4A’s CEO says agencies must say no to unfair pitch demands

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4 A’s Malaysia is protesting the tender notice that appeared in the New Straits Times sourcing for an advertising agency to manage the integrated brand communications work for Cyberview.

The notice stipulates that the brief will be issued on July 26 and the tender pitch submission will be on August 8. This effectively gives each competing Advertising Agency only eight working days or 12 days including weekends to develop a customised strategy and creative idea to drive marketing effectiveness.

4As said that Cyberview Sdn Bhd is not giving reasonable time for the development of constructive ideas between receiving the brief and tender submission.

CEO Khairudin Rahim said that although nothing can be done for this particular tender it is hoped that Cyberview Sdn Bhd management will allow reasonable timelines for future searches involving advertising agencies.

“Only when agencies are given sufficient time, which is between four to five weeks will advertisers be able to develop attention-getting, engaging and meaningful campaigns to achieve their business objectives effectively and as a direct consequence, enhance shareholder value.”

“It would be much better to shortlist a few agencies that are relevant to the company’s needs rather than an open tender. Moreover not all agencies offer the same sort of services and it is best narrowed down according to a company’s needs,” said Khairudin.

Khairudin told Marketing Magazine “Advertising ideas are not a commodity, available off the shelf. There is a need to respect the craft and appreciate that in a world of product parity, the last unfair advantage that a brand can have is the power of a high value idea.”

He said that although in this instance this open tender cannot be altered it simply doesn’t sit well as open tenders are often about price points and undermines what advertising agencies do and offer.

He also cited examples taken by other companies which invited advertising agencies based on a pre-screening exercise rather than an open tender.

“Companies such as Petronas, Telekom Malaysia, Maybank, Malaysia Airlines, Iskandar Capital, TNB, Malaysia Airports and Celcom Axiata recognise that the selection of an agency based on a customised strategy and attention getting ideas is a more effective method.

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