IPA and ISBA initiative aims to demystify pitching

Trade bodies the IPA and ISBA have developed a new online hub for bands and agencies to address the differences between client perceptions and agency realities around pitching.


The Good Pitch, thegoodpitch.com, which launched today, has been developed for brands and agencies to identify more efficient pitch models and reduce costs around new business procurement.

Activity on the site will revolve around an industry news blog, which will feature regular posts from IPA and ISBA members, including News International and Lloyds Banking Group.

Editorial content will reflect the IPA’s and ISBA’s six Pitch principles (see below), according to Paul Bainsfair, director general at the IPA. He added that the ultimate aim of the new initiative is to encourage more collaborative thinking and cut waste from the pitch process.

Debbie Morrison, ISBA’s director of consultancy and best practice expects the hub to build transparency around the pitch process.

“Our ambition is that The Good Pitch will in the long-term help to raise standards of pitch practice, stimulate thought and provide process guidance for anyone considering changing agencies,” says Morrison.

The site is the result of a joint IPA and ISBA task force led by former COI head, Mark Lund. It was set up to tackle issues affecting the advertising industry by bringing together brand and agency opinions.

Other features on the portal include opinion columns from senior industry experts, reports on new pitch initiatives in international markets and a research section identifying client and agency pitching habits and costs.

IPA and ISBA members who contributed to the site’s development include, McCann London, DDB and AMV BBDO.

Research conducted by the IPA and ISBA revealed that brands perceive agency costs to be in the region of £31k for a large pitch. However the reality is that it actually costs agencies more like £178K. To help address this six pitch principles were formed.

  • Openness and Transparency – For fairness and more informed decisions around pitching, both brands and agencies need to be honest about it.
  • Respect – Brands and agencies need to treat the pitch process with more respect. Brands should consider paying a fee to an agency as a sign of good intent and agencies need to respect confidentiality agreements around new pitches.
  • Bravery – Both brands and agencies need to be honest with one another when managing the pitch process.
  • Access and Navigation – Better logistical planning needs to be in place to ensure the pitch process is outlined clearly from the offset.
  • Timing – Pitches need to be clear and concise rather than indulgent and off task.

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