no pitch no spec policy

No Pitch/No Spec

No Pitch Policy

We’re always pleased when a company reaches out to ask us to quote on a project. It means that they’ve seen enough about us, our work and our approach, to outline us as a potential partner.

But unfortunately, if you’ve asked us for free speculative or pitch work as part of the process for us to try and “win” the project, then we’re not the right partner for you.

Why not? Because we support a “No Pitch/No Spec” policy.

We believe that “spec work” or “pitch work” invariably leads to frustration for you and encourages a subpar standard of work from the designers pitching. Why?

1. You are paying for other people’s pitch work

From a business point of view, it makes no sense for you. Agencies must charge higher fees to cover work they produce, but don’t win.

Responding to an RFP is a time-consuming process which can take days or sometimes weeks. During that time, the (often senior) team isn’t doing other billable work. And if the agency isn’t being paid for that, then it falls on their other clients to pay their bills and costs.

If you choose an agency that does spec work, you are paying for all their failed pitches as well as the one piece of work you are interested in.

So, if you are engaging pitch agencies, then you know you are paying for them to find other work – our No Pitch policy saves our clients money.


2. Pitch work is, at best, an educated guess, which compromises quality.

A good design is an informed design. This only comes through research and strategic collaboration with the client – you know your audience best and we know the business of design.

Our company purpose is “Co-Creating Good to Great”. Collaboration is a big deal to us. Nobody knows your business like you do, so solving your challenges is requires us to collectively bring our A-Game to find the absolute best solution.

A visually pleasing, nice sounding ‘best guess’ created upfront as part of a sales tactic is never a good solution. Anything created without being informed is at best a pretty picture. And the chances are, even then that pretty picture may fail at meeting your expectations as we’d be working blind.

Our No Pitch policy means that you get the solution you need, not one that was simply pulled out of thin air.

3. We don’t believe it’s ethical

We wouldn’t come to you and ask you to work for free. Or our dentist, attorney, or architect.

If you were one of our CSI charity initiatives that we have chosen, and we care about, then we’d consider it. But if not, then asking us to develop brand strategies, and create design solutions and rounds of interviews for free, demeans the value we can bring to you and our team who have worked so hard to become the best we can be in the field.

Very often a pitch proposal is extremely detailed and, not only asks for free IP but is very time-consuming. This has to be developed by senior team members, who are essentially doing several days’ worth of free consulting. Subscribing to a pitching culture robs agencies of not only intellectual property (which took years to learn) but their earning potential too, which impacts their bottom lines.

Unfortunately, the creative industry has long been caught up in the practice of spec work, but just because it’s been done, doesn’t make it right.

Our No Pitch policy means you support good ethical business practices.

We love what we do, and we love showing off the diversity of work we’ve done, but that’s because every project is crafted with thought and research, and with respect for our clients. We put all our resources into every client that engages us because we don’t need to save our best ideas to sell ourselves to potential new clients.

We aren’t unusual in our position on declining to partake in speculative work and have, in fact, aligned with international standards such as AIGA (Professional Association for Design) and NoSpec.

We understand you want to get the best work possible for your project, so we hope you accept our reasons for declining the pitch work.

And if, in your understanding, you agree with us, then we’d be delighted to show you how our best projects got off the ground, and how we could do the same for you.

So if you are keen to go forward, please connect with us here.

Advanced view No Pitch policy chart courtesy of Creative Review