4 Ways To Tell If Your Agency Is Cheating On You


Jon Hamm's John Ham

The relationship started off so well. We talked all the time…via email, IM, even an invoice every 28 days…it was new and exciting. We felt like we could take on the undecided traveler, and win.

It was almost too good to be true.

But, over time, things started to change.

The agency stopped returning our calls. We would not hear from them for days. When we were together, it felt like they were not listening to what we were saying. And then there was the other client…honestly, every time we went over all that they could talk about was the other client.

Before we knew it, it was all over. We split up.

They got the creative, we got the strategy. 50/50.

But in the end, we felt like we lost.

So, for all of you clients out there, here are 4 ways to tell if your agency is cheating on you:

1. The Agency Does Not Listen To You

You have told them several times not to use that photo, or that color, but there it is again.  Like an ex-client, she just keeps showing up.  And now they are not even listening when we want to tell them about our day…or thoughts on interactive strategy.

They were such good listeners, but now they are more likely to watch another re-run of Mad Men rather than listen to what we have to say.

2. The Agency Does Not Have Ambition

Ugh, just like my last relationship.  Sure, they said all of the right things on the first date, but by date #8, we are lucky if we see them with more than sweatpants on.  Plus, all that talk about being a ‘facebook expert’ appears to be just that…all talk.  Yeah, they are on Facebook, but so is our grandmother…and she is no expert either.

And when we ask them about getting a social media expert, the answer is always ‘after this meeting’ or ‘how about Monday’ or ‘have you met our intern?’

We are beginning to seriously doubt all of those awards.

3. The Agency Keeps Buying New Clothes

All for looking nice, but we swear they have a new outfit…or creative director…every week.  Changing up your style is fine, but we want a little bit of consistency in this relationship.  If we are going to commit long-term, they better get their shit together.

4. The Agency Keeps Asking For Money

We are not a bank, we are a CVB…and we have needs to.  Look, we lost some of our hours at the shop this month…we have less money…and we need your help to figure out how to make our money go further.  Don’t ask us for more just because you can.

Plus, you keep buying beer for ‘Beer Fridays,’ dumb toys to have in the office (you are a 28-year-old agency, why are you playing with a Xbox anyway?) and just hired two new ‘account managers.’

Seems like we should be asking you for money.


Troy Thompson, a self-described technopologist, is a respected blogger, consultant and thought-leader in the Tourism / Travel industry. Owner and consultant at Travel 2.0 Consulting, Troy has been providing unique interactive and marketing solutions to a variety of clients for more than a decade.


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