Agency Decisions: Good Morale Or Bad Clients?

Derrick DayeMarch 31, 20111791 min

Agency Decisions: Good Morale Or Bad Clients?

Bad clients can try your soul. Ever had one? Have one now? There are times when you must persevere for the health of the company. And times when you must resign the account for the health of the company.

In the early 1930’s Ray Rubicam found himself at these crossroads. Young & Rubicam served the extremely large Pall Mall account of the American Tobacco Company. The owner of American Tobacco, George Washington Hill (Pictured), was notorious for badgering those who were unfortunate enough to do his advertising. The relationship between George Hill and Young & Rubicam grew so strained that Rubicam decided it would be in the best interest of the agency to forfeit the $3 million account. (Hill wanted Rubicam to replace his creative team) Rarely has the news of a large business loss met with such a sigh of relief at an advertising firm. The $3 million loss was seen as well worth the boost in morale.

While much in advertising is hard to measure, the emotions of your people are quite telling. Is sacrificing morale for business good business?


Put your people first.

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One comment

  • Iain MacKenzie

    April 3, 2011 at 3:42 am

    A client can be replaced, morale takes a very long time to re-grow, once it has been crushed. Neither is easy, necessarily, but losing the business was absolutely the right thing to do.

    Iain MacKenzie

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