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A mongst the very first things I learned as a fledgling ‘suit’ in advertising were the two great dilemmas of account management. The first was this. A good account man would, like Janus, successfully navigate the problem of having to represent – simultaneously – both the client to the agency and the agency to the client. It’s a classic intermediary, ‘added value’ role, although the real value-add would often lie in the skill of the individual in negotiation and the art of selling (to both sides). The great account man (and I would hasten to add that many of them were account women) would be able to pull off the feat of having each side in ...

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