PHD Media Worldwide > News > If the pitch process is broken, what is the alternative?
May 17 2018

If the pitch process is broken, what is the alternative?


Brands and agencies are in agreement that the traditional pitch process is no longer “fit for purpose”. What is less clear is what will replace it as a means of marketers selecting agency partners.

A recent survey by Creativebrief revealed that two-thirds (67%) of advertisers would consider hiring an agency even if they refuse to take part in a traditional pitch.

Over four-fifths (82%) of agencies agreed that they should be prepared to refuse to pitch for an account to encourage the process to change and modernise.

Respondents were largely in agreement that the traditional pitch process is no longer “fit for purpose” in today’s environment – with 61% of brands and 93% of agencies wanting to see change.

Charlie Carpenter, managing director of Creativebrief, said the statistics “speak volumes” about shifting attitudes towards the pitch, but argued that “very little is really changing”.

Campaign asked commentators from across the pitching spectrum for their views on what – if anything – should replace the pitch process.


Mike Cooper, Worldwide chief executive, PHD

To misquote Dr Johnson: If you are bored of pitching, you are bored of advertising.

It’s not going away. The rise of procurement and purchasing departments will ensure that, for compliance purposes, agencies will continue to go through competitive pitch processes. It’s now a well-oiled process with a plethora of consultants providing pitch management services. That’s become a competitive area in itself.

It can be brutal and pitching is always really hard work. My advice is to try and enjoy it. Assemble a great team with outstanding chemistry and it may even be an enjoyable process. The best pitches I have been involved in have been managed in this way. It’s also maximises your chances of success because clients want to work with teams that exhibit good chemistry and are easy to work with.


The original article with full interviews was authored by Alex Brownsell and appeared in

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