I believe that all agencies live under the misapprehension that their rivals are populated by a legion of brushed aluminium, infallible team members who never put a foot wrong, never forget to answer an email and never balls up a print job or website update.
After all, it’s a notion that helps keep us on our toes and makes us all covet our clients so avidly. If we cock it up, a rival will be only too happy to fill our shoes.
Fortunately, at One Black Bear, our best and most long standing relationships are based on mutual self effacement.
Basically, admitting that both parties aren’t and never will be, perfect.
There are clients (and we’ve worked, briefly, with some) who revel in launching Israeli like attacks on their agencies for the most minor of errors and this just leads to resentment, lack of respect and a begrudgingly administered ‘supplier’ like relationship until someone, ultimately, pulls the plug.
However, that’s not to say that self-effacement and awareness of each other’s shortcomings has to breed complacency and a lethargic work rate – quite the opposite.
The truth is, human nature dictates that you’ll do your best for the people you like most in life – unless anthropologists offer up something the contrary in the next 500 years.
To errr is human and to forgive, divine. I’ll err on the side of this every day of the week.