Droga5 creative chief Ted Royer to agencies: Saying no to clients will earn you respect

Droga5The chief creative officer of Droga5 had some advice for agencies for how to get more respect from their clients today, telling his audience at Spikes Asia, “The power of no is amazing”.

Ted Royer told delegates at the event in Singapore: “It’s a scary thing to push back against a client. But even if we don’t always win the battle, at least we get more respect. Then you will soon find that you become seen as a partner, not a vendor.”

“The power of no is amazing. We hardly ever say ‘no’ an industry. But if we do, we will no longer be treated like cheap, easy people.”

Royer said that to earn more respect, agencies needed to believe more in their own brands, and empower the most junior executives to stand up for their own ideas.

“You need to empower your people right down to the lowest level. Every member of the creative team should have a voice, right down to the junior art director,” he said.

“We don’t do any gang bangs at Droga5. We say to our people as individuals, ‘it’s your brief to fuck up or make amazing,’” he said.

“If one of our guys says: How should I do say this to a client, I will always reply: You tell me. It makes them feel like they represent the company. It’s hard, but it’s also fun.”

Royer said the beliefs he stands by to build better relationships with clients are honesty, shared goals, communication and respect, which he lamented are “sorely lacking” in adland.

His comments come a few days after it emerged that a Singapore shopping mall shortlisted nine agencies for a brief for a little over S$200,000 in marketing spend for no pitch fee.

Robin Hicks from Spikes Asia


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