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  • Angela Meuwsen-Sterling

WTF Went Wrong?


WTF Went Wrong


I have been asked this question by a lot of people lately. This question is usually followed by, who do I think was to blame, the agency or the client?


Truthfully, I can only assume, and we all know what happens when one assumes. But let me play the assumption game here for a minute:

  1. The majority of agencies (not all of them) are hiring young and inexperienced employees and loading them with too much responsibility on their shoulders. 

  2. Its all a numbers game – Simply put, large corporates keep cutting their marketing and advertising budgets. Large agencies chase awards, and businesses think that these awards will give them the comfort of great design, wrong. You spend less ching-ching you will get a junior team that has never won an award in their lives. The result, Small Budget = Junior team = outcome of lousy design = brand damage.

  3. Read the fine print your agency will not accept responsibility. If you the client sign off on creative, you take responsibility this includes, mistakes or bad ads, however innocent these can be seen as racist in a time where "Black Lives Matter" is well and alive globally. One thing agencies do better than design, and that is having attorneys that will write brilliant protection clauses in their contracts.

  4. Big business also hires junior brand managers, they do this for two reasons, 1. they believe that your brand managers have their finger on the pulse of what is trending, 2. More likely the reason, they do not want to spend money on experienced teams. Junior Brand managers often hit the floor running, with minimal training. This leads to brand managers leaning on agencies for guidance.

  5. Timing is another factor, a battle we fight with at our agency. Clients think briefing in jobs on tight deadline will save them money. When in fact it does the opposite, it compromises the design and quality.

So where is the blame? Client, as well as agency, are to blame, but most of all the leadership is to blame. 

At DS/THC-A our focus is and has always been on research and creative first, and more often than not, we blow our internal budget. We believe that focussing on spreadsheets limits the thinking process and kills creativity. Our formula is built on 8-years of experience, working with small startups that have big dreams. We ask our clients to think big and think future, we then break the big vision down to manageable projects and prices which creates long sustainable relationships. We have a small team with a wealth of experience that helps keep the cost down. 


Yes, we can help your business too, contact us on angela@thc-a.co.za.  


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