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Agency Life: Really?

Posted by Larry McAlister

8627884622_6b818ff83a-210x210One great thing about working for an agency (once we were an ad agency and now we’re an integrated marketing firm) is that old school practices are still employed in certain disciplines.

We are ahead of the curve in about everything that has to do with the business of marketing. State-of-the-art research, proprietary, cutting-edge collision marketing, driven digital emphasis, social media department, in-house broadcast studio – all the bells and whistles based on strategy.

But the fact of the matter is we still buy media – a lot of media. Which means we have a lot of media reps. And although we buy media strategically based on research and negotiations, relationships- as old school as it gets- still come into play.

In other words – Reps grease our (media buyers') palms on an almost daily basis (we buy a lot of media and have a lot of reps). This greasing ritual benefits us all – it generally involves food, alcohol, tickets. Reps are clever and use any and every occasion to bestow our media buyers, which means all of us, with gifts of food and drink.

Irish whiskey on St. Patty’s, chips an salsa for Cinco de Mayo, 4th of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and random cookies, pastries, cupcakes and on and on and on. Nice, right? We even got cocoons a few weeks ago that turned into butterfly’s last week. Mini cupcakes are much more welcomed.

Which brings me to my point. Friday, June 7 was national donut day. It was a Friday, a favored day for reps to deliver my favorite food item on the planet. And it’s not just me. Go ahead, find someone who doesn’t like donuts. I knew it was National Donut Day and I headed for the office with great expectations, knowing that not just one, but several reps would take advantage of this layup and bevy upon us a bountiful display of iced pastries.

I even considered bringing donuts to the office, but just knew that every well appointed rep out there knew what I knew.

Vapor.

That’s what was waiting for me when I arrive at the office. My VI crew, knowing of my love of the perfect breakfast, knew I’d be holding. They too, were shocked by the lack of dozens, but held me in reserve, knowing I’d deliver on such a high profile national day.

We waited. And waited. And then it was lunch. Old school let us down. Right up until a truckload of pizza’s arrive about 11:30. Clever? No. Faith in the system? Yes.

It’s great to be in the agency business.

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