The Brand Council of South Africa (BCSA) held its "Fight Night" debate at the TBWA Auditorium in Sandton on 25 October, where the controversial issue of free pitching was unpacked. The pitching controversy centres on the question of whether creative agencies need to produce unpaid creative strategies and ideas in order to secure the client, when other professions secure work on their track record, credentials and reputation.
Advertising guru Andy Rice moderated the debate, in which Danie Strachan, a partner at Adams & Adams, Johanna McDowell, CEO of Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS), Odette van der Haar, CEO of the Association for Communication and Advertising (ACA) and Linda Thomas, group marketing and innovations executive of Famous Brands thrashed out the hard-hitting issues.
Issues that were considered at the debate included the business model used by other professions such as lawyers and accountants, the danger that creative ideas and other intellectual property can be stolen, the role of intermediaries and the question of whether agencies can realistically refuse to take part in the pitch process.
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