Monday, March 13, 2017
From the Biting-The-Hand-That-Feeds File
I want to show restraint.
I want to put on the muzzle.
And filter my thoughts, my rage, my utter disbelief.
But I can't and must ask, "What the Fuck is going on out there?"
At one time there was an understanding between clients who needed advertising and agencies who provided advertising that messaging, or the creation of the advertising vehicle -- whether it was a TV spot, an outdoor board, or even in today's parlance, a brand engagement unit -- required time.
Time to dwell on the challenge. Time to map out a plan. Time to sketch some out thoughts. Throw those thoughts away and come up with better thoughts. Time to turn those thoughts and brain itches into actual ideas. Time to craft those ideas into tangible communications pieces. Time to assess, evaluate and improve on the next round of advertising.
That's all changed. And those changes are reflected in how I'm getting booked for jobs these days.
It used to be:
"Hey Rich, we have a big pitch coming up. Some meaty stuff. A whole brand turnaround. Are you available for the next three weeks?"
Then the holding companies decided to run cleaner, leaner and meaner, emphasis on meaner. And it turned into:
"Hey Rich, we have a big pitch coming up. Some meaty stuff. A whole brand turnaround. Are you available for the next three days?"
And now, thanks to obscene compensation packages divied out to holding company C-Suiters, it's more like:
"Hey Rich, we have a big pitch coming up. Some meaty stuff. A whole brand turnaround. Are you available for the next 3/4 of a day?"
In the past week, I have fielded more than a few of these partial day gigs.
And I've spoken with fellow freelance colleagues who are doing the same.
You might be wondering, if it's possible to make a living on a slew of half day jobs. Of course it is. How do I do it? If I may borrow a punchline from an old Jewish joke.
And when push comes to shove, I'd still prefer to work this way than to deal with agency bureaucracy, status meetings, and the non-stop briefings, re briefings and re-re-briefings.
But here's what clients, agencies and creative resource managers have to know.
When you hire me for half a day or just a few hours, you're not getting the best ideas in my head.
You're just getting the first.