DIARY: I’m only a punter but...

‘We want famous advertising!’

‘We want famous advertising!’

‘We want to achieve standout!’

‘I want the best creative team in the agency working on this!’

Oh yeah?

How many times have the suits heard this one? How many times has a

client come to you with a brief that he swears is what he really wants

and then, when the creative execution matches the brief and the agency,

after weeks of ball-breaking endeavour, has delivered excellent work,

says: ‘That’s not what we want at all. The advertising will be famous,

not the brand.’

Oh yeah?

Agencies and clients alike can spend ages wanking about with strategy

meetings, presentations, brainstorms, briefing documents, forms that

everyone and their granny signs, interim stabs in the dark and other

jollity. All too frequently, the results are rejected by the client,

leading to frustration and anger within the agency and sanctimonious

narkiness in client contacts.

All this talk of partnerships, relationships, synergy and the rest is

total crap.

When crunch time comes - when a marketing director feels his avoirdupois

frying in the pan, when bottom-line savings need to be made, when

squitty brand managers want to flex their under-developed muscles, when

sales or throughput are down and everyone from the chief executive to

the chief loo attendant is doing impersonations of pheasants under fire

- it’s the agencies that get kicked. And kicked. And booted again, just

for the power surge.

No-one who works in an agency environment wants to do bad work. No-one

works in an agency seriously and deliberately cocks up bigtime. No-one

who works in an agency wants a life of screaming clients, stressed-out

colleagues and night sweats.

But we’re suppliers. We’re somewhere at the bottom of the eco-system,

swishing about with the plankton, and our clients - our customers - know

this. They understand and use the completely unequal balance of power

and squeeze the lifeblood from us. Yes, there might be a few decent ones

out there, but they are overshadowed by their counterparts, the ones

that make our days a Nurofen nightmare and our nights an alcohol or

drug-induced blur.

Want to rant? Please send your 400 words (no less) to the Diary Editor,

Campaign, 174 Hammersmith Road, London W6 7JP


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