Advertising agencies have an expression : The Marketing Director's Broom.
This mythical appliance is wielded when a Marketing Director begins a new job and sweeps ad agencies, media buyers, bogroll suppliers et al down the shit-shoot and into a world of redundancies, self-recrimination and explosive alcoholic arguments.
Right now, in at least ten of the nation's advertising agencies, an account handler is walking back into the agency with a distinctly twitchy sphincter because he or she will have to announce to their colleagues, 'They're getting a new Marketing Director'.
Everyone thinks they know what this means. They think it means that they will shortly be fucked inside out and wanked onto the scrapheap without so much as a bin liner to put all those fucking pictures of their kids in.
They are right.
The first thing I do when I take a new position is to fire the agency. Sometimes I don't even look at the work they've done.
Why? Because they're not my fucking agency. They're 'the incumbent'. And they're some other cunt's agency. So if they're brilliant, everyone will give that cunt the credit. And if they suck harder than Madonna on a tour bus, everyone will look at me to sort out the problem. Either way, I don't come out looking like a big fucking hero - which I do if I fire an agency and get a new one. Look at me! I got a new agency! They've got a planner who looks like Eraser Head and a creative director who used to be in a fucking band! Woohoo! Hooray for Dave!
Another important point: being the new Marketing Director is the most perfect of perfect times to have a pitch. And we all know how much fun pitches are. (Unless you're an agency, of course. Then it's an absolute fuckmungous batshit nightmare that costs you a fortune!)
Anyway, the long and short of it, my fellow marketing professionals, is this: the saddest word in advertising is incumbent.
Listen to it. I-n-c-u-m-b-e-n-t. Ooooh, fucking shoot me, why don't you? I'm the incumbent. I've got less reason to live than Subo's dietician.
'The incumbent' sounds like a benign polyp they find on your nudgers. 'Mr Knockles - if you just lift up your dangle-bag, you can see you've got a very uninteresting lump there. Don't worry, it's just an incumbent. We'll call it and say the words 'agency review' and it'll shrivel up and die.'
So, within 25 seconds of starting my new job, I called up the incumbent and said those fateful words: 'Hi! I'm the new Marketing Director. I think I need to...you know...freshen things up a bit.'
Then I held the receiver away from my ear as the screams rang out, the pleading started and the P45s were prepared.
The Marketing Director's broom is real. I've got one, and I fucking use it.
Why? Because I AM THE CLIENT!