Dressing Down A Former Client In The Trades

I want to sympathize with the agency mentioned below, and support them for tossing a bad client. But it’s bad form to vent when you’re on a call with a reporter (although it makes for good journalism).

Adweek: Citing “creative and strategic differences,” independent G&M Plumbing and quick-serve restaurant chain Del Taco have parted ways, the agency said.
G&M in Manhattan Beach, Calif., has handled the Del Taco creative account since 2000, according to agency principal and co-creative director Glenn Miller.
Miller explained that following “changes in Del Taco’s marketing department”—most notably, the late October addition of former Hardee’s vice president of marketing Sharon Fogg—”we have been less proud of what we were allowed to do.”
“What we do is our brand,” he said. “We have to make sure we’re doing our best work, putting our best foot forward.”
The Lake Forest. Calif., client, which operates or franchises 445 restaurants in North America, spent about $10 million on advertising in 2004, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Dr. Hans Akkerman says:

    i wouldn’t call that venting. he is simply explaining his side of the story.

  2. Miller’s side of the story is, “The client is a hack.”
    When your agency is a household name and you have more business than you can possibly handle, such pronouncements are less damaging to one’s future prospects.
    Understand, I admire Miller for walking away from $10 mil in billings over creative differences. It’s something many of us dream we could and would do, faced with like circumstances. All I’m saying is one has to be in a position of strength to do so, or be willing and ready to face the consequences.

  3. When I was at Pagano Schenck & Kay, Woody fired a few clients. And believe me, the place wasn’t big enough to be in “a position of strength.” It was pure intregrity. Of course, Woody is now the CD at Arnold in DC. Still, I love the guy for what he stands for.

  4. Pure integrity. That’s sounds delicious!