My ode to the most under appreciated people in Ad Land: “Reps”

February 24, 2010

The almighty “Rep”

Ever notice during the Academy Awards the winners from both sides of the camera always find time to thank their agents and managers, before even co-stars and spouses? They never forget these people. Even when the cut-off music begins they do not leave that stage without thanking the manager(s) who stood by their sides and the agent(s) who put the deals together.

Odd and sad then, that during every –and I mean every- advertising awards show the winners never –and I mean never- thank the men and women who got them the very jobs that are winning them awards!

I’m of course talking about artist representatives; otherwise known as “reps.” A liaison between agency and producer, these are the folks who secure gigs for the photographers and directors who produce all our ads. An indispensable link, and yet they typically go unheralded: by agency personnel and by their own talent.

Why? Maybe it’s a form of restrained prejudice where they are considered “help” and the creative community their masters. More likely our egos and insecurities get in the way. God forbid we share credit with yet another person. Neither option is attractive (to them or us) but either way it’s been like this forever.

Yes, there are exceptions. And yes, I should probably speak for myself. But still, these soldiers of our fortune deserve better.

When I first started out, it was reps that took me to lunch, introduced me to peers, and talked to me when my supervisors wouldn’t. They came to my office, bringing coffee, cookies and directors. Entranced, I even asked a couple of them out on dates! One or two may have even said “yes.” Like I said, theirs is thankless work.

While the digital age permits reels and photos to be viewed over the Internet, the artist rep can and does play a vital role in getting jobs booked.

So… to those many tireless advocates of creativity: for all you’ve done (for me and the industry), for all you’ve endured, and for all you’ve brought to the table- Thank you!

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10 Responses to “My ode to the most under appreciated people in Ad Land: “Reps””

  1. I’m sending this article to my rep as a thank you note!

    Thank you

    Leandro Ekman

  2. Lauri Aloi said

    Amen. I did it for 10 years and was lucky to be associated with people who appreciated the effort. But typically, an underestimated role. For all those that had an open door and an open mind, you made my last decade. As for the others … I don’t miss you.
    Lauri Aloi (formerly Hungry Man and Partizan)

  3. Cheers to all of them! We know that your day starts early and ends after the dinner check has been paid with you company card.Many of you have been my friends for years and even if it’s just business friends, that’s cool. You work your a**’es off to get paid and we know it gets harder and harder.
    A toast to you all.
    Damon Webster

  4. The joy of working with creative geniuses sequestered
    in their dorms, using parts of their brains account
    execs dream they had– they make our days too– with a great line by Max Beerbohm: “Each day the world
    is separated between guests and hosts–” I was always one or the other– listening to the stories of John Hughes, Peter Seaman and Jeff Price (“Roger Rabbit 2”)Tim Kazurinksy’s dialects, Don Novello’s Papal wardrobe– it was more fun for us, beleive me! Ad folks are the must amusing, “interpreters of our culture.” And most are our friends!

  5. SRP said

    Listening to tales from luminaries (and learning from them) is one of the greatest parts of all our jobs.

  6. Ann McKallagat said

    Thank you so much for the kind words on behalf of reps. It made my heart smile.

  7. Connie Mellors said

    Thanks so much ……It really does go a long long way.

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