Friday, May 21, 2010
I've stepped in it plenty of times in my life by saying exactly what I thought about something, and I'd like to think that as I get older, I get better at thinking first and talking later.
Saying what you really think is sometimes stupid and sometimes admirable.
But my hat is off to Susan Gianinno, CEO of Publicis USA when she sent a memo to her staff after getting dumped by Chevrolet. Her note called out Chevy for the treatment. Good for her.
All creative work had been consolidated at Publicis about a month ago, but when a new marketing director came in at Chevy, he decided go with Goodby Silverstein & Partners - without ever even bothering to take a meeting with anybody at Publicis. He'd worked with Goodby when he was at Hyundai. (And it took me three tries to spell that properly.)
So Gianinno sent her staff a memo (read the whole thing in Ad Age here) that said, in part: " . . . they were disrespectful in this decision. It was made without a thoughtful review of what we were doing or had planned. It was made without meeting any of us. That just isn't right."
It's not. But unfortunately for too many people in business, right and wrong doesn't enter in the equation. Look agencies -- and people get fired every day. For good reasons and bad reasons. And if there is more to tell about this than I think, I'll say so. But what the hell is wrong with showing some class and manners in business? Who the hell knows? Maybe if he'd bothered to meet with Publicis and seen what they had in mind, he'd have learned something and decided to hang with them. OK, maybe not.
I, for one, admire Gianinno for standing up for her company. If I worked for her, I'd be pretty proud right now.