Posted in Diary of an Adgirl

Oh No, Greatest Goof Ever!

Dear Diary,

I’m so embarrassed right now, I did the worst thing ever in the world of Account Management! I sent a job to my client without going through it in full details!I know I know! How could I have done that?!? I feel like I’m being punished by the ‘client god’ for constantly being on the prowl and looking out for client blunders that I can call out! Fair play, right? I actually received a stinker from my client yesterday evening, I contemplated opening the mail before shutting down for the day and I eventually gave in and opened it! Oh boy, I read and re-read the mail hoping that each read would give me something different, show me something different, a little glimmer of hope that it wasn’t my fault, Alas! I shut-down and thought about that mail throughout the night. I woke up tired but ready to face my day, said a quick prayer and arrived at the office.

I settled into work and began to form replies in my head. I must have typed and deleted a few times before I finally sent the mail responding to my client. The thing is, you can’t come across as too apologetic and at the same time you dare not sound too proud either. Finding the right balance is KEY! I started off by exchanging pleasantries and then apologized for the ‘goof’ and then assured my client that all would be rectified. Oh, before the email I called and sent an SMS apologizing and reassuring that all will be well. I hate situations like this but at the end of the day, we all live and learn.

The situation is still being remedied, I accept full responsibility for what happened and will work tirelessly to make sure this never happens again, so help me God, Amen!

Has anyone had any similar experience? How did you handle it? Please share below in the comments section.

Xoxo, TAB Girl

Posted in Diary of an Adgirl, TABviews

The Art of Contact Reporting

One thing I would forget in a hurry when the time comes is writing contact reports!!! I absolutely detest it for the following reasons, okay maybe detest is a bit too strong but you get what I mean right?

  • All I think about before and after I head to a meeting is how I’m going to take notes to write my contact report later on
  • I’m so focused on getting the actual points down that sometimes I barely enjoy the meeting especially when it’s a really fun one.
  • Even after taking notes, it’s still possible to forget stuff(Not that I’m incompetent or anything)
  • Imagine taking notes so furiously at a meeting, and then you’re asked a question/or your opinion is sought and you’re sitting there looking so aloof. LOL, THE WORST!
  • It kinda feels like that’s the only reason you’re brought to a meeting, especially as a junior staff. (demoralizing stuff)
  • Continuing from the point above, some may argue that writing contact reports are a rite of passage…True, but!!!… (Can’t we all take turns writing it?)

I’d much rather go to a meeting, contribute meaningfully, take notes when I can and then sort out the contact report with my team members later. I strongly believe that there should be a specific role set aside for contact reporting. This person would attend meetings, take notes and ask us questions if need be. Life would be much simpler? Yes? No?

What do you guys think? Please let me know below!

Posted in Diary of an Adgirl

That Moment When…

Okay, I’m officially the worst at this diary thing! Like the worst, and today I come bearing very little but I hope the read is worth the wait. Enjoy!

As a ‘creative’ and I use that term very loosely, there is always that one time when your team decides that after hours of slaving on a particular project, they feel the need to either show off their work for it to be critiqued or praised(more of the latter though…hehe). Anyway, that such moment happened today in my office, the ‘Oga-in-creative’ called us to give our opinion on an ad, one of the art-directors had designed. He called another art director to give his two cents and as soon as he started giving his two cents I tuned off so that we wouldn’t repeat each other, just in case I was called as well to give my humble two cents. (You gats give sharp, insightful deep answers so that you sef go appear smart. LOL) I have digressed, apologies! Anyway, they eventually called me into the fold and this is what I did…

I dragged my chair slowly but surely so that I could face the screen where the ad was being shown, then I wrapped my scarf tightly around me and proceeded to view the ad. I looked longingly at the ad, tilted my head to one side, squinted, opened my eyes wide and even wider, squinted again and then cleared my throat! Phewwwwww! LMAO! After clearing my throat, I started with the bad(because…) and gave my own critique, after critiquing it, I paused deliberately again as if in deep thought, and then praised the ad. After an excruciating almost 10 mins, they called in another person. You should have seen us hurdled in front of the screen, silent and deeply processing our thoughts… I low key think the oga was fed up at this point because he asked us to sleep on it and reconvene in the morning! (Can you blame him?)

In summary, apart from being super dramatic(as i’m sure you’ve all figured out now) we all live for these moments where we can share our opinions (solicited or unsolicited) just to show that ‘me sef I sabi’ . Does anyone have any pseudo deep creative moments? Please share in the comments section below!

Thank you for reading xxx

Posted in Diary of an Adgirl

Client ‘bashing’, blame sharing and future promises.

Dear Diary,

I’m 3 days late again, and as usual I have a good reason for this semi-neglect but hopefully you can bear with me and give me one more chance to redeem myself.

So, I went into the previous week a bit apprehensive because I knew we were about to get whipped by one of our clients. I kept trying to butter the client contact up by being extra friendly and delivering work on time hoping that they would forgive and forget, ALAS!

That much dreaded day eventually came(turned out It was just me panicking) and I did the usual last minute check that we were all on the same page etc and then the client sent a message that they’d be running late. I had some temporary relief and just as I was about to relax, the receptionist came to inform me that my client had arrived. I was so lucky that it was just the client contact that came because he was initially meant to come with his boss. I went into the meeting room where he was and exchanged pleasantries, not long after he said the much dreaded words, ‘I need to speak with you alone after this meeting is over’ I must have swallowed saliva a million times in one minute and all I could do was mutter a tiny and weak ‘okay no problem’.

The meeting started and lasted for about two hours, during which we discussed agency/client relationship, lines of communication etc and I kept holding my breath, expecting the next sentence to be ‘so, madam account manager, why didn’t you do this like this or like that’ but it never came. Lol, I was really humbled by how my bosses and the team stuck together and shared whatever it was the client hurled at us. We were one house, owned up to our faults etc. After the meeting, the client just asked me a few un-related questions and when he was done, I let out a huge sigh of relief. The meeting wasn’t bad at all, and more importantly we had ironed out pressing issues. Between last week and now, I can see little changes that are making huge differences.

Hopefully this week goes by without too much drama, but we never know these things sha. We’ll see. Once again, I would also like guest entries, so please shoot me a mail on theadbowlng@gmail.com if you’re up for it.

Thanks for reading guys, enjoy your week!!

Posted in Diary of an Adgirl

Work, Ads, Learning Curves and Everything In Between!

Dear Diary,

I know it feels like I’ve neglected you for a really long time but I promise you It was for a good cause(at least I think). Anyway, I’ll get right into it!

These past two weeks have been super super hectic, so hectic that bags have become a permanent feature on my face. I have tried to conceal it but my makeup skills are awful (story for another day) so I just slap on some powder and face the day  with more gusto(at least I try to)! I work on two unique brands and they have both decided that its my life or my life this year, Lol. I have been running from pillar to post and thankfully I have managed not to mix up one brand’s work for the other. Buttttttt, I goofed on a semi-major level o, see next paragraph for more details.

So for non- Ad people, before any communication is put out to the public especially on TV, radio, press etc, it has to be approved by APCON(Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria). So agencies usually would submit an application for vetting and this could be done in 8 hours, 16 hours, etc depending on how quickly the work needs to be out. So, payment is made and then the approval process begins. Usually, each material is charged at 20,000 Naira each, for example if you have three press materials, it would cost 60,000 Naira etc same for TV materials, radio materials outdoor materials etc. Get the gist? I submitted 6 press materials and a few other materials, so I had billed client for the materials but instead of billing for each press material, I billed them only 20,000 Naira for the 6 materials instead of 120,000.00. Imagine that!? and we all know how money matters are, integrity is very very key especially when dealing with clients. I was panicked for about 5 mins and then I thought fast, sought help from my colleagues and all was sort of well again. Phew! I would go into details about how this was sorted but I don’t want to bore you..hehe . Trust me, nothing dodgy though, just found other legit ways to solve it.

Asides that, I’ve been learning a lot especially on production and budgetary matters,these past weeks and even a bit of finance(which is a pleasant turnaround as I hated numbers). This year is looking up already and I am filled with positivity for all the good work we are going to roll out. EXCITING STUFF! 🙂  .

I will try to do weekly roundups of my work week in relation to advertising of course. It might not be as lengthy as this one but i’ll try to keep it as interesting as possible. I would also like guest entries, so please shoot me a mail on theadbowlng@gmail.com if you’re up for it.

Have a great weekend guys and thank you for reading

TAB Girl…

Posted in Diary of an Adgirl

Nooooo, Not APCON Again!

APCON  aka  Allowing People Continue Over-hyping Nonsense

APCON  aka A Problematic Chain of Non-Performance

APCON  aka Advertising Progress Choked Out Now

APCON  aka A Poor Collection of Naysayers

Seriously guys,  who else is fed up of APCON and their tactics? I’m all for regulatory bodies and what they stand for but when these so-called regulatory bodies start taking the piss then they must be called to order!(plenty puns intended)

How can I apply for the vetting of advertising materials and you ask me to bring not one sample of the product I intend to advertise but 6 samples??? What exactly are you doing with 6 samples of the same product if 1 product would more than suffice? Oh wait, I know the answer, ‘THIEVERY’ pure and simple! We come to you to vet our materials and because those materials can’t run unless they’ve been vetted and approved by APCON, you then take advantage of the situation by exploiting us??

Each time I have to do an APCON application, I get an automatic mood change! You pay loads for a 16 hour vetting period and you receive it in 48 hours? Why on earth then do we pay for 16 hours? Another interesting thing about this APCON process is that if for whatever reason you re-apply for vetting of the same material, these guys still ask you to bring 6 samples of the same product, regardless of whether you’d previously given them before. Imagine that?

Have you ever been inside the room where they store all the products they’ve ‘obtained’ from agencies? You would think you walked into a departmental store yo! Sometimes the showcase gets too full that they have to put their ‘loot’ on the floor. LOL! I even hear that the staff share these items among themselves, but of course!

I guess the real question is, is this common practice or are the staff just taking advantage of the agencies? Who else has an APCON tale? Please share in the comments section below.

 

Posted in Diary of an Adgirl

The ‘Art’ of Patience

Dear diary,

I had the most frustrating day ever today at work and I’ll tell you why in a bit. Before going into details though, what is it with people and ranks? So its okay to act ‘funny’ because you’re four or five advertising ranks above someone? Nah mehn, whether you’re 100 ranks above someone or not, there is human and emotional intelligence, SIMPLE!

So today, I had a spat with a colleague of mine over the minutest issue! She had requested a job from me and there were minor hitches along the way, all of which were communicated to her at every point in time. This morning, she called me and asked me if the job was ready and I explained the situation again and told her I’d sort it out anyway. I eventually did and sent the job out to my other colleague and verbally confirmed from her that she had received the job, to which she affirmed to. Now, fast-forward a few minutes later, colleague A, sends a stinker to me copying my bosses and her bosses and complaining that I wasn’t doing my job and that I was delaying the entire execution process. Imagine my surprise, I replied her and told her the work had already been sent and that she should confirm from colleague B. After which I gave her a piece of my mind and allowed the issue die.

You will not believe that about four hours later, this same colleague A repeated the same thing! I laughed and ignored her mail and then went to talk to her, politely this time and asked that she stopped trying to sabotage me. I promise, that was all I said and walked away, until I heard her mutter something that sounded like ‘Go and do your job’! LOL! All the pent up anger from the morning that I had successfully managed to ignore came rushing back. I uttered one or two choice words to her, raised my voice at her, made sure every single word I said was felt/heard and walked back to my seat.

Omo, I was pissed oh!!! Then the HR lady in my office tried to play the ‘levels card’ and I was like bruhhhhhh, that ain’t right yo! Lol! Did you NOT observe what had just taken place? Then everybody came from different angles giving their two cents on the situation all of which ended with the same ‘next time, just ignore her, don’t come down to her level’ Lol, how do you know that we are not on the same level though? Lol.

Okay so maybe I could have handled the situation way better, but mehn that colleague is so provocative!!! However, I have resolved that I’d apologize for uttering those ‘choice words’ to her and move on, I despise conflicts and negative air/energy. Patience is truly a virtue and a necessity for ME to possess if I’m going to last a while in our industry.

Have you guys experienced anything similar? Please share thoughts/comments below

xoxo, TAB Girl 🙂

 

Posted in Diary of an Adgirl

Push-backs… When to say NO to Clients

Recently, a friend/colleague of mine had written a brilliant radio script for a certain client and sent it off to client for approval. Now bear in mind that before a script is written, a lot of thought and strategy is put in and most importantly the client’s request is followed to the letter. Imagine doing all of this and also striving to creatively execute the clients’s request- and the client comes back with a different idea and tells you that his/her idea is better than all you’ve put together. Meanwhile agency would have delivered on the agreed timeline/deadline which client would have killed them for if they hadn’t met it.

No qualms there if indeed the client’s idea is brilliant, and its back to the drawing board for the agency. However, if the client comes back with an idea that isn’t up to par then… With my colleague’s situation I’m sure you can guess which of the above scenarios was the case! The client came back with a degraded version of the radio script the agency had worked on just because he added two lines that sounded brilliant in his head….Lol.

Now, one can argue that the agency is already biased towards their work and believes that anything churned out from them is top standard work. I disagree, and like I said earlier if the client comes back with something decent then we’d go for it. But, if we don’t have confidence in ourselves how do we sell our products/services to the client? Lol

I think it is okay to push-back when necessary and make our clients see reason with the push-backs. In the same vein, if we manage to convince our clients to run with our ideas and it back-fires, the agency should be ready to take full responsibility.

Do you agree or disagree with this article? Please comment below 🙂

Posted in Diary of an Adgirl

The Case of The Reverts!

This is probably one of my worst experiences in the industry so far and I’m what you might call a newbie, yet! I’m already frustrated at this revert situation!

Don’t you just hate it when you send work to a client and they take ageeeessss to respond and when they eventually do its silly little reverts that take another 1-2 weeks before they conclude. I think the most annoying part is when these clients approve the visual for FA(Finished Artwork) and then remember that they forgot to ask agency to include something or that agency should change something! Why didn’t you make those amendments before the material got to FA stage, did you miss that spot because you weren’t thorough enough or just sheer wickedness?? I don’t think there is any excuse for sloppiness in our business/industry or any other industry for that matter. It’s different when its a genuine mistake or omission that both the agency and client should have picked up on before FA stage, that way both parties share the blame. However, when clients introduce a new element after they have approved the material for FA then that’s a huge piss take! Energy and efforts (lots) have been put in to give the very best to client and when you constantly revert on something that should have been concluded ages ago, it gets monotonous and de-moralizing to say the least!

Currently, I am working on briefs like this,  hence my frustration above. I have complained to my clients several times that they should give comprehensive reverts instead of sending one revert at a time and dragging it out for longer than necessary. It is highly irritating, frustrating and very time-consuming. Time is of the essence and I’d much rather my time goes into creating and organizing other work for the client than spend time running from pillar to post on a dragged out brief.

I just wish clients would look at a first draft with all the relevant people, make the necessary amendments in-house, ensure everyone in-house is happy with the amendments and then send the comprehensive feedback/revert to agency. More often than not, clients have hierarchical issues and don’t trust that the person they have put in charge will give adequate feedback. Rather client A will revert to agency and agency will send the amendment based on client A’s feedback. Client A1 will then look at it and add their own feedback, and the same process will be repeated till it gets to client A5 or A6 who is the highest client contact. Sometimes this person’s junior colleagues might have even gotten the brief wrong in the first place, which would then result in the agency going back to the drawing board and starting the process all over again. This entire process is LONG, DRAINING and IN-EFFICIENT! Please fix it so we don’t bear the brunt of in-effectiveness and tongue-lashing when eventually these deadlines aren’t met!

Does anyone else agree with me or does anyone disagree with me? Leave your comments in the section below.. Thanks guys and apologies for sounding so angry, Lol.

Posted in Diary of an Adgirl, Uncategorized

How Much/Little Should We Really Do For Our Clients

 

New-Image-Private-ClientI just had an encounter at work and it involved a pro-active campaign for one of our clients. We had decided to come up with a brilliant concept that was going to be developed and self-funded.  Everything seemed to go well up until the point where we realized that we needed more money to make sure the campaign came out extra-brilliant.So far, we had done everything almost for free and one of our colleagues had spent a small amount of money. Now, the snag was that we needed to re-shoot the visual so we needed to buy more props.

We decided to meet the top management to give us a small amount of money for the props but we were turned down and asked to get that money from the client. Re-trace these steps with me please;

  • The concept was a proactive idea by the creative and account management teams
  • We didn’t think it was necessary to involve the client in our pro-activeness, I mean its pro-active right?
  • The money we asked for wasn’t anything that would have caused any dent at all in our pockets
  • We really and truly wanted to surprise our clients and do something nice for them.
  • It really wouldn’t have cost us a lot(notice, I have repeated this point twice…Lol)

 

I agree that for bigger concepts, proactive/reactive, the agency should bill the client for obvious reasons- more hands, models, props, man-power etc but for really minor jobs such as the above concept, I think the agency can manage just fine without billing the client. As usual, this is my opinion on how I feel about this situation, feel free to agree or disagree with me.

What do you think, should we just go ahead and fund the concept from our own individual projects or should we ask the client for the money?  From the article, Its clear where I stand and what I think we should do, which is ‘COMPLETE OUR PRO-ACTIVE CONCEPT WITHOUT ASKING CLIENT FOR THE MONEY’ . I really do want to hear from you guys though? Please share your thoughts below 🙂