Comparison is not professional

I was interested to read your article Paying the game (MW February 26) and, in particular, to see the luminaries that contributed to it. Each well-known in their own way and mostly managing large agencies. For the most part, I was in agreement with the mood and tone but did take exception to Clive Mishon’s remarks.

“A study by the SPCA found agencies were charging out their services at between 120 and 130 an hour. When you compare this with other professions, it’s crazy. A law partner would be charged out at twice or three times that amount.”

The SPCA is, indeed, about to publish a report indicating that charge-out rates “claimed” are reaching 120 to 130 per hour. The fact is that the figures referred to are for directors only, and placed out of context, put a hefty skew on reality.

His comparisons with doctors and lawyers are totally inappropriate when it comes to the essential nature of those other two professions, the training involved and the continual stream of complaints about costs.

Finally, if he is suggesting to the innocent reading public that this is what we are charging and are deeply unhappy about (as he seems to be), we are all in for a much harder negotiation battle henceforth. Thanks very much Clive!

In future, I would be happy to provide a view from a medium-sized agency that has been in the market for more than 20 years.

Mark Joy

Business development director

The Ingram Agency

London W1

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