I attended the annual general meeting of the Design Business Association last month and took part in a brief debate on the subject of free-pitching.

As usual, we all agreed it was a truly awful thing that none of us would even contemplate. And as usual no one had a solution to the problem other than to somehow, magically, ‘get more professional’.

Later that week I read Dan Pike’s letter (DW 8 November) condemning the practice and the Editor’s agreement.

So why am I not surprised to count a total of ten free creative pitches reported in Design Week’s News section over the past three weeks alone. And on the basis that most designers won’t admit to such goings-on, we must assume this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Why, oh why do we perpetuate this debate when in truth the vast majority of our profession, or craft if you prefer, have absolutely no intention of turning down a freepitch if they think they have a chance of winning the business?

Our clients must find the situation very amusing and very much to their advantage. You don’t do free-pitches? Come on pull the other one. And if you really do reject the practice, let’s have some real answers to the problem and less whinging.

Leslie Millard

Managing director

The Design Distillery

London WC2


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