Agencies should have the courage to say no to clients if the fit isn’t right and consider the process much like choosing a girlfriend, according to Dutch agency Kessels Kramer founder Erik Kessels.
In an interview with Scott McCubbin of Uniform, enigmatic figure Kessels said he was proud that in the 15-year history of his agency, they’re never made “really horrible work” and cited agencies creating work “to pay the rent” as a source of creative frustration.“It’s very important, especially when you start a company, to say no,” he said. “It’s almost more important than to say yes. There are a lot of people who approach you and it doesn’t always fit – and that’s not a big deal. A client you work for it also a little bit like a girlfriend; you need to like other from the beginning.”He added: “It needs two to tango. When you make really good work, 70 or 80 per cent of that is mostly the client, and that’s what sometimes people forget. You have to come up with a good idea or nice designs, but if the other person on the other side of the table is not into it, or brave enough, or does not have the vision beyond that work on the paper it can be as creative as you want but there isn’t a podium for you.”Kessels went on to talk about an event his agency came up with after Holland didn’t qualify for the 2002 World Cup - and “a lot of people in the office were quite bored” – that saw 25,000 people visit Bhutan for a match between the two lowest-ranking Fifa football nations, Bhutan and Montserrat.