Is Your Creative Agency Playing Games? 6 Signs to Spot the Cheaters!

BY Benjamin

August 11, 2023

Let’s talk about something juicy today – spotting those sneaky signs that your creative agency might be playing. It’s like being in a relationship, you gotta make sure your agency is treating you right and giving your brand the love it deserves. So, grab a cuppa and let’s dive into the telltale signs that your creative agency might be cheating on you!

Sign #1: They Like To Play The Ghosting Game

You know that feeling when your crush stops texting you back? Well, if your agency’s suddenly MIA, leaving your calls and emails on read, it’s time to raise that eyebrow. A little space is cool, but if they keep dodging you like it’s a game of hide-and-seek, it’s time for a reality check. 

What’s really a good response time? The best is RIGHT AWAY, but max should be about half day. A good creative agency never forgets to communicate, and the best ones even overcommunicate. If it takes for them to get back to you beyond 24 hours, it’s time to look elsewhere.

Agency Ghosting 101 - TWIST Creative Inc. - A Full Service Advertising Agency

Sign #2: They Got The “Oops, We Did It Again” Syndrome

Hey, accidents happen, but if your agency’s always dropping the ball on deadlines, it’s more than just bad luck. Excuses can only go so far before it becomes a pattern, and let’s face it, nobody likes to play the waiting game forever! Performing agencies like to show off by always delivering ahead of time, or giving you a heads up when they need more time to finish your request. Remember, what you allow, continues!

4,696 Oops Vector Images | Depositphotos

Sign #3:  One-Size-Fits-All Creativity

You want a unique and kickass brand, but all you get are those cookie-cutter solutions? Yikes! Chances are, they’re handing out the same stuff to everyone. Your brand deserves better than a one-size-fits-all approach, so if they’re not bringing the fireworks, they might be faking it. It’s always good to work with an agency whose owners are also creatives themselves, so they know what looks good and what looks unacceptable. 

One size fits all? No todo sirve todo el tiempo. - Nicolas Costa

Sign #4: Team Shakeup Shenanigans

Whoa, you got a new account manager again? And the third designer in as many months? If your agency’s going through a revolving door of staff, it’s like dating a bunch of strangers at once. How can they understand your brand if they can’t even remember your name? A fast turnover of staff is a sign that the agency is not taking good care of their talent, and unhappy staff never perform well. Stick to an agency who knows how to value their people so their people can value you even more.

What Does High Turnover Mean? Turnover Rates and Causes

Sign #5: They’re CIA, But They’re Not CIA

Transparency is key in any relationship, even with your creative agency. If they’re playing CIA-level secrecy about their methods and results, it’s like they’re hiding something. Although they don’t need to give you a detailed blueprint of every single thing they do, you should be free to ask some processes and they should be able to answer it without hesitation. No room for shady business here! 

Lips and Finger Shh Neon Sign Custom Neon Sign Neon Sign - Etsy UK | Neon signs, Neon, Custom neon signs

Sign #6:  High Effort, No ROI

We all love a good sales pitch, but if your agency’s all talk and no action, it’s time to wake up from that dream. We know of so many stories of clients being promised the moon and the stars, but they end up paying more and earning less. Be watchful around agencies that are all style, zero substance in your ROI. Above all, work with people who know their accountability. Don’t fall for those sweet promises that never come true. You deserve results, not just fancy words.

find investment opportunities financial success See how to make profits and get new ideas. Curious businessman with telescope. 7608375 Vector Art at Vecteezy

Bottom Line:

It’s sad but it’s true, some agencies just don’t care. If you spot any of these red flags, it’s time to sit down and have a heart-to-heart with them. A solid relationship is built on trust, communication, and genuine effort. If your agency isn’t giving you the support you need, it might be time to swipe left and find one that’ll treat your brand like the superstar it is! Partner up with a creative agency who values client experience, call the guys at 55 Knots today.



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Captain of ships and commander to a crew of designers. Benjamin Williams is a creative director with over 20 years of experience working with the world’s largest brands.