Agency Review Horror Stories and How to Give up the Ghost

The pandemic made some bad practices even worse. Here are suggestions and solutions for making the search process more productive and less painful


RFPs have long been far from perfect. Throw COVID-19 into the mix, necessitating that reviews be conducted virtually, and you get a perfect storm. Ad Age spoke with 15 agency executives about recent review trends and unearthed some true horror stories—along with some good advice for how to spot a bad review. To protect the agencies interviewed, most of the following people were granted anonymity.


Nearly all the agencies we spoke to experienced some form of “ghosting”— when a prospective client disappears in the middle of a review. One large agency we spoke to was ghosted six times over the past six months.

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