Damned pitches.

Damned pitches.

Does this sound familiar? Wednesday morning, it is a beautiful sunny day and your are enjoying your cup of hot, black, sweet coffee? A freshly printed, nice-smelling newspaper on your desk next to your computer.… You are, of course, checking your incoming mail. There’s one message – it looks like spam at first sight but it isn’t, well it’s not the usual spam – that catches your eye. It’s an invitation! An invitation to send in a pitch! It is not a personalised invitation though, 12 of your colleagues have been put in cc. Looks very professional. You are not sure who the sender might be. Some obscure new organisation? You take a closer look. It seems to be from an official institution, no, even better: a ministry department.

They are asking for a detailed price offer for designing & developing a new corporate identity. One sentence is really nice: "…Can you please attach some design concepts to the price offer and make sure these proposals arrive at our offices before Friday evening?" Nearly two days to go, well that’s a smooth deadline! You’re only human, so now you want to read the rest. But there is not much else to read, except for some terms and conditions. Strict conditions on what you should & must do. No details of what you could or should get paid. There is no briefing, there are no criteria, there is no budget, there is no proposal for financial compensation, nothing… They are in fact asking us to design for free. Exactly what we were eagerly awaiting! …

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Critical essay on that damned plague of pitches. Published online. Language: English.

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