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Our Idea of an Ad Agency Non-Compete Agreement

By August 4, 2016August 19th, 2020No Comments

It’s hardly unusual for marketing and advertising firms to use non-compete agreements to protect their creative property. After all, what agency wants to risk losing talented employees to a competitor, especially if there’s any chance a former teammate would begin poaching the firm’s best clients. That being said, it seems as if the non-compete agreement is experiencing a renewed prevalence—both in terms of how many companies are employing the contracts and the types of workers being asked to sign them.

That got us thinking here at The Creative Block. Maybe we’re too new or too small—or perhaps we’re just naïve—but we believe there’s a better way for brilliant creative types to avoid becoming adversaries. What if—and this is just a crazy idea—we created an environment that encouraged talented people to stay in the first place?

With that in mind, we developed a simple five-part non-compete agreement that we commit to uphold.

  • Employees of The Creative Block will never be asked to compete for the resources necessary to accomplish their jobs. One likely exception: we might occasionally have to contend for office broadband speed.
  • Employees are not expected to pit time at work against time with their families. In other words, we care more about quality work time than we do about office face time.
  • The Creative Block will never ask employees to cheat, lie, steal, or deceive anyone for any reason; put another way, our company’s values are not in competition with our employees’ morals.
  • Along those lines, we’ll never ask employees to compete unfairly with our business rivals. We’re really into that Golden Rule philosophy here.
  • Finally—and don’t tell the lawyers about this part—the good of the company does not compete with the good of our employees. Turns out we’re all in this together.

That’s it. No hidden clauses or two-year waiting periods. And no signatures are required. An agreeable nod will suffice.


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