By Alex Morris
Confessions of a suit
In the name of Fallon, and of the Saatchiʼs, and of the Ogilvy Spirit. My last confession was… well probably my resignation 4weeks ago.
Yes, Iʼm a Born Again Suit.
Man of the Client Services
Cloth. Manager of Accounts.
It was never supposed to be that way.
As an overly eager grad, faced with a university careers services that knew only of the churches of EY and KPMG, my Google searches found only one route into this mythical land of ads.
The Account Management Grad Scheme.
So I set off down this road to enlightenment.
The initial signs were promising. Applications including ‘what sort of superhero would you be and why?ʼ. Interview questions of ‘would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or 10 horse sized ducks?ʼ.
Oh fun, I thought, these are just a taste of the kind of creative problems Iʼll be tackling everyday.
(Not gonna lie, I still didnʼt really know what advertising was at this point.)
A place on the grad schemes elude me, but I eventually wrangle an internship at a small agency in Covent Garden.
Iʼm doing menial tasks, but I seem to be quite good at them and it secures me a grad role.
I find myself on a shoot with Freddie Flintoff. He was one of my heroes growing up, so this is cool.
But the menial task continue and Iʼm fairly sure I should, after £27k worth of debt, be using my grey matter a bit more than this.
I manage to get another account management job at a slightly bigger agency.
Right, letʼs tackle some real ADVERTISING.
Iʼm working with strategists. And creatives. Which is great. But why are they having more fun than me?
I gradually learn what client services means. I Build Relationships. Iʼm The Go To Guy For Statuses. Iʼm gradually allowed to Sell In Work.
But I feel like a bit of a fraud because I didnʼt make it. And to be honest Iʼm not always sure how or why it was made. Because no oneʼs ever taught me.
So I get a job at a bigger agency to see if this helps.
Iʼm working on some BIG BRANDS. Who have BIG BUDGETS.
I see what Iʼve been working on on the telly. My nan spots it and rings me to tell me, finally realising Iʼm not an accountant in the process.
But the problems that remain are the same.
Because I didnʼt make it.
Donʼt get me wrong, I know first hand that it needs a great account man for great work to be made. And listening to Frank Lowe convinces me that once upon a time, the amount you could get your hands dirty might have been enough to make me stay.
But this was never going to be enough for me.
So Iʼm here to absolve myself of my sins.
Thereʼs a separate post incoming on Account Managementʼs tricks of the trade. On wanky terminology from ‘take this offlineʼ to ‘as per my previous emailʼ which Iʼm desperately trying to wash from my lexicon.
Whatʼs that you say father, my penance?
Well 10 months hard labour above St Maryʼs Church, Brixton, of course.
May I be tempted not into the hellish vices of Gremio.