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In this country, for the most part, we’ve gotten away from arranged marriages. Why? They don’t work. Not for the couple getting married. Those two people want their voice to be heard. They want to determine their future. We all do. The best client agency relationships, like marriages, are those where each party works at them; where there is mutual respect; and where the words vendor and supplier are traded in for partner. Every day our clients seek out those closest to the buying/prescribing decision. We deserve the right to the same type of access at the client. All clients and agencies have processes, methodologies, and models to help improve efficiency and develop hypotheses to solve the challenges at hand; and, to anticipate the changes that will come in the market, and pre pare for them. These are tools to help formu late strategy. They are ONLY tools. Strategy development should include the agency’s participation. Why? Because when that strategy has been hammered out, who’s around to bring it to life? To give it a person ality that will allow the market to embrace it? Not the myriad of consultants who have col lected their fee, and moved on. It’s the adver tising agency. Let’s take a look at compensation. I came across a great quote in my chiropractor’s office today, “You can always get less for less, but you can’t get the best for less.” There’s anoth er great line from a Y&R house ad that appeared years ago, “… service not servitude.” There are only two sets of people that I share finances with: my wife/family and the IRS. Neither a consultant nor a client needs to know my costs, or my profits. Unless each of those parties is going to open their books to me and we are going to work from a cost plus basis — based on success and brand prof itability. What does the consultant charge? If the prospective client speaks directly with all agencies competing, is that time well spent? Let’s see. If I save on the consultant’s fee can the agency bring in a more seniorlevel mar keting person to work on the business? Can that money strengthen the creative talent? Add better production value? Lastly, whenever the human race is involved there is never a level playing field. In any busi ness, technology, carpentry, or advertising, we all work at developing personal relationships that we hope will provide us with a continual sale. The time and effort that both the client and agency expend are in the hope that these relationships develop into a mutual trust. It’s your brand. It’s going to be your agen cy. It’s worth your time. John J. Racik GENERAL MANAGER SENTRIX GLOBAL HEALTH COMMUNICATIONS A YOUNG & RUBICAM COMPANY LETTERS Agency Pitches: In need of a marriage counselor? You can always get less for less, but you can’t get the best for less. There’s another great line from a Y&R house ad that appeared years ago,“…service not servitude.” — John J. Racik Recently, a physician group based in Cincinnati began asking pharmaceutical sales representatives to pay for appointments with doctors. The 50member physician group, the Queen City Physicians group, created a separate, limited liability corporation to schedule 10minute appointments between pharmaceutical repre sentatives and doctors at $65 a visit. According to the group, the plan was developed to clear clogged waiting rooms and to counteract the numerous free meals and events that pharmaceutical sales representatives offer as an enticement to get a few minutes with the doctors. Is a feebased appointment plan a reasonable strategy? Will payforappointment scenarios become the norm? Does this strategy devalue the physician rep relationship?
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