I work at a marketing/advertising agency on the West Coast, in an area known for agriculture and country-living despite being near to a major city. Months after our agency created a new logo and brand identity for a local client, I have this strange in-person interaction.
Me: Hello, can I help you?
Random Lady: Yes, I’d like to make some changes to (local client’s) logo. The one of the eagle?
Me: The eagle? Oh, you must mean the condor. I haven’t heard any complains about the new logo from that client. She and her organization love it, in fact. Do you work there?
Random Lady: Oh, no. I’m president of the local [community organization] so I have strong opinions about this logo. I can tell that the eagle’s wings are made up of things that represent our county’s culture, like grapevines, local historic landmarks and agriculture, but I am VERY disappointed to see that cattle and saddle horses are not included on the wings. Those two animals make up most of our county’s economy! It’s just absurd that they would be so thoughtlessly left out.
Random Lady: Anyway, I’m here to see if you can just add those important animals to the logo.
Me: So you’re asking if we can change (local client’s) logo, for free, without their permission?
Random Lady: You’re saying it would cost money to change it? I thought maybe you could just add it in.
Me: No, I’m sorry, that’s not how it works. As far as I know, the client is happy with the logo and has no desire to change it, especially since they have purchased many marketing materials like hats and signage with the new logo on them. I think you should bring up this concern with my client.
At this point, I’m just trying to get her to leave.
Random Lady: Oh, I’ve already talked with your client about it. She said that changing it would cost $10,000. Is that true?
Me: I don’t know if it would cost that much, but honestly, you have no authority to request a logo change, and it sounds like they were trying to let you down easy so you would drop the subject.
Random Lady: Huh, maybe you’re right. Well let your boss know what I think about this. I’ll be in touch.
Makes a move to leave. Spies a finished client project on my desk.
Random Lady: Oh, do you mind if I take this? I need it.
At this point, she walked out without permission to take the project before I could say anything.
Me: *speechless*Get the Freelance Guide for 2017