New pledge aims to improve transparency, mental wellbeing and quality of work and reduce costs and wastage in the pitching process
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ISBA and the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) have unveiled the Pitch Positive Pledge, a joint initiative to address systemic pitching behaviours of advertisers and agencies and drive better outcomes across the industry for the benefit of people, planet and profit. It was developed following the UK cross-industry conference RENEW in January and a series of workshops with their members and partners.
The Pledge brings together ISBA and IPA members, procurement professionals and intermediaries to make the pitching process more intentional, accountable and responsible for both advertisers and agencies. It aims to fill the gap of previous pitching guides that focus only on the process and not human and environmental factors.
IPA President Julian Douglas said: “The Pitch Positive Pledge isn’t a marketing tool. It is a call for a change in behaviour across the industry. By signing up to the Pledge, agencies and clients are making a clear commitment to the positive mental health of their people. In tandem, we hope it will lead to better wealth for their businesses by cutting down on unnecessary waste, in terms of resources, time and energy.”
Andrew Lowdon, ISBA’s Director of Agency Services, said: “The Pitch Positive Pledge doesn’t seek to change the process by which pitches are run, it seeks to make the process more intentional and operate with greater consistency through better planning, preparation, and project management. There is nothing new or onerous in the Pledge, just the behaviours employed throughout making a difference. It’s about seeking advertisers and agencies alike to remind themselves or learn what good pitching should look like.”
The Pledge features core commitments for advertisers and agencies and covers the three stages of the pitch process – before, during and after.
ISBA and IPA will commission an industry survey to measure the Pledge’s impact when it comes to addressing mental health, wastage, costs and effectiveness. They will also report on completed pitches to showcase best practice and provide a progress update at the next RENEW conference in January 2023.
The Pledge has over 190 signatories, including brands like Boots, DiDi, Heineken, Kimberly-Clark, NatWest Group, Nestlé, Santander and Unilever, and agencies such as BBH, Dentsu, GroupM, Havas, Omnicom Media Group, Publicis, Starcom and Wunderman Thompson. It is supported by suicide prevention charity, Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) and the UK media industry's wellbeing charity, NABS.
Companies can find out more and sign up to #PitchPositive at www.pitchpositivepledge.co.uk.