Best of a bad situation

Following recent discussions on free-pitching or tendering, I believe that most of the core points raised are fair and that too much talent goes unpaid for. I await with interest news on any legislation.

In the meantime, however, I dispute David Hyams’ view (DW 19 September) that a pitch is a roulette. If the brief has been well understood and the work submitted given the consideration warranted by the potential gains, then the odds of success are increased.

There will always be designers willing to put in more effort than their rivals. This is the nature of the pitch. Design, as a service industry, relies on its people as well as its product and pitches can very often separate the personalities from the faceless.

Until we can stamp out the free-pitch, which will require legislation or spontaneous agreement from ALL clients, let us encourage clients to clarify common parameters for the brief and to make more effort with all pitch candidates to respond to work submitted. Since a client gains value from all pitch material, some value can be returned to the design team through a rationale document which could be used to:

assess where unsuccessful designs did not meet the objective;

invite reaction to the decision;

display and rationalise the successful design concept.

Although this would lengthen the pitch process, I believe it is essential to alleviate the bitter assumption that the client has got something for nothing. It will also allow design groups to adjust their future strategy, which can only help to raise design standards.

If a client offers resistance to this level of courtesy in favour of a fax or phone call then perhaps it does not deserve our attentions.

Jon Lucas

Creative director

Ad Vantage

London EC2

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