LETTERS: ISBA/IPA; The IPA and ISBA pitch guide must be put into action

Your leading letters from Andrew Melsom and Bill Thompson regarding the new Incorporated Society of British Advertisers and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising pitch initiative (Campaign, 10 November), reflect admirably the divergent views of what I would call ‘old attitude’ and ‘new attitude’ in the industry.

Your leading letters from Andrew Melsom and Bill Thompson regarding the

new Incorporated Society of British Advertisers and the Institute of

Practitioners in Advertising pitch initiative (Campaign, 10 November),

reflect admirably the divergent views of what I would call ‘old

attitude’ and ‘new attitude’ in the industry.



Melsom (‘old attitude’ in case you needed the reminder) passed cynical

and negative judgment on the ISBA/IPA pitch guide before it had even

been published. Mystic Meg would be impressed. His prediction that the

guidelines ‘probably come down in favour of the agency’ turned out to be

totally inaccurate. Those of us who attended the ISBA/IPA Client

Partnership conference (I didn’t see you on the delegates list, Mr

Melsom) could appreciate first hand the good sense of the new guide as

it was launched by John Hooper and Nick Phillips: mutual benefits for

clients and agencies by improving the professionalism and quality of the

pitch process.



Yes, agencies have been abused. The new guide, if adhered to, will help

eradicate abuse. Clients can also benefit from enforcing a more

professional process and achieve a satisfactory result with less

management time wasted, by shortening the pitch-list, discussing in

advance remuneration arrangements, having all decision-makers present

etc.



Bill Thompson (‘new attitude’) implores us to return to building the

‘partnership habit’ (the subject of the ISBA/IPA conference). He rightly

points to that core ingredient of trust as being important in building

strong business partnerships - an ingredient that seemed to be in short

supply during and since the recession.



We do need to work on fostering trust and loyalty to develop enduring

relationships. The place for that to start is the pitch process. I think

we can all agree that a business relationship founded on trust is an

admirable objective to aim for. Concerted effort on both sides, with the

‘new attitude’ very much in evidence, will help all our businesses to

flourish.



Andrew Ward, TBWA, London N1



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