Tony is a strategy-driven, brand-focused 19 year veteran of the advertising industry. Prior to founding The BLÜ Group in 2004 he served as a senior account executive for a variety of large, national brands including Hickory Farms, NEBS, and Betty Crocker. Since BLÜ’s inception, Tony has dedicated his time to helping small-mid size businesses and organizations build strong brands while volunteering for a variety of civic and professional organizations, including serving on multiple boards and chairing a variety of committees.

RIP RFPs

Standing in the shower this morning I was thinking about all the RFPs our agency received this year. E-mail after e-mail with 30-40 page attachments asking for everything from how many freelancers we use and building a tentative schedule (without any understanding about the process) to a built-in rating system that had nothing to with why we should get the work. You know, important stuff like did the owner sign the proposal, did we use the right size font, did we submit the correct amount of copies, did we include social security numbers for our freelancers (WTF – it’s none of your business at this stage).

Combine this with meetings that consisted of being bombarded with questions that had nothing to do with creating great work that gets results by people who had no business being in the room in the first place and it makes me wonder…why in the hell would we ever put ourselves through this again? Especially for jobs that don’t even come close to six figures. The answer is we won’t.

BLÜ is taking a stand and has turned down all RFPs that have come in this summer that did not include in-person meetings and a chance to showcase our creative and marketing expertise. We are in the advertising, marketing, and branding business. Not the BS templatized proposal business that actually kills creativity and the excitement that should come with new business opportunities.

I challenge my fellow advertising professionals to take a stand with me and help prospective clients focus on the things that matter most – doing whatever is necessary to strengthen their brand and grow their business.

We wouldn’t be in business if we didn’t know how to put a schedule together, hit budgets, and provide clients with incredible customer service. It’s the cost of entry. It’s our thinking and creativity that separates us from the run-of-the-mill shops that have gotten good at filling out RFPs only to let companies down when it came to delivering excellence.

Rest in peace RFPs,

Tony Roberts