For years, we’ve heard about the explosion of new vendors in the digital space. The world’s most famous slide shows how all of these vendors and new agencies and services get between the advertiser and, ultimately, the publisher actually displaying an ad to an actual audience. But, what the slide doesn’t show is how some of the startup vendors and agencies are getting new business. 

What I’m getting at is there’s an awful lot of shady goings on lately in the media world. Vendors are going directly to clients and claiming to be one-stop agency shops that can do it better than the AOR. The word “proprietary software” is thrown around with every breath to discredit a reputable agency’s work and at all costs some reps are throwing existing agency relationships out the window in their bid for new business.

From the client perspective, it must be exhausting to get so many calls from so many people about how your current agency is the worst an is destroying your business. From the agency side, it’s akin to an act of war.

I’m sure, to some, this will sound like sour grapes. But, what I’m really talking about is a lack of integrity. There are times when you see a brand that is truly being under served by their current agency. In those times, we have been known to approach the agency and offer our strategy help, insights and provide data to them if needed. While we’d love to have a partnership, we aren’t calling them and telling them they don’t know what they are doing and the need to use us because we know more than they do.

Clients have every right to use new agencies if their existing agency isn’t meeting their needs. But, there is a way to pitch new business without bombarding a client, claiming the agency they are currently working with is incompetent and just outright lying about your so-called “proprietary software” that means you’re the only company in the world that can handle their account.

It’s definitely a new world in the industry, I just wish it were more like a shining city on a hill instead of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.

We refuse to participate in this game. We will let vendors know that if you call on our clients directly we will put you on our banned vendor list. We tell our clients you’ve called, we tell them about your services but we also tell them vendors are not strategists or agencies that have the clients’ best interests in heart. Their best interest is selling their “proprietary software” and not a big picture strategic approach to your account.

To the bad apples out there, you’re spoiling the bunch.