In recent years, the marketing community has been marked by a considerable increase of communication agencies. The democratization of web platforms, the reduction of the operating costs of creative software as well as an increased growth of the demand for SMEs for marketing services are factors causing the phenomenon. While the proliferation of agencies can increase the accessibility of quality marketing services for SMEs, this new reality can also lead to some excesses. Indeed, while the majority of these agencies demonstrate irreproachable professionalism, others lack definitive ethics and sometimes even honesty.


Over the years, H2O communication has heard horror stories from companies that have unfortunately crossed the road of agencies with questionable ethics. Going from a simple freelancer posing as a 360 agency to the recognized agency refusing to give a customer its vector logo, some companies have lived a nightmare by entrusting mandates to agencies with questionable practices.


One of the most common practices in terms of lack of ethics is the website hostage. Let us explain. A company entrusts an agency with the mandate of creating and programming its new website. Trusting the professionalism and good faith of the agency, the client does not care about programming details. Once the site is online, the client experiences a bad surprise when he realizes that he can not modify his website himself. Indeed, the site is programmed in such a way that only a programmer can update the content. Thus, whenever the customer wants to change a sentence, he must call the agency that charges every second spent on the website. In some extreme cases, these agencies will even refuse to give web site access to their clients. Yet the clients in question did pay for their site. This means that their sites belong to them and that the agency has the duty to give them access. Of course, at H2O communication, we always give our clients access to their websites. Then we offer them a short web training so they can learn how to manage and modify their websites.


Revolting practices are not reserved for the web domain. Indeed, we have heard stories where agencies refused to give customers their vector logos. By retaining their logos, these agencies wanted to keep all the mandates of creation, thus ensuring regular income.


Of course, only a minority of agencies act reprehensible. The field of marketing and communications is mainly composed of passionate and honest professionals. Unfortunately, being aware of the existence of these dishonest agencies, H2O communication invites companies to be cautious when it comes time to entrust a first mandate to an agency.


It is important to learn about an agency before giving it a mandate. As a potential client, find out about the agency’s achievements and values. The number of years of experience is also a good indicator of an agency’s professionalism and code of ethics. Then, for the mandate to run smoothly and to avoid unpleasant surprises, do not hesitate to ask several questions to the agencies you meet. What are the testimonials of his former clients? What are his programming techniques? Does the agency offer training at the time of delivery of the website? These questions can save you a lot of trouble.