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Oystercatchers awards show how new business pitches have become an industry inside an industry

Lively London client/agency matchmaker Oystercatchers held its annual awards last night for agency new business teams, awarding gongs for best RFI (response to client request for information), agency film, agency website and agency credentials. The only thing missing is best client lunch – although maybe that was then.

Saatchi & Saatchi won best RFI (with an offering for the ongoing BBC pitch that included a spoof episode of the Beeb’s WIA comedy featuring Saatchi staff – very cheeky), Wieden+Kennedy won best agency film, Sapient Nitro best website and Iris best agency credentials. For once no mention of adam&eveDDB but maybe it didn’t enter (maybe it doesn’t need any of this stuff).

Oystercatchers succeeded in recruiting a pretty starry list of client judges too, including Lloyds marketing boss Catherine Kehoe and Tesco group managing director David Wood (glad to see one senior Tesco exec is still functioning in the new Dave Lewis era).

Wood was marketing director when Tesco moved its account from The Red Brick Road to W+K a couple of years ago. Here he is talking about the pitch which Oystercatchers handled (saying nice things about Oystercatchers, obviously).

Seems a decent sort. Still a way to go though.

Also on the judging panel was the chairman of a football club – no, not Dave Whelan of Wigan – which seems an odd choice but we’re talking about one Steve Parish, Crystal Palace chairman. Parish, of course, was the man who built up and sold giant production agency Tag to Deutsche Post for many millions. He’s believed to be planning a re-entry to the business with one of Tag’s smaller rivals Oliver, so I guess this was a great networking opportunity.

Interesting that pitching seems to have become an industry within an industry. Must make the business of repitching even more of an ordeal than it used to be.

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.

3 comments

  1. Bloody hell. What’s next? I would suggest the “Titanium Dildo” for the most money blown on a losing pitch. I remember when Ad Awards were for the best advertising. But that was before most of you were born.
    Cheers/George “AdScam” Parker

  2. Just watched the David Wood video. Sounds like in his efforts to involve all the Tesco “Stakeholders.” He was covering his arse in case the agency choice didn’t work out… Which, in my warped mind, has always been the reason why an MD cant come up with an agency short list and relies on a search consultant. I assume Oystercatchers slipped him a TBE under the table for that obvious pimp-a-boola. As I say… I have a warped mind. Time for a drink. Cheers

  3. I think the Titanium Dildo might have legs in it George..or around..anyway, let’s not go there. We could have an award for the wackiest award of the year.

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