Let’s start with a massive assumption.

You’ve written a tight brief, with a single-minded proposition and you’ve given your creative agency enough time to crack it. (Miracles do happen).

The agreed date arrives and the agency walks in with easels, overhead projectors, a sound system, nervous smiles and enough cardboard to tilt an entire eco-system.

They present the campaign, hopefully in under an hour. The work is clear, the message lucid and now it’s your turn to respond.

If it’s not on brief, you’ll well within your rights to terminate the meeting and demand that they return having corrected that massive flaw.

That’s easy enough.

But what happens when the work is entirely on brief, but you just don’t like it?

Try and remove yourself and imagine how your audience will respond. After all, you don’t have to like it, but your customers do.

Do not insult your agency by nitpicking about the background colour, the length of the copy, the chosen font, or that eternal favourite — the logo size.

You’re not qualified to judge.

Of course you can always put it out to research, but that’s money spent on an inherently flawed system. (The average person has no idea how to judge a storyboard any more than I can intelligently comment on an architectural blue print).

Your best bet is to be honest. Say that you can’t fault the work, but make it clear that you don’t like it.

Put your trust in them. If they truly believe in the work, they’ll persuade you to run it.

If not, they’ll offer to come back with a different campaign.

If that’s the case you can ask why they presented it in the first place.

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