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October 17, 2005

Lies Your Ad Agency is Telling You

Have you heard the latest cliche now being parroted by advertising agency types: "Of course, we're media agnostic."

This verbal sleight of hand is used by agencies to get clients and prospects thinking that they truly believe and participate in integrated marketing. The reality is usually far different.

But that's not the only howler that you can hear emanating from the advertising community these days. Herewith, as a community service, is a quick compendium of other lies that ad agencies frequently tell. See how many you have heard before.

"The consumer is in charge today."

What they are really thinking is, "No she isn't. We are! Just like we've always been."

"We're into incentive-based compensation."

Uh huh. What they are really trying to say is, "We only like incentives that pay us more, above our already high rates. Are we going to put 'real' skin in the game? Are you kidding?! I've got to kick up 15% profit to my holding company this quarter."

"For us, it's all about ROI."

Given some of the trite work coming out of agencies these days, ROI must really mean "Running Out of Ideas."

"We build partnerships with our clients."

That sounds great, but aren't partners supposed to listen to each other now and then.

"We don't care about the industry awards shows. What matters most to us is our clients' results."

Of course, the agency creative director is really thinking, "If I could just get a shot at a Cannes Lion, I might be able to get that directors job I really want."

"We're all about building your brand."

The next words out of the media director's mouth usually are, "And a $5 million Super Bowl spot is the best way to do it."

"PR is the most efficient form of marketing you can do."

The agency president is really thinking, "Let those PR types write the press releases. It represents a tiny percentage of the budget anyway."

"Only senior people will work on your business."

What that really means is the agency will bill a lot of senior people's time to your account, whether or not they actually did any work.

Posted by Patrick at October 17, 2005 11:34 PM


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