“They’re called executions for a reason.”


If you’ve worked in advertising for any length of time, you have some great stories about clients killing or maiming your work. Some clients are just afraid – they’d rather keep with the status quo and protect their jobs instead of going out on a limb. Other clients simply don’t get it. And a few client actually enjoy their power trips by shooting down ideas just because they can. Over the course of my career, here are some memorable quotes from clients when it comes to killing ideas.

“I bet 98% of people would absolutely love this ad. I just don’t want to deal with the other 2%.”

“Don’t be too upset. They’re called executions for a reason.”

Client: “None of these ideas have the main proof point…” Me: “But the main proof point isn’t true.” Client: “Yeah, but no one’s going to know that.”

“My daughter didn’t get it. And I know she’s not the target audience, but she will be in 20 years.”

“That idea would probably work better than anything we’ve ever done. It also would probably get me fired.”

“This one just doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe because it’s such a gray, blah day outside.”

“I’m worried people might think this is an ad for Playboy or something.” (The visual was a wedge of cheese on a satin sheet.)

I’m sure my readers have some good ones. What’s the most ridiculous reason a client has shot down your concept?

2 Responses to ““They’re called executions for a reason.””

  1. 1 Little Penny

    “The measure of success for this campaign is based on how big the logo is.”

  2. Quote after one of the creative presentations: “Well, we’re not actually focused on sales right now.”

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