Pitch Fee: Experiential Agencies Propose N500, 000 Rejection Fee

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Raheem Akingbolu

The Experiential Marketers Association of Nigeria (EXMAN) has disclosed that organisations inviting experiential marketing agencies for pitch should prepare to pay N500, 000 as rejection fee to the agencies not picked.

The practitioners also called for innovation and collaboration among stakeholders in the marketing communications industry.

EXMAN at its just concluded Annual General Meeting (AGM) made the resolution that rejection fee be paid to its members after attending a pitch, considering the level of research, creativity and funding that goes into the ideas presented to clients. Some members alleged that some organisations use some of the ideas presented at a pitch without giving them credit or paying for it.

EXMAN President, Tade Adekunle said “When you invite 17 or 18 agencies to come and pitch for a business they will only take one or two agencies and thereafter you will start seeing some of the ideas that some of the rejected agencies have given. Also, when agencies go for pitch they incur cost on research, creatives and others.

“So, the association has decided that clients can ask for the profile of the various agencies, and then they can say this agency is good enough to work for us instead of calling 20 agencies to come and pitch.”

Tade, stated further that the association has come up with the resolution that, “If you are inviting any EXMAN member to come and pitch be ready to pay rejection fee of N500, 000 for those not picked,”

He explained further that if organisations write back that they can’t pay rejection fee, no EXMAN member would partake in such pitch, stating that, “If corporate organisations champion corporate governance, then it will be unethical to ask agencies to wave rejection fee.”

He added that member must have informed the association secretariat that they are invited for a pitch and EXMAN would write the client who must have agreed to pay the fee before embarking in the pitch process.

However, he stated that members cannot say they don’t want the rejection fee from client, if such happens they would have to face disciplinary committee.

“For our members, the resolution taken here today, you can’t wave that right and say I would not collect rejection fee. The association is saying you cannot wave that right. If you don’t collect it you will face the disciplinary committee of EXMAN,” he revealed.

In another vein, during the AGM, EXMAN inducted some new agencies into its association. The new agencies are Bloow48 Invents Limited, Lilvera Group, Boomerang, Ipanache and Ziing Marketing. Also, Rosemary Akpo, MD, EXP Nigeria was elected the Publicity Secretary of the association because the position was vacant while Tade and the incumbent executives were applauded and members moved a motion that they continue the leadership of the association.

As part of its programmes for the year, the association had Experiential Marketing Conference (#EXM2020), a day before its AGM, to chat a way forward for industry players and the marketing world and had large attendance from across the world. The conference which was held August 13 on virtual platform, Zoom, was themed, “Defying Gravity: The Future of Customer Experience Marketing”.

The experts at the conference tasked experiential marketing agencies, others on innovative consumer experience, collaboration and others amid COVID-19.

Group Head Digital Marketing, Fidelity Bank Plc and keynote speaker, Ose Osundeko, who spoke on “Using digital to transform the customer experience” said it is imperative for brands to put customers at the centre of what they do and deploying the right strategies in the digital space will further help transform customer experience.

Similarly, President, Media Independent Practitioners Association of Nigeria (MIPAN), Femi Adelusi, and discussant urged experiential marketing agencies to begin to look at how to leverage on data and deploying innovative ways to take consumer experience into the digital space.

In addition, Sola Antwi, COO, Divergent MS and discussant, stated that brands need to be innovative and align their strategy with stakeholders even when they are thinking digital, adding that consumer experience is key to the survival of any business.