64 per cent of agency employees think pitching is damaging our mental health, study says

“No other industry operates in a way which is so wasteful to human and business capital.”

25 May 2023

A new report from MediaSense points out the increasingly negative impact the pitching process is having on agencies after what it calls a “period of unprecedented pitch activity” in the creative industry.

Some of its key findings are around wellbeing, with 64 per cent of agency respondents confirming that the process is negatively impacting mental health. The drain goes beyond wellbeing into agency resources too. In a market facing issues with retaining talent and shortages, a huge 86 per cent of agency respondents find that pitching is excessively time and cost exhaustive.

The study also paints a picture of indecision in the industry around the benefits of pitching. While 64 per cent agreed that the pitching process is an “essential” part of agency culture – a majority of respondents point to its “energising” properties for staff – 64 per cent also say it’s having a negative impact on talent. Many also say it's becoming harder to get people to work on pitches.

MediaSense says that the bulk of problems centre around an increasing imbalance between “expectation (what clients want) and reality (what clients need) in how the process is created”. As clients continue to keep agencies in the dark around what is prioritised in the evaluation process, agencies are driven “to be all things to all people”, the report says.

“No other industry operates in a way which is so wasteful to human and business capital,” a respondent shares in the report. It concludes by proposing a complete rethink of the current system, with a simplified process and more transparency at every level.

Pitch Smart was conducted with over 100 respondents at predominantly the c-suite and director level.

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating from the University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, Indie magazine and design studio Evermade.

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