Friday, July 31, 2009

Having beers with the holding companies.

As a creative guy or more accurately a creative guy who is these days regarded as highly paid, I thought it made sense to get together over beers with the head of an advertising agency holding company and a senior account guy and figure out how to iron-out our difficulties.

I decided to have a Brooklyn Lager, partly an homage to a creative guy, Milton Glaser, who designed the logo, partly because it's a micro-brew without the pretense and partly because I happen to like it.

The account guy stammered for a minute, assured me that he'd charge it all on his card, and then looked around to see what beer others were ordering.

The holding company guy eschewed beer and ordered a $600 1996 Mouton Rothschild (Pauillac) and billed it to the agency.

I started the proceedings, once again, hoping to smooth our differences.

CREATIVE: I don't think you all give creative the respect it deserves.
ACCOUNT: Creative ideas can come from anywhere.
HOLDING CO: Is this billable?
CREATIVE: I've always felt that agencies make a product--that product is a creative idea that helps a client's business.
ACCOUNT: Well, the new model is a paradigm of convergence in the modalities of media shift to Twitter.
HOLDING CO: I couldn't agree more.
CREATIVE: It seems we have more people running around preparing decks for meetings than we have actually thinking of ideas for the client.
ACCOUNT: We have four FTEs in creative on our biggest account and once you've exceeded your hours we have to pull the plug.
HOLDING CO: Listen, I have a plane to catch.

With that the holding company guy and the account guy pushed back their chairs and left.

I was stuck with the check.


Teenie said...

Ah, billable hours. I still haven't figured out how to cram 4 new concepts by next Tuesday into 10 hours.

Who started the trend that creative could be boxed into hours? Or developed using a mathematical formula? 'd like to meet them in a dark alley...

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