So, I'm in this meeting the other day. (Truth in advertising: No...that is NOT me in the photo. I'm more...seasoned...yeah, that's it!) The folks I was visiting with were deep into telling me an advertising agency horror story. So they thought.
What happened was this firm asked an agency if they would do a project for them and how much it would cost. The agency, which had NO prior relationship with this client went to work on cost estimating.
When done. They submitted a bill for $1,600. It was for their time estimating the costs of the project.
Needless to say, the client (who had never used an agency before) was shocked. When I saw the work...I was too. But, it happens.
If you are considering using an advertising agency understand that most of us get paid by the hour for what we do. That hourly charge varies from staff member to staff member. There may be one rate for professional writing and another rate for graphic design and yet another rate for creative. You should receive a detailed billing statement that explains each entry.
The problem here was there had existed no client relationship. The agency was simply telling the perspective client how much it would cost them to use their services. And...they had the chutzpah to charge for it.
Needless to say, the agency did not get the account and by the time we talked to the client...they were a bit fearful of being "taken" again.
Know what you are buying. Ask up front for rates. But, also understand the nature of an advertising agency. We often do the leg work on a project because we KNOW where to go and get the answers. Which, in reality, saves you time and money and mistakes.
In this case however, the agency goofed and the client is "gun shy".
Michael P. Libbie - Insight Advertising, Marketing & Communications where we have learned more information is better...than assuming.