Commandments For Running An Advertising Agency

Several years ago I ran across a little ditty by Joe Adams that I’ve kept around just to re-read and remind myself of what business I’m in.

Joe called it his Commandments for Running An Advertising Agency. It’s a good reminder to all of us  that it takes is a little common sense, enthusiasm and guts.

So, here they are:

  1. Thou shalt market from the top down. (Call on the best fit prospects first.)
  2. Don’t work for bastards – and don’t be one. (Pick people you want to work for. Take on ones with great potential. You must like your clients.)
  3. Thou shalt learn to speak in numbers. (How much, what will it cost – that is what clients want to hear.)
  4. Thou shalt be creative. (Creativity can be learned.  Being creative is believing you are creative.)
  5. Eat bran flakes and hire competitive people who like to win for your agency and your clients.
  6. Be conspicuous. (You must make your agency stand out. Don’t copy your competitors.)
  7.  Thou shalt think business. (Clients have business problems. These problems are our opportunities.)
  8. Thou shalt be emotional. (Most advertising is boring. They are afraid to be emotional. People don’t buy because of facts; they buy for emotional reasons.)
  9. Learn to say “No!”
  10. Hire people that are smarter than you are.
  11. Thou shalt have fun! (Do everything possible to enjoy work. Quit your job if necessary.)

These commandments are 20+ years old.  How do you think they hold up in today’s world?  I modified two of them.  Can you guess which ones?

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