Is it so terrible that ad agencies want to make money?

18 Nov

You’re looking for an agency to build your business, and after a review of several you choose us.

Presumably the right agency brings a combination of good people, strong ideas, compelling success stories – at a price you can afford.

Pop the champagne.

Next thing we know you’re constantly asking us to revise our estimates down to be the lowest cost provider. Because, we are told, there are other cheaper options out there.

An agency like Copeland is not the lowest cost provider in the market, nor do we position ourselves as one. There ARE cheaper options. Your neighbour’s son CAN do your website for less. Your niece is also no doubt a terrific graphic designer.

But you didn’t hire us for our prices. You hired us because you have aggressive goals and you want us to build your business.

And when we do, we want to build our own in the process. We want to be profitable, just like you do. That seems a dirty word sometimes.

This is the best argument I can think of for performance-based compensation arrangements, which we embrace.

Otherwise, you get what you pay for.

(Image from PRNewsFoto/


9 Responses to “Is it so terrible that ad agencies want to make money?”

  1. variedthinking November 18, 2010 at 11:49 am #

    There’s an app for that, isn’t there?

  2. cyberbardbarry November 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    Preach it brutha!

  3. dougbrowncreative November 18, 2010 at 2:49 pm #

    > Variedthinking, it’s probably delayed in development while the agency and the client haggle over the cost.

    > Hey Baz, thanks for the high five.

  4. Jason November 18, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

    Truth! Really, what you are talking about is the nature of a true partnership: authenticity, reciprocity, shared success, and ongoing support. To bring it back to cost alone not only limits what you can produce, but also the parameters of the working relationship.

  5. dougbrowncreative November 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm #

    Jason I think “true partnership” will always ring hollow with clients when an agency has no skin in the game. The risk is all the client’s. That’s why we like the results-based remuneration approach. Thanks for your comment!

  6. Corey November 19, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    Great post Doug, I completely agree that for a true partnership we need to share the risks involved. Thanks for the post this morning Doug, happy Friday.

  7. Dan Parks November 19, 2010 at 2:31 pm #

    “The pain of poor quality endures far longer than the sweetness of good price”

  8. Yukari Peerless November 19, 2010 at 3:06 pm #

    Somehow this reminded me of my friend Erin’s post :

  9. dougbrowncreative November 19, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    > Dan, you nailed it.

    > Yukari, that’s a great link. I obviously agree with Erin. There is nothing wrong with wanting to make money, especially if you are prepared to deliver. For some reason, our industry has kept money talk hidden in a pantry behind the kitchen, like some unusual child we’re ashamed for the guests to see.

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