THE BOOK OF LISTS: The 10 pitches from Hell

campaignlive.co.uk, Friday, 20 December 2002 08:30AM

The 10 pitches from Hell as voted for by Campaign. Winner: Department of Transport

1. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT

The DoT's decision to opt out of COI Communications' agency roster presented agencies with a quandary: attempt to get on the roster for bijoux briefs such as drink driving and kill your speed, but risk incurring the wrath of the then COI chief executive, Carol Fisher. So concerned was Zenith that the agency pulled off the DoT shortlist.

2. DAEWOO

Quite a few agencies feel they wasted quite a lot of time with this one. Daewoo started off looking for a local agency and drew up the appropriate shortlist. Then the account was hijacked after the car company's acquisition by General Motors got underway, before the business eventually ended up where it was at the beginning of the year, at DFGW.

3. PROCTER & GAMBLE

P&G's below-the-line pitch drew to a close in August after a whopping 12 months. It got off to a scary start when agencies were not allowed to meet the client, but instead had to submit a video and fill in a questionnaire. Losing agencies were offended by the curt tone of the letter informing them of their failure.

4. SAGA

Saga by name, saga by nature. Campaign's news team got sick of hearing about progress, or lack of, on the £10 million media pitch. It went on for months, with almost all of the big agencies invited to contest the business. But guess what? It stayed where it was: at Mediaedge:cia.

5. ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND

When the Royal Bank of Scotland decided that Scottish agencies were not the be all and end all, London agencies got understandably excited. RBS saw 12 agencies, ruled out all but St Luke's and then decided to compile another list. And the client is rumoured to have fallen asleep in the meeting with AMV!

6. AMP

St Luke's thought it had got off to a good start to 2002 when it won the big-billing AMP account. But the words "count, chickens, hatch and don't" come to mind when you remember that within weeks the client moved the business to CCHM.

7. TUI

TUI's pitch took more twists and turns than a Hitchcock movie, but was less entertaining. The year opened with a pitch for its UK business for Thomson and Lunn Poly. By July, WCRS was triumphant but a month later the Europeans called a regional pitch.

8. TOURIST BOARDS

As the global tourist economy collapsed in the wake of 11 September, a plethora of the world's tourist boards decided they needed some advertising to fight the downturn. But tourist boards review regularly, and rarely is their marketing controlled by a trained marketer.

9. BOMBAY SAPPHIRE

Never a big advertiser, but boy has this client dragged out its pitch. Agencies involved are unsure if it is ongoing or not.

10. ORANGE

This one only just scrapes in, as agency life doesn't get much more exciting than pitching for the Orange account. Its £43 million importance, however, reserves it a space simply because of the pressure to win. There were also the whispered complaints from the pitching agencies that Orange's marketing director, Jeremy Dale, just appointed his old friends at Mother. The words "sour grapes" spring to mind.

If you have an opinion on this or any other issue raised on Brand Republic, join the debate in the Forum here.

This article was first published on campaignlive.co.uk

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