Skrip - tyur' - i - ent: adj. Possessing the violent desire to write.


#15 In which our hero ponders Satan, soap, and work.

Procter & Gamble are holding an agency review. If you're not in the advertising business, you're probably saying, "huh? So what?" If you are in the business, you're saying "holy shit!" or more likely, "who doesn't know that, dumbass?"

Procter & Gamble are, of course, the 800-pound gorilla of consumer products. Except in their case, it's more like the 800 bazillion-pound gorilla. Everything from Tide to Oil of Olay to Crest to Febreze to damn near everything found in your local supermarket is made by these guys. They're located in Cincinnati, too, so they're relatively close. Needless to say, despite worshipping the devil, the company makes billions. In the consumer products segment, they're referred to as "Proctor & God."

An agency review means that for some reason, P&G isn't happy with their current agency - it's generally tantamount to getting fired. In an agency review other agencies are given the opportunity to present their capabilities in the hope that P&G will pick them as their new agency. Sometimes the current agency is also invited to participate, which always seems like a slap in the face to me. "We don't really like what you're doing right now... but we'll give you one. more. chance."

The new agency (if indeed a new agency is selected) could see billings in the neighborhood of $60 million dollars.

Sixty. Million. Dollars.

What you have to understand that the advertising industry is still in the shitter right now. While it seems the economy is slowly recovering, the ad industry hasn't really rebounded yet. So an account like this is more than enough to transform your average agency president's pupils into tiny dollar signs.

To make things even more interesting, P&G isn't reviewing all their advertising, just their promotions and point of purchase stuff. See, in companies as huge as Proctor & Gamble, rarely does one agency handle all their advertising. One may do broadcast (TV and radio), one may do product packaging, one may do promotions, etc. So it's the promotions and packaging that's up for review.

And that's what the agency I work for does: promotions and packaging. I don't think this agency has seen $60MM in it's entire 20-year history, let alone in a single year. Matter of fact, considering how I was refused a raise (despite my boss's recommendation that I get one) recently, and how we can't see to pay all our vendors on time, I suspect that we're just barely in the black (with strong hints of red lurking nearby).

But as exciting as it would be to work on an account like P&G, it's not going to happen. Not at this agency; we're far too small. I'm the only writer here, for example, and even if I wrote eight hours a day, five days a week just on P&G stuff, we still couldn't keep up. And I don't want to work that hard, anyway. Besides, it would mean that we'd have to dump all our other clients and focus solely on P&G... which would be fine except that our ass-backway president would screw things up sooner than later; and then there would be another agency review, leaving us high and dry.

But, y'know... what's sad is that people around here can't even comprehend something like that. Small ideas abound. Small clients, small ideas, small executions. Keep it small, keep it safe, keep it known. Makes me sad, and more than a little frustrated that this is the best job I could find after 17 months of being laid off. And seven months later, it's still the best job I can find.

Sigh. Hey, Procter & Gamble, if you're reading - I'm more than willing to work for Pringles and Sunny Delight! Call me, okay?


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