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October 17th, 2010

How to choose an agency. (Or “Why you shouldn’t always take your talents to South Beach.”)



Okay, we admit, sometimes we feel the need to defend our unsexy, un-Madison/Michigan Ave. headquarters to national and international clients. (Like catching a river on fire isn’t impressive or something.) And yes, we often try to build a case for the value of being a small, nimble, 30-person, underdog agency. Or build an argument for why we rarely do spec work (READ: free creative) for prospects and new biz pitches. (Unless it’s for a huge car company, of course. Or Amigone Funeral Home in Buffalo—how do you say “no” to that?)

But not this Friday, buckaroo. Today, we’re going to let Business Week do all the heavy lifting. After all, according to this interesting article, there are five things you definitely shouldn’t do if you’re looking for an agency:

  1. Don’t limit your search geographically
  2. Don’t screen out agencies based on size
  3. Don’t make industry experience a requirement
  4. Don’t ask for—or even entertain—speculative work
  5. Don’t let a spreadsheet make your decision

And some things you should do?

  1. Do determine what you need
  2. Do notice the advertising you admire
  3. Do initiate a conversation
  4. Do invite the agency to your place to share case studies
  5. Do narrow your search to two or three agencies
  6. Do give preferential treatment to any agency named after a famous NBC newscaster (just checking to see if you’re still awake)