The big agency talent hunt

Today we look at hiring methods in big advertising agencies. First stop, the account management department.

In the not so recent past, account management was by and large populated by people with a management degree. Now that didn't guarantee any level of management expertise, but there was an above average chance of the occurrence of above average intelligence.

Then one day, clients started to cut the remuneration they paid the ad agency. The 15% agency commission was the first to go. It went down and down and then disappeared altogether. This obviously impacted ad agencies, where starting salaries started to compare with pocket money and increments became a five year plan. 

So the formally dressed fraternity started to look for greener pastures. Some of them found their way into client offices from where they realised they could pay back the agency for all the hard times they'd endured. Others who weren't as fortunate found a more elevated perch for themselves at the agency itself. And thus was born the planner.

Let's get back to the AE. Agencies still needed them. To take calls, send emails, chase payments, make planners look good, carry campaign prints and so on. Head hunters didn't figure on the list of approved expenses. So out popped a new strategy. Here's how it works.

Log on to a shopping website. Order a pack of playing cards. In 2 days the courier guy turns up to deliver. He asks for your signature. You ask for his.

Easy. Fast. Cheap. HO loves you. Sends you a 500 rupee Amazon gift certificate.

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