Ad agencies & clients: The gripes.

So for most of you who know me, you’ll know I’ve been working in the ad industry for a few years now, I think 14 years to be exact if you include my marketing internships in college 😛

I’ve worked both on the agency side as well as the client side…though I should probably say lived and died on both sides…Anyway,  most of my occupational career to-date, has been the agency life.  Over the years, among many different kinds of clients… I have witnessed many different gripes from both sides.

But I guess it would only be fair that I put these up from an agency perspective since that’s the life I lead now.  Of course If I jumped back to the client side, this list would 180…I’m easily amused that way.  See anything I missed?  Let me know or feel free to comment!

When reviewing the TV storyboards…
“Don’t like the way this character looks in Frame #5 can you redraw him to look more local?”
…Uhh, it’s a storyboard….everything is FPO, but if you want to spend the money to have something redrawn that no one else will see other than you…okay.

On a hot ad due today…
“Hey sorry this ad is super hot it’s due today can we see a layout as soon as possible?  Sorry, we had the job a few days ago but we were just debating whether or not we wanted to buy the media.”
…Maybe you should have at least given us a heads up when you knew about it? Just sayin’

Changes in the online session…
“We didn’t think about it until now but we’d like to go ahead and change this or can we make a :15 spot instead of the :30 or what about….”
…Hey newsflash, that’s why you were at the shoot, that’s why there was an offline session, that’s why…..

On getting a production estimate…
“We want everything in there, oh this would be cool, how about this?  Let’s just throw in a song by Pearl Jam too, how much would that cost us?  Oh what about getting Justin Timberlake in the spot too?  Then all the in-branch stuff can have Justin on them too.  Get us an estimate please…”
…1 week, 72 man hours and 32 phone calls later, after expecting the estimate 1 day later…”Wow that’s a lot I think we’ll need to pass but good to know for future reference.”

Timelines…
“I’m opening the job up for the ad today.  Can we see a layout sometime tomorrow or the day after?  The ad isn’t actually due for a couple weeks but we have to route it through everyone on our end.”
…How about giving us at least that one week if the ad’s not due for a couple of weeks?

On too much white space…
“Hmm this ad seems a bit too simple maybe we can add a few more selling points in the blank area?”

Ad sizes…
“We want to buy a quarter page ad, but can you fit this half page of copy in the ad? I’m sure you’ll make it look good. Oh and please add a photo as well and make sure the ad doesn’t look too busy.”
…the copy won’t fit in the ad, please trim it…
“How about not but just make the logo a tad smaller. Oh wait not the logo how about the picture?”
…that won’t work…
[one sentence comes off] “How about now?”
…that still won’t work as you can see the copy on half a page is larger than the ad itself…
“Can you just take the copy then and rewrite it to fit the ad?”
😡

The day before the ad runs…
“I’ve been informed that our facts have changed, can we call up the publication and either pull the ad or have them correct it?”
…I could call up the publication and get an answer for you, but let me just save both of us some time and tell you they’ll say no.

On pictures…
“Why do I need to pay for stock photos or hire a photographer? I can just use my digital camera and give you a few photos.”
…Do you want the technical answer? Would you even understand it?

When a client opens a job up and sends you a layout in Microsoft Word…
“Can you recreate exactly how this ad looks for us?”
…Here’s an idea, why don’t you just submit the ad that you did yourself?

On concepting using scripts or key frames…
“Mmm these are good but I can’t visualize it, can you do some rough layouts?”
…All of them?? Of course there’s no complaints about the production cost when the invoice is sent out…. 😉

The day before the shoot…
“I’ve been thinking can we tweak the concept? Maybe add another person and a horse?  That won’t affect the shoot right?”
…Uhh…

PhotoShop…
“PhotoShop can do anything right, can’t you just take this picture and change day to night and replace his head with hers and turn the rain into flower petals while adding 3 inches to him…?”
…Ya sure…

When not happy with images in layouts…
“I found and pulled these photos from the web, can we use them for our website?
…Of course this is always a common occurrence with the same answer each time…

When reviewing their website…
“This is cool but how can we get more ‘bells & whistles’ while staying within budget?”
…Trust us, if the budget were bigger you would’ve got a lot more “bells & whistles.”

Miscommunication?
[meeting ends as] “…okay well….hmm let us huddle on our end and get back to you on the messages we need to communicate.” [a week passes] “So hey did you guys concept those layouts based on our meeting last week?”
…If we had the messages, sure we could have done that.

Social Media Marketing…
“This is so much cheaper than some of our traditional media, I think we should start heading in this direction” to be followed by “How come no one is [Like]ing us on Facebook or following us on Twitter?”
…It’s probably because you’re posting 1 thing every 5 minutes or 5 things every 1 minute.

On anything…
“How about you put an image of ______ here and maybe put the copy above it?  Let’s enlarge this and see if you can move this down a tad while maintaining the balance of the ad…or how about a cowboy hat on top of the logo?  Oh and while you’re at it, make the logo bigger by about 20%”
…Everyone’s an art and creative director I guess.

Haha, anyway hope you had fun with this.  And to all of you on the client side out there, remember don’t take it the wrong way, you are the reason why we exist and there’s a gripe list you can make about us! I’ll leave you all with “Missing Missy”

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One response to this post.

  1. […] sides have a love/hate relationship with each other and their “behind closed doors” gripes on one another.  However, being that I have been fortunate to work on both sides of the fence, I […]

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