Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Damned if I do and Damned if I don't!

Oh how strange are the challenges life throws at us.

This all happened a couple of weeks back when we pitched and won quite a large piece of business from a new client. Let's call it brand X. Everyone was thrilled. Now this new brand we got was in direct competition with a product one of our existing clients were marketing. Let's call it brand Y. However since they were working with another agency on this product there was no conflict of interest. At least that is what I thought. As it was ethically correct I went and officially informed my client that I would be working on brand Y. The first response was but we thought you were working on brand Y. Well the bottom line after much discussion was that they wanted us to give up product X and they were willing to give us product Y to placate us. Now I am stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. Firstly how do I go and tell company X that I don't want to handle their business. There is always a chance that I will jeopardise my relationship with them for good because of this. Secondly; in terms of income we would make product Y will never even come close giving us the revenue we would get from product X. On the other hand if I don't give up product X it will jeopardise my relationship with the company who markets product Y. A company who has had a strong relationship with us for a long time and is also one of our important clients. This is my quandary. But guess finally I will have to bite the bullet and kiss product X goodbye. They say a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. But I wonder what one would say for two birds in hand? Sigh!


~Nemesis~ said...

I know how you feel dude... least ur stuck between clients.. what happens when your stuck between client & company? lol...

Btw... I do understand the conflict of interest, however if that is the case wouldn't it be a limitation for an agency to handle one client of each industry or brand only?

cj said...

@Nemesis: You are right it is a limitation. From the time I can remember agencies don't handle conflicting accounts. But it was understood the client would work exclusively with that agency making it a win win situation. But now some clients work with multiple agencies. In such situations the old agreements don't stand but there are a few people who try to enforce them. But I am looking forward to a time when these barriers will come down.