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Marketing Agencies getting rid of “Toxic Clients”. Are you one?

warning label toxic clientsIn times like these, when I would never ever think to hear this from an on-line or ad agency, I was actually part of a discussion about how they are evaluating their clients and the ones that are ” Toxic” of whom they have decided to rid themselves.  Now this bit of news had me turning my head and asking for more info.

Did I hear you right, you are getting rid of Toxic clients?  Is it a green thing?   The answer was a laugh and no, they are clients that are now so demanding, wanting guarantees, being so  rude and pushy that the art of marketing is being replaced with the idea that science of marketing is only numbers driven. The conversation went on to tell of clients approving and signing off on projects only to turn around and tell the agency they are only going to get pennies on the dollar after the projects completed. Or description of a CEO demanding the agency give a  money back guarantee on each project, if it did not bring the exact success scoped in the plan. 

They went on say that the clients who knew what good marketing was have been laid off and their replacements are very junior promotions that are very over their heads. Others  then joined the conversation and chimed in saying that the companies accountants or lawyers were now run marketing in many cases and making demands that clearly showed the agency no consideration of any expertise.

So there is is, the agencies are saying they have had enough of Toxic Clients.  The pain point in agency and client relationship world in some cases has hit the breaking point and it is not longer just the clients who fire the agency. Now the agencies are saying I really do not want to work with you, you are Toxic to us.

The point was made that these clients are disrupting the team work and expertise these agencies bring and were hired and stand for and they are not willing for this to go on any longer.  They would rather risk the revenue stream then stay working with a “toxic client or company”.

One agency CEO described that the marketing person for their client has been “muted” at the meetings and  it is now  the CFO and the Legal team, that sit and grind each concept and each word into nothing that would work. Nor asking input of the marketing professionals on their staff.  

Another described the clients wanting them to sign a legal document that they would be held libel if the company gets any complaints, even if the company signed off and approved all the work.

Toxic Clients Street signSo are you a “Toxic Client”?  I was assured by this group I was not.   My suggestion is to look at what you are asking your agencies and see from their eyes if you have become a Toxic Client.  Stay…Tuned… I am sure there will be more on this subject.

Please share your stories of “Toxic Client” examples.

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5 Responses

  1. Here is a an email I got that clarified the concept from one of the people I spoke with who did not want to leave a direct comment.:

    “Toxic- toxic clients, people, etc. Bad all around, good at contaminating anything that they come into contact with. Not always readily evident or intentional but it happens. Lots of it going around in this economic climate.

    Bottom Feeders- what many marketing service providers resort to in this economic climate. The cream may rise but the scum also rises (I think Hunter S. Thompson said that once in referring to Nixon in the Watergate era). Some bottom feeders are created by toxic organizations/individuals.”

  2. Wonderful Post.

    I want to thank you for the details.

  3. Hey good stuff…keep up the good work! I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks,)

    A definite great read.. 🙂

    -Bill-Bartmann

  4. Cool site, love the info. I do a lot of research online on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say I’m glad I found your blog. Thanks, 🙂

    A definite great read.. <a href="http://wiki.hudson-ci.org/display/~bill-bartmann&quot;

    -Bill-Bartmann

  5. Hey, I found your blog while searching on Google your post looks very interesting for me. I will add a backlink and bookmark your site. Keep up the good work!

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