Current Puts RFP Call on Twitter

NEW YORK Every day brings new uses for Twitter. Now, the short-messaging service has found its way into the agency-selection process.
The Current Network today became the first brand to solicit agencies via Twitter to receive RFPs for its account review. “This is a TwitteRFP for The Current Network. Searching for a full service ad agency partner,” wrote Jordan Kretchmer, vp of brand at Current.
In a longer posting linked from the initial tweet, he explained the type of agency Current is seeking:
“Our ideal agency will help us formulate a brand/ad strategy that communicates who Current is through compelling, inspiring, and even controversial advertising. The ideal relationship for us is based on collaboration, dialogue, and a reciprocal excitement for the potential that Current has to attract a mass audience.”
In an attempt to open the opaque RFP process, agencies are instructed to post their responses publicly.
Kretchmer said he hatched the idea earlier this week as a way to fill out the roster of shops Current will evaluate. He already has chosen five agencies to receive RFPs separately from Twitter.
“The whole idea is searching for an agency…that lives and breathes social media rather than claiming they do,” he said.
So far, Kretchmer has gotten dozens of responses. Most are from small shops and include little more than an expression of interest. One to One Interactive, a Boston agency, went the farthest, putting together a video linked to in a reply to the “TwitteRFP.”
Many of the responses have come from small creative firms that Kretchmer — who worked at Butler, Shine, Stern & Partners before joining Current — did not know.
“This is not a stunt at all,” Kretchmer said. “I’m short-listing people with interesting responses.”
At the very least, it’s made the often-tiresome RFP process more intriguing, Kretchmer said. At Butler, Shine and earlier at Mullen, he often chafed at the formulaic nature of the mating dance between agencies and potential clients. “While this may not get us any different work at the end, the approach is much more fun,” he said.
Shops have until Monday to respond to Kretchmer’s call by replying to him using @jkretch. Kretchmer declined to state the size of the account. Current plans to have an agency chosen by June. Current has no agency relationship at present.