All I want for Christmas is a response from Rolls-Royce
A view from Tanya Brookfield

All I want for Christmas is a response from Rolls-Royce

Santa should make some clients more respectful of agencies.

Dear Santa,

It’s been a long three months since we were first seduced by a dream pitch brief from a prospective dream client, Rolls-Royce.

How I’d love this to be one of those gloriously confident and self-congratulatory win announcements. but Sadly, it’s not… because I actually don’t know who won. Or if anyone won.

And so, with a heavy heart, I write this letter.

But, before I begin, let me be very clear. There are no sore losers here. Far from it, in fact. For clarity, we’re all more than aware that losing is part and parcel of the game we’ve chosen to play.

No. This is about respect. Or, at the very least, a 10-second phone call.

As I said, at the time of writing, it has been three months since we spent three weeks prepping our pitch. Three months since we spent more than £20k, working evenings and weekends trying to win it. Wanting to win it.

And, if that wasn’t enough, spurred on by their wonderfully positive reactions to our work and team, we responded to two further rounds of feedback for two new stakeholder meetings, as well as an RFP for an additional brief.

And then?

Nothing. Silence.

The "process" had stalled (how ironic). And no matter how hard we try, we can’t get the damn thing to start again. What had started out as the Rolls-Royce of pitches quickly descended into a car crash. And we didn’t have any insurance.

Here’s the thing: thanks to the Poverty Pledge, we no longer expect grads to work for free. So why do clients expect creative agencies to do so? Isn’t it about time we all stopped getting taken for a ride – no matter how luxuriously lined the carriage is.

So if you exist, and you get this letter, Santa, please explain to Rolls-Royce why being on the naughty list just isn’t acceptable any more.

Tanya Brookfield is chief executive of Elvis