I was recently asked by a major advertiser about trends in pitch fees and whether anyone was paying these currently. This got me thinking and I realised that out of the 120 plus pitches ISBA handles each year very few advertisers, in this current economic climate, have offered their agencies a pitch fee as a token of their serious intent and goodwill. Of course these payments will never cover the total amount of money agencies invest in a major pitch, but they do set the potential relationship off on a very positive first footing.
Only five or so years ago pitch fees were more common on major creative agency pitches and although typically advertisers offered a token sum of between £3k-£5k this was always viewed by agencies as a very positive contribution.
Perhaps it’s time advertisers re-examined this whole area?
It would also be interesting to see what is happening in other countries and whether pitch fees are common or have dropped off the recessionary agenda as they have here in the UK – if you know please share your knowledge.
What do you think? What is the reality of pitch fees in your organisation? What do agencies think?
Debbie Morrison – Director of Consultancy & Best Practice ISBA