Let's ditch the pitch
How did you select your current agency? If the experience of ABBA members is anything to go by you probably asked three or four agencies to take part in an unpaid creative pitch. It has become the standard approach. But is it fair? And is it effective? I would argue that it's neither and I have a solution.
Firstly let's address the issue of fairness. To ask any other professional to use their skill, expertise and creativity to find a solution to your problem before committing to use them would be almost criminal. Try it with your solicitor, or your accountant, your business consultant or even your dentist. See what they say.
So the principle is wrong. But even if we just accept that this is how the world is, and comply with an inequitable system, I would still like to question the judging process. I use that term deliberately, because it is a beauty parade or a competition. A group of people often of limited marketing experience use their sixth sense to decide who has the best strategy and which is the best creative execution.