Suggested ‘rules of conduct’ for a standard three-way pitch

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I was interested to read David Gregory’s letter (DW 1 May) on free-pitching. What the pitching problem really needs is a solution which works for both agencies and clients. And, more importantly, rules on which to base all our intentions.

These points could form the basis of the so-called “rules of conduct” for a three-way pitch:

A client decides on a project that requires designing. He or she can invite in as many designers as required and look at their various portfolios.

The client then selects three, and only three, design agencies with which to work. Each agency is briefed by the client.

The client agrees a design fee, let’s say 3000, for the initial design work. All three agencies are aware of the 3000 design budget and they automatically agree to abide by the terms of the three-way pitch scenario.

The terms and conditions would state that all three companies must be aware of the other groups they are competing against, and all three would agree to accept the following split in fees:

The successful company will receive two-thirds (1800), plus the future business; the other two companies receive the remaining third between them (600 each).

I suggest the initial design fee should be set by the client, so at least the agencies involved have the choice to either accept or decline the possible 1800 or 600. The biggest problem would be obtaining cooperation from all the design companies to abide by this agreement.

This is not rocket science – it is straightforward common sense.

Adrian Brown

Managing director

Design Association


Huddersfield HD8 8JQ

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