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Subject: RE: UKNM: Wasting time on tenders
From: Robin Edwards
Date: Fri, 12 Jun 1998 17:07:49 +0100

There seems to be no real solution. New media agencies who stand firm and
say "no fee, no pitch" are surely running the risk of not being shortlisted.
The stiff competition will always mean that our "industry" has no weight to
throw around on this issue. The only approach I can think of is to set your
internal pitch budget as a proportion of the value of the job - be it based
on the confirmed or estimated budget, or the importance of having a
relationship with that client. I am struggling to think of any industry that
supports paying for pitches/quotes/tenders.

It is frustrating when you are pitching and there are too many unknown
quantities (i.e. crap brief) but, as Chris points out, utterly demoralising
when the outcome has been decided before you even begin to prepare a pitch.
Perhaps one positive note is that a high quality pitch will always impress,
and may eventually lead to work after the client (or someone else other than
the sponsor within the client's team) realises the "mistake" that has been
made. It may, however, be too late at this point, notching up one more for
the "the Internet is crap - didn't work for us" brigade.

I would question the value of blacklisting clients who practice this (and I
have witnessed it from both sides) on the grounds that it is nigh-on
impossible to prove, and inevitably sounds like sour grapes.


> Good in theory - in practice we write this off as 'cost of sale' then
> bitch about client's walking in on 'fishing trips'.
> Remember three years ago the same debate was running in the 'analogue'
> Agencies?
> I can't remember a single client confessing to paying a pitch fee -
> unless anyone knows different...

  Re: UKNM: Wasting time on tenders, Chris Dickens

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