David Ogilvy’s Rules for Selecting New Clients

I recently read Confessions of an Advertising Man by David Ogilvy, and thought it was an awesome book about the advertising business, A true classic

According to Ogilvy, the first clients are the hardest to get, but after you get a reputation of doing good work, companies start to seek you.

Ogilvy’s Rules for Selecting New Clients:

  1. Only advertise products which you are proud to be associated with, never advertise a product that you don’t respect and don’t like.
  2. Never advertise for a company that you feel has better advertising than you can offer.
  3. Never advertise for a company that has had failing sales for a long period of time. This normally means that the advertising will not help the sales.
  4. Make sure that the client understands that the advertising agency has to make money as well; don’t make the client money while losing money from your own company.
  5. Question any account that would not be very profitable. If it gives you a chance to show off your skills to other potential clients, then take the account.
  6. Always find the motive for the client switching agencies, if he was let go from the previous agency, find out why.
  7. Do not take clients that put little importance in advertising.
  8. Never advertise for a product that is not yet on the market.
  9. Never take associations as clients.
  10. Only give in to the demand that a person be hired if you get the account if you feel that the person is capable of doing good work for your company

And lastly, if a company publicly announces the companies which it is considering to do their advertising, do not try to get the account, if you do not get it, you will publicly be known for being inferior to the successful company in some way.

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