15 Ad Agency Survival Tips From A 15-Year Agency Veteran

After having worked in the ad agency business for 15 years at Singapore-based agency Formula8, Fiona Bartholomeusz has a few pieces of advice for those toiling their ways through agency life. 

Bartholomeusz's advice covers a wide swath of subject matter, yet she starts out with the most basic, saying: "It doesn’t matter how creative you are or how you’re going to revolutionize the ad world if you can’t run a proper business first. I get a kick out of reading about the next person who wants to create the next award-winning/multinational/experiential/mega network in Asia when they can’t even get it right in their own backyard first."

She moves on to the fact that there is no loyalty in advertising and that it's a rejection-based business. If you can't deal with continuous loss, the ad world is not for you. She notes that yes, you should learn how to drink well and hold your liquor. 

And while working in the industry should be fun, it's not all roses and candy. And yes, sexism is still a thing. On that topic, she has some interesting advice, writing: "Use it to your advantage. Some clients just prefer not to deal with a woman or only want to deal with a female specifically. I don’t care as long as we get the work and clients remain professional and above board. The ones who are initially tougher on females end up being far more respectful once they realize you know your stuff and can’t be browbeaten."

Oh, and on those selfish Millennials, she minces no words, writing: "I’m appalled with the sense of self-entitlement I see coming from many of the Gen Ys. I do worry about the future here if people really don’t buck up and learn to be hungry and ambitious because the rest of Asia is catching up with us. It’s really not the time to be complacent."

Check out all her tips here



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