I have been thinking of writing this post for a long time. Gotta give the AEs a little love because I tend to beat them up a lot.
There's a line I love from an episode of Melrose Place (the oh-so-accurate-TV-show-about-advertising) where Amanda (Heather Locklear) declared, “I’m the best damn AE at D&D!”
I tried to find the exact clip on YouTube to accompany this post, but alas, after a couple minutes of viewing cheesy acting and an improbable script, I gave up. I did find the one below where Amanda addresses The Board of D&D – who are appropriately dressed in high-fashion – and declares herself (at about 1:34) as “one of the best AEs in this business” even though she failed a mandatory drug test (in an agency?)!
Of course I watched Melrose Place! My colleagues and I howled with delight, learning how to create an entire ad campaign complete with storyboards – overnight no less – with only the efforts of an AE and a copy intern.
Organize your agency? Pfft. All you need is a power-hungry, bitchy blonde to get things done.
But I digress. This is about a real AE.
I actually have experienced working with The Best Damn AE (or whatever title you prefer). The one who has the often thankless job of client facing.
She isn’t bitchy Amanda Woodward. Her name is Lena.
Lena is awesome. Diligent. Clear.
She cares about her client, their product and her colleagues. And the big bonus . . . She’s super nice.
She is the one person I measure all account-types by.
What’s even more amazing is that I’ve had the pleasure of working with two others who were awesome. Same diligence and values. They had all gotten their start at the same agency.
I don’t know what management is doing at that agency, but they are training their staff very, very well.
I’m sure it comes down to hiring well and training well because three out of three awesome AEs, in this business, is rare.
And each one of them had nothing but great things to say about their past agency experience.
I’m blown away.
Oh, yeah. No last names or agency name. I can’t be responsible for poaching.