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SPECIOUS SPEC SPOTS

QUESTION FOR DAN O’DAY:

I am the Creative Director for a medium radio station. I have this constant battle with my sales manager about spec spots. I would like to see what your opinion is.

My sales manager and the sales people come to us with spec spots all the time, and often they want us to just turn around a newspaper ad or brochure into something the potential client can hear, so they can hear what it would sound like to be on the radio. My department is always asking for more information, or to bring me in to meet them and discuss creative, but they insist we create horrible, uneffective ads, full of phone numbers. Sometimes I don't feel like I'm directing the creative at all.

I believe we can do better give our clients something that sells. The salespeople just want to get them on the air and then go back and talk about some serious creative. Do you agree with them?

I may be slightly off on this subject, but it bothers me to see us produce ads that won't work. Why not establish a relationship, give them something that will produce results, and avoid losing them due to a commercial that didn't work for them.

What would you suggest? Maybe just grin and bear it and welcome myself once again to the wonderful world of radio and retail advertising?

DAN REPLIES:

The situation you describe is, simply, garbage.

You are working for and with people who have no understanding of or respect for radio advertising, and they communicate this lack of respect to your customers.

The salespeople are not be blame, because they have been given no meaningful training and therefore know nothing about radio.

Your sales manager is not to blame, because he or she is an idiot.

My advice is that you keep your eye open for a better job...One that you can be proud of.

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