Pitches Signal Trouble for Some, Change for All

It is often said that pitches are the lifeblood of the agency business. Right now there must be quite a few agencies who could do without all the excitement.

In media land the following are up for review: HM Government (currently with Aegis), Sky (MediaCom/WPP), Mars (shared between Starcom/Publicis, OMD/Omnicom and MediaCom/WPP), HSBC (Mindshare/WPP), Shell (MediaCom/WPP), McDonald’s (shared between Starcom/Publicis and OMD/Omnicom), adidas (mainly with Aegis), ASDA (Blue 449/Publicis).

No doubt I’ve missed some.

There are a few interesting angles to this rash of pitches, aside from the fact that it seemed like only yesterday we were all commenting on the previous enormous review round.

First, IDComms, the UK based consultancy is involved in several of them. Secondly, Ebiquity is also involved, in at least one and possibly more. Thirdly (and related no doubt to numbers one and two) the advertiser associations’ framework media contracts (be that the ANA version for US-based clients or the ISBA one for those in the UK) are rumoured to be central to several of these reviews.

IDComms and Ebiquity, along with MediaSense were all involved in drawing up the contract framework.

These framework contracts attracted derision from the networks when they were launched. Most were not prepared to go on the record, but here’s what one ‘agency boss’ had to say back in 2016 when the framework was launched: “I don’t think ISBA really knows what they are doing.”

Aegis’ Jerry Buhlmann was one of the few to break cover when the ANA’s investigation into media transparency (the precursor to the contract frameworks) appeared, dismissing the whole issue as a storm in a teacup: “We didn’t get any feedback from clients. I’m not sure it’s a particularly big deal in the real market.”

It seems he’s getting feedback now.

Professor Mark Ritson was one who disagreed with Jerry’s sangfroid, opining that the agencies face real problems and whatever they do they are ‘too late to save their souls’.

… read on at bjanda.com

Originally posted by Brian Jacobs on The Cog Blog at BJ&A
1st February 2018

See also 2018 – the WFA’s year of transparency