NEWS13 May 2022

IPA and ISBA begin pitching reform campaign

Media News People Sustainability UK Wellbeing

UK – The Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) and the Incorporated Society of British Advertisers (ISBA) have launched a campaign to improve pitching behaviour for the benefit of people, the planet and profit.


The campaign, called Pitch Positive Pledge, aims to address a perceived lack of consideration of both human and environmental costs during pitches for business in the advertising industry.

Signatories to the pledge will be expected outline the various considerations they must take into account during the before, during and after stages of the pitch process.

More than 70 companies have agreed to the pledge so far, including Samsung, Boots, Virgin Media, Nationwide Building Society and Nestle, as well as PWC, AAR, Wunderman Thompson, BBH and VCCP.

To measure the impact of the Pitch Positive Pledge, the IPA and ISBA will be commissioning an industry survey of agencies and clients to benchmark current pitching activity with questions addressing the areas of mental health, wastage, cost and effectiveness.

The initiative will report on completed pitches to showcase best practice, and client and agency commitment to the pledge will also be incorporated into ongoing industry trade press reports.

Julian Douglas, president at the IPA and vice-chairman and international chief executive officer at VCCP, said: “The Pitch Positive Pledge isn’t a marketing tool. It is a call for a change in behaviour across the industry.

“By signing up to the pledge, agencies and clients are making a clear commitment to the positive mental health of their people. In tandem, we hope it will lead to better wealth for their businesses by cutting down on unnecessary waste, in terms of resources, time and energy.

“This is our chance to really make a difference for the benefit of our current industry employees and for future generations for whom we hope conditions will be fairer and even more enjoyable.”

Andrew Lowdon, director of agency services at ISBA, said: “Signing up to this pledge provides clients, intermediaries, and agencies the opportunity to look afresh at their pitching behaviour.

“The Pitch Positive Pledge doesn’t seek to change the process by which pitches are run, it seeks to make the process more intentional and operate with greater consistency through better planning, preparation, and project management.

“There is nothing new or onerous in the pledge, just the behaviours employed throughout making a difference.”