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Ad agencies taking work in-house

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  #1  
Old 10-15-2008, 11:13 AM
digitalgrb8 digitalgrb8 is offline
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Ad agencies taking work in-house

First post here so apologies for starting with a rant!

I run a small but successful retouch company in London. Been going 9 years now. Recency lost 2-3 jobs because of ad agencies INSISTING on taking the retouching in house. These are photographer clients of ours that we have been working with for over 5 years doing ALL (I mean every little thing) their work. Heavily discounted editorials in the hope of us all being noticed / admired and then landing a big well paid job.

More and more, the agencies are insisting on taking the post production in house. Although I respect the guys working in house, they have no relationship with the photographers, and do not have any idea what style they normally have / techniques they like. 9 times out of 10, the photographers have complained to me after (and the agency) that the work done in house was not good enough or to their liking.

Its all done because of £££££ !!!! - of course!

But its gonna KILL the editorial content. How are the photographers gonna get good deals on the editorial retouching from companies that get no ad work in return?

They have even get to the point of telling the photographer that unless they allow the post in house they will loose the job. Some people I know have turned down jobs because of this, but they have to eat / pay the mortgage like everyone else, and most eventually cave in.

Do other people have similar problems / worries.

G
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Old 10-15-2008, 11:30 AM
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Benny Profane Benny Profane is offline
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Re: Ad agencies taking work in-house

Dude, the magazine business has been going down the same dismal road that the newspapers turned down a decade or more ago. And all that was during supposed "boom" times. Now that we're staring at an oncoming world recession, I wouldn't be so surprised that cost cutting is and will be rampant. It may sound harsh, but the reader could care less about the relationship between the photographers and retouchers who produced the images, and the executives at the big media companies probably even more so, unless they're related to them.
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Old 10-15-2008, 01:10 PM
pixelzombie pixelzombie is offline
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Re: Ad agencies taking work in-house

that's been going on for a while, at least in this area..one of my co-workers got a job offer to work at one of the larger agencies for quite a bit more money...
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:10 PM
digitalgrb8 digitalgrb8 is offline
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Re: Ad agencies taking work in-house

Yes, I know.

I too have talked to a few retouchers who jumped ship from independant retouch companies to in-house depts. for lots more money.

One said that after a while they got totally bored doing commercial work with little or no creativity. Stuff like pack shots / everything looking perfect / the same.

I doubt the in-house dept. have to try and appeal to the photographers in the same way that the small companies like myself do.
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:11 PM
mayday mayday is offline
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Re: Ad agencies taking work in-house

It's sad that the craft is not valued to the same level it once was.
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:19 PM
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twopoint0 twopoint0 is offline
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Re: Ad agencies taking work in-house

The only thing that never changes in this business is the fact that things change all the time. I'm a 20+ year prepress retoucher that started an in house studio for an agency this year- I've spent most of my career trying (not always successfully) to stay ahead of the curve.
By the way, our agency frequently encounters photographers who insist on doing the retouching themselves (Its all done because of $$$$$ !!!! - of course!). Some of their work is good, and some of it keeps me busy retouching the retouched images.
Agencies are doing retouching and photography, prep houses are doing design, photographers are correcting color...
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:40 PM
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Markzebra Markzebra is offline
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Re: Ad agencies taking work in-house

If they think they can do it cheaper and better in house… its not rocket science is it? You can only compete with the quality of what you do versus what they can do. I had a client tell me today that they would only pay an agreed sum for a job regardless of how many amends their client wanted, and I'm really forced in the current climate to consider it. Everyones already cutting corners. When the sun shines make your hay, thats what I've been doing.

Retouching-wise the problem is there's more and more people who think they can do this now, most agencies have a whole stack of designers on board who think they can retouch. As soon as the studio manager says "ok you try" and it comes back at least half of the way there, thats a job lost.

Last edited by Markzebra; 10-15-2008 at 07:49 PM.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:26 PM
HughSteenk HughSteenk is offline
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Re: Ad agencies taking work in-house

In NYC, it's been happening unsuccessfully for the last 5 years. Most are failures. Most produce junk and the ADs realize this and push to go back outside. The In-house also doesn't pay like the boutique, not the reverse. Therefore, they can't get or keep good people and get prepress and junior retouchers and the work looks like. A lot of agencies in NY have tried and scrapped it after awhile.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:28 PM
HughSteenk HughSteenk is offline
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Re: Ad agencies taking work in-house

I'll also add that if you're losing out to in-house boys, you need to re-evaluate the quality of your work. What aren't you offering. The low end has been dead for years. The middle is dead too. Be the best or fold.
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Old 10-16-2008, 02:40 AM
digitalgrb8 digitalgrb8 is offline
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Re: Ad agencies taking work in-house

Quote:
Originally Posted by HughSteenk View Post
I'll also add that if you're losing out to in-house boys, you need to re-evaluate the quality of your work. What aren't you offering. The low end has been dead for years. The middle is dead too. Be the best or fold.
See I knew SOMEONE would say that!
Its nothing to do with the quality of the work! The photographers are getting the ad work on the basis of the excellent quality editorial work (that we work on).
e.g. we spend days making skin look beautiful, for an editorial. Everyone LOVES it! so the photographer lands a massive campaign for skincare. All retouching ends up in house. zero money for us.

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