I can’t tell who’s written it by looking at the online version, but there’s a great column in this week’s Adweek about agency-client relationships, and the basic respect all people deserve, especially when dealing with tough clients:
There was a quote in a recent New York Times ad column detailing a consumer-generated television commercial for a major consumer electronics brand that nailed this issue. When the company’s marketing head was asked about his agency’s lack of involvement in creating the spot, he replied, “We can scare the agency. That’s just fun to do.” You know he had a big smile on his face when he said this. Scary stuff indeed.
Accept this sort of treatment and you might as well toss in your self-respect towel. When clients don’t respect you, you can’t conduct yourself in a way that allows you to respect yourself. Clearly respect has to be earned. If you’ve done more than enough to deserve it and you’re not getting any back, end the relationship. It’s not worth it. There’s absolutely no excuse to have to work with people who compromise your right to self-respect, no matter how large or sexy their account.
I’d say the same principle also applies to working in an agency itself. Life’s too short to work for assholes.
[UPDATE] Just got my hard copy of Adweek. The author is John Colasanti, President and Managing Partner of Carmichael Lynch. Nice one, John.