It’s an unwritten rule of our business that we keep a lid on bad experiences we have with our clients. One, to protect our client’s reputation and two, to protect our own.
Ad agencies can be painted with a very black brush indeed if they can’t be trusted to keep their mouths shut. There’s lot of confidential information flying around within agency walls and it needs to stay there.
But sometimes you have to open up just a little bit to let the little letters …wtf….sneak out.
Clients that don’t pay.
We’ve had several. They engage you in a massive job, praise the work upon completion, use it…then disappear after the invoices go out. No amount of surprise tactics can bring these truculent school children around. I’ve recently discovered that calling from the Copeland phone is a bad tactic: caller ID. They never answer. So I call from my cell first thing in the morning:
“Hi! It’s Doug from Copeland. Sorry to catch you so early but I wanted to talk about the $15,0000 you owe us from 2009 before we drop the lawsuit this afternoon! How’s your day going?”
Their predictable tactic? Trash the work we did. Ugh.
Clients that don’t respond.
We recently did a naming job for a small business. They told me they were “not impressed” with the first dozen names. So back to the writing pad, come up with some new ones, due diligence etc and voila, another list of neat names. Not impressed. Ok. We will nail this! Back for a third go around bringing some help in from the creative department. Third set goes to the client. They never even replied. Ever.
OK, you don’t like the work. It sometimes happen. Tell us. Tell us you think we’re a useless, hopeless company with no brains. Tell us your 6-year old son came up with better names. But just tell us. We’re already swallowing all those hours and working for free. Have the courtesy.
Can’t wait to see one of our names outside the store.
Clients that lord it over the agency.
You may be a terrific person. Please show it when working with us. We’re a pretty neat group of people. We like each other and we generally LOVE our clients. We are not beneath you in life’s station. We’re working hard for you.
Your private master/slave fantasies are no doubt engrossing. Please leave them outside our working relationship. Thank you.
I wanted to close this by acknowledging some of the truly fantastic clients we get the good chance to work with. And we have many.
Len Wansbrough, Artisan Park
Andrea Timlick, BC Ferries