you possibly hope for?
I was hired to my current job because of my affiliation to a small but creatively prestigious account, which followed me to the new agency. However, the account has been dormant, save a small ambient campaign, for two years, and I'm running out of ideas to kick-start it, and games for my computer.
Shall I leave now, or wait to be humiliatingly kicked out?
So you believe that these are the only choices open to you? In other words, you're resigned to the fact that your only value to your current agency is the account in your pocket? I can tell that you're not a media person. (See above.)
Stop mooning over your laptop and engage the brain. How did you first attract this small but creatively prestigious account? Try to remember; and if you can't, make it up. Put yourself in the shoes of all those clients out there with small but potentially prestigious accounts who find themselves lost inside agencies dominated by multinational blockbusters; then, generalising shamelessly from your one particular experience, write a thoughtful article on why small but creatively prestigious accounts must be handled totally differently from multinational blockbusters.
Send out reprints to a carefully selected list of candidate clients and wait for the phone to ring. And when they come in to see you, remember to behave like the expert you will soon become.
TV inflation is ruining my life. I can't persuade any of my clients to use the medium and this is seriously jeopardising my chances of regularly getting invited to see any jollies in the forthcoming season. How should I go about keeping in with TV sales directors?
What is it with everybody this week? Is this what a recession does to people? Has nobody got any confidence?
In the current media climate, it's the TV sales directors who should be fretting about how to keep in with you.
All you need to do is tell them that your clients need a little more information before returning to this unique medium and might find a preview or two persuasive. However, you recognise the inherent risk so suggest that you should preview the previews yourself ...
- Jeremy Bullmore is a former chairman of J. Walter Thompson and a director of WPP. He also writes a monthly column for Management Today. A compilation of his business advice, Another Bad Day at the Office?, is published by Penguin, priced £5.99. Address your problems to him at campaign@ haynet.com or Campaign, 174 Hammersmith Rd, London W6 7JP.