LONDON: The role of client procurement in the pitch process has emerged as an area of concern for ad agencies in the latest survey by their industry trade body, but the involvement of intermediaries is viewed more positively.

The latest survey on pitching practice from the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising has revealed that 48% of agencies accept the involvement of procurement to be transparent and fair, but a significant minority of 31% disagreed.

Furthermore, 38% of agencies disagreed that selection techniques were appropriate when there was client procurement involvement, while 34% agreed with the proposition.

Where procurement was involved in a pitch, 45% said pitches ran to the agreed deadlines compared to 64% when not. And only 24% believed the client's budget was clear from the start compared with 44% for where no procurement was involved.

However, intermediaries were viewed as having a more positive role during the pitch process. Some 45% of respondents said the process was excellent or very good where intermediaries were involved compared to 19% who found otherwise. Only in 10% of cases was the performance of intermediaries described as poor.

Alex Hunter, the IPA finance director, said: "It is reassuring to find that the majority do indeed conform to the best practices set out in the joint industry guidelines, while at the same time providing focus for where improvements can be made a priority."

The IPA issued the results of the survey ahead of an event in October where IPA president Ian Priest plans to encourage client and agency participants to work better together as part of his "ADAPT" agenda.

Priest said: "Pitches are the start-point for many client-agency relationships…adapting this process to ensure best practice is followed and potentially new methods investigated, can only be a win-win."

Data sourced from IPA, Campaign; additional content by Warc staff