When GGT became a public company I could afford to buy a bigger house.

We found one we liked but it needed gutting and renovating.

I didn’t know where to start so I hired an architect recommended by a friend.

The architect recommended a builder and a quantity surveyor, so we hired them both.

After several months all the work was late and over-budget.

I didn’t know what to do so, like doing an ad, I decided to research the problem.

You have to start somewhere so I started at the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects).

They said where I’d gone wrong was I allowed the architect to hire his friends, the builder and quantity surveyor, so their loyalty was to him not me.

The quantity surveyor (QS) is the one that checks all the timings and materials, and approves costs.

Because his loyalty was to the architect and the builder, he made sure that I bore the costs of any problems, not them.

If the blueprints were late I had to pay, if the plumber or roofer had done it wrong I had to pay, if the electrician or joiner were late I had to pay, because the QS said so.

Because his loyalty was to the person who gave him the job, i.e. the architect.

The RIBA said I should fire the QS and hire one of my own, then his loyalty would be to me not the architect.

They suggested someone and I hired him, and immediately everything changed.

The quantity surveyor now reported directly to me, not the architect.

Problems weren’t my fault anymore, and the costs would now be borne by the architect and the builder.

The job came in on time and on budget, right up until the very end.

Towards the end I overheard the architect and builder talking to the quantity surveyor.

My job was obviously finishing and, as the QS was freelance, he’d be looking for more work.

I overheard them saying they might be able to use him on future projects.

The inference was pretty clear, he needed to keep them happy on this job, to make sure they didn’t lose any money.

If he looked after them, they’d look after him; the game was starting all over again.

We all know how it works, everyone thinks “What’s in it for me?”

And of course it’s no different in our job.

Bob Hoffman (AdContrarian) asks why so much online ad-fraud is allowed to  happen when everyone knows it’s happening.

He concludes the answer is simple: CMOs want to hold onto their job.

They won’t do that by reporting to their CEO that the advertising isn’t working.

They need the numbers to show the advertising is working and they’re doing a great job.

It’s easy to make the numbers look good, you can buy those numbers.

They make the media company look good, the CMO look good, the adspend look good, as long as the advertising results are only viewed through those numbers.

The people involved in ignoring online ad-fraud have a simple priority and it isn’t sales.

Their priority, like all humans, is holding onto their jobs, it’s understandable.

It’s one of Bill Bernbach’s “simple, timeless, human truths”.

Whatever your social class, whatever your age, your sex, your nationality, however much we like to think we’re different, we’re not like that.

John Nash won the Nobel Prize for his work in game theory, proving that we all are.

However much we disguise it, the question always is “What’s in it for me?”

Remember when it was advertising’s job to answer that question for the consumer?

When they could look at an ad and know “What’s in it for me?”