For review, don’t always read ‘pitch’

It was good to read that Julie Constable is intending to champion best practice (“The pitching process can benefit from a little more openness” MW, last week) but may I suggest an important addition to her agenda? This is to avoid, whenever possible, the use of the words “pitch”, or “pitching” when talking about an agency review or selection process.

The reasons for this are fairly obvious: the words “pitch” and “pitching” have deeply embedded meanings and implications for the costs involved in the process, not just on the agency side, but for the client too. In the IPA’s long-term campaign to reduce the huge and unnecessary waste involved in agency reviews we have been trying to get marketing and procurement professionals to appreciate that there are several other ways to go about the process.

These are set out in the joint industry best practice guide, which can be downloaded from our website and includes enhanced credentials meetings, workshops, and trial assignments. All of these are perfectly good methods to use in making a match between client and agency, a lot less costly in time and materials, and less risky in terms of confidential information.

The full creative or media pitch should be seen as just one of the options.

Hamish Pringle
Director general, IPA

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