Diary: Lotus contenders pitch in for a Cyberian battle

In its current PR review, I hear software company Lotus Development Corporation is sidestepping the traditional pitch process in favour of something more resembling Mortal Kombat. Last week’s first stage kicked off congenially enough with agencies invited to tout their wares, beneath a projection of Lotus’s Web site in the groovy setting of London’s Cyberia Internet cafe.

In its current PR review, I hear software company Lotus Development

Corporation is sidestepping the traditional pitch process in favour of

something more resembling Mortal Kombat. Last week’s first stage kicked

off congenially enough with agencies invited to tout their wares,

beneath a projection of Lotus’s Web site in the groovy setting of

London’s Cyberia Internet cafe.



The next stage is likely to be somewhat grittier. Eliminating those

hours wasted ringing around to find who else is pitching, all four short

listed firms are to receive a communal briefing. Subsequently, the teams

will each have 90 minutes to strut their stuff. ’We are not going to ask

any questions. We will be like the audience,’ explains Michael

Chapman-Pincher, who is managing the review, ’but they will have time to

set up beforehand.’



After pitching, certain team members will have to wait awhile before

checking into a sanatorium/drinking several large gins. Account

directors, says Chapman-Pincher, will be called back to be grilled by

the client.



Before making the final decision, Lotus will then study references from

two clients and one ex-client of each agency.



After that, the winning agency will be able to relax - not. ’I am very

aware that the client-agency relationship can easily go wrong very early

on and I am going to be keeping a very watchful eye on the process,’

confides Chapman-Pincher.



Well, this time it ain’t going to be like that. We are talking about an

organisation’s marketing communications in a very tough business. To get

it wrong is to lose the war.’ Gulp.



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