“We’ll Be Good Friends (…as long as I need you).”

13 Aug

The line was spoken by my “voice idol”, Daws Butler, as a two-faced robot despot in Hanna-Barbera’s first big tv series, Ruff n’ Reddy.  But even if you’re not ancient enough to have seen it, you’ve probably run into the same attitude.  You know.  From certain clients.

Come on, you know the ones I’m talking about:  the ones who want you to give them a deal (I believe the new phrase is “Cut Me a Solid.”), or meet a really tight deadline, or stick to your original estimate while the demands of the project itself double and triple.  Those guys.  Of course when it’s time to cut the check…they’re, uhm…having cash flow problems, or just flat-out ignoring you.  And what are YOU going to do?  Chances are they’ve got more lawyers than you do.

That’s why it was so refreshing to read about one creative group (admittedly a much more powerful one than voices2go.com) called Modernista, who recently decided to call “time” on that game.  Here’s a quote from USA TODAY:

Modernista did the unthinkable: It filed a $500,000 lawsuit last year against its client, shoemaker Rockport, while working for it. The lawsuit claimed Rockport wasn’t paying for work. They’ve since parted ways. Regardless of who wins, the lawsuit is a clear message that few agencies dare to deliver to clients: Don’t mess with us.

Of course, I don’t bill in the billions the way Modernista does these days, but if I were ever to actually grow up, which at this point seems highly unlikely, these are the guys I’d like to grow up to be.

You can read the whole story of this fascinating group of creative folks via this link:

http://www.usatoday.com/money/companies/management/2008-08-10-modernista-ad-agency_N.htm

— over and out —

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