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Q2 2013 IPA Post-Pitch Survey finds room for improvement

The IPA's latest Post-Pitch Survey, published today (Tuesday 30th July 2013), reveals that although the role of procurement in the pitch process is not always the menace that it is often perceived to be, there is room for improvement.


In just under half of cases (48%) where procurement was involved in the pitch, respondents indicated that their involvement was perceived to be both transparent and fair, although a significant minority (31%) disagreed.

Only 34% of respondents agreed with the statement that where there was procurement involvement, the selection techniques were appropriate, while 38% disagreed.

The survey also indicates that where there is procurement involvement, elements of the pitch process do not always run as smoothly as they could:

Where procurement was involved in the pitch:

  • 45% of respondents indicated that timetables and deadlines were agreed set and adhered to, compared to 64% where there was no procurement involvement.
  • Only 24% of respondents indicated that the client’s budget was clear upfront, compared to 44% where there was no procurement involvement.
  • 22% of respondents indicated that that feedback from interim meetings was clearly actionable, compared to 50% where there was no procurement involvement.

However, the survey does indicate that in two-thirds of cases where there was involvement of procurement their role was clearly identified at the start of the process.

The expertise of intermediaries that was evidenced in the first survey remains true with the addition of Q2 data.

In those instances where intermediaries were involved in the pitch, 45% of respondents indicated that the process was excellent or very good compared to 19% where there was no intermediary involvement.

40% of respondents described the performance of the intermediary as being excellent or very good while in only 10% of cases was the performance described as poor.

Going forward
Says IPA Finance Director, Alex Hunter; “This survey provides a wider view of those involved in the pitch process, be they intermediaries or procurement. It is reassuring to find that the majority do indeed conform to the best practices set out in the joint industry guidelines, while at the same time providing focus for where improvements can be made a priority”.

The agency-client relationship is one of the key components of IPA President, Ian Priest’s ADAPT agenda to work towards a new commercial creative contract for the industry.

Says Ian Priest; “Pitches are the start-point for many client-agency relationships. Handled well they should set the scene for long, healthy, productive partnerships between both parties for mutual commercial gain. So adapting this process to ensure best practice is followed and potentially new methods investigated, can only be a win-win.”

On Thursday 3rd October, the IPA will be holding a groundbreaking event to launch the President's ADAPTATHON series, where client and agency participants will ‘hack’ the future of how agencies and clients can work better together in a true alliance for a greater commercial outcome.

The IPA Post-Pitch Survey was formerly referred to as the IPA New Business Monitor. For Q1 and Q2 it was completed by its member agencies with 124 responses to 105 pitches.

Any member agencies which would like to receive the survey can contact Zoe Mitchell on

View The Good Pitch blog – the industry’s leading platform for debate and comment on new business practices.

Last updated 31/01/2014

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