That Monday morning I was having breakfast with a colleague. I was about to take the first sip of my coffee when she said: “In my advertising agency there are thirty people in the staff and ten of them don’t earn money”.
Maybe there are people who are not surprised by this, but I was. It is not about theories or rumours; it is a real case, something that is happening right now while you are reading these lines. In order not to cause trouble to the people who are still working there, I can only say that it is an international agency, one with a long-standing, imposing name. To add a little more, an agency of the Havas Group in Madrid.
Some weeks ago, one of the two big worldwide advertising lobbies, WPP, disclosed that in 2013 its benefits had increased 19% in comparison to the previous year. Surely this figure is due to new markets, expansions, fusions and many other things that I am forgetting now, but I cannot help thinking that if you save the salary of a lot of people, your benefits increase, right?
It is simply about lying. Telling your clients that those who are actually trainees, at zero cost fresh out of university, are great professionals with high salaries. The quality of the job does not matter; the guarantees you offer do not matter and, of course, ethic does not matter. As an agency, you make more money at the expense of the desperation of young people and of the credulity of your clients.
In Europe we live with the fear of not having a job. Working is one of the most important things. For any amount of money, even if that money is zero. An entire generation of good professionals with little experience willing to do almost anything in order not to be left out of the industry.
Nobody says that dedicating yourself to what you like is easy, but nor is it impossible. Working in something that you are most passionate about is surely one of the best feelings. It is being able to combine your profession and your hobby, something that you do under obligation but what you would also do just because you like it. Unfortunately, there are companies that take advantage of it, of the passion that many people have for their job, of those who enjoy doing it.
I am sure that Havas Group Madrid is not the only one. But at least I wanted to put it in writing that it is one of them. Very bad, Havas Group. Havas Group, very bad. I say it in this way, twice, because truths like this are told very few times.