From what I have googled and am now noticing as my class goes to different lectures is that the structure of an agency and its account service role is almost identical. The position titles and hierarchy may be slightly different but generally these departments operate the same either side of the Atlantic. Their main goal is to keep the client happy and in the know. Or, as George Terry from We Are Social put it, they "get shit done."
We Are Social is a social media agency that seems to be a hybrid of public relations and advertising. While there I was able to peek at my first U.K. agency and see how they operate.
Surprisingly, this agency and Marcus Thomas both radiated a similar vibe. The fun, quirky and random lifestyle is what drew me to advertising initially, so I'm glad to see the same outside of the United States.
While listening to various presentations, I picked out insights that the account representatives mentioned. Helen Simpson, account manager, started to describe the relationship she has with her client.
"The people that run [Heinz Beanz] are a bit mad themselves, so they get where we're coming from."
John Crozier, an account representative for Adidas, mentioned the #1 buzz word from my U.S. research - trust. He explained that in order to get a client to trust the agency, the team must present recommendations to clients that are backed with proof explaining why it will work.
John and George stressed the importance of having passion for what you do. At We Are Social, people are placed in jobs fit for their interests. Both men also exhibited a massive amount of knowledge on Adidas (while sporting Adidas sneakers).
- U.S. and U.K. agencies have similar personas, but the British culture lends to a different type of relationship with a client.
- Account service representatives have the same qualities, but U.S. and U.K. prioritize the qualities differently.
- Becoming the client and living the brand is key in both work environments.