When I started my first “real” job, I thought agencies were “the coolest” and that everyone liked each other and their job. What you begin to realize within the first 6 months at your office, is just how many office politics exist in the agency world.
First off, you have the office that you work in. Whether it’s the egos of individuals, or departments as a whole, you are working with people and thus there’s going to be tension. This tension manifests itself in a variety of ways and can make working incredibly challenging.
Second, you deal with your client’s politics. This part is the hardest. Sometimes you don’t get to talk to the decision makers, sometimes your creative is literally in the hands of someone trying to make their mark. Or alternatively, your client’s yearly bonus is dependent on the sales of the product that you’re marketing. Your client has to deal with the politics of their office, and so do you. Especially if you’re on the client side. If they get pressured internally, this can then get turned into pressure on the agency, causing tough unreasonable deadlines etc.
I’m not one for politics, never have been, and I hate it. I always believe that you should do the right thing, but sometimes you have no choice but to follow suit. I suppose this is where my mother’s advice always comes in to play, “never lose respect for yourself”, and those are words I try to live by, and thus my advice for navigating the ad world.