{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "When pitching to a client fails, who does the responsibility ultimately fall on? Obviously, it's a team effort but in practicality, humans tend to ascribe blame (justifiably or not) to an individual(s). The creative team? Strategy? Creative director? The client themselves?\n", "post_id": "62ab65da08b70d0023eefe8d", "reply_count": 29, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "5565cfca8b2b9a03009acf57", "bowl_name": "Advertising", "feed_type": "crowd" }
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When pitching to a client fails, who does the responsibility ultimately fall on? Obviously, it's a team effort but in practicality, humans tend to ascribe blame (justifiably or not) to an individual(s). The creative team? Strategy? Creative director? The client themselves?

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I like to blame my CD

funnylike

I don't think you can place blame on one group unless you know why you didn't win the pitch. But better to not point fingers at a group or team after what was likely a mad dash of a sprint to respond to the RFP by everyone involved

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Agree, typically you’ll be told by the pitch consultant that the creative missed the mark, or the strategy wasn’t strong enough and then the repercussions will fall on the most senior person in that dept, CCO, CSO, etc. it’s honestly a team effort tho.

Always blame the client. It’s the one thing the whole team can agree on.

likefunny

Probably the soggy cold cut sandwiches you ordered in to give the client for lunch during your pitch meeting.

likefunny

The copywriter

likeupliftingfunny

true

funny

Trying to find where to point fingers, is the wrong approach. Pitches can be lost for a gazillion reasons. Many times the pitch is already lost before agencies even present because they may already know who they’ll award the business and they just make other agencies go through the motions. No two pitches are alone and no two pitches are lost for exactly the same reason.
Also, winning a pitch, doesn’t insulate you from anything. I lead a pitch and won, and got laid off from that agency 6 months later.

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*alike… not alone

Let it go. It’s over. They don’t want you.

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As a hard and fast rule, it’s your fault.

likefunny

Your = everyone who was a part of the pitch :)

Not a wrong metric, just lumps everyone involved together!

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We won a pitch and the client told us to do something another agency pitched. It’s about relationships.

likehelpful

Win as a team. Lose as a team.

You can have a Lebron, Kobe, or MJ on your team. Arguably the greatest players ever. You can still lose.

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@pm1 Art director

The Agency CEO’s fault.

likesmart

I’ve seen enough pitches from the client side to realize some agencies and thrown in as pitch fodder, or for a look-see at what they might come up with but we all know we are running with agency A or B etc. — so before you beat yourself up too much pitch team, there may have been preferences going in on the client side that you had no control over

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A lot also rests on the relationship/rapport either existing or built up during the pitch process. There are many reports on client pitching that support this. A large part that can help the team, is to find out how they are marking / weight of scoring ahead of the pitch and having the client agree to sharing this feedback. If they don’t have a scoring system then the agency should develop one and ensure the client completes it after the pitch process to help for future pitches.

But it should be shared responsibility really. The team should support this - otherwise it can become toxic for obvious reasons.

A lot can fall on a poor client brief also. That then needs experience to extract the relevant information for the team.

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Blame game? You might be at the wrong place

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This is an impossible question to answer. Every agency is different and that means inter relationships are different too. At some agencies they have enough fat to just laugh it off and blame the client. In other agencies too many pitch loses will mean either the CCO get bounced or the new biz lead or even a team if they’ve done a poor job on a range. For some the numbers always lie with the CEO so they could be in trouble if the numbers are going the wrong way. It all depends on the agency.

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In the words of a wise old Global CCO I once worked for, "at the end of the day it's always a creative problem."

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Yes, but the client could've just not been ready for a fire rollout, thus everyone is at fault

Everybody's accountable. And therefore nobody's accountable.

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funny

I was part of a recent pitch where the creative was so-so...but I'm not sure the best creatives in the world could have done any better given how the process was managed.

I’ve been on both sides and you’d be surprised at how often our pitch wasn’t a deciding factor to not choose you unless you were really fucking terrible.

So many factors involved and even politics more than you’d imagine

In my experience, the creative team is among the first to be blamed.

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