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Belgian Advertising Agencies go on Strike

February 12, 2010

Yesterday, Belgium‘s Advertising community went on a one-week virtual strike to protest the way pitching is being conducted. The image above is from one of the websites in the Belgian ad community that shut down it’s website. About 20 in total have closed their site and posted the letter you see above.

Their letter of protest, which starts at the beginning no matter what agency site is visitted first, is here: www.famous.be. The story goes on through all the other websites in the ad community, and it’s interesting. It really does impact our business. Go take a look. You’ll see Ogilvy, TBWA, Grey, etc. It’s kind of neat that they all got together to take a stand.
This Advertising Age article: In virtual strike, Belgium’s ad agencies close their sites… tells the story as well. It’s not about the money, it’s about how advertisers aren’t sticking to the country’s charter about pitching. The charter says no more than 3 agencies (plus incumbent) should be invited to a pitch:
“Because of the [economic] crisis, advertisers were getting aggressive and not following the rules, and it only works if everyone sticks to the charter,” said Luc De Leersnyder, CEO of the ACC, Belgium’s association of communication companies, which masterminded the strike. “I wrote a letter to members [saying] if you’re called into a pitch and know there are six or seven other guys and that you’ll spend 80,000 euros on the pitch, you have a better chance at a casino.”
According to the site Bizcommunity, The Association for Communication and Advertising in South Africa (ACA) has applauded the stand taken by the Belgian agencies ACA responds.

Agencies do spend a lot of time and money on pitch, so it would be better if the odds were better. And economic uncertainty means that advertisers are asking for more on a pitch without paying.

Apparently, Belgium decided they’d had enough and went on strike. This is surreal. Has anything like this ever happened?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 1, 2011 7:27 am

    Wow! nice blog……..
    Thanks for sharing with us.

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  1. Peer Pressure: Pitch This! « Desktop

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