Saturday, December 15, 2007
Is anyone else tired of adfolks who whine they serve two masters?
This statement is almost exclusively owned by account executives, and usually muttered when evaluating work that they have no inherent right or ability to critique. The suit insisting he serves two masters (the ad agency + the client) is incapable of supporting any one position—it’s the stereotypical cop-out for the indecisive in our ranks.
“I serve two masters” translates to, “I don’t have two testicles.”
These bipolar servants ought to consider a few things.
First, there are consistent historical references that condemn pledging allegiance to multiple bosses. Even the Bible has a certain Messiah proclaiming, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only you shall serve.” (Don’t mean to sound blasphemous, but there may be a connection between The God of All Creation and The Creative Director.) Hell, most societies deem individuals supporting dual sides to be traitorous. The United States of America permits citizens to celebrate the customs of their countries of origin, but ultimately follow the laws of the nation.
Being two-faced is never viewed as a compliment. Plus, Two-Face remains a vile nemesis to the heroic Batman.
From a professional standpoint, adfolks draw their paychecks from the advertising agency, not the client—despite the two-timing servant’s blather that the client is really paying all of us. So your singular commitment should be to the agency collective.
Additionally, predicting the client’s responses is never an ambidextrous feat worth bragging about. Finding ways to sell the work to the client—and persuading them the agency recommendation is right—must be the sole objective.
Account executives who believe they serve two masters should be quickly led to one exit. You’ll rid the agency of a couple of problem employees. Or, kill two birdbrains with one stone.