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A Festive Day In The Life of an (unnamed) Agency

12.00 GMT So, it’s the morning after the Christmas party and my client Bob will be calling from NYC to see if the creative is done for his January campaign. The time zone helps as my iPhone seemed not to vibrate on my pillow to wake me up. Still, its now midday and I need to get Bob what he needs.

12.57 GMT By the time I get to the Hoxton office, which resembles the aftermath of a nuclear reactor meltdown, I have missed two calls and have five new emails from an increasingly irate Bob. I am feeling pretty nauseous when I realise that the campaign deadline is looming, how long the sign off process was taking and the date of final sign off - 20th December.

Worse, as I untangle the phone from the remnants of cheesy Doritos and spilt cocktails I realise I have a conference call in three minutes…..

14.08 That Skype call was brutal. We have the rest of what will be a long night to get the chocolate bar campaign signed off. Which would be a lot easier if I knew exactly where in the creative process we were. I need to find out before Bob calls

14.09 Time to phone Johnny in the studio, Debbie in Legal and Zoe in production.

14.32 After speaking to all three (Johnny, Debbie and Zoe) I am no clearer where we are and Bob is sending me more emails than my Inbox can cope with. He also wants to talk about a new sign-off process. Who knew? He also wants to ‘touch base’ again at 15.00.

14.45 After half an hour of fretting over a cappuccino with a side order of headache pills, I catch a lucky break. The artwork has reappeared somewhere between the studio and the freelancers we use when we are maxed out. This is great news!

14.55 I feel like I have ‘snatched defeat from the jaws of victory’ as the Adobe files will not open on my Mac. Wrong version of something. This is bad,

15.28 Despite being in the plush offices of one of the world’’s largest confectioners, Bob is not in a good place. He is threatening to move his account if I cannot get a properly marked-up version over to him within the hour. At last count I have five different versions some with mark-ups, some without and someone spelt the product name incorrectly, which did not escape from Bob’s notice. Time to call the freelancer - she may know where we really are with this.

15.46 Who told the CEO? We now have real issues (on a par with last year’s we say/you say, Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays debacle). Our CEO, a former creative herself doesn’t like to communicate via email and does not take negative feedback well. She has summoned me and the team to her office. Time for another headache pill.

16.30 So the list of deliverables to sign off has been lengthened. We now need to find photography, the web mock-ups, the TV scripts and it all needs to religiously follow the Brand Bible our sister agency came up with last month. This should be the season of goodwill to all men, but I am not feeling it right now. Time to start scouring the five SharePoints we jointly use.

17.30 With the client breathing down our neck and no one from the team willing to work late because of Christmas drinks, it looks like a long night ahead. Still, while I am waiting for the team to find the relevant marketing assets, I have a lot of time on my hands to read that ‘Lean Marketing’ article recommended by a colleague, who is now heading out the door…

It is a shame our unnamed account director was not using Screendragon. Here is to a Leaner 2014, Merry Christmas everyone. JQ