Feb 21, 2013

The Royalty Free Dilemma or Clients being clients

From all the time I’ve spent battling clients and myopic visions that do not allow one stroke beyond the lines of the box, it’s always been interesting to see just how big a set of balls a client has regarding the quality of work versus time allotted, and more importantly, what they are willing to pay.

I’ve worked with clients that laugh at the notion of the word cheapskate because they’ve mastered the art of penny-pinching and getting more than what they pay for leaving that small word much too dwarfed by their assholeness. What strikes me particularly odd is the venom in their voice when they see that a generic royalty free picture they requested was used by another brand. They scream hellfire and brimstone because how could that happen, they PAID for that photo.

Which brings us to explaining that Royalty Free is not a style or brand of images, it refers to the ability of anyone to use the photo because it is not an exclusive picture…. yada, yada, yada --- there are royalties that other images pay, making it as we said before, exclusive... yada, yada, yada… and that THIS picture is free of royalties. After they finally get it, some may even ask what a rights managed image is and how much it costs… that’s the fun part because you get to see just how wide their eyes open and how they calm down when they see the price… well sort of.

That’s when they demand an elaborate concept (which the agency doesn’t support) to be developed, thirty hours are spent on a single layout… they don’t like it, and say thanks but no thanks, we'll go with the first option you worked on 3 weeks ago… and all is quiet… until they get the fee for hours worked… and back to hellfire and brimstone.

Clients like this exist and they suck on every level, which brings us to another question… why does the agency keep a low paying, low profile high problem client on their portfolio? Simple… because advertising sucks, and we’re here to remind you as often as possible. 


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