Monday, July 13, 2009

Is this how certain agencies think staff should be treated?

I am fucking furious, and before I start let me just clarify three things:

1. This is NOT the agency I work at.

2. This is MY opinion and rage, the person in question has taken this with good grace and maturity.

3. The person/agency will remain nameless because it may be the fault of one person rather than the company as a whole. It would be unfair to label the agency as always acting in this way when I do know others whom it treats well.

A planner I know very well just got made redundant by their agency, and the manner in which they went about it is frankly disgusting, as well as a little confusing.

It appears (in nicer terms than I use) that this happened despite having a workload so big that it takes up his entire week (and more), and having just won two new accounts (one pretty big, the other bless his honesty he won't tell me because it hasn't been announced yet), both of which he worked on and one of which he was sole planner on.

So despite working at capacity for weeks on end (including a week where he worked 6 days for at least 10 hours a day; he gets called into a meeting in mid afternoon and told he is being made redundant and to leave the office. No warnings whatsoever, no time to sort things out, not even a few days to sort out his projects. Just in, gone, out.

Now I appreciate that agencies have to make people redundant when they lose accounts or their clients are spending less; but to do it in this manner is frankly disgusting. How little regard do you wish to show for your staff? How little care do you have about pissing off other members of staff?

So if you know an agency that treats their staff with respect, who need a clever person to help them win business. Please let me know, and I will pass on their details.


Rob @ Cynic said...

They expect loyalty and yet they give none in return. And then they try and claim you can't work on a competitive client for 12 months.


I wish your friend good luck and prosperity ... and the chance to turn the knife in his old agency.

FishNChimps said...

That is undeniably very shitty but I think not very surprising in this industry. What do his clients think, especially the one for which he was the sole planner?

Rob Mortimer said...

Thanks guys.

I get the fact that he wasn't a senior staff member, but that doesn't mean you have the right to treat them like that.

Imagine if you made John Webster redundant while he was still a junior, or Dave Trott, or Stephen King, or Guy Murphy etc etc

FnC - I'm not sure if they had started work on it yet, but I know he was sole planner on the pitch.

It's not surprising to have the problem of needing to cutback, but this is a dispicable way to do it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Mr. M. I happen to know exactly who you're talking about and also which agency.

Wankers is an understatement.

This is the third round of redundancies they've had this year. Things are clearly going very wrong for them backstage. I'd say your "friend" has had a lucky escape in the long-run.

But he's a talented guy. He'll be fine.

Rob Mortimer said...

Thank you Anon. I'm sure he will be fine, just a case of which agency wants to benefit from his abilities.

Cheshire Cat said...

I agree that cases like this are unfortunately probably not uncommon. Hope he gets snapped up quickly by an agency who appreciates him.

Anonymous said...

I too know your, ahem, friend. I have worked with him on two pitches now and his efforts and enthusiasm were second to none. Fortunately I was one from there not to go, but it was a pretty big shock to see him one day and just be gone the next.

He was a good chap, and I had a good laugh overhearing him one day describe his own newly cut hair as "a bit like a lesbian".

Even though i'm obviously an anon, give him my regards.

Northern said...

He'll be fine, but that's not really the point.
This is the problem with working for huge networks, in the end you're a walking pound sign.
Missing him greatly, personally, let alone the work he did.
He needs to know how much he's missed.

Northern said...

His skin tone still makes him look like a corpse though..

Anonymous said...

I also worked very closely with said friend... I was another fortunate enough to remain, but his departure was a big shock. I hope we will be able to work together again in the future, no one here quite 'got' surrealism in the same way.

I'd say pass on my regards but I'll do it myself.

Anonymous said...

I share your sentiment Mr. M. This kind of behaviour is downright appalling. I appreciate that this could be the deed of a single individual, but the agency/network is ultimately responsible for who they employ. If these demoralising practices are allowed and tolerated, it speaks volumes of the culture driving that agency.