A few years ago, I was working for an ad agency on a business-to-business campaign. The concept we came up with called for illustrations of exotic birds (a Bird of Paradise, a Secretary bird, that sort of thing), and the client agreed to hire probably the best bird illustrator around.
Five illustrations came in at over £2,000 each, but they were worth it. The finished work was astounding – you could count not just the feathers, but even the little bits of each feather – and the client was stunned. He eventually had each one framed for reception in his company’s head office.
That client wasn’t the issue, though.
While we were still working on the campaign, another client came in and saw the originals waiting to be used.
Client: What are they for?
Confidentiality notwithstanding, we gave him a brief outline.
Client: Really? Hm. They look expensive. How much were they?
We told him ‘a four figure sum – each.’
Client: What? You’re kidding? Seriously? Have you paid him yet? I’ve got a CD of clip art with pictures like that on. I could let you have them for a tenner.
We respectfully declined.