Our headline today comes from a May 23rd article from Adweek. The article is about how McDonalds is apparently handling its creative review. According to AdWeek, McDonalds is giving agencies just two months to present a comprehensive campaign proposal, and as if that was not enough of a tightrope, McDonalds is also demanding that future partners work at cost and get paid based on performance.
Anyone who works in any kind of service industry faces the conundrum of the ridiculously tough customer at least once. Back when I worked as a cashier, there were a few customers that I really didn’t want to continue serving because they were just simply rude and difficult to work with even in that simple scenario. Other situations are not so easy to untangle. What do you do, for example, if you are manufacturing items for a customer who never seems to think they should pay full price? Is it worth trying to maintain a relationship with a client who is always late to pay? How do you decide where your line should be drawn?
Often, in the business world, money is the bottom line. One of the agencies pitching McDonalds, WPP, actually bowed out of the contest according to AdWeek. WPP is not quoted in the article with an explanation of why they bowed out, but speculation is easy to manufacture. They probably felt that the game as rigged towards the agencies McDonalds is already working with. They already know the entire lay of the land, so the two-month deadline would not be so restrictive. Moreover, the work that would be required for the new agency to become profitable in the deal likely seemed impossible. It had to have been a tough decision. Working as the agency of record for a company as big as McDonalds is no small feat. But they did the measuring and decided to pass it up.
To Thine Own Self Be True
What about measuring business based on the personal cost to you as a professional? This is a much tougher call, especially because of that old trade line, “It’s not personal, it’s business.” It doesn’t seem fitting to create an uproar in a professional setting. Word can travel fast that YOU are the one who’s hard to work with, and YOU are the one who ended the business relationship. You can lose a profitable relationship based on personal shenanigans. Is that ever worth it?
I saw an interesting post on LinkedIn a few days ago that illustrated this point. A fellow posted an apology to his clients. He said he wouldn’t be able to assist them that day because he was camped out in the parking lot of another client who had failed to pay him for months. The guy had a point, of course. When you do work for someone, getting paid is kind of a priority. But I highly question whether a post like that will do him any good. Would you want to work with someone who airs dirty laundry in public like that? I find it to be a turn-off.
Perhaps he figured any negative ramifications would be offset by perhaps finally getting paid, or never again working with a company that does not pay well.
Has there ever been a time when the business wasn’t worth it for you? We’d love to hear your story.
Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/thematthewknot/3924980314/ via Creative Commons