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4 November 2018 : Pica #039

The data doesn't support that.

The worst RFP - fun, satirical film.

“The world's worst RFP”, a new video from Zulu Alpha Kilo, takes a satirical look at the current state of the agency selection process.

“The world's worst RFP” can be seen on the “Smarter Pitch” website, that Zulu Alpha Kilo have developed with the intent of promoting better client-agency pitch processes. Warning. If you’ve never worked in advertising you won’t find the video funny. If you currently work in advertising you’ll probably laugh through clenched teeth.

Respect to Zulu Alpha Kilo for addressing the RFP issue, producing a nice video and above all for proposing solutions. They have put together a 10 point list of the ways they think that clients, agencies “and, yes, even consultants”, can improve the pitch process. Their list is framed as a proposal and they invite advice and comments. So, here is my reaction.

The most valuable suggestion on the list is number 10: “Avoid a Pitch Altogether. Before you start looking for an agency, have you made every effort to make it work with your current agency partner?” This should be number 1 on the list, it is a precise call to action that, when successful, has clear value for both parties. Unlike 7 of the other 10 suggestions - these ask the client to invest extra time, effort and money in the pitch process and the motivation for a client to put more into a pitch just isn’t clear or compelling enough. The data doesn’t support that.

This is the core issue for the industry to tackle. The pitch process won’t get any better for agencies until any improvements are packaged in a way that is also clearly better for clients. Sadly, I don’t have a solution, but I do hope that helping to focus the problem is, in itself, a valid contribution.

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