The research findings conducted by British Design Innovation were all tragically familiar. The world of clients that they presented (big businesses, with in-house marketing departments) were, as ever, driven by two interests: laziness and cowardice. It is too much effort and involves too much personal risk for them to select, brief and direct a single consultancy.
Remember that most free pitches almost certainly include one team that the client has already, more or less, decided to use. This is just a way of putting that team under some creative and cost pressure (while wasting the time of the others).
The only way you will stop free-pitching is by legislation (contrary to the employment regulations of the EU or whatever). The design bodies should be lobbying for that, and maybe they are.
The question I wanted to see answered was: in what circumstances would you be wanting to try a service that you had not tried before?
John Nash, Creative director, Nash Design, London SE1