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A Blog Post

Client-Agency Relationship: More than just Trust

The big news that everyone has been talking about is the amazing Oldspicecampaign done by Wieden+Kennedy. I am not going to go into detail about the campaign, if you are not familiar do a Google search and you can get caught up. Specifically what interested me was the interviews done after the campaign with members of the Oldspice team.

A number of  team members talked about that since they had to turnaround these response videos so quickly, they were not able to get sign-off by the client P&G for the content of each video. They had established some guidelines ahead of time and the client “trusted” the W+K Oldspice team.

I agree that trust between an agency and their client is absolutely critical. It is something that takes time and the right people and chemistry on both sides of the fence. I think there is something else that is just as crucial for a campaign and a relationship to be successful.

On the agency and client side, a point of contact is needed that is senior enough to provide the necessary feedback and sign off, PLUS have the confidence and may I say guts to take responsibility for the campaign. I would be willing to bet that there is a VP/Marketing Director/Creative Director on the P&G and W+K sides who are now basking in the glory of their successful Oldspice campaign.  But if the campaign went bad or underperformed, these same people would of been placed under a microscope by their superiors. Very simply put, good or bad, the buck stopped with them.

My impression is in today’s economy everyone is scared about losing their job resulting in a lack of real accountability. It feels like on both sides of the client/agency fence, we are doing just enough to cover our own butts and we are unwilling to take a chance and put it on the line. I am glad to see that there are teams out there on the agency and client sides that are not afraid and serve as examples for the rest of us.  I am ready, willing and able to put my butt on the line.  If there is a potential client out that is willing to do the same, let’s talk.

My congrats to the W+K and P&G teams for a job very well done

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