Agencies owe it to staff to consult them

I was fascinated to read David Benady’s feature on British Nuclear Fuels’ search for an ad agency (MW January 16).

We had preliminary talks with a client in the nuclear power industry (an organisation that often works in co-operation with BNFL) three years ago and it raised a number of issues here at HHM. Staff comments ranged from “Do I want to pay for my kid’s school fees with money from nuclear power?” to “Nuclear power is here, has a purpose and if we don’t promote it, someone else sure will” – and the full spectrum in between.

We didn’t pursue it in the end. An open discussion here concluded that it didn’t add up culturally or commercially. When all is said and done, the passion and motivation of staff is a prerequisite to producing really good work. I would urge every “thinking” agency to involve their staff in such decisions, whenever they come up. After all, it’s they who have to do the work.

I think, even in these difficult times, as agencies we should remember that nibbling at short-term commercial carrots (organic or otherwise) can have longer-term side effects for the wellbeing of our businesses.

Omaid Hiwaizi

Executive creative director

HHM

London W1

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