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Are CCO’s/ECD’s less open to presenting risky work because their pay is based on client retention?

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Everyone’s pay is based on client retention.

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Btw my pay isn’t based on retention but I will have to fire a bunch of good creatives if a client leaves.

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If it's a good ECD or CCO, it may come down to the work being off. Off brand, off brief, off tone. Or maybe it doesn't align with their sales objectives or target audience. For example: I had a team that wanted to do an extreme basketball idea for a sports drink targeted at yoga women. It was a good idea, but wrong audience and the client would've been mad at us for "not understanding their business" had we presented it. The best thing to do is ask why not. Push for an answer. You might learn something about the client, or find a way to tweak the idea so it can be presented, or find a real problem you can solve or audience you can talk to.

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I’ve had CCOs drive away big clients in a few short meetings by blindly presenting cool shit with no sense of context. I agree ECDs and CCOs need to find ways to sell and make great work, but getting there is often nuanced. So, they might not be afraid, they might be thoughtful.

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I think it comes down to knowing the client and their business. some clients don’t want safe. and safe rarely wins [big] pitches.

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State Farm would like a word

There safe/risky question is just nonsense. All it matters is if it’s right. And then how good and original that is. There is no risk on presenting something right. And presenting lame, expected ideas is the least safe thing we can do.

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If the work is right for a client, has good strategy and logic behind it, I feel the work shouldn’t be “risky.” It is just the right idea, at the right time, for the right brand.

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No.

Tale as old as time: Day-to-day client keeps making the work safer out of fear for their job. CMO or CEO comes in and blames agency for tepid creative.

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