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Published: Dec 19 , 2013
Author: Robin Copland, Partner

On the BBC news website in a move eerily reminiscent of Laura Ashley and John Lewis (see 28 March blog), it has been confirmed yesterday that department store Debenhams has told suppliers of its own brand products to cut their bills by 2.5% as a "contribution" to its investment plans”. It said it would deduct this from all outstanding payments on Tuesday night and would apply another discount of 2.5% to orders open on its system.

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The Agency of "No"

It had been three months since the start of our relationship with our new client. My team had bent over backwards keeping the client happy. Every day the phone rang with a new demand or a new priority. When we got those calls, my team would do their best to convince the client it wasn’t a good idea to change direction so often but eventually, they would acquiescence and do what the client asked. Everyone believed that’s what we needed to do make them happy. ​​​​​​​ At our first quarterly review, the team was excited to hear how they were doing. The client started the conversation by saying, “We’ve never seen this before, but you have become known as the agency of No”. My team was devastated. They felt like they went the extra mile, every time but yet it seem to go completely unappreciated. Turning this around wasn’t going to be easy.

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