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
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,’
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.