Barking up the right tree / by Abigail Bowen

Pitching. It's one of the worst things about being a designer. You may have all seen that video doing the rounds when a customer asks a variety of highstreet professionals, a gym instructor and a restaurant to give their services for free with a promise of future work if he 'likes' it. It pretty much sums it up. But the reality is we are our own worst enemy and clients will always take free creative work if you hand it to them on a plate. Or in one case, we were told that the winning agency gave out 'nice leather folders' - sadly, I'm not kidding.

At Blank we have pitched, all agencies have. But we do have strict criteria around budgets, potential future value and the number of other agencies involved. And, so far, using this very-unscientific method the odds have been in our favour.

One of our biggest pitch achievements, years ago, was for the photo library, Imagestate. Our little team-of-two beat agencies from London and New York to win this very cool account that placed our adverts in front of the world's creative community. So in this instance the pitch was clearly worth it - and definately didn't fit in with our self-imposed 'rule book'.

So, what's your view on pitching? When has it really paid off? Would be great to hear from both designers and clients.

(Imagestate were eventually bought out by Getty Images.)