AdLand Suit is Dan Shute, a Board Account Director at Delaney Lund Knox Warren, a top ten London Advertising Agency. This is where I write about the life of a Suit - which can include pretty much anything. Delaney's didn't know I was doing this, but they do now. They still don't agree with everything I say though. They'd also probably rather I swore less.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Getting The Best Out Of The BACC

Logic demands that I should follow up yesterday's empassioned rallying call in Campaign with a big, bombastic, insightful post on the nature of Suiting. So I'm not going to - instead, I'm going to impart what I have in the way of BACC wisdom.

(Incidentally, I'm stubbornly going to refer to them as the BACC in this post. Whilst I'd heartily recommend using 'Clearcast' when you speak to them (they can get a bit precious), I'll be using BACC in this post because it describes what they do and what they are, while ClearCast, conversely, means absolutely nothing.)

So - onwards. You won't find the BACC on many advertising blogs - and if you do, they will normally feature as a probable justification for an ad not being very good. (They have a lot in common with 'clients' in this respect.) That, I'd venture, is mostly because the only people that really come into contact with them are Suits, and as discussed ad infinitum elsewhere, Suits Don't Blog. So - this is their moment in the sun. I'm not going to tell you how to get illegal ideas past them, and I'm not going to try and tell you what to say to them - each representative will have a different way of working. I'm just going to offer a couple of tips for Suits who have to deal with them, and hopefully a bit of revelation into what they actually do, for a broader audience.

First off, the revelation: the BACC do not hate advertising, and their job is not to ensure that all ads on TV are shit. (I'd reference that quote, but I've heard it far too many times from far too many different people.) The reality is quite the opposite. The BACC need advertising - without it, there's literally no point in them. The reason the BACC exist (and you can write this one down) is to ensure that once an ad is on air, it stays there.

It is the job of the BACC to ensure that when 'Disgruntled of Rotherham' writes to the ASA to complain about the flagrant disregard for public decency in the new tampax ad, or the clearly manipulated emission figures in the new BMW ad, there is a solid, rigorous and inarguable body of evidence to demonstrate that 'Disgruntled' is mistaken, and should get back to complaining about Chris Moyles. It's a thankless job, it's often a fairly miserable job and it's always an extremely admin-heavy job, but essentially they are here to help us, and understanding that makes managing the whole process a hell of a lot easier. Don't think, 'How can we get this through?' - think, 'How can we help them get this through?'

And the rest of it is really pretty straightforward: be nice to them; give them time where you can; anticipate their issues/concerns, and answer them before they're raised; remember they've rebranded, and call them Clearcast; don't just take them out for lunch at the end of a tricky project, take them out for lunch at the start of a tricky project, and stick a celebration lunch in the diary (it's obvious, it's superficial, and it works); and, finally, treat them like human beings. Their job is to worry about the disgruntleds of Milton Keynes, Rotherham and Cardiff so that we don't have to - our job is to help them. And then to take them to lunch.


Rob Mortimer said...

Definitely a London suit then... all that lunch!

Anonymous said...

don't let them kiss you - your ad will be rejected anyway

(true story)

AdLand Suit said...

I think we're going to need a little bit more information on that Anonymous comment - feel like naming some names?

And Rob, a world without Lunch is not a world I particularly want to imagine...