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Ad agencies in Belgium close their websites to protest the way clients conduct pitches

Belgium’s advertising agencies have launched a week long virtual strike to protest the way clients conduct pitches in their country. As a part of the virtual strike, about 20 ad agencies — including JWT, Ogilvy, BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann, Happiness, Famous, Tagora, Boondoogle, 7beaufort and Kunstmaan — in the country have closed their websites except for displaying one paragraph each of an open letter to clients that runs across their home pages, from one agency’s site to the next.

Belgium’s advertising agencies have launched a week long virtual strike to protest the way clients conduct pitches in their country. As a part of the virtual strike, about 20 ad agencies — including JWT, Ogilvy, BBDO, Saatchi & Saatchi, McCann, Happiness, Famous, Tagora, Boondoogle, 7beaufort and Kunstmaan — in the country have closed their websites except for displaying one paragraph each of an open letter to clients that runs across their home pages, from one agency’s site to the next.

The open letter begins: “Dear visitor, As you can see, we have replaced our regular website with this letter. It’s going to stay up one week to express our discontent. Allow us to explain…” A link at the bottom of the screen says “Continue reading at” and links to the next agency’s site and an explanation of the charter, why it exists, and how it is being violated.

“Because of the (economic) crisis, advertisers were getting aggressive and not following the rules, and it only works if everyone sticks to the charter,” Luc De Leersnyder, CEO of ACC, Belgium’s association of communication companies, which masterminded the virtual strike, has said. The rules include an acceptable number of agencies in a pitch (no more than three) and clients contributing to agencies’ pitch costs. [Source: AdAge]

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10 thoughts on “Ad agencies in Belgium close their websites to protest the way clients conduct pitches”

  1. They have a charter, what
    They have a charter, what they can also ensure for advertisers is a code of conduct. Advertisers are bound to get aggresive but a code of conduct can tame that agggression.

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