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Sunday, February 25, 2007

Oxymoron: Job Security in the Ad Industry

How fickle indeed...just wanted to comment on an article from Ad Age. Career Builder has announced that they have begun an agency review-- for the simple fact that the Superbowl ad created by Cramer-Krasselt did not make USA Today's "top ten" ads of the game. BECAUSE OF ONE POLL.

Years of brand building efforts ignored: the fact that during the agency's tenure, Career Builder surpassed rival Monster.com in total listings and online traffic...none of it mattered but this one poll. A poll that means nothing in the grand scheme, other than fueling the ego's of the clients who appear on it. Sure it's flattering and is good PR, but to call a review because your agency didn't get you on it? A little extreme?

I was happy to see that, in addition to resigning the account and refusing to defend, CK's President Peter Krivkovich spoke his mind in an internal memo:

"To our amazement, to our total astonishment, all that astounding business success was less important than one poll," reads part of Mr. Krivkovich's memo. "C-Kers, we have to tell you -- in our entire history, hell in the history of this crazy thing called advertising, I'm not sure there has ever been any thing as baseless or as unbelievable as that. It's so ludicrous and they are so serious about that poll it's almost funny."

"They wanted us to make them famous; we did that in spades (brand awareness up by 64% -- even Millward Brown, the venerable research firm, said their brand-building model couldn't explain such incredible growth). But the TV ads did not make the top 10 in the USA Today poll -- a poll that everyone knows doesn't mirror results (see the continuing Bud sales decline for one!) -- they just told us they will do a creative review."

"'Wait a minute,' we said, 'what about the incredible growth that is going on, the shares, the revenue, the awareness, the two best internet sites ever, the massive buzz, etc, etc.? What about all of that? That's huge.'

"'Yes,' they responded, 'but you [C-K] didn't get the top 10 in the USA Today poll.' 'Hold on ... we crushed every possible business metrics/barometer for success. Out of all the metrics and polls, it's all about this one? You have to be F'ing kidding, right!?'"

"'No, that's it. It's because of the poll.' That was about the extent of the conversation."

4 comments:

Tom said...

kind of makes you wonder what the actual measures are for something like this: http://adage.com/article?article_id=115171

Charles Frith said...

If the advertising industry had any backbone it wouldn't touch this account. It's a fact that as an industry we've shafted each other senseless in pursuit of winning a new piece of business and explains why so many clients bully their agencies.

Shame on those agecies who will trip over themselves to get on the pitch list.

avin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
avin said...

Great point charles...makes me proud of the agency i work for, such as when we won Dominos but Pat denied to accept when their republican fanatic chairman asked him to resign the Childrens Defense Fund account.

Always happy to see when agency Heads of State stand up and do what's right...