Recently, Hammock added a publication, Best of MyBusiness, which will be published next year. She explains that "a later due date [will be given] to advertisers who supply TIFF-ITs."
In defense of the agency
Frank Scott, vice president and director research at GATF agrees that standards pay. "I feel the publisher has to set specifications—what does it want (file formats, resolution, etc.)—and the agency should supply it," says Scott. "It is the publisher who has to make sure its specs are good, reasonable and clear, and needs to verify that the files it receives meet the specs. The agency or prepress supplier needs to supply good SWOP-certified proofs from the digital files and make sure the files also meet the specs, including resolution, color space, trim bleed and live area."
He also champions, "I think accepting accredited standard file formats, such as TIFF-IT and PDF/X helps in several ways. First, standard file formats provide an even playing field. And if they are well implemented, this provides a wide choice of systems and workflows. Second, it allows the seamless transfer of the files from one person or system to another. Third, it improves the efficiencies of workflow. As people start accepting the PDF/X file format, they can create complete workflows for both edit and ads, with the same benefits as TIFF-IT. I think this is also true at the agency, all they have to do is create the digital ad in one file format, instead of the multiple ways they have to today."
Recounting his own experiences, Scott explains, "When I was at Time Inc., we started the Digital Ad program by only accepting TIFF/IT and PostScript files. This made the job of accepting files and processing them much easier."
But the success or failure of any publisher/agency relationship is as contingent on the strength of its cooperation as the depth of its expertise. A good media plan and killer creative can impress a client and create a successful campaign, but how that content is delivered to the publisher reflects the quality of the end product reaching print. Ultimately, it is the cooperative level of service that creates satisfied print for advertisers wanting to promote and publishers needing to please. It was as true for Ladies Home Journal more than a century ago as it is today.