Marketers – its time to reign in the greediness and respect your agencies – this is the message that the Communication Council is sending out to pitch-happy organisations,

Following recent news of Leo Burnett leaving Subaru, their client of over 10 years, because of the client’s demand for continual pitching, the Communication Council voiced out in a report by The Age that continual pitching is unhealthy for agencies.

Daniel Leesong, chief executive of the Communication Council said: “Agencies devote significant resources to pitching… continual pitching means agencies devote disproportionate resources to winning a piece of business, and this obviously comes at a cost to other areas”.

Leesong tells Marketing: " The logic should be that if a brand's current agency is doing a great job on existing campaigns, they should be trusted to do a great job on new projects. Afterall, time has been spent building a great relationship so both parties should be focussed on making the most of it". 

"If the relationships isn't great," adds Leesong, "consider repairing it with a view to regaining commitment and enthusiasm without the disruption of a pitch".

Leif Stromnes, manging director of strategy and innovation at DDB Group Sydney tells Marketing: “Pitching is hard work and its often over and above the current workload”. Stromnes also believes that instead of pitching being a display creative executions, it should be an exercise to test out the chemistry between client and agency. Once that chemistry is established, it should bring about a healthy, and respectful relationship.

“I have never seen a client-agency relationship work when its based on animosity or bad chemistry,” notes Stromnes.

Daniel Abraham, managing director of Platform (Brand. Design. Digital), a Sydney-based digital agency, has a firm belief that agencies should be reimbursed should a pitch be requested.

“ In most cases, free pitching undermines the professional process of interaction between marketer and agency,” Abraham tells Marketing.

Leesong advices that agencies should "be transparent on cost and resources with cliehts so they know how disruptive continual pitching is".

He also feels that brand managers and marketers should research into an agency before engaging in their services. "Seek out the agencies behind campaigns you like. Do some research on agencies that are awarded in the industry or get recommendations from other businesses". 


To read more about industry professionals’ take on the pitch process, pick up a copy of Marketing mag’s July issue, now available at newsstands, or call 1800 804 160