Retired ad-man Adrian Morgan gives a take on dealing with pesky media advertising representatives and offers sage advice.
Those working in the advertising and PR industries will no doubt have their own opinion of the AR. The AR is an Advertising Representative, a person,making gentle to hysterical requests for you to place an advertisement in the media vehicle they represent.
Needless to say, the AR’s telephone call is about as welcome as one of those pesky life insurance agents doing a cold calling number offering financial support to the world you have left behind, should you feel like considering this scenario.
The AR’s are divided into two types: Male and female. The first is thick-voiced and stupid. The second is hysterical and more stupid.
Both do not have an idea of what they are doing ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ this I say from the position of,someone who hadled key,wine trade accounts for years. And the reason I say it, is because the AR does not seem to have an idea of who he or she is trying to sell a bit of advertising space to, or ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ more importantly ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ why the recipient of the sales pitch should advertise.
For those who have not experienced the delights of being an AR target, I shall attempt to recreate a typical telephone call.
AR (Male): “Howzit. Can I speak to Adrian Morgan please.”
ME: “It is he speaking.”
AR: “Cool! Listen, Bud, this is Rodney from Cape Jugs for Mugs Tourism Guide, and I’ve got a great deal for you. You’re into wine, right?”
AR: “Perfect! I’ll give you two pages at R13 500, full colour, and commission included. How’s that for a deal? Are you in?”
ME: “Has your guide been briefed to feature a wine-related element?”
AR: “Hey, Rod, I’m just the Ad Rep, okay?”
ME: “So why should I advertise in a publication that may not be related to wine at all?”
AR: “Look, Adrian, don’t give me a hard time…I don’t know anything about the wine industry.”
ME: “You don’t know anything about the wine industry?”
ME: “But you are trying to get me to advertise wine in your publication?”
AR: “Yah! Are you in?”
AR: “Just call me Rod, Adrian.”
ME: “You are the weakest link. Fuck off.”
Of course, engaging in this kind of theatre can be great fun on a quiet Wednesday morning. But the mind boggles at the lack of strategic thinking among AR’s.
Then you get the cocky type, usually a female.
ME: “Adrian Morgan.”
AR: “Hi. I saw your client’s advertisement in Brine Magazine.”
ME: “Yes. Nice wasn’t it?”
AR: “Why aren’t you advertising with us then, huh?”
ME: “Because my client makes 200 cases of wine at R340 a bottle and his product would feel slightly out of place in a weekly gossip magazine that has never written one word on wine, except the stuff Steve Hofmeyr drank from the call-girl’s navel.”
AR: “Well, I think you’re making a big mistake. A big mistake. Don’t come crying to me when your client goes bankrupt.”
Things could be so much simpler if AR’s did a bit of strategic planning. The following set of pointers could suffice:
?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬,Always call an agency after lunch. It is a well-known fact that a bit of social lubrication makes one more amenable to spending money, especially if the money is not his own and is being drawn out of him by a husky-voiced (female) blonde who is not his wife.
?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬,Stroke the agency’s ego by complimenting it on the high standard of creative work. Giving the impression that the AR’s publication requires the visible presence of the agency’s creative genius ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ with hard, cold cash just being an aside ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ can go a long way.
?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬,When attempting to procure a wine-related advertisement, attempt to know the basics so that you can engage in fruitful conversation with the potential client. A screw-cap is not a catchy new contraceptive and bush-vines have nothing to do with the Kruger Park.
?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬,Never sound cheap. Offering an advertisement at a special once-off discounted rate smacks of desperation. Always maintain the hard-to-get pose.
?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬,When being queried by a client as to your publication’s circulation figures, always disclose readership figures. Doesn’t 45 000 sound better than 9 000?
?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬,Promise editorial coverage as a bonus, in other words, if you advertise, we’ll give you “free editorial”. This tactic is employed by various publications already, so if you can’t beat them, join them.
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