The Week: Best of the blogs - Suit/client relationships

One of the problems with account people is that their entire mental universes are constructed upon the whims of their clients.

Q. How many account people does it take to change a lightbulb?

A. How many would you like?

Now I'd like to ask a question: the kind that should be asked of procurement people, but never is. Let's accept for the sake of argument that agencies are often inefficient. In a simple ratio, please write below what proportion of this waste you believe to be the product of an agency's internal mismanagement compared with the waste that results from inefficiencies in the client approval process. Here is a second question. If a friend of yours who drives a Hummer complains about the cost of petrol, what do you say?

- Rory Sutherland,

Presumably, account people are put in that position because advertising is currently a buyer's market. My agency pisses me off - no worries, I'll go next door and they'll do an equally good job and at a lower price. I can't imagine any account person goes into the business hoping to kowtow to every client demand, but the nature of the industry is such that clients hold all the bargaining power. Maybe creatives should attend more budget-planning meetings and discussions with procurement.

- Tom Gilbert

Q: How many ECDs does it take to change a lightbulb?

A: Nobody knows. They don't last as long as lightbulbs.

- John Goodman.


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