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.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

You'll Always Be An Account Exec To Somebody (or, Everything Is Your Fault (3))

It's been a while, but it's time for another one of those fairly-noticed and much-liked-a-bit posts on tips for Junior Suits. Except that this one isn't really for Junior Suits - it's for all of us.

This morning, I was out of the office having a working breakfast (which I know sounds incredibly pretentious, but it's better than 'breakfast meeting', and is slightly different from 'breakfast with colleagues') when I got a call from my CEO. He had a call at 9am, and needed somebody to print out some media schedules for him. Obviously, the traditional process in such a circumstance would have been for me to delegate to some monkey or other, and then order another Bloody Mary - and in circumstances like this, I'm a big fan of tradition.

However, for reasons I won't go into here, there was nobody else in the office on this occasion. And so I hopped up, nipped back to the Agency (fortunately I was only breakfasting over the road), ran out a copy of the media schedules and the accompanying note from Client, popped them on my CEO's desk, and returned to my Eggs Benedict.

And the point is this. Every September a bunch of Junior Suits start, full of excitement and optimism about what their career will hold. Sure, they won't enjoy the 10 week summer holidays anymore, and getting out of bed on a Monday morning is less optional than it has been for the past three or four years, but the glamour and thrill of Life As An Adman will more than make up for it. By now, though, they will already be starting to realise that Life As A Junior Adman involves an awful lot of photo-copying, binding, presentation-tweaking, scanning and general dogsbody-ing. (Although the anecdotes they tell their banking friends will mostly focus on the Soho House lunch they enjoyed with the CEO in their third week.)

But they'll console themselves with the fact that it won't last forever, and that one day they can forget how the photo-copier works, delegate the binding in aeternum and pretend they never knew how to open a job-number. That's what AEs and PAs are for, right?

Yeah. Sorry. No.

One of the facts of Life As A Suit that you just have to accept is that no matter how senior you are, and no matter how long you have been in the business, you will always be an Account Exec to somebody. And whilst you may well have your own Account Execs to delegate to, they won't always be around. And if they're not and you don't know how to un-jam the photo-copier, then even if you're a Head of Client Service it will still, now, then and always, be your fault. Because everything is.


Sam said...

Great post as usual Mr. Suit - it's genuinely refreshing to hear of big dawgs' enthusiasm in doing the little things right. May I be so forward as to pinch this for AdGrads at some point? I shall of course give you the proper props, as I say.

AdLand Suit said...

More than welcome, Mr Ismail - pinch away.

Mr_M said...

You've just crushed that Junior Suit. Sniff.

AdLand Suit said...

I do hope not, Mr_M - there's a huge amount of stuff to get excited about. It's just important to be realistic.

her said...

how does that fit, then?

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