Tuesday, June 6, 2017

The UnAmazing Race to the Bottom

Smell that?

That's desperation. And it's so pungent it's coming through my ultra high definition 4K monitor with the 75Hz pixel refresh rate.

Last week, while trolling...er, reading the posts on linkedin, I noticed several Creative Resource Managers and/or recruiters looking for freelance copywriters.

If you've ever seen one of these postings you know it's like a dead elephant carcass on the Serengetti, attracting vultures, hyenas and all manner of advertising carnivore trying to snag a morsel. I've seen the anxious comment thread reach well into the three digits.

"Pick me."

"I'm perfect for this assignment."

"Please give me this gig. My dog is on life support. And my family has been reduced to eating Sneaker Soup and Stolen Ketchup Packet Sandwiches."

I don't play these games.

Or, if I do leave a comment it's of the snarky, I-don't-give-a-fuck variety. For several reasons. There are any number of freelance copywriters out there who are better. There are freelance copywriters who have more produced work in their book. And there are many more freelance copywriters out there who are easier to look at and make for better eye candy, male or female.

But the number one reason I don't participate in these scrounge scrums is I have my dignity.

I'm not about to beg. And certainly not for the opportunity to write the manifesto for your new kale-infused toothpaste. Or the banner ads for your new vegan cat food. Or the brand activation units for your opioid induced constipation remedy.

I still have a shred of dignity. Other colleagues, not so much.

Recently, I saw an enterprising young copywriter quoting her obscenely low day rate over the inter webs. When you consider the late nights and all the incumbent strategic changes that go with the typical assignment, it effectively puts her labor on par of the night watchman who spends his graveyard shift walking the empty hallways and trying to reach level 138 on Candy Crush.

No, thank you.

I'm wrapping up a job today. And rolling into another one tomorrow. And if it ever gets to the point where I find myself side by side with other desperate copywriters gnawing on rotting elephant meat, I'll know it's time for this 44 year old to hang up the cleats.

Besides, I hear advertising is a young man's (or woman's) game anyway.

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