As a relatively new brand design consultancy, we have recently had our ‘principals’ challenged for the first time, regarding the issue of free-pitching.
Our conclusion was that, as years of debate within the industry unfortunately hasn’t deterred the practice (even though some consultancies claim otherwise) and now that the economy has slowed, free-pitching offers too many opportunities for us to ignore.
What we cannot understand, however, is why the industry doesn’t accept that from the smallest studio to the largest consultancy, the question isn’t whether to offer ideas for free, but whether as a collective group we can negotiate a set of ‘better deal’ guidelines to operate within.
Surely we could conjure up enough integrity between us, as an industry, to ensure that we at least dictate the parameters?
An example could be to limit the number of consultancies that are invited to take part – if a client doesn’t have the ability to select a possible solution to its brief from three groups which it feels could offer realistic, yet original solutions, they should be happy to pay for additional advice.
There are many areas that could benefit (copyright issues, material costs, list of pitch consultancies, and so on), but until we accept that free-pitching is here to stay and start working together towards some standards, both new and established consultancies will continue to have little choice.