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IHAVEANIDEA.ORG > ask jancy >  My new AD partner isn’t carrying her weight

My new AD partner isn’t carrying her weight


I have a two part question for you guys.
I’ve been at an agency for four years ad I have a problem concerning my new art director. In our eight months of working together, she hasn’t contributed to our assignments very much at all. I honestly do about 90% of the conceptual work and 90% of the selling and the frustration is building up fast.
I’ve talked to her about it a few times and she keeps on apologizing and saying that things will change. Things haven’t changed. While I try to stay civil and not show how I’m feeling, I’m not sure how much more of this I can handle. I need a partner.
Also, I end up art directing her art direction a lot and even worse, this girl talks, talks and talks a big game so no one realizes just how useless she is except for me.
The question is, because of this bad economic time, do I tell my CD all this and risk her being frustrated with the situation and end up getting rid of the both of us? Or do I stay quiet and learn to deal with it. I believe I am valuable to the company and I’ve been very successful here so I’d like to think I could bring this to her. I’m just not sure.
And part two of my question, I have three writer friends that experience a lot of the same things I’m going through with my art director, so the question is, where have all the good, hardworking art directors gone? Or are we just unlucky?

intro My new AD partner isnt carrying her weightWell that sucks. We’re going to call this time to talk to your CD. Waiting isn’t going to help, and doing nothing can only mean bad things. You’ve been there long enough to have credibility and value to your CD. Broach the subject honestly and tactfully. Stick to the absolute facts, so it’s clear this isn’t subjective or emotional. Your basic story is about a bad fit. She may work better with someone else. It’s like an arranged marriage and a lot of times it doesn’t take. If your CD has no solution, then the ball is in your court. You may be wise to start looking elsewhere and cut short the misery. Hopefully there will be other options. To stay in a bad partnership is a slippery slope. Your work will suffer and that translates pretty quickly to your career stalling.

There are plenty of very hard working art directors out there. You’ve had some bad luck. It always strikes us that the minute we need a writer we can only find great art directors, and vice versa. We don’t see a trend in slacker/hack ADs.

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About Jancy

'Jancy' is Janet Kestin and Nancy Vonk, Co-Founders of Swim, a unique “creative leadership training lab for advertising creatives and marketers.” Prior to Swim, Jancy was globally renowned as the Co-Chief Creative Officers of Ogilvy & Mather Toronto, a position they held for thirteen of the twenty years they were a creative duo at the agency. Over the years they've racked up Cannes Lions, Clios, One Show pencils and CA credits, and have lead their shop to two Cannes Lions Grand Prix and a Grand Clio. They've judged CA, Cannes, D&AD, the One Show, the Clios and other prestigious award shows. Creativity named them two of the top 50 creative people of 2008. Known for their outspoken, no-bullshit style and a passion for mentoring juniors, they're ready to give you advice if you're ready to take it.

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