I Made A Mistake

Recently an Account Executive had provided copy to a client with the attitude that the commercial wasn’t all that compelling a script. I concede I was probably a bit less than cordial when I asked this AE not to do that anymore, but that’s not the problem I refer to. I’m sometimes too blunt with the facts, but I won’t shy away from the truth.

Part of that truth is that everyone here has no problem with changes to copy. In fact, if as the AE you’re not satisfied with a spot, we want to know, so we can fix it, so you can honestly approach your client knowing “this is the spot that will work.” My mistake was not that I was too harsh in my rebuke (I probably was, and I regret it), but that yesterday I did the same thing to a direct client.

We were commissioned to write a couple of spots for real estate condo leasing for a couple of different buildings in different cities. As deadline approached the client inquired how the copy was coming. I was honest, said the copy for Building A was going well, but I wasn’t satisfied with our results so far with Building B. That was my mistake. I put it in the client’s mind that the Building B copy would not be up to the standard of Building A. Never mind that when I told him that, it was true. But when we finished the copy and we sent it to him, Building B’s message was vivid and stronger than Building A’s commercial. Of course, with just minor additions to the Building A copy, he liked it. But the Building B copy, now a more cohesive sell than Building A, was deemed less than worthy.

I did this to myself. And I have rebuked myself in terms stronger than I will ever use on an AE. And I share this experience in the hopes that you will resolve creative issues with your copywriters before you approach the client, and only approach the client when you are convinced the spot will be effective. If you don’t believe in it, neither will your client.

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