The Case of the Missing Agency

How do you know when it’s time for a Plan B? Well, if you’ve ever experienced anything like the following email exchange, it’s probably time to rethink your advertising options. So, as a tribute to David Thorne’s wonderful tale of graphic design mishaps, ‘Missing Missy,’ we present our take on when client/agency interaction goes awry. We call it, ‘The Case of the Missing Agency.’


From: Shannon W.
Date: Monday 23 May 2011 9.15am
To: Roger S.
Subject: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Hello Roger,
I’m still awaiting the newspaper ad concept that will be running in the Chicago Tribune tomorrow for the grand opening of Perogi’s Italian restaurant.

The schedule you delivered weeks ago indicated we should have seen something last week, but we have yet to receive anything from anyone at BDCF&R. With the paper needing them by noon today, I am concerned we will not have time to properly review the creative.

Please advise,

Thanks,
Shannon


From: Roger S.
Date: Monday 23 May 2011 9.26am
To: Shannon W.
Subject: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Dear Shannon,
Sorry about the miscommunication. We are working hard on your ad and will be set to share it with you tomorrow morning.

Hope you get a chance to get out and enjoy this weather!

Cheers,
Roger


From: Shannon W.
Date: Monday 23 May 2011 9.31am
To: Roger S.
Subject: Re: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Roger,
I just called and left you a voicemail. The ad is actually due to the paper TODAY AT NOON. As such, it is imperative that we review the creative ASAP. Please provide an ETA on when we can expect to see it.

Thanks,
Shannon


From: Roger S.
Date: Monday 23 May 2011 9.55am
To: Shannon W.
Subject: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Hey Shannon,
No worries. I actually have the ad ready for your review.  We hope this meets your expectations. Have you been outside today? It’s awesome.

Cheers!
Roger


From: Shannon W.
Date: Monday 23 May 2011 9.59am
To: Roger S.
Subject: Re: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Roger,
I have to say I am a little disappointed with this ad. It’s not at all what we discussed. It doesn’t scream “come see us” and there’s a typo in the name of the restaurant. The “a” should be an “e.”

Please send a second round ASAP, or call with questions.

Shannon


From: Roger S.
Date: Monday 23 May 2011 10.25am
To: Shannon W.
Subject: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Hey Shannon,
Sorry about that. These rush projects don’t get looked at very closely. I have attached an updated ad for your review. We added an exclamation mark to really make it “scream,” as you suggested. We also updated the spelling of Restaurant per your suggestion.

Let us know if this is good to go!

Cheers,
Roger


From: Shannon W.
Date: Monday 23 May 2011 10.35am
To: Roger S.
Subject: Re: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Roger,
I just called and left another voicemail. I don’t think you are understanding our concerns with the ad. It’s not very engaging, and there are now TWO typos in the name of the restaurant. It is spelled “PErogi’s REstaurant.”

While the exclamation point is a nice touch, we still don’t feel the ad is creating enough excitement. Is there enough time to make it look a little more festive? And didn’t we want to include an offer? It’s in the creative brief.

Shannon


From: Roger S.
Date: Monday 23 May 2011 11.03am
To: Shannon W.
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Hi Shannon,
Sorry I missed your call. Weather is unbelievable today so we’ve been taking more smoke breaks than usual. 🙂 Attached is a revised ad. I hope it looks festive enough for you. We also fixed those misspellings – oops! As for the offer, I seem to have misplaced your brief. Could you please resend and we’ll get that little detail worked in.

Roger


From: Shannon W.
Date: Monday 23 May 2011 11.09am
To: Roger S.
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Roger,
First – I capitalized the E’s in the name of Perogi’s Restaurant to indicate which letters had been incorrect. You do not need to capitalize them in the ad. As for the design, I have to say you guys are still missing the mark. People can’t tell where the restaurant is, and while colorful, please remember this is an ad for a newspaper and it will be in b&w. The offer is the same free lunch offer we talked about last week. Please update the copy to include this information and see what else you can do with those balloons.

Shannon


From: Shannon W.
Date: Monday 23 May 2011 11.39am
To: Roger S.
Subject: !!!! Re: Re: Re: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Roger,
I just called again. I am very concerned that the ad is now due to the paper in 15 minutes and we do not have revised creative to review. Please advise ASAP.

Shannon


From: Roger S.
Date: Monday 23 May 2011 11.46am
To: Shannon W.
Subject: !!!! Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Howdy Shannon,
Things are hectic here, as you can imagine. Half the creatives on your account took off for lunch early to enjoy some sun, and the others are buried on this big new pitch. I did manage to cash in on a favor to get you your changes. I think you’ll dig on this iteration. I had the creative director okay it on his way out the door for Prague.

Roger

P.S. Don’t sweat that publication deadline. They fudge those – we’re late ALL the time and it rarely matters.


From: Shannon W.
Date: Monday 23 May 2011 11.54am
To: Roger S.
Subject: !!!! Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Roger,
The offer is a buy one get one free offer. Remember? We discussed this. We are not operating a soup kitchen. Since you are always away from your desk and are having difficulty communicating my requests, please give this to your art director.

– Remove the balloons
– Replace the copy with “Perogi’s Restaurant Opens Today at 1045 N. Wells. For one day only, buy one lunch and a friend eats for FREE! ”
– Add a snipe in the corner that reads: “Grand opening!”

Shannon


From: Roger S.
Date: Monday 23 May 12.14pm
To: Shannon W.
Subject: !!!! Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Shannon,
I can certainly understand your frustration. I’d be a bit pissy myself if I were cooped up indoors on a day like this. 🙂 I’ve given your edits to our best intern since we have exhausted the number of rounds allotted for this project. But no worries, this guy is great and usually pretty quick. Stay tuned…

Cheers,
Roger


From: Shannon W.
Date: Monday 23 May 2011 12.19pm
To: Roger S.
Subject: !!!! Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Roger,
The publication just called to notify me that they need the ad in the next 45 minutes or it will not run. We MUST make this deadline. Please send over whatever you have and we will have to run with it. We will also need to discuss your policy on rounds of revisions considering the errors were all on your end. Please call me once you have sent the creative so that we may discuss.

Shannon


From: Roger S.
Date: Monday 23 May 12.49pm
To: Shannon W.
Subject: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Shannon,
Here is the ad you requested. Unfortunately, Eddie wasn’t able to put the finishing touches on it before your deadline, but we hope it still meets your needs for the big opening.I will be out of the office for the balance of the afternoon. We have this awesome cornhole tournament thing that corporate is sponsoring…and they couldn’t have picked a nicer day, let me tell you. So can we have that recap call tomorrow or Wednesday instead? I’ll be happy to share our rush charges, as well as the additional costs associated with the extra rounds.

We really enjoyed working on this with you and look forward to kicking off that big direct mail campaign.


From: Shannon W.
Date: Monday 23 May 2011 1.16pm
To: Roger S.
Subject: !!!! Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

Roger,
I do not have the authority to dismiss BDCF&R as an agency, but I want you to know that it will be my recommendation come tomorrow morning. Further, it will be my recommendation that you be drawn and quartered in a public place for gross incompetence. Someone with skills so inadequate has no place participating in real-world business, especially when there are toilets that need scrubbing and ditches that need digging.

For your information, this was NOT a rush job. It was kicked off 5 weeks ago. I was, according to YOUR schedule, expecting to see something last week. You clearly had no one assigned to this work until I brought it to your attention that the deadline was today, at which time you dismissed my concern and thoughtlessly executed a series of thoughtless edits to a thoughtless ad…an ad that I cannot approve, and that my restaurant cannot run to promote its grand opening.

It’s a good thing (for you) I have a Plan B, and will not be needing your support further on this ad…or the direct mail campaign we discussed. I would instruct you to discard that brief, but I’m sure it was discarded long ago…without ever having been considered.

So get out there and enjoy the weather, Roger. It is my hope you’ll be enjoying a lot more of it this summer after my scathing report on this experience to your chain of command.

Cheers!
Shannon


From: Roger S.
Date: Monday 23 May 1.17pm
To: Shannon W.
Subject: !!!! Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Perogi Newspaper Ad

<< This is an autoreply message >>

I will be away from my desk for the balance of the afternoon attending an important industry conference. For immediate assistance, please contact the main line and someone else will be able to divert your call.

Best,
Roger