A lot has changed with the recession and the general downturn in advertising, so the rates have dropped dramatically. For someone like me it’s pretty much stayed the same except there’s less work. Because I would consider myself the B- range, and there are a lot of A guys that are doing work now they wouldn’t have touched three or four years ago. They’re doing detergent commercials. I’m bidding against people that, and it blows my mind. I bid against David Mamet. And I’m just like, are you kidding me? I’m bidding against a literary icon? It’s like, if I were an agency and I had the choice between David Mamet and me, I’d be working with David Mamet, just because then they can walk around saying that they worked with David Mamet. So that’s why it’s gotten hard at an entry level.

via The F STOP

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  1. Advertising agencies have always followed the adage that if you have a shitty idea you hire a big name and throw excessive amounts of money at them. At least you’ll get the rub out of it. Clients are snowed into thinking it can’t be bad because this infamous person was involved and the ad manager gets to meet and work with a famous person.

    However the old adage ” a pig is a pig no matter how you dress it ” is much more accurate.

    It’s a sad statement about the advertising industry and our culture.

  2. That is a true statement. Everyone is trying to more with less, so the guys who had the 10k budget and hired the 10k photogs are now working with a 5k budget. So as the 10k photog, do you stick to your guns and say no that gig is worth 10k and then not get the job? Or do you work with less also? Everyone is working ‘down’ So while the 10k photog is now working for 5k, there is another set of AD’s who used to have 25k budgets, now working with10k and the 25k photog is working at 10k. This is where the opportunity lies. If you stick with it and ‘become’ a new 10k photog, you will be working with the 25k AD’s, who will eventually ( ideally ) be working with the 25k budget again. You can build your relationships upwards. It is as always hard work. You will be competing with bigger names. I have heard that some of the biggest names in our business are taking just about any job that comes their way. Some are even waaay undercutting just to get a gig, keep working and keep making payroll. Big overhead makes it hard to say no. – pt

  3. @Peter,

    It’s nice to think that budgets will go up again but it’s got to be hard to convince a client to pay 25k for what 10k got them last year.

  4. The challenge is that the work on your website has production values = x, but the budget is x – y. At some point, regardless of how much you’re willing to cut your fee or how much talent you bring to bear, the work will look like X – Y work. But – you took the job and your client is expecting it to look like what you show w/ values = X.

    Eventually you find that your business is worth X – 2Y if your not careful.

  5. Everyones cash flow for advertising has changed. Since people are not spending a lot of money, there is less money to go towards advertising from companies like DKNY or Ford. So the agenencies get less money. When, that is when people start spending and the market starts heading up yeah more money will be spent on ads to get more customers….

  6. Your sense of humor makes me chuckle. You have a very valid point regarding the change in competition. I think this stresses that although others may have better work, it’s all about the hustle and effort put in. The squeaky wheel gets the oil.

  7. Bugets will go up? I don’t think so! But Chris is right. Nowadays it’s all about the hustle!!! The playing field just changed and the wheels are very squeaky!

  8. People will pay you those amounts when you prove them that you are one of kind. If your work is completely unique. They have no other choice. At this point being creative and standing out of the crowd plays the principal role.

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