A group of Belgian ad agencies went on strike in protest at pitches. What issue would entice you to go on strike?

If pitches were banned, we’d be up for a design industry strike – as ironic as it sounds. Yes, being a ’very close second place…’ is a demoralising feeling. But you tend not to experience it too often if you decline the pitches that are too out of reach, over-subscribed, obviously biased or if you cannot commit enough time to make your pitch brilliant. On the plus side, they give upstarts and newcomers a chance. They keep incumbents on their toes. They introduce a fun ’thrill of the chase’ feeling. Our most successful client relationships have come from pitch work.

Nigel Davies, Managing director, 300million

I would strike over silly committee decisions, balancing presentations on one knee in tiny offices, the interminable European Union tender process (we won’t be doing that again), clients who go on holiday in the middle of a project, clients moving on, and, yes, over the depressing, soul-destroying, negative, immoral pitching process. Bring on the designer pickets.

Paul Jenkins, Creative director, Ranch Design

I did consider contacting the three other contributors to this column asking if they would strike with me against submitting free written content to magazines. However, without having an existing, trusting relationship with those contributors, mutual union representation and the knowledge that there are literally hundreds of designers prepared to write something in my place, for free, I thought this tactic would be rather fruitless – much like the effectiveness of striking within the current infrastructure of the design industry.

Matt Judge, Co-founder, Design Assembly

Wow. First we have the Bosman ruling (freedom for footballers to work wherever they want) and now ad agencies going on strike. Belgium, you rock. This is a serious issue of course, and I fear we’ve reached the point where giving our work away in free-pitches has led to reduced fees for everyone so, in the long term, there are no winners. But before someone shouts ’it’s market forces, blah blah blah’, let’s all agree and join the revolution.

Franco Bonadio, Chief executive, Identica

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