I suppose American Airlines' decision to start charging for carrying your luggage got me thinking about it. People probably wouldn't be so upset about annoying charges like that if, in return, they received service. For instance, if I knew my bags would be on the carousel within fifteen minutes of touch-down, I'd be fine with a petty fee. It's only when you pay for service you don't get that you become outraged.
Leaping logic, Sandy! My mind went from that to the notion that emerges every now and again, that of a consumers' Bill of Rights. And that got me thinking about this: What if your agency offered its clients a Bill of Rights? Mine would go something like this:
The advertiser's Bill of Rights.
1. You have the right to be spared the expense and time in having us attend endless meetings with people who can only say no. You have the right to have us present only to top decision-makers and take direction, in person, only from them.
2. You have the right to hear the word "no." No is harder to say than yes and more important. It is not necessarily what you want to hear. But it's often what you need to hear. In other words, and perhaps more precisely, we will be unfailingly, unflinchingly honest with you.
3. You have the right to disavow anything cheap. Cheap brands do cheap work. You are not a cheap brand, we will spare you from the temptation of cheap by simply refusing to comply.
4. You have the right to innovation. We will assiduously avoid all that has been done before, either by us or our competitors. The done-before is likely dull and derivative. You have the right to be spared that.
5. You have the right to be big. Small is a waste of time and money. It fails to gain attention or have an impact. We will spare you small.
6. You have the right to emotion. People respond with their heart not just their head. You have the right to work that will make people feel something.
7. You have the right to top talent. We will find the best people in the industry. These people are often expensive, surly and difficult but they produce the work you need. You have the right not to be spared the difficult.
8. You have the right to make a decision. Over-think is the enemy of breakthrough. We will spare you the temptation to spend hours combing over copy, rough-cuts and retouching. You get three looks of 24-hours each. Then we "take the paper away."
9. You have the right to never do your own creative. If we ever hear you utter, "I guess I'm just a frustrated copywriter/art-director" we will remind you to put your pencil down.
10. You have the right to appeal to your consumers. We will remind you that we don't care what your wife's sister's gardener thinks, or your board, or your Indonesian interns. You have the right to work that is for consumers, not conference rooms.
I'm sure there's more. But that's enough for now.