love/hate with the account side

As a former accountnik, I remember well the feeling of distinct inferiority in the ad agency pecking order that I had whenever one found out my title (or, more likely, could tell my position based on what I was wearing). I imagine that it is the same feeling that I would get if I turned up at Greenwich Yacht Club and sidled up to the bar.

I, of course, didn’t take it lying down but rather decided that it was time to go where the glory was and become a creative.

The phrase “the grass is always greener” never rang so true, though it is undeniable that the traffic ladies and select account-side girls (though clearly not The Pretty AE) looked at me with more interest after I made the move.

At any rate, I have been recently talking to an account-side friend of mine about the vague idea that we have of starting up our own agency. I was giving him a hard time, saying that clearly we couldn’t split it evenly because creative talent is the ad agency product and was this more valuable than his contributions when he laughed and said something very close to this:

Which got me thinking that, somehow, most agencies with names on the door have at least one account-side name and occasionally two and that, perhaps, he was on to something and I had better get my ass in great and show him and his account-side brethren some proper fucking respect.

Then I got into the office and had a brief on my chair with a post-it note on it that said that the account team needed ideas to the client by noon and it all started to wear off…

(image from the blog of budding copywriter James Feess, who does some good work)


7 responses to “love/hate with the account side

  1. “…creative talent is the ad agency product…”

    Um, no. “Creativity” is the ad agency product and the creative department doesn’t have exclusive rights to that. Thanks for playing, though…

  2. Patchchord – you make a good point, but hopefully can understand that banter between friends on different sides of the agency divide result is some good-natured hyperbole.

  3. dearjanesample

    It’s because we control the budgets dailybiz, ha ha.

    Which is why a good agency has good creative and accounts people – you need both. There is nothing worse then two account douchebags trying to be “creative” or two creative douchebags trying to make money while blowing away their budgets on big creative ideas. Of course if they are all douchebags then both will happen regardless.

  4. The majority of the partners that start agencies are made of a creative and an account person. And majority of those creatives are mostly copywriters it seems. Most CDs seem to be copywriters at that. As a designer this is disheartening. Case Study: Bulter, Shine, Stern and Partners. Shine and Butler (co-CDs) are both copywriters and Stern has the account background. Then you can look at an agency like Mother that doesn’t have account people in the traditional sense.

  5. I work with a guy I like to refer to as Nick Naylor. That whole “I’m the client’s ass licker” schtick is a lot funnier on the big screen though.

  6. @ David Burn – Love the Naylor reference, totally agree about the on-screen betterness of ass lickers.

  7. Hyperbole is never, ever, ever, never allowed in advertising. (Ever.)

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