Agency Ad Says Agencies Are Sweatshops

sweatshop_agency.jpg

As a goof, a new business strategy and a statement that isn't far from the truth, Maryland-based ad agency MGH placed an ad this week in the Wall Street Journal with the headline, "Sweatshop conditions at America's advertising/PR agencies must end." The ad claims agency personnel are overworked due to decades old practices of cutting overhead and under staffing, that it's an unseen practice and that it negatively effects clients. All true. However, the ad neglects to mention clients no longer value most agencies as the true business partner they once were and refuse to pay them what they're worth, sloughing them off and just another vendor which can be financially bled dry while the client reaps the rewards and profits the agency created for them. Of course, an ad that spoke that truth wouldn't gain much new business.

To be fair, most agencies are not adapting to clients' needs and have refused to step outside the mold that's been in place for a hundred years. So it's no surprise clients have devalued agencies because, in the eyes of the client, they aren't getting what they want from the agency so they aren't going to pay thereby causing the problem this ad so succinctly points out.

by Steve Hall    Jan-26-06   Click to Comment   
Topic: Agencies, Good, Newspaper, Opinion   

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Comments



Comments

Truly a tasteless ad.

Posted by: anon on January 26, 2006 5:07 PM

Here's my take on it.

http://uh2l.blogs.com/things_ive_noticed/2006/01/overworked_empl.html

Posted by: Atul Patel [TypeKey Profile Page] on January 26, 2006 9:43 PM

I agree with the hazing mentality. It becomes a right of passage in many organizations. There's a lot of psychology behind it.

I do not agree, however, with the "American "money's all that matters" attitude" statement though. The dominating role that money plays is global, and it always has been. From the days of black slave traders selling human beings to white westerners, to sweathshops in India, owned by Indians, working their Indian employees almost literally to death for a few cents a day, only to profit themselves. As the global economy grows, money and how much you have of it, naturally becomes even more important. There are young governments and cultures out their that have more money than they ever had before, and they too will have to go through the process of learning how to manage it. Moreover, this will inevidably lead to more abuse, before things ever get better.

Anyway, more power to the ad. This is America, the land of advertising. I might just make an ad protesting my annoyance with ads....

Posted by: John on January 27, 2006 12:04 PM

was I supposed to read all that? I'm too busy writing ads w/ 125th that much copy. Oh, and I'd like to start my weekend on time.

Posted by: PLD on January 27, 2006 12:38 PM

I agree with John that human exploitation has existed since the beginning of civilization all over the world. But in reference to westernized culture, the U.S. prioritizes profits over well-being more than in Canada and Western Europe. In a way, that's the price of capitalism. But overdoing how much you work your employees may actually hurt profits. That doesn't seem to be considered by coporate executives who decide that lay-offs are "necessary" to cut costs.

Posted by: Atul Patel [TypeKey Profile Page] on January 27, 2006 4:14 PM

Those who can - SELL!

The sweat shop conditions are apparent to recent advertising college graduates. Me - I worked in an agency first. I made peanuts and helped the agency make some cash and land a new client. Then i worked for a media company. I had a ball, make lots more cash, and had lunch on the company daily. I loved them and they loved me.

Where do you think I went after I graduated?
Agency life sucks. You are not appreciated, the benefits stink and your livlihood is based on the next contract with a client. The only one who gets rich is the agency owner. At least in my work i get paid for delivering results. Thats the way I like it.

My health and my wealth are in my hands, not a senior creative, a half assed a.e. or the whim of a cost cutting CEO.

Agencies need to stabilize thier client planning and revenue streams. They need to invest in people who will stick around and reap the benefits.

Posted by: jrafl on January 27, 2006 11:57 PM

Those who can - SELL!

The sweat shop conditions are apparent to recent advertising college graduates. Me - I worked in an agency first. I made peanuts and helped the agency make some cash and land a new client. Then i worked for a media company. I had a ball, make lots more cash, and had lunch on the company daily. I loved them and they loved me.

Where do you think I went after I graduated?
Agency life sucks. You are not appreciated, the benefits stink and your livlihood is based on the next contract with a client. The only one who gets rich is the agency owner. At least in my work i get paid for delivering results. Thats the way I like it.

My health and my wealth are in my hands, not a senior creative, a half assed a.e. or the whim of a cost cutting CEO.

Agencies need to stabilize thier client planning and revenue streams. They need to invest in people who will stick around and reap the benefits.

Posted by: jrafl on January 27, 2006 11:58 PM




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