How To Kiss Client Ass

In Say Anything, John Cusack says he doesn’t want to sell, buy, or process anything as a career. What Cusack means is that he doesn’t want to kiss ass.
We kiss ass in advertising. Of course, pretty much anybody who works for a living does. But it’s the kind of ass we kiss that makes ass kissing in advertising so distasteful (and perhaps so ineffectual).
Kissing ass becomes a farce when the participants look so different from each other. I mean, creatives and clients appear to be of entirely different species. We tend to be neo-hippies, art school people, NPR listeners—you know what I’m saying. Many of our clients do math in their heads and make analogies between golf and life. I think some of them always wanted to be businesspeople, even as teenagers (imagine!).
Maybe our fundamental differences are one reason why client/agency relationships in ’05 weren’t so cozy.
Any thoughts on how ass kissing can be executed with a bit more verisimilitude?

About Matt Bergantino


  1. Cuter asses, truer lips (less botoxics).

  2. Aside from Nancy’s excellent comment above, I have found that not focusing on kissing ass, but instead focusing on building real, true friendships with clients, can be far more appealing and last much longer. I highly recommend reading Never Eat Alone, it focuses on being human and not selling out to the bullshit that corrodes so much of our business relationships.