Diary of an agency start-up: Riding the highs and lows of pitching
A view from Henry Daglish

Diary of an agency start-up: Riding the highs and lows of pitching

Henry Daglish, the founder of Bountiful Cow, is writing a diary for Campaign about his media agency start-up and this is his seventh instalment.

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A couple of days before we flung the doors open at Bountiful Cow late last year, Jenny Biggam, the founder of the7stars, gave me a piece of advice. "Henry, remember: with your own thing, the highs are higher but the lows are much lower too," she said.  

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve experienced both highs and lows.

We all know how fickle the world of new business can be but it’s so important to keep playing to your strengths and understanding that great performances don’t always result in a win

Our involvement alone in the UKTV pitch was testament to how far we’ve come in such a short period of time and I’m immensely proud that we made it down to the final three.

The pitch process was a huge opportunity to show the combined strength of Bountiful Cow and the7stars and although we presented some outstanding work on the day, it wasn’t to be. It was tough a one to lose. 

We all know how fickle the world of new business can be but it’s so important to keep playing to your strengths and understanding that great performances don’t always result in a win.

It was, however, encouraging to get a note from the client stating that "…we thought your agency model was unique and really compelling. I have no doubt there will be many big pitch wins in the near future."

In the cold and bitter wasteland immediately post-pitch, these words seemed little more than kind but, in fact, they were prophetic.

Two weeks later, we landed a vastly exciting opportunity on a huge client that came from a relationship with a like-minded and quite brilliant creative agency that we’ve collaborated with.

Whilst it’s something that we can’t mention as yet, suffice to say it represents a major statement of intent for the agency’s strategic capability and ability to work hand-in-glove with the creative process (even if it did mean pitching in Mediacom’s board room to win it).

Whilst the closure of Naked in London recently has been a subject on the lips of many, this win, when public, might go someway to assert our point-of-view on how the communication strategy void might be filled going forward…

Combine that with another opportunity that’s tied very closely to the way that we work in the world of data and performance with Blackwood7 and with a little luck, the highs will, over time, outweigh the lows.

We’ll just keep doing what we’re good at, and what we believe in.


Henry Daglish is founder of Bountiful Cow