So production departments are culpable for the state of the
agency/client relationship. I refer to the recent Punter (Campaign, 29
October) in which an account handler - probably a very junior one -
tried to explain why, after ripping off clients, the tables have now
turned and they are now being ripped off by newspaper repro houses.
It was stated that ’production managers had to start working for a
change’ because the agency could no longer mark production costs up by
45 per cent. So is this person implying account handling and the rest of
the agency, including the board directors, were not aware production
costs were being marked up? Is ’production’ really the villain of the
Surely, if account handling is doing its job, the client wouldn’t be
getting ’ripped off’. In my experience, clients are reasonable people
and, if information is communicated to them, they are willing to pay for
the services they use. It appears agencies and account handlers
undermine production, which makes it difficult for clients to appreciate
the value of a good production person. I emphasise ’good’ as, just as
you do in account handling, you do get the odd bad apple.
It has also been my experience that it’s not production departments that
decide to mark up production costs, but account handling, often without
the knowledge or authorisation of production.
Clients deserve to be treated with respect: in-fighting and witch-hunts
are of no use to anyone - least of all our clients.