On Client vs Agency

Image via here

Image via

In the advertising and marketing world there’s always an underlying tension between ‘client’ and ‘agency.’ There are jokes like ‘You crossed over to the dark side‘ (can you guess which they are referring to?) or “Are you crazy?!”

I’ve been both client and agency, the latter of which is my current industry.

Now a lot of agency people (from media to advertising) look at me with disbelief when I tell them that I left one of the top multinational companies in the world and a marketing position that “a million [people] would die for”, as Meryl Streep in The Devil Wear’s Prada would say. What I would get in return, they pointed out to me, would be an unhealthy mix of long hours with crazy deadlines, difficult clients, and mundane last-minute changes.

How is that different from what I experienced as a client?

Excuse the language but often it’s the same shit, different company. When you remove the job titles…

Everyone has to project manage.

Everyone has stakeholders.

Everyone has deadlines.

Everyone has long hours.

Bureaucracy exists everywhere.

Maybe I’m over simplifying, but my principle is to always keep it simple. Whether client or agency, the key factor for success and happiness in the work place is finding the culture for you, with people on the same wave length and management that you respect, doing work that you’re okay to put in long hours for, and of course having fun at the same time.

In the last 2 months, my kind-of-workd-hard-play-hard culture looked something like this:

The girls during an epic night out.

The girls during an epic night out.

One of many inspiring town halls

One of many inspiring town halls

Pimping out the new office bar "The Fix" every Friday night.

Pimping out the new office bar “The Fix” every Friday night.

Friday night Fix

Friday night Fix

We're gladiators in suits.

We’re gladiators in suits.

Happy hour is every hour with a great team.

Happy hour is every hour with a great team.

Epic night out.

Epic night out.

Partying with the clients!

Partying with the clients!

The best digital team ever

The best digital team ever

Have you ever tried to photocopy your own face?

Have you ever tried to photocopy your own face?

Agency essentials: laptop, bottle of wine, coffee, water.

Agency essentials: laptop, bottle of wine, coffee, water.

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