Spoils to the paranoid.

There’s a lot at stake in a pitch.  Not only the upside for the agency, but also the collective efforts that everyone has poured into it.  So if you have a war room, lock it.  Consider a code name for the project.  It keeps people from overhearing your conversations in bars and airplanes. Seriously.

Be vigilant when working outside the agency. Close the door to the edit suite.  Be careful what you write down.  Never e-mail hot information.  It’s too easy for someone to pass it along, if only by accident.  There are a million careless ways to betray the trust of a prospective client, and lose the pitch before you ever make it.

It’s not just smart.  It’s respect, for the time and talent that everyone has invested.


David Fowler created long-running advertising campaigns for Motel 6 ("We'll leave the light on for you"), BP ("Beyond Petroleum"), Fanta ("Wanta Fanta"), Claritin ("Claritin Clear") and many others. His forty-year creative career included twenty years at Ogilvy & Mather in New York, as well as stints at Goodby, Silverstein in San Francisco, Ammirati & Puris in New York and The Richards Group in Dallas.