Pitch perfect: procuring more from media agency reviews

Stephen White and Charles Dawson

Advertisers who invite rival agencies to pitch for their media account sometimes think the experience will be a stimulating change from the daily grind of pushing their brands. Some have even been heard to remark that it might actually be 'quite fun to find out what's out there'.

Ignorance is bliss. Having been through the pitch experience once, the client is unlikely to fall into that fond way of thinking a second time. Done properly, picking a media agency is a gruelling and arduous business for all concerned. It is fraught with problems, frustrations and traps for the unwary, and, of course, ultimately culminates in disappointment for the majority of the people involved; certainly among the agencies, anyway, since usually only one of them can win the account they are all competing for. The important thing is to try to avoid the client people being among the ones gnashing their teeth in frustration after the final decision has been made.