Start asking for pitch fees, Akindele charges EXMAN

By Felicia Nwosu

Oyedeji Akindele, Head of Strategy, Abelinis Limited, has urged the leadership of the Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN) to commence the full implementation of pitch fee from clients. This, he said, is in tune with the new modalities specified in the Advertising Standards of Practice (AISOP) regulatory Code.

It would be recalled that AISOP was introduced by the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) to reform, promote and protect the industry from unwholesome practices.

Speaking with MARKETING EDGE, Akindele decried the lack of effectiveness of the AISOP framework in reality of practice, especially within the experiential space due to lack of implementation. He added that experiential marketing practitioners are still facing the practice of participating in pitches without fees as a result of lack of execution of the AISOP Code.

“I think it is high time we started asking for pitch fees. It does not make sense when a business will sign agencies for a pitch and they have already known the ones they are going to pick and then you just send out briefs, use it to pick people’s ideas and then abandon them. I think we should have a pitch fee for agencies that actively participate.

“Though it was included in AISOP, has it been implemented? No! I know they do it for creative agencies. Creative agencies have pitching fees, which is under ARCON. The BTL industries’ category is different from the ARCON category. I know of some creative agencies that won’t even do anything if they don’t get payment, at least 70% or 50%,” he said.

Akindele, therefore, called on the leadership of EXMAN to discourage the exploitation of the creativity of the experiential professionals by clients, reaffirming that pitching is an expensive exercise for agencies.

The brand custodian urged the association to put out a roadmap to charging a pitch fee along with ground rules on how many agencies can be invited to a pitch with consideration to the level of research, creativity and funding that goes into the ideas presented to clients.

“Imagine you do a job for some business clients, it takes them 90 days to pay. If it is a standard, then a business will know that rather than calling 10 agencies, let me just call 2 or 5, and then you pay them particular agreed fees for having sleepless nights. There are times my guys sleep in the office for 2-3 days working on a pitch. At the end, you will hear, ‘we are sorry; we are going to use these agencies. Later you will find out it is probably one of the old agencies they have been using. If it is a standard procedure and it is also implemented, then it won’t be a problem. It is high time that we actually implemented it. Then also in terms of this 90 days payment, I think EXMAN should start getting involved with all these brands,” he demanded.

The experiential expert enjoined EXMAN to create platforms forms where experiential leaders and veterans can help the future experiential practitioners to grow, prosper and thrive in their career path as the next generation of BTL experts.


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