“It’s Time We Said No To Spec Work”


By christinewatson / / Imagine if people outside advertising tried to get something for nothing from their suppliers. How would that go down…? It’s become a given in this industry that when we want to win new business, we pitch with creative work on spec. The same amount of work (often more, crammed into less time) we’d do for paying clients — but for free. Prospective clients know what we’re capable of — all our work’s online, the intermediaries have us all indexed and categorized. We all know who’s good at what. So why not just give us the work? Instead, agencies have unwittingly or unwillingly colluded to create a culture where clients expect something for nothing upfront — that’s not a way to get off on the right foot. And it’s so ingrained, we just assume that’s just how business works — until you apply this thinking to other industries. Then you see just how ridiculous giving it all away for free is. Toronto agency Zulu Alpha Kilo made this video for Strategy magazine’s annual Agency of the Year event using hidden cameras and real people not actors (perhaps). In practice, the agency puts their money where its mouth is. They haven’t pitched using creative spec work in 5 years. Which means their incumbent clients aren’t paying for them to pitch for new clients. That seems fair right? Via.