The ad industry has come full circle and once again we find ourselves in the endless cycle of full-blown creative pitches. Agencies are providing massive creative campaigns and giving away their valuable intellectual property for a R50,000 pitch fee. This process is devaluing our overall offering as an industry. Pitching for new business is synonymous with the ad industry – it’s all about being on pitch lists, chasing new business and frantically preparing for pitches. Yes, there’s the obvious thrill of winning and, in the current economic climate, there’s the benefit of a financial boost. But at what cost? Pitch costs can easily come in at R1m. Either we need to go back to only presenting credentials and having chemistry sessions to determine fit and suitability, or we need to increase the rejection fee substantially to cover at least 50% of pitch costs. Multiply that by three agencies on a pitch and clients would have to fork out R1.5m. That could quite possibly be a deterrent to ...

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