Confessions

Recently left Leo Burnett for a small agency and am frustrated with small agency world. I feel bad saying this, but when nobody I worked with had ever heard of LB I immediately wrote them off.

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Make them change their minds and processes. Be an influencer. Be a leader. Be a promoter of efficiency. Sounds like an excellent position for you to drive a better team, be recognized, get promoted, then make millions!

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likeuplifting
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They all came from retail (which in our scenario makes sense as we were formed through a relationship for a global sportswear brand) and have never done a proper briefing process and think it’s normal for clients to text them important briefing info. They’re underutilizing me bc they don’t understand what a strategist does and so I’m essentially another account person. Things are frustrating. I wanted to get away from the ridigity of LB but not freewheel and that’s what this feels like

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This is like one of those movies where someone’s girlfriend has never seen all the classic romantic movies and the main character can use famous lines with impunity. Use your knowledge of how agencies actually work to become the office wunderkind

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That’s what I’m trying. Creating briefing templates, trying to optimize from within, etc. It was definitely a punch in the gut to have the person who hired me (who listened to me talk about my experience at LB for 45 minutes) ask about my old team and be shocked when I said I was on a team of 40+. He asked “the whole agency was 40 people?” And I was like, no... the office was 1500, the global network is much more.... and he was floored. He had no idea. And it makes me wonder what they hired me off of if my title and place of work clearly went over their heads

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likeuplifting
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I’m interested in where you are. I have a similar story (hence my advice) and went from household name agency to in-house sports apparel. If you feel ok with it, DM me. We may be in the same boat 🚣

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likehelpful
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The good news is they hired you because of you, not LB. Great opportunity for you to be a merit based leader in your new shop. Lots of good things about smaller places: nimble, less bureaucracy and politics. Embrace it.

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OP — what you’re describing here sounds exactly like what I’m dealing with at the in-house agency I joined. I tried to raise the bar on the work, establish better strategic thinking, help people understand the value of counter intuitive thinking, etc. But if the team doesn’t believe in the principles of what makes great advertising, nothing you can say or do will change anything. You’re better off working with like-minded people somewhere else...

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