Whenever we travel, even in places we've been before, she has a hard time getting her bearings. Please refrain from any helpful comments about using a GPS. They only confuse things.
Thankfully, she is well aware of her directional shortcomings. Although Dana likes to be in control of our family decisions, the navigational responsibilities have fallen firmly into my lap.
As I've grown to accept that she's better at managing our life, she has grown to accept that I'm better at geography. We take control of our areas of strength, let go in our areas of weakness and trust that we have each others best interest at heart. Of course there are occasions where we question our defined roles, but that's bound to happen in any relationship. We acknowledge our differences and strive to work them out.
If only professional relationships operated this same way.
There always seemed to be an understanding that the agency was entrusted to make decisions on behalf of their clients or at the very least was a respected brand adviser. From my perch, as a vendor, this role has greatly deteriorated. There is no better example of this than the "Agency Recommend".
At the risk of sounding like an old timer, back in the day The Recommend meant you were getting the job. Was it a 100% lock? Of course not, nothing is. My O's are tied for first as of this morning so even the Yankees winning the AL East in a down year for the Bosox isn't a sure thing. But, getting The Recommend was as close to a guarantee as you could get.
There was an understanding that the agency was in the best position to choose their production partners. They knew what the client wanted to achieve. They properly vetted their selections. And, they were confident in their creative approach. As a result, the agency owned the decision and gladly accepted the responsibility that went with.
These days I'm not quite sure what The Recommend means. From what I'm told, the agency presents all bid directors accompanied by reels, treatments and any other relevant factors. The agency isn't making a recommend as much as providing data for the client to choose. Unlike in the past, the agency seems to own the responsibility but not the decision.
For us vendors, it produces more juggling and anxiety than we'd like. It often appears to our staff, our crew and mostly to our directors that we EP's don't really have a pulse on our projects. I guess it's because we don't. Our saving grace is the belief that it all evens out. There are jobs we get that we were told we were not. And, there are jobs we did not get that we were told we were.
I feel more for the agencies than for us. It takes months to sell the work. When they finally do, they must review the vast industry talent pool and then ask their vendors to go through a fast paced and arduous bidding process. Yet, they don't have the client's confidence in making a key decision in executing their own concepts. This eroding trust discounts agency opinions and marginalizes their expertise. The Recommend today feels less like a thoroughly researched, fully vetted strategic decision and more like a game of chance.
If this was the dynamic in my marriage I would have no idea where to go and Dana would have no idea how to get there. We would either live in dysfunction or end up divorced. I would assume that's hardly the relationship anyone would want whether a couple or a client.