A call for print and literature free pitching action

I write to congratulate the group of brand identity consultants who have decided to take action with regard to free and “subsidised” pitching (DW 30 October).

I appreciate there may be issues specific to branding design, but, as the owner of a small literature and print consultancy, I believe there are strong parallels in my area. While we may not all be able to achieve the same minimum fee, we must support each other to urge clients to pay for pitches.

We have recently been asked to pitch on projects where clients have asked up to six groups to pitch but have refused to pay. This can arise because one or two of those invited to pitch break rank offering to do it for free. The remainder then have to follow suit or withdraw. I have stoically taken the latter option, but am unsure how many have joined me.

Some of these clients have previously paid for pitches, which leads me to believe that, as an industry, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. Pitches are costly exercises and I feel strongly that if we charge a reasonable fee, the days of the six-way pitch might end. Can our industry sustain the scenario where there are now up to five losers per pitch? I think not.

If anyone involved in print and literature design would like to emulate the action being taken by our peers in brand consultancy, please get in touch with me, as I would like to pioneer a similar movement for fair pitch fees in this sector.

Jan Hildebrand

Hildebrand Design

London W1

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