Cotton Candy @ The Amusement Park –
When our CEO said, “Our clients don’t know the difference between an A quality production and a C quality production” I sat shocked, disappointed, embarrassed and betrayed by such a pompous and disrespectful perspective towards our clients.
We were a small but well respected creative shop, working hard to make sure we took advantage of every new assignment with the attitude of over delivering on all of our clients’ expectations. Each year our client list grew, so did our billings and the agency was earning the respect of our creative community.
This was an exact quote that came out of a meeting I was having with the CEO and a freelance broadcast producer, as we were presenting the production estimates for the next round of spots for a new brand campaign, when the CEO asked us to cut deeper into the vendor’s profit margin so he could improve the agency’s profit margin.
As the agency’s creative leader I was responsible for all aspects of our creative product from creative strategy through production to fiscal accountability, so I had a great deal of understanding and respect for the agency’s profit margin.
But the reality was, we had sold our client a campaign that required an A quality production and we were as low as we could go to deliver on that promise.
We battled for hours in that room, on that day over the fiscal ethics and creative responsibilities and reminded him that he was tossing the agency’s reputation and possibly the client relationship away over this.
It didn’t faze him one bit, greed had set in and now he was only interested in how much profit he could make on each and every project. He was becoming more arrogant and greedier with every client we added to our roster.
So when he said, “our clients don’t know the difference between an A quality production and a C quality production” he was being dead serious, the freelance producer was appalled and I was just to damn embarrassed to be associated with such a poser.
I eventually left with my integrity in hand while leaving my CEO to live with his greedy conscience.
Clients deserve better.