Last issue, PR Week revealed that Littlewoods was reviewing its PR.
Details of the review were leaked despite a confidentiality agreement
signed by all the pitching agencies.
Littlewoods media services head Tim Rogers believes such agreements are
increasingly common in PR pitches.
’As soon as we start giving information out in the pitch process we ask
agencies to sign agreements,’ he says.
Crispin Manners, chair of the PRCA’s arbitration body, the Professional
Practice Committee, takes the issue seriously. Although he has never had
to deal with action between a client and an agency over the breaking of
a confidentiality agreement, he thinks there will be a rise in the
demand for them as the world becomes ever more litigious.
Manners warns that companies need to put better systems in place to
ensure confidentiality is not breached. However, many observers believe
agreements are hard to police as it is often impossible to trace the
source of a leak.
One PRCA agency member, who asked not to be named, says: ’If somebody
wants me to sign an agreement I will, but at the end of the day, the
relationship is about trust.’