70 Brands and Agencies Committed to End Bad Pitching Practices

A full list of brands and agencies committed to improving the pitch process has been released. Here’s what you need to know.

The IPA and ISBA joined forces earlier this year to create the Pitch Positive Pledge, with the goal of improving the often mentally and physically brutal process of new business presentations for employees.

This initiative was announced in response to growing reports of increasing stress and anxiety within the advertising industry. The causes are various, but it is felt the most when pitching a new business.

After the pandemic, pitching happens more frequently and is now more complex and costly due to hybrid operations. And the impact on individuals is worse than ever, cited as a contributing factor to burnout and mental health problems. In short, this is an area that needs improvement for decades.

What do they promise?

Pledge aims to create a more intentional, responsible and responsible pitching process for both advertisers and agencies. It aims to lead to better outcomes, including better transparency and better mental well-being, resulting in better quality work, less cost and less waste.

“This calls for a change in behavior across the industry. Julian Douglas, IPA President and VCCP International President, said, “By signing the pledge, the Agency and its clients are making a clear commitment to the positive mental health of their employees.

“At the same time, we want to give our business better wealth by reducing unnecessary waste in terms of resources, time and energy. This is an opportunity to really make a difference for future generations who want today’s industry employees and the environment to be fairer and much more enjoyable.”

pitch positive pledge

· The pitch is required (before the pitch).

Advertisers will provide a written statement positively explaining that the presentation is necessary and clearly explaining why.

· Running a positive pitch (during pitching)

Advertisers will consider the implications of the requirements that the agency requires to be fulfilled during the presentation. Meanwhile, the Agency will consider both the interests of its clients and the well-being of its employees throughout the process.

Provide positive resolution (after pitch)

Whether you win or lose, advertisers communicate their pitch results directly to their agencies and provide feedback on their performance. Meanwhile, the agency accepts the client’s decisions, win or lose, and provides feedback on how well the team handled the pitch and kept its pledges.

What brands and agencies have you signed up for?

At launch, more than 70 companies have already made a promise. Here is the full list:

Agency Signatories: Above+Beyond, ASG & Partners, Cogent, McCann Manchester, Republic of Media, St Luke’s, The Beyond Collective, The7stars, Frontier, Total Media, Wunderman Thompson, Yonder Media, VCCP, Starcom, Drummond Central, Forever Beta, OMD UK, OMG Unite, PHD UK, MG OMD, Hearts & Science, Drum, Fuse, Unite, Portas, PWC, Mother and Publicis Groupe UK agencies including BBH, Leo Burnett, Saatchi & Saatchi, Publicis.Poke, Starcom, Zenith, Spark Foundry ), Digitas, Octopus Group, Prodigus

Advertisers: Boots, Barclays, British Gas, DiDi, First Direct, Nationwide Building Society, NatWest, Nestlé, Samsung, Santander, Specsavers, Tui, Virgin Media O2 and White Claw

middleman: AAR, Aperto Partnership, Creativebrief, Ebiquity, Hamilton Associates, Ingenuity, MediaSense, PWC, Steve Kershaw Limited and TrinityP3

Toby Horry is a group brand and content director for travel brand Tui. He has also worked for agencies including Dare and AMVBBDO. Being both a client and an agency, he knows how much physical and mental work goes into the playing field.

“I have had very positive and very negative experiences over the past few years. I think the Pitch Positive Pledge is a great initiative to codify best practices on both sides and I’m excited to join Tui,” he said.

In the worst case, pitching can be very inefficient and expensive, says fellow signer Charlie Martyn, director of global client development at Wunderman Thompson. “Especially to our employees who are our main asset. The Pitch Positive Pledge is a great opportunity to set new standards that pave the way for healthy, beneficial and sustainable partnerships,” he said. “It’s better for the job, better for the customer, and more importantly, better for the employee.”

Impact measurement

To gauge whether it works, the IPA and ISBA will commission industry surveys of agencies and clients to benchmark their current pitching activity. Questions will cover the areas of mental health, waste, cost and effectiveness, and will be run again after one year to document progress.

The Pitch Positive Pledge will also be reviewed regularly by the IPA and ISBA, and progress updates will be provided at the Renew conference in January 2023.


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