For longer than I care to think about, people in our industry have been talking about "Best Practices." They say things like, "We have to make that a best practice." Presumably, because the practice was so smart and well-thought-out that you want your agency to do it over and again.
My cynicism-colored-glasses see something different. For every good thing that actually becomes a best-practice, there are 24 or 19 that become worst practices. They're usually what we carry from meeting to meeting, day today.
Here's the worst of all, from a once-esteemed agency's now incomprehensible website. (Can someone from that agency explain what this all means. Call me, and reverse the charges. Like in the 80s.)
Here are a few more Worst Practices:
1. Lunch-time meetings with no lunch.
2. Announcing salary freezes and no bonuses because word always gets out that there are salary freezes and bonuses.
3. Naming health insurance continuation after you're fired after the world's deadliest viper: COBRA.
4. Dirty bathrooms.
5. Dialing the client in late for a meeting.
6. Decks over 40-pages.
7. Agency management and holding-company management who have never before worked in an agency.
8. Broken chairs that never get fixed.
9. Forcing people to work weekends and not having the A/C on.
10. "Cool" accounts and the special cool people who work on them.
11. One-and-a-half percent raises every eighteen months.
12. C-level people who have their black-cars waiting outside the office every night. At least walk a block so the hoi-polloi don't see your privilege.
13. Media people who don't share tickets.
14. Tissue sessions that require finished work.
15. Creatives who take 45 minutes in an hour-long meeting to present their work when there are four other teams who have to present.
16. Saying anything is dead.
17. Making grand assertions about human behavior based on observations made only on the L-train or at a dive-bar in Williamsburg.
18. Not knowing who Ed McCabe was, who Cliff Freeman was, who Hal Riney was, who Phyllis Robinson was.
19. Tolerating jargon.
20. Not firing people for saying "no one reads."
21. Lying about numbers.
22. Stand-up scrums.
23. Talking about influencing culture.
24. Having senior executives whose sole concern is chasing awards.
25. Senior executives photo'd in small swimsuits on Instagram for all to see.
26. Agencies that post work that sucks on social media--proving they don't know what good is.
27. People who can't tell the difference between good work and a grueling production. No one cares about the latter. Only the former.
28. People who borrow your chair and don't return it.
29. People who use the word humble and aren't.
30. Rip-offs of things like Between Two Ferns--which are never nearly as good as the original and only serve to highlight your lack of imagination.
31. People who "slack it to you."
32. Referring to directors by first name only. "We're gonna get Lance to shoot this."
33. Creatives who worry about "lensing."
34. Fish in the microwave.
35. Soda companies that think they're saving the world.
36. Phone companies that think they're saving the world.
37. Car companies that think they're saving the world.
38. Ad agencies that think they're saving the world.
39. Those GIFs on repeat where some actor raises an eyebrow.
40. Track changes.
41. More than one-week for revisions.
42. Copywriters who can't spell. And don't try.
43. Swoop-and-poop executives.
44. Six top-priorities.
45. People who say, I've used all my hours, hours before the job is done.
46. Badly-written emails.
47. Survey monkey as legitimate research.
48. Award shows where you're asked to vote for your friends' work.
49. Commercials that start with the client's logo.
50. Emails that start, "The client loved the spot," and then detail a full single-spaced page of comments.
51. That pitch where it was close but you finished second.
52. After doing three-weeks' of work in a week, eking out another blog post.
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