Can Agencies Win If They Don't Play the Spec Pitch Game?

The pros and cons of creating free work to win work

When Mike Wolfsohn and his two partners left Southern California agency Ignited in 2010 to form High Wide & Handsome, they vowed not to participate in competitive pitches requiring contenders to foot the bill for speculative creative work. Such exercises "demean the profession," said Wolfsohn, who decries the process as "a reality show to impress some panel of judges. Pitches rarely resemble what a working relationship would be like between agency and client."