Clients from Hell

Submit your story
September 21, 2014
"We don’t appreciate the amount of women and black people included in those stock photos."
June 13, 2014
"The website is looking great! But can you add a security feature that prevents Muslims from accessing it?"
May 13, 2014

I swear to God, prior to this conversation, I assumed that my client (like me!) was a native Italian.

Client: I want this bit of the copy in Italian.

Me: I - okay, but can I ask why?

Client: I like how it looks.

Me: Okay, but this is intended for an English-speaking audience, right? Won’t they -

Client: Listen, it’s simple. Just put these sections in Italian and we’re done.

A strange request, but I do as he asks.

Client: What’s this?

Me: It’s - I put those parts in Italian, like you asked.

Client: Nah, I didn’t want any of this Spanish crap. I wanted it in Italian.

Me: What do you mean by “Italian?”

Client: You know, slanted-like.

Me: You wanted it in Italics?

Client: I don’t know what that is, but slant it up a notch or we’ll have a problem. 

April 29, 2014

Client: The mix sounds good, but I’m not sure about the vocals.

Me: What’s wrong with them?

Client: They’re just not black enough.

April 10, 2014

Our copywriter wrote some copy in our December newsletter that wished our clients a happy holiday season, including Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanza. 

Client: What’s Kwanza?

Me: It’s a celebration in December.

Client: No, I’m pretty sure that’s slang, take it out. 

March 21, 2014
"We are not sure if we are ready to add ethnicity into the brand."
March 16, 2014

While working on an international music event, the client called to ask if we could make an alteration to one of the headline acts promo materials. 

Me: What’s the issue? Have you changed the act?

Client: No, we just don’t think he looks right on the background.

Me: Do you have another image from his PR guys? 

Client: No, but it’s a simple fix. We want you to make him less black. 

Me: Er, I can’t really do that. He’s a world famous singer and I don’t think he’s going to appreciate us changing the colour of his skin. It might come across as a tad racist too…

Client: But our background is black, and he is black. You need to change his face.

Me: How about I change the background?

Client: That’s totally unacceptable! It will ruin our brand integrity.

March 11, 2014
"These nuggets look too light, way too white. Make them blacker, we need diversity after all… even in food."
February 09, 2014
"You’ll need to make the font bigger so the slanty eyed c%*#nks can read it"

feedback on a PowerPoint being created for presentation in Hong Kong

January 23, 2014

I’m a web developer working in a small agency composed of our boss, a web designer and myself. My boss was away for the afternoon, so the calls directed to his office ended up at my phone.

Client: Hi, I had a meeting with your sales person about my website project, but I’d rather talk about it with the boss of the company.

None of me or my designer colleague do live meetings, only our boss does it.

Me: I’m sorry but he’s unavailable for the afternoon. Can you please tell me the name of the person you met ?

Client: Uh, don’t remember his name. He was a tall n***er.

Me: I see. That would be our boss.

Client: Oh? Really, he is?

Editor’s Note: The client did not call him a nagger.