November 24, 2003

'Twas the night before Christmas in media land.

Not a thing was revised on the media plan.

The flowcharts were hung on the corkboard with care

In hopes that the buy authos soon would be there.

The I.O.s were nestled all snug in the fax.

They'd beat holiday closes, so we could relax

My planner was tired, and I was tired, too.

It was Christmas Eve, we had shopping to do.

When all of a sudden the fax machine clattered,

The e-mail alert beeped; now what was the matter?

I grabbed the fax and screamed out, "No f*****g way!

The client wants spots to run on Christmas Day!"

The buyers were all gone, the stations were closed;

With this client, saying "no" meant we were hosed.

When, what should appear at the free-lancer's desk

But an old guy in red with a huge rolodex.

He said, "Forward that e-mail, and buy guidelines, too.

And make a copy of that fax when you're through."

Turned on the computer and opened his pack,

Pulled out books and CDs, placed them in a stack.

"Here's Nielsen and Arbitron, Datatrak, SQAD,

Here's Donovan, Strata, and Tapscan, by God.

I'll start at the top and start making some calls.

And get station reps lest they dash away, all!"

He had sales rep's home phones, some GSMs', too.

There were even some traffic assistants he knew.

Some owners he'd known from their D-market days,

A spot bank guy working in Pittsburgh PA.

"Take 15% off of your cost per spot!"

"Get me in all of the specials that you've got!"

Some holiday bowl games and billboards in sports,

And sponsorship of all the weather reports.

And slowly, as I watched with my mouth agape,

The client's request had begun to take shape.

He plugged in the numbers and played with the mix.

He screamed at one rep to get her schedule fixed.

He gave me a wink and a nod of his head,

And with a keystroke he put the buy to bed.

At goal, under budget, the whole thing was fine.

He'd even adhered to all buying guidelines.

He picked up some cookies that sat on a tray

That sent out to us yesterday.

He packed up his stuff and he picked up his load

And down the waiting elevator he rode.

And I heard him yell out a disheartening line:

"Now the client's expecting this all of the time!"

Season Greeting ...

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