I stumbled upon the Employee Handbook of Crispin Porter+Bogusky, one of the most admired creative agency in recent years. The Handbook dishes off some thoughtful advice to the newbies entering the CPB office:
What is advertising?
When most people think of advertising they think of magazine ads, television commercials and billboards. We think it’s anything that makes our clients famous. That is our job. And we make creative content that makes that happen. Then we think of ways to distribute that creative content. It might be through an online film, an event on the street, a book or something we can’t even imagine yet.
SUPPLIERS ARE IMPORTANT AND SHOULD BE TREATED WITH RESPECT.
One thing that bad agencies have in common is their tendency to bully and beat up suppliers. Perhaps it is a natural reaction to pick on someone smaller than you after you’ve been picked on. We tend to treat suppliers like fellow employees. The advertising business is contained within a small, small circle and word gets around about how you behave within that circle. We want to be the kind of agency that suppliers want to work with, regardless of budget, or timing, or scope of the job, just because they’ve heard we’re great to work with.
And this is for the Saatchis, McCanns and the JWTs:
ADS ON THE WALL.
Although it’s not uncommon for agencies to have framed ads decorating their hallways and lobbies, we don’t have any. The reason is simple: by the time we got around to framing an ad, we would already have newer ads, and since you’re only as good as the most recent thing you’ve done, the framed ad would not represent our “best” work.