No-pitch pitches would make the strong stronger

I just read Alison Fahey’s column on Subway’s no-pitch pitch [Aug. 23]. I’ve worked at a couple of places that embrace the whole blown-out, fully integrated pitch-theater march process. The idea that an agency could be saved all this trouble is appealing. It would only work well, though, for places with established winning records. Goodby and Crispin Porter and the Fallon of the past can let their work speak for itself. Newer agencies have to prove they have what it takes to get there. And then, of course, there are agencies that are trying to turn themselves around, maybe having just hired new creative or strategic guns. Wouldn’t a pitch with one agency from each of the above groups be a great competition?

Cooper Olson

Senior writer

Foote Cone & Belding

Irvine, Calif.

Well-done column. While it’s easy to pitch-bitch, the painful consultant process has one advantage: It gives a hearing to agencies that might not otherwise have a chance. A shift away from the speculative bake-off, as painful and expensive as it is, would only serve to entrench a few visible, well-networked agencies. I am reminded of the words of Justice Brandeis: “Sunlight is the best disinfectant.” In an era that increasingly recognizes the value of transparency, I am troubled by anything that goes back to the smoke-filled room, in politics or advertising.

Adam Hanft


Hanft Unlimited

New York

For the Record: In the Luxe Report [Sept. 6], the statistic on the number of Americans with assets of more than $1 million came from research provided by Merrill Lynch/ Cap Gemini. Young & Rubicam, not Marc, created AT&T’s “Boundless” campaign [Careers, Sept. 6].

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