I’m sacking a client.
Well, letting them die on the vine, really. I’m too gutless to tell them.
They’re bright, polite, appreciative and humble.
Their work is fascinating, they pay in seconds and they write beautiful Christmas cards.
So why must they go?
They don’t deal with it, but one of their clients does.
I fear being asked to write for that client.
Why am I afraid?
Because I’m not sure my morals outweigh my greed.
You see, I’ve been here before.
When I was a salaried copywriter, I was told to write for an energy firm with a poor reputation.
When I refused, it was made clear that my job was at stake.
I took the brief and spent four days trolling the internet for redeeming material.
On finding wind and solar credentials, I was able to write a genuinely green ad. Luckily, the client loved it.
My star ascended. I wrote for tin mines, zinc mines, coal mines, copper mines, bauxite mines … you name it.
Then, one day, a uranium mine.
As soon as I finished this job, I felt awful. I’d finally snapped my elastic moral tether.
I donated my ill-gotten gains. I joined environment groups. I sponsored a child from Swaziland.
Nothing could make me feel better.
Yet despite all this, after 14 months of GFC, with a fully redrawn home loan, I worry that if I get the call, I’ll do it all again.
I once read a haunting quote. I can’t find it now and would be grateful if you know it. It went something like:
I fear for humanity. For though I’m one of the better ones, I know how bad I am.
In a recent comment, one of our readers admitted to an unethical sale.
He only did it once; I wish to act likewise.
That’s why I’m ‘sacking’ my client.
This is quite a mea culpa.
Though I don’t expect to be inundated, I sure could use the company.
Do you have blood on your hands?
Paul Hassing, Founder & Senior Writer, The Feisty Empire