So here’s a work frustration post… I’m in a very frustrating position with my ad agency, of all things. The manager of the account happens to be best friends with the President of the company I work for, and that personal relationship has gotten in the way of sound business decisions.
I am trying to pull together a promotion which resonates with family caretakers who find themselves struggling to take care of more than one generation – the "sandwich generation" is what they most commonly referred to, as they try to look after both their children and their aging parents (or granparents). These are everday people who are stressed out, with too much going on, and not enough resources to do it all. My goal is to make sure that our products and brand clearly empathizes with them, motivating them to purchase our products as they associate Timex Healthcare as THEIR partner in caretaking.
So how to do that? Pick a great spokesperson who can address our target audience with empathy, knowledge, experience, and expertise, is definately one way of doing it. So our ad agency came up with a reccomendation: Deborah Norville.
Yeah… Deb Noville…. New York urbanite sophisticate, former beauty queen, TV news anchor, and host of Inside Edition, TV’s favorite celebrity gossip show. Now, to be fair, she DOES have two kids, and has written a children’s book and a book about overcoming adversity. However, her lifestyle and wealth pretty much dictates that she has a nanny of some sort, and her books… ouch… check out the reviews on Amazon.com yourself: Back on Track and I Don’t Want to Sleep Tonight. Nothing like a childrens book that causes nightmares… No one here in the office thinks its a good idea, no woman in our target market things its a good idea, and I obviously don’t.
So why Deb Norville? Because there’s also a personal relationship between the AE and Deb, and we can get her "cheap." I’ve tried to fight it, but the AE has gotten to the President, and he thinks its a wonderful idea, and now apparently thinks I’m a brainless twerp, based on the way he’s been acting towards me. I tried to bring other ideas to the table, but they got shelved in favor of this brainless move.
The worst part is that the AE is not only friends with the President of my company, but he’s simply one of the most arrogrant people I’ve ever had the displeasure of working with. Things started off on the wrong foot the first time I met him, as I went to check out a recording session for a radio commercial. He told me to be there at 1:30, and I was. But when I got there, the ad was already DONE!! He clearly thinks that whatever he thinks is right, and that there is no other option. I, as the client, am simply mere interference with his infinate wisdom, rather than a collaborative partner.
I’m not alone with this – everyone here in the company doesn’t like him (including my boss), and during my due diligence process before taking this job, several professionals in the area either "warned" me about him, or simply refused to give an opinion. In the end, I couldn’t get a single positive review of him as a person or a professional.
So now I find myself in a very difficult position – stuck working with someone who is nearly impossible to work with on a promotion that I disagree deeply for professional reasons, while trying to look good to a president who has already heard a bad rap about me from the person I’m supposed to be working with.
Maybe I won’t be around here for all that long afterall…