FEARFUL: "If account people are not confident in their relationship with the client and strong in their belief in the work, they tend to become cowardly," says JWT's Bob Jeffrey.
ACQUIESCENT: "The yes-man is quick to cede important territory for short-term smiles," cautions DiNoto. "With a truly bad yes-man, anything the client wants -- new font, new headline, whatever -- gets a quick-draw affirmative."
DISLOYAL: Marty Cooke of M&C Saatchi tells of being in a conference room with an account-sider waiting for a meeting with their client. "Just before the client came in," Cooke recalls, "he said to me, 'You're on your own.' He completely abandoned me and the idea I was going to present. There was venom in the air." And Pagano Schenck & Kay's Woody Kay recalls an account supervisor who presented creative work as follows: "He said to the client, 'I promised the creative guys I'd show you these ads. What do you think?' And he held up the ads with his left hand while sticking a finger down his throat with his right. He was fired with great fanfare."
REDUNDANT: A bad suit tells clients things they already know, but like to hear anyway. "Particularly on big-agency accounts, account people often parrot back the research and findings of the client's brand group," says Jeffrey. "They never say anything new."
CONTROLLING: "They try to completely control the relationship with the client," observes Cooke. "They don't want the client to bond in any way with the creative team."
INTELLECTUALLY LAZY: "To be a good account person, you must have a sense of curiosity," says Jeffrey, and be willing to learn about the client's business, the product category, the rationale behind the creatives' thinking. On the other hand, DiNoto says, a bad suit tends to focus all of those intellectual resources